Identifying  functional constipation

Previous Post: Organic Constipation

In children with constipation almost 80 to 90% will be functional constipation. A child with functional constipation will usually have the following clinical features 

  • Age of onset usually 1 to 2 year of age, mostly after introduction of semisolids.
  • Retentive posturing or withholding maneuver – Standing  while straining to pass stools, against wall, cross legged, at times would hide behind  doors or under  a cot, with flushing of face – All these are attempts to retain stools but are perceived by parents the other way round
  • There can  be retentive fecal incontinence- Means small amount of fecal matter staining undergarments in presence of impacted rectum. Incontinence is clinically significant if  developmental age more than 4 years age and frequency is 2 or more per week.

Absence of red flags suggesting any organic cause after detailed clinical evaluation

Next Post : Management of Functional Constipation

Read all posts so far on Constipation

Post drafted on inputs from Dr Mridul Das, Ex-Pediatric Gastroenterologist at BLK Centre for Child Health

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