Constipation and diarrhea are two most common conditions that every person has experienced. While diarrhea refers to the watery stools, constipation is condition marked by hard feces that hardly pass. It is also characterized by lesser and infrequent bowel movements.
Constipation in children is not a serious condition when it lasts only for a short period of time and when it goes away without any medical treatment. On the other side, when it does not go away after a week or two, and when the child experiences pain with every bowel movement, it is chronic constipation and it is necessary to take the child to the doctor.
Causes of chronic constipation in children
There are several potential causes for the occurrence of chronic constipation in children. Insufficient intake of water and other fluids (such as milk, for example) causes constipation in children, at least in the majority of cases. Furthermore, when the baby stops consuming breast milk and change it for a cow’s milk, it can lead to the incidence of constipation since many children are allergic to cow’ s milk.
Children who have unhealthy diet, improper eating habits and the children who consume a lot of sugary products and fatty foods are prone to the appearance of this bowel movement disorder. Constipation in children may be induced by holding back the urge of having bowel movement.
Symptoms of chronic constipation in children
Hard feces, pain and difficulty while passing stools, and infrequent bowel movements are three main symptoms of constipation. Furthermore, children who suffer from constipation may experience cramping or pain in the abdomen, bloating and nausea. Anal fissures or cracks in the skin around the anus can be caused by passing of hard stools. Due to this, blood spots might be noticed on the surface of the stool. Encopresis is the medical term for the condition induced by obstruction of stool in the rectum, which manifests through the liquid stool and which is usually mistaken for diarrhea.
Treatment of chronic constipation in children
Chronic constipation in children can be effectively treated by making some dietary changes, such as eating of foods high in fiber and consuming water as much as possible. When these methods do not cure constipation, a doctor should be consulted. The doctors usually prescribe mild laxatives for children in order to clear the blocked stool in the rectum. Furthermore, enema can also help in clearing the large and hard feces in the rectum.