A high proportion of children suffer from constipation

Medicine is often the only answer when it comes to a problem that can be embarrassing to talk about

According to figures compiled by Kolding Hospital, every fifth child between the ages of four and 18 will be treated for constipation at some time.

The studies also show that the longer the child takes to receive treatment, the longer the treatment period is, reports DR Nyheder.

Kolding Hostpital sees slightly more than 1,300 children a year being admitted to its children’s unit.

Mood swings
As well as being very uncomfortable, constipation can also have an effect on a child’s wellbeing and mood. They can become lethargic and end up just sitting around watching TV most of the time.

Although there is not much concrete knowledge of why children get constipated, the head doctor at Kolding Hospital, Anne-Mette Walsted, has some ideas.

Insalubrious toilets
“The older children hold back because school toilets are often dirty. The younger children are often so wrapped up in their games that they forget to go to the toilet – even though they ought to,” she said.

“It can also be that a computer game is so absorbing that children also hold back,” she added.

Greater focus needed
One problem is that a long time can elapse before a child is treated. This is because constipation is still a slightly taboo subject.

“We would like to see more of a focus on this area so that we can do something about it, and then it is probable that it wouldn’t take so long to treat,” said Walsted.

The only cure seems to be medicine containing polyethylene glycol that dissolves the constipation.