Alberto Peña, MD, Colorectal Center

  • Idiopathic Constipation

    Idiopathic constipation refers to an incapability to regularly pass stool. There are many terms used to describe this problem of chronic constipation in children and there is much confusion among patients and parents. Some of the terms used include “internal sphincter achalasia,” “short segment or low segment Hirschsprung’s disease” and “intestinal pseudo-obstruction.” Since the cause remains unknown, we prefer to utilize the global term “idiopathic constipation.” It is one of the most common bowel movement disorders among children.

    The severity of idiopathic constipation varies. It can be a very mild problem solved by changes in diet and re-education of the patient or it can be a very severe disorder requiring high doses of laxatives and, in extremely severe cases, an operation. Idiopathic constipation can be treated but not cured.

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