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Constipation in children: Successful Treatments for children

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An overview

Constipation is an extremely discomforting health condition of the digestive system in which a person gets hard feces that are difficult to drive out. According to Wikipedia, such a situation occurs when the colon absorbs a heavy amount of water from the food. Actually, if food takes long to pass through the gastro-intestinal tract, the colon tends to absorb lot water from it. During constipation, hard, dry, small in size stools pass out, with difficulty. This causes painful defecation and in several cases, lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. According to researchers at the University of Iowa, constipation is the most common cause of children's abdominal pain.

Causes of constipation

  • Low presence of fiber in the diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Medical disorder
  • Medications such as antiparkinson drugs, antidressants, diuretics, iron supplements, antispasmodics, anticonvulsants and etc.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Changes in routine life like pregnancy, aging, and travel
  • Heavy intake of laxatives
  • Dehydration
  • Heavy sugar intake
  • Specific diseases or conditions like stroke
  • Problems in rectum and colon
  • Improper intestinal functioning

Symptoms of constipation

Broadly, there are three major symptoms of constipation:

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  • Less than 3 bowel movements a week
  • Hard and large stools
  • Difficulty in bowel movement

Treatment for Constipation

  • Diet: A diet rich in high-fiber foods including beans, whole grains and bran cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots is recommended. The American Dietetic Association recommends about 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day. Avoidance of food stuffs such as ice cream, cheese, meat, and processed foods, is also advised.
  • Laxatives: For less severe constipation problems, laxatives are not suggested. But if the problem continues even after changing the lifestyle, maintaining a proper diet and regular bowel movement, laxatives available in the various forms of liquid, tablet, gum powder, and granule forms are prescribed.
  • Exercise: Proper exercise under the supervision of physical trainer should be practiced. Regular exercising keeps your body fir and eliminates the problem of lack of physical movement completely.
  • Surgery: In cases where severe colonial inertia is causing constipation, surgical removal of the colon is suggested. However, this is not largely advised and has risks of abdominal pain and diarrhea. Children are mostly not advised this treatment.
  • Healthy bowel movement: This is the most basic requirement of getting rid of the annoying constipation problem. Regular visit to toilet and proper bowel movement keeps you away from storing stools.

Prevention: It is always better to prevent the problem of constipation than treating it. Hence, it is advised to increase intake of fluids, water and fibrous food stuff in your diet to have proper digestion. Secondly, healthy bowel movement should be maintained. Children speciall tend to miss out on going to the toilet regularly, which later can create the problem of hard stools and constipation. In addition, lower down the intake of sugar in your diet and opt to go for  regular exercises.

Summary: Constipation can cause severe problems in your routine life. Not only it gives you the problem of irritating abdominal pain it can also lead to numerous other problems such a hemorrhoids and etc, if not treated properly. To stay away from this disorder, it is advised to increase the intake of water, fibrous foods and fluids in your diet.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 12, 2015

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