What Is The Medical Treatment For Chronic Constipation In Children
Chronic constipation in infants and babies usually is medically treated by educating parents or caregivers about the cause of the constipation. It is important for the doctor and other health care professionals to reassure parents that it is neither their’s, nor the child’s fault, and that nothing is psychologically wrong. If the baby or child has fecal soiling negative attitudes about the condition need to be removed.
After parental or caregiver education about the infant or child’s cause of the problem medical treatment can begin. If a child has a large amount of hard stool present in the colon the stool needs to be removed . This is done either using oral or rectal medications, or a combination of both. The type of medication used also depends on the child’s age and exact problem.
After the stool is removed, preventing re-accumulation of hard stools is the key to maintaining good bowel habits. This usually has to be done with long-term medication.
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose The Cause Of Constipation In Children
A health care practitioner will perform an examination to assess the child’s general appearance and growth. The health care practitioner will look for signs of diseases that may cause constipation. Close attention to the abdominal exam may reveal distention, tenderness, or hard stool that can be felt. Anal inspection will be performed to check for problems. The health care practitioner may perform a digital rectal exam with his or her finger to check for hard stool in the rectum or to see if the rectum is dilated. The stool may need to be tested for blood. Usually no diagnostic tests or X-rays have to be performed if the history and exam suggest constipation. Sometimes an abdominal radiograph is obtained and shows stool in the colon. If a medical problem is suspected as the cause of constipation, blood tests or other abdominal imaging studies may need to be performed.
The most useful tool the doctor can use to diagnose constipation is the history given by the parents. A doctor needs to know are:
Foods To Relieve Constipation
Getting enough fiber is a key part of relieving and preventing constipation. Its also important not to skip meals and to avoid highly processed foods, like fast food, potato chips, and white bread. High-fiber foods include:
- Beans and legumes, including navy beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, lentils, almonds and peanuts
- Fresh fruits, especially apples, berries, figs, pears, plums and prunes. Eat edible skins to get the most benefit.
- Fresh vegetables, especially broccoli, , peas, and potatoes with their skins
- Whole grain products, especially bran cereal and popcorn
Read Also: Kidney Disease And Stomach Bloating
Intestinal E Coli Infection Symptoms
There are numerous types of E. coli bacteria that can cause food poisoning. While each bring about similar symptoms, there are slight variations.
Enterotoxigenic E. coli This uses hair-like appendages to attach to the intestine and attacks the body with toxins. These bacteria are often the cause of travelers diarrhea. There is no fever associated with this E. coli infection.
Enteroinvasive E. coliThis is a type that invades the cells lining the colon and results in diarrhea with fever, according to a paper published in December 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.
Enteropathogenic E. coli This attaches to intestinal cells using a special protein. Its a common culprit of infantile diarrhea in developing countries. This particular type of E. coli infection causes watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea, according to research.
Enteroaggregative E. coli This type lumps onto the cells lining the intestines. Then the toxin causes prolonged diarrhea, particularly in children, research has noted.
Shiga ToxinProducing E. coli STEC is the type most commonly heard about on the news because of the outbreaks it causes. An intestinal infection by STEC which typically lives in cattle and migrates to humans after animal feces contaminate human food results in:
- Diarrhea, which can be severe and bloody
Infection Can Still Occur After Symptoms Have Stopped
The symptoms of shigella gastroenteritis may clear up after a week or so, but the person can have Shigella bacteria in their faeces for at least four weeks after the symptoms stop. Occasionally, a person may excrete the bacteria for months after the symptoms have stopped.
Some people are carriers of shigella, which means that they have the bacteria in their body, but dont feel sick. These people can still pass the disease on to others.
Read Also: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea
When Should You Seek Medical Advice
You should seek medical advice if:
- constipation is accompanied by vomiting
- there has been associated weight loss
- bowel motions are very dark and tarry looking, or contain blood
- the constipation has been recurrent, persistent or is worsening
- there is abdominal pain or bloating
- you are having to use large amounts of laxatives
- constipation alternates with diarrhoea
Preventing The Spread Of Shigella Infection
Good personal hygiene should be practised at all times. In addition to the above precautions, suggestions to reduce the risk of transmission include:
- Dont share towels or linen with the infected person.
- The infected person shouldnt prepare any meals at home for other family members.
- The infected person should stay at home until the diarrhoea has stopped, to prevent infecting others at work, school, kindergarten or childcare. It is especially important not to visit vulnerable people such as people in aged care facilities and hospitals.
- If the infected person works in a high-risk occupation, such as a food worker, healthcare worker, childcare worker or in a residential facility it is important that they stay away from work while awaiting advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Children must not attend childcare centres, kindergartens or school until 24 hours after their symptoms have stopped.
- When travelling overseas to countries with poor sanitation conditions, only drink bottled water. Dont forget to brush your teeth in bottled water too. Avoid food buffets, uncooked foods or peeled fruits and vegetables, and ice in drinks.
