Constipation is a condition manifesting through problems related to the process of passing stool. Namely, constipated people cannot pass stool often. Rather, they have fewer than 3 bowel movements a week, passing dry, hard and large stools during difficult bowel movement processes. Both adults and children may suffer from constipation and every time this condition troubles one for more than two weeks, it becomes chronic and medical assistance is more than recommended.
Reasons behind Constipation
The main cause of constipation is dehydration. Thus, people who drink less water than they should or have a diet which does not contain sufficient amounts of fiber are all at risk of being constipated. As far as babies are concerned, they might develop constipation when they do not consume enough milk as well. Additionally, eating too much sweets and having a diet high in refined sugars is a scenario likely to end up with constipation.
With babies, constipation may appear once you switch from breast milk to some other form of milk such as cow's milk or formula. Switching to solid food may lead to this condition as well. However, constipation in children and babies usually lasts for a short while and does not require medical intervention. Nevertheless, if constipation remains prevalent, medical help might be necessary.
When children suffer from constipation, they commonly ignore their urges to go to the bathroom. Also, they might not want to stop their playing, socializing with their friends, participating in sports or many other activities in order to have bowel movements. Due to these factors, their stool becomes hard and large, leading to constipation. Once the painful passing of such stool is done, children become afraid of it and avoid the process even more, making matters worse.
Treatment for Constipation
First of all, you need to take care of your or your child's diet. Eating cereals often, mixed with prune juice will make the stool softer and easier to pass. As for older children, drinking sufficient amounts of water will keep constipation at bay. Yet, you may better the stool by eating fresh fruits, vegetables and bran cereal, avoiding sweets.
Having a routine for bowel movement is a great way of controlling this problem. Also, if a certain type of medication is triggering this problem, have the drug swapped after consulting with your doctor. Motivate your child by giving him/her rewards for going to toilet frequently, not skipping bowel movements. If these steps fail, seek medical assistance.
Once you visit the doctor, he/she will inquire about the length of your child's bowel movements, the frequency of these actions, the characteristics of the stool, the presence of soiling on the underwear or pain, lack of appetite, crying during bowel movements and reluctance to pass stools. Once you provide the information, your doctor will be capable of diagnosing the condition and starting the treatment.