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Pediatric constipation - An approach and evidence-based treatment regimen

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eMediNexus    31 May 2018

A new article published in the Australian Journal of General Practice reported that constipation affects 5-30% of pediatric populations. A majority of the pediatric cases are first encountered by general practitioners (GPs). Here, strategies for assessment and management of children with constipation were reviewed, in order to empower GPs to initiate treatment and to ascertain an appropriate stage of referral to a specialist. It was discussed that in the absence of organic etiology, childhood constipation is almost always functional. Frequently, painful bowel movements lead the child to withhold stool. The need for a comprehensible management plan, taking into account the risks of ignoring painful conditions, for the families of these children was emphasized upon. The authors suggested that medical approach should address organic disease, the use of appropriate toilet habits, and dietary modifications. It was also stated that the use of laxatives is often necessary to re-establish regular, painless defecation in children.

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