WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?
Constipation is generally caused by a lack of fibre in the diet, but it can also be caused by insufficient intake of fluids or by withholding stools (a habit some children develop).
Less common causes in children include lack of physical activity, irritable bowel syndrome, stress, or reactions to certain medications.
TREATMENT OF CONSTIPATION
Most cases of constipation can be cured with some simple modifications to the diet. Sufferers will need to increase their fibre and water intake. Some other forms of treatment are more extreme – just always follow your GP’s guidance when it comes to these.
Try to add these foods to your child’s diet:
- Whole grains
- Bran or barley cereals
- Natural Greek yoghurt
- Celery and lettuce
- Pears, apples, plums, peaches, and grapes
These foods should be avoided until your child has established regular bowel movements:
- Rice and pasta
- White bread
- Foods high in sugar
- Food and drink containing caffeine
Some children have such large blockages that they may require cleaning out via an enema. This is rare and will need to be diagnosed by X-ray or colonoscopy.
Laxatives shouldn’t become a ‘go to’ long-term treatment for your child’s constipation, however, they can be helpful for getting bowel movements back on track.
ONCE CONSTIPATION IS CURED, WHEN WILL THE BEDWETTING STOP?
No two children are the same – some could see instant results, while others may take up to three months to stop wetting the bed.
This is largely dependent on how serious a case of constipation they had. Some children have large blockages removed and it takes more time for their rectum to shrink back to its normal size. If it has been longer than three months and you haven’t seen a change, it may not have been constipation causing your child’s bedwetting.