Constipation Harming Children’s Health

Sep 2, 2009 by

Constipation Harming Children’s Health

Conventional medical wisdom says it’s fine to move your bowels only once in a couple of days, as long as your pattern is regular. Natural healers and alternative practitioners, however, know better – a minimum of once per day is necessary for good health and vitality.

Constipation may seem like a trivial and harmless problem, but the fact is that this seemingly little ailment can have far reaching and detrimental effects on various aspects of a person’s health. The following article discusses more.

Childhood Constipation: A Bigger Health Problem Than We Think

by Reuben Chow

Is your child constipated, or showing signs of constipation? If so, you may want to do something about it, especially in view of the findings of recent research conducted at Nationwide Children‘s Hospital. The study found that the negative impact on children suffering from constipation as well as the costs associated with the ailment are roughly as significant as those for asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Details of Study

The study team, comprising gastroenterologists and researchers from the hospital, used data from a survey which represented the national population. In particular, the team analyzed data of children aged under 18 who had been diagnosed with constipation or who were prescribed with laxatives for two years in a row (2003 and 2004), in a bid to ascertain their use of healthcare services and the costs they incurred.

Findings of Study

The study, to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics in early 2009, found that children who had constipation used healthcare services more than their counterparts who did not have the condition, to the tune of an additional $3.9 billion each year. However, despite the potential costs, both health-wise and financially speaking, constipation does not receive the same amount of health campaign publicity as other conditions like asthma and ADHD. And it is hoped that the findings of this study will help raise some awareness of the potential gravity of the condition.

“Despite being considered by many a relatively benign condition, childhood constipation has been shown to be associated with a significantly decreased quality of life. The day-to-day struggle caused by constipation can often be emotionally devastating, and can also have an impact on the overall health and well-being of affected children and their families,” said Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, head of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the leader of the study.

About Constipation

And, hopefully, the increased awareness will also lead to more and earlier action on the part of parents. But before we go into that, a little more on constipation should be discussed.

What do you understand by constipation? Broadly speaking, most of us would take the condition to mean infrequent or difficult bowel movements, or both. But how infrequent should bowel movements be before one is considered constipated? That very much depends on whose point of view we are seeking.

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