Scientifically Proven Strategies to Relieve Children with Constipation

Based on the results of 5 studies, fiber intake is associated with children’s constipation whereas it is inconclusive whether fluid intake is related to constipation or not. The details of the findings are below:

(1) Constipation is due to a lack of dietary fiber in the diet: Two studies show that a lack of fiber from vegetables and fruits is significantly associated with constipation among children from toddlers, preschoolers, to school age. For example, for preschoolers, fruit intake and total plant foods intake were significantly lower in the constipated than non-constipated children: (with average of 61 g/d  vs. 78 g/d)  and (142.5 g/d  vs. 161.1 g/d) , respectively.

(2) Intervention by intake of fiber-rich wheat bran: The results of a study show that the intervention strategy of giving children wheat bran, a fiber-rich food, is effective in ameliorating children’s constipation (the results show that 85% of children are asymptomatic and are off laxatives after a 2-year intervention).    

(3) Treatment with fiber mixture: One study found that a fiber mixture and lactulose mixed in a fluid gives comparable results in the treatment of childhood constipation. If not useful, then