Symptoms and treatment of constipation in children

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Gastroenterology & Nutrition, shares advice for parents on the symptoms of constipation in your child and how to best treat your child's constipation
Symptoms And Treatment Of Constipation In Children
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Symptoms and treatment of constipation in children

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Constipation is an extremely common, prevalent problem both in pediatrics and adult medicine. It's the reason that 5 percent of people go see their doctor, whether they are an adult or child. It is a third of the reason, 33 percent, that a child is taken to a pediatric gastroenterologist. It is very common, very prevalent. Most of the time, constipation, sad to say, is related to inadequate water intake and a bad diet. When the child has concerning red flag signs, that the youngster displays to the physician, to refer to the pediatric gastroenterologist, or the parent; then the child should undergo an evaluation for constipation. Those are repetitive blood in the stool, vomit, distention in the stomach, weight loss. Other unexplained medical problems, such as, anemia, rash, and other things that are going on. The pediatrician or parent can't really manage to understand why, then a child should go see a specialist. Also, if the child has had the constipation problem from day one of life or the first few days of life, this is a reason to see a physician. Usually, putting the child on a high fiber diet, restricting fast and fried foods, a lot of sweets and desserts will take care of the problem. Sometimes there is an unrecognized side effect from medications the child is on, such as, medications for ADHD. These medications can cause or worsen constipation. A complete evaluation by a pediatrician is going to help with the problem. Look for those red flag signs to take care of the problem.

Pediatrician Dan Thomas, MD Gastroenterology & Nutrition, shares advice for parents on the symptoms of constipation in your child and how to best treat your child's constipation

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Dan Thomas, MD

Pediatrician, Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Dan Thomas is the Head of the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and Medical Director of Liver and Small Bowel Transplantation at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Thomas presently serves on the Editorial Review Board of Pediatrics in Review and is on the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His primary clinical and academic interests include the care and study of children with congenital or acquired intestinal, pancreatic and hepatobiliary disorders.

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