Smart Food Choices

Children's Constipation

Encouraging your child to make simple dietary changes — such as eating more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and drinking more water — can go a long way toward alleviating constipation. If your child’s doctor approves, it may be possible to treat a child’s constipation with laxatives.

Victoria Middleton

Victoria Middleton

RD
Registered Dietitian
New York City, NY
Yumna Khan

Yumna Khan

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Margarita deGraaf

Margarita deGraaf

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON

Dr. David Israel, BSc, MD, FRCPC, discusses constipation causes.

Quiz: Do You Understand Gastrointestinal Problems?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

A kidney infection will not cause stomach pain.

Explanation:
Stomach pain can be caused by digestive problems, appendicitis (ruptured appendix), kidney infection, food poisoning, stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and parasitic infections.
2

Gastrointestinal bleeding is not caused by cancer.

Explanation:
Gastrointestinal bleeding can be related to health issues such as ulcers, cancers, hemorrhoids or anal fissures and diverticulitis.
3

Constipation can be caused by Parkinson’s disease.

Explanation:
Constipation can be caused by poor diet, an inactive lifestyle, medications, IBS, pregnancy, lupus and Parkinson’s disease. People may get diarrhea related to food poisoning, stomach flu, lactose intolerance, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease.
4

Heartburn often occurs at night.

Explanation:
Heartburn is a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), caused by acid refluxing back into the esophagus. It often occurs after meals or at night.
5

There is one type of treatment that usually works for all types of gastrointestinal problems.

Explanation:
Because there are so many different types of gastrointestinal problems, there is no on treatment. The first step in treating gastrointestinal problems is to identify any underlying condition or medication that may be causing symptoms.
(Answer all questions to activate)

David Israel, BSc, MD, FRCPC, discusses involuntary soiling due to constipation.

What Causes Constipation In Children?

Constipation is very common and the most common cause of it is functional.

Meaning you absorb the water too fast in the bowel and push your contents of the bowel out too slowly. The main constipation treatment is related to the diet and the belief is that most of the time constipation is caused by a diet that is insufficient in fibre.

In addition, water or fluid consumption is very critical and so is physical activity, especially for older people. If you do not move, nothing moves well as they say! In the minority of cases there is an underlying cause of constipation, so it’s important to visit your physician for an assessment if you’re suffering from chronic constipation.

If you have questions about constipation causes, contact your local physician or gastroenterologist.

Presenter: Dr. David Israel, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

David Israel, BSc, MD, FRCPC, discusses long term constipation in children.

Children's Constipation and Involuntary Soiling

Constipation doesn’t only express itself with hard stools.

Some children will have soiling which is an overflow of loose stools around very hard stools that are banked or stored inside and those are involuntary events.

The child does not have control and does not know that he needs to go. Another problem that can arise with relation to constipation is stool withholding and pain behavior.

When children notice pain is associated with defecation, they try to do everything they can to avoid that sensation and they will hold and refrain from going to the washroom. They may seek refuge under the bed or in the corner, and these things often are not fully understood by the parents. They may think that the child is soiling on purpose or is having another problem all together.

If you have questions about constipation and involuntary soiling, contact your local physician or gastroenterologist. Local Pediatrician

Presenter: Dr. David Israel, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

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