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Causes, Symptoms and Remedies for Children with Constipation
Constipation is a difficult condition for everyone, young and old, women and men; just imagine how difficult it is for children with constipation. People with constipation have a very difficult time passing out stool and when they do get the job done, their stomach and anus hurt from all the effort they put into it.
More so for children with constipation, since they do not understand what is happening to them. Even worse, children with constipation often experience a very embarrassing episode of “stool soiling” or encopresis.
Since children with constipation have fewer bowel movements than what is normal, their stools get trapped so that it seeps out from the anus even when they do not feel the urge to pass out stools yet. So you can only imagine how scarring to their self esteem “stool soiling” is for children with constipation.
Why Do Children Suffer from Constipation?
There are many causes associated with constipation. But in children with constipation, the most common and understandable cause is lack of fiber in their diet and not enough fluid intake. Lack of physical activity can also lead to constipation.
Still another common cause of constipation in children is their tendency to ignore their body signs that it's time to defecate. They may be so busy playing or watching TV that they try to resist the urge to go to the toilet. Some cold medicines, antacids containing aluminum and antidepressants may also cause constipation.
So how will you know if your child is constipated? Common symptoms include the following: having fewer than usual bowel movements, excessive straining during a bowel movement, wetting whether day or night, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, blood on stools, tiredness and crankiness and a noticeable increase in appetite especially before or after bowel movements.
The first thing you should do if you suspect that your child is constipated is to seek a doctor's advice. Never self medicate especially with laxatives, since laxatives are harsh on the digestive tract especially for children.
The doctor may recommend a diet program that is high on fiber e.g. certain vegetables and fruits. The doctor may also recommend that you increase your child's fluid intake. Water is the most preferred fluid since it's the most natural, avoid soft drinks and concentrated juices. If your child should want juice, be sure to give him the fresh kind since those contain ample amount of fiber.
In extreme cases of children with constipation, e.g. stool soiling and blood on stools, the doctor may recommend further tests or treatments. For stool soiling, he may give the child a mild enema for instant relief. For blood on stools, blood and thyroid tests may be administered.