Children of different ages have constipation… Is it a simple issue that will resolve with age? Maybe yes.. Maybe no…
In infancy, lack of neuronal development of the intestine can manifest itself as constipation. It is dangerous to ignore symptoms of constipation at this age. Making a diagnosis on time can save a baby's life, prevent intestinal perforation (whole in the colon with leak of stool), peritonitis ( infection and inflammation inside the belly) and sepsis (blood infection) that can end with shock ( loss of blood supply to internal organs) and death. Pediatric gastroenterology specialist will build up a proper diagnostic plan and will prevent severe complications. Mild constipation may need some formula adjustments. After baby food introduction, high fiber foods will be useful.
At one year of age the baby is switched to milk. Some kids can not tolerate that introduction, they develop constipation, with anal fissure (injury to the anus by hard stool), some times with hemorrhoids. It is scary for a family to see blood in the stool of such a young child. Pediatric GI specialist will help to make diagnosis by ordering tests, ordering medications and changing diet.
Later in life the kindergarten and school unfamiliar environment frequently trigger stool holding behavior. Some children have a small amount of stool coming out deceiving families and making them think that there is no problem until the child starts complaining about abdominal pain and starts leaking stool uncontrollably, developing "overflow diarrhea" (encopresis). In this case iIt is important to consult pediatric GI specialist early in the course to prevent frequent emergency room trips and hospital admissions. Use of medications and proper diagnostic and behavioral procedures under direction of pediatric gastroenterologist will help to control and resolve issues with time.
If any of the above applies to your child’s situation do not delay scheduling an appointment at www.gastropediatrics.com.