Constipation in children is a condition characterized by abnormal bowl movement. The suffering child finds it painful to pass out the hard and dry stool which in normal conditions has a softer texture and can be passed out easily. Moreover, in this condition, sometimes the child may feel urge to pass but on going to toilet he may not be able to relieve himself.
Constipation in Children Causes
From the intake of food to the smooth passage of waste, every activity is performed by digestive system. The solid or liquid food items taken in through the mouth pass through the food pipe, reaching stomach. Once the acids in stomach have performed their digestive function on the food, it passes on to small intestine and then large intestine or bowls. The waste is then finally passed out through anus and rectum while all the useful nutrients and water are continuously absorbed by the organs of the body on the way. The rest is passed out as waste.
It is normally said that constipation in children results when the stool is not passed out on a regular basis. However, there has not been any scientific proof for it. To solve this myth, we must keep in mind that the bathroom habits vary from person to person and a comparison needs to be made for the different bathroom habits and the incidence of constipation in children.
Other than abnormal bowl movement, the child feels full all the time which becomes uncomfortable for him as the belly may seem stretched and despite making efforts, it may feel really painful to pass out the stool. Even once the child has passed the stool, he may still feel urge to pass once again. The hard stool can produce small tears on anus skin and may result in some blood on toilet paper. The child must immediately report such situation to the parents so that they take immediate steps. In worse conditions, the child may pass watery stool as is done in the case of diarrhea, or he may experience mucus secretion along with the hard stool.
One of the greatest reasons why constipation in children is becoming so common is the improper eating habits among most of them. The imbalanced diet, mostly containing the fast food, fatty food, sugary and starchy food, deprives the child of the required amount of fiber, resulting in improper bowl movement. Parents must ensure adequate intake of fiber foods for their children, e.g. fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Moreover, taking adequate fluid intake, especially water, is also necessary. Fluid intake helps make the stool softer, helping in it easy passage. It is due to the lack of fluids that stool becomes dry and hard.
Moreover, the physical exercise has been greatly minimized in children due to television, video games etc. Since exercise helps improve the digestive system, lack of exercise results in difficult passage of wastes from the body. You must not allow your child to take any medicine until it has been prescribed by the doctor.
Stressful routine and anxiety can be disastrous for proper functioning of digestive system. The major stresses in the lives of school going children are due to homework, assignments and exams. Parents and other adults can help bring the child out of this stress. Children already having irritable bowl syndrome can get the condition worsened due to stress. If this stress is accompanied by spicy and fatty foods, it can prove even more harmful. In such cases, children may experience gas and abdominal pain. Due to the fear of pain, children may avoid going to bathroom even when feeling the urge. This may lead to further complication of the issue. In rare cases, constipation in children may result due to diabetes, thyroid gland malfunctioning, or lupus.