About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Dont Ignore Your Child's Constipation

by Savitha C Muppala on November 29, 2008 at 11:54 AM
Font : A-A+

 Dont Ignore Your Child's Constipation

Constipation in children could turn out to be far more serious than you thought.

One in four children will have constipation at some point, caused by a number of things like, not eating enough fibre or fruits and vegetables, not wanting to use unfamiliar bathrooms and ignoring the urge to go while playing.


"And children have a very concrete way of thinking. If something doesn't feel good, 'I'll never do that again," said Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

In the new study at Nationwide Children's Hospital led by Di Lorenzo has found that constipation can lead to serious health issues and skyrocketing costs, to the tune of nearly four billion dollars a year. That equals the cost of treating childhood asthma or even ADHD.

Di Lorenzo said that parents don't realize constipation can be just as serious. It can result in pain, problems at school, and sometimes the need for surgery.

The study involved gastroenterologists and researchers and was aimed to estimate the health care utilization and cost for children with constipation in the United States.

Using a nationally representative survey, clinicians and researchers analyzed data of children under 18 years of age who were diagnosed with constipation or prescribed a laxative over two-consecutive years (2003 and 2004).

Results showed that children with constipation used more health services than children without the condition, amounting to an additional cost of 3.9 billion dollars each year for children with constipation.

Despite this amplified cost impact and its prevalence during childhood, constipation has not received the amount of attention in public health campaigns that similarly occurring asthma and ADHD have.

"Despite being considered by many a relatively benign condition, childhood constipation has been shown to be associated with a significantly decreased quality of life," said Di Lorenzo, .

He added: "The day-to-day struggle caused by constipation can often be emotionally devastating, and can also have an impact on the overall health and well-being of affected children and their families."

The investigators hope that health care utilization and cost estimates revealed in this study can boost awareness of childhood constipation, awareness that could result in earlier treatment.

"It's traumatic to them, then they end up with low self esteem as if something is wrong with them and it's really not," said Hayat Mousa, MD at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Mousa added: "In many cases, constipation in children can be prevented or corrected through dietary and behavioral changes.

"Parents should talk to their children about their bathroom habits and make sure they are having a bowel movement at least every other day. For mild cases of constipation, prune or apple juice, high-fiber cereal, or over-the-counter softeners or laxatives made for children may help. If the problem persists, parents should seek the advice of a medical professional."

The study, available online at PubMed.gov, is slated for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics in early 2009.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Constipation Colo-rectal cancer - Management Piles Treatment Options Christianson Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Prolapse of Uterus
Uterine Prolapse or prolapse of the uterus is a condition when a woman's uterus (womb) sags or ......
Incisional Hernia - Animation
Slides and animation depicting the cause and surgical treatment for incisional hernia of the ......
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...
Colo-rectal cancer - Management
Treatment for Colorectal Cancers may involve surgery,chemotherapy, radiation therapy or biological t...
Constipation, or difficulty passing stool, is a common digestive complaint and is a symptom of gastr...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use