- Avoid having sex for a week after diarrhoea has stopped. For a further two weeks wash hands before and after sex, avoid high risk activities such as oral and oro-anal sex or use barrier methods .
Don’t Miss: Lettuce Causes Gas And Diarrhea
Treatment Of Chronic Constipation
Treatment of children with chronic constipation is necessary to reduce their risk of developing other complications such as:
- Hemorrhoids, which occur by straining to have a bowel movement
- Anal fissures , which occur when hard stool stretches the sphincter muscle. This can result in rectal bleeding. Learn more about hemorrhoids.
- Rectal prolapse, in which a small amount of intestinal lining pushes out from the anal opening.
- Fecal impaction, which takes place when the hard stool packs the intestine and rectum so tightly that the normal pushing action of the colon is not enough to expel the stool.
- Long-term constipation leading to diverticulitis as an adult.
Can Constipation In Children Be A Serious Problem
A few important steps at home can keep constipation from becoming a continuous problem:
- Positive reinforcement is the first step in giving children the desire to begin regulation of their bowels. It is important to remove any negative thoughts about being constipated, especially if fecal soiling is present.
- Bowel retraining is the next step. The body has a natural reflex called the gastrocolonic reflex. After a meal, the colon undergoes peristalsis and attempts to clear the bowels. Have your child take advantage of the gastrocolonic reflex after each meal. Have him or her sit on the toilet for at least 10 minutes. It is often easier for the child if the feet are on the floor or on a footstool.
- Give your child plenty of fluids and juices, such as prune or apple juice.
- A well-balanced meal consisting of whole bran cereals, fruits, and vegetables also helps.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
You May Like: Birth Control Heartburn
Vomiting Stool Or Bile
Vomiting stool or bile can indicate a bowel obstruction. The vomit may smell like stool, and it may be dark brown or brown-purple. If a person vomits bile, the vomit may be greenish-yellow.
Vomiting stool is a medical emergency that requires decompression of the stomach. If possible, the doctor will insert a tube through the nose a nasogastric tube and use it to suck out the stomach contents.
This procedure will also remove any excess air that causes discomfort and swelling in the bowel.
How To Treat A Psychogenic Fever
If you are experiencing a psychogenic fever, youll need to work to reduce your stress levels. A 2015 article in the journal Temperature noted that psychogenic fevers are not typically reduced when treated with common anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, even though they work to reduce most fevers.
Most psychogenic fevers are short-lived and resolve on their own. Decreasing stress through therapy and non-medical interventions like mindfulness can also help treat psychogenic fevers.
If a fever is due to stress, it is essential to decrease the stress, Miller Parrish says. First, youll need to identify whats stressing you out. It might be one specific incident, or an on-going stressor like untreated anxiety, depression, or work-related burnout. Once youve identified the source of the stress, you can address the root cause of the fever.
Depending on the cause, the antidote could be cognitive-behavioral or other psychological therapy, meditation, yoga and practices that focus on decreasing a stressful state, or perhaps even medication to treat the issue, Miller Parrish says.
Recommended Reading: Soybean Casein Digest Agar
Treatment For Shigella Gastroenteritis
Treatment options for shigella gastroenteritis may include:
- plenty of fluids
- oral rehydration drinks, available from your chemist
- intravenous fluids
- eating solid foods
- avoiding anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhoea drugs unless prescribed or recommended by your doctor
- sometimes, taking appropriate antibiotics to kill the bacteria within a matter of days. Due to increasing levels of antibiotic resistance, these medications are now saved for the very sick or to reduce the spread of infection to vulnerable people or those in residential facilities.
Symptoms Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease may range from mild to severe, with periods of active illness followed by periods of remission. Common signs of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include:
- Diarrhea: Loose stools are one of one of the most common symptoms of IBD.
- Fever and fatigue: Many people with IBD experience a low-grade fever. You may also feel tired or have low energy.
- Abdominal pain and cramping: Inflammation and ulceration can affect the normal movement of contents through your digestive tract and may lead to pain and cramping. You may also experience nausea and vomiting.
- Blood in your stool: You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding you don’t see .
- Reduced appetite: Abdominal pain and cramping, as well as inflammation, can affect your appetite.
- Unintended weight loss: You may lose weight and even become malnourished because you cannot properly digest and absorb food.
Also Check: Every Time I Eat Salad I Get Diarrhea
Signs And Symptoms Of Constipation
Constipation can be an uncomfortable problem. In severe cases, constipation can be painful or even life-threatening. Because normal bowel frequency can vary greatly from person to person, many people may not be entirely sure whether or not they are constipated.
Constipation is a medical condition in which bowel movements become less frequent than normal, and/or difficult to produce. While clinically defined as not producing bowel movements for three days or longer, if a person’s regular bowel schedule is two or three times a day, that person might be constipated if he or she hasn’t produced a single bowel movement after only one day.
Patients may be constipated if they are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Abdominal pain and bloating. Constipated patients may feel tightness in their abdomen, or a sharp, cramping pain deep in their gut. They may also feel full all the timeas if they’ve just eaten a large mealeven when they haven’t eaten for several hours. Patients may also feel gassy, but passing gas does not relieve discomfort.
Small stools followed by a feeling of not emptying the bowels. Constipation may cause people to produce only tiny bowel movements. These tiny bowel movements are often followed by frequent and continued urges to “go,” but constipated patients may find they are unable to produce another bowel movement despite the constant urges.
Infection Due To A Kidney Stone
You might get chills because of an infection that starts when you have a kidney stone.
Sometimes minerals and salts stick together to form a hard mass inside your kidney called a kidney stone. This is more likely to happen if you don’t drink enough water each day, eat a diet that’s high in protein, or have a high body mass index
If the kidney stone irritates or blocks your urinary tract, it can cause an infection, which could cause chills.
Other symptoms you might get with kidney stones are:
- Pain in your side, back, belly, or groin
- Pain when you pee
- Pee more or less than you usually do
- Cloudy urine that smells funny
Don’t Miss: Do Pickles Help Heartburn
What Are The Potential Complications Of Constipation
In some cases, constipation can be caused by a serious condition of the gastrointestinal tract, such as bowel obstruction. It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you develop persistent constipation that lasts more than a few days.
Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor can lower your risk of potential complications including:
- Peritonitis and shock from intestinal obstruction
- Rectal bleeding
How To Tell If Stress Is Causing Your Fever
A psychogenic fever exhibits many of the typical fever symptoms, such as:
- Body chills or aches
In the case of acute stress, like if you suddenly receive bad news or experience the death of a loved one, you might feel these symptoms and recognize a psychogenic fever. But cases are rarely so clear cut. Thats especially true with chronic stress, like taking care of a loved one who is ill, which can build up over time and result in psychogenic fever symptoms.
To diagnose psychogenic fever, other physical causes of fever must be ruled out, Miller Parrish says. Its important to note that fever most commonly occurs with illness or injury. So, if youre also experiencing symptoms like nasal congestion or coughing with fever, its likely indicating an underlying cause for the fever other than stress, like the cold or flu.
If you experience fever regularly but cant easily identify the underlying cause like an illness or injury you should keep a fever journal, Miller Parrish says. Record what temperature youre experiencing, the symptoms you have, and how long the fever lasts. If the unexplained fever continues, you should see a doctor.
If that persists for days to weeks, it would be prudent to see a doctor to rule out causes that need medical treatment, Miller Parrish says. If those causes are ruled out or treated and the high temperatures persist, other psychological and de-stressing interventions may help.
Recommended Reading: How To Take Align Probiotic
How Can Constipation Affect You
Although people often worry about it, there is no reason to believe that constipation causes a poisoning of the system. It can cause feelings of sluggishness and bloating, but there is no evidence that bugs or toxins leak from the bowel into any other part of the body. Another common idea is that constipation may lead to cancer but there is no evidence that long-term constipation increases the chances of getting bowel cancer.
It is important to remember that the vast majority of cases of constipation are easily resolved with simple diet, lifestyle or medication change. However if constipation does not respond to different treatments there can be medium to long term effects including:
- Haemorrhoids or fissures: bleeding from haemorrhoids, or more rarely a fissure at the anus, is the commonest complication of constipation.
- Rectal prolapse: chronic straining can lead to the rectal wall protruding out through the anus.
- Faecal impaction: elderly or immobile patients may get so badly constipated that they quite literally get bunged up and this will need prompt treatment by either the GP or hospital.
- Diverticular disease: this is where small hard stools lead to increased intestinal contractions, creating pressure which causes the inner section of the intestine to bulge through the protective outer tube of muscle which surrounds it, creating a little pouch of intestine .
This Factsheet Is About Constipation
Constipation is a symptom that can mean different things to different people, but the usual meaning is that a person has difficulty or infrequency with opening their bowels. Constipation affects around 1 in 7 otherwise healthy people. The two groups of people most likely to be trouble by constipation are young women and the elderly especially those who need to take regular medicines.
There is a common belief that people need to open their bowels every day, but this is not the case. Opening the bowels can vary between three times a day to three times a week in healthy individuals. Symptoms can constantly fluctuate and 3 people in every 100 adults have persistent constipation over 20 years. It is a common problem and does not usually mean that anything is seriously wrong. Most cases are temporary and will clear up with simple lifestyle measures.
Don’t Miss: Tramadol Constipation Relief
Abdominal Pain That Intensifies Over Time
From the belly button area, the pain usually moves down to the lower right part of the abdomen. This happens when the swelling increases, causing the appendix to irritate the abdominal wall. The pain then gets worse, sometimes to the point where sleep or regular daily actions become impossible. It is not likely an individual will ignore the pain as it continues to intensify, but it is ideal to see a doctor as soon as the ache begins. Early detection and treatment reduce the risk of complications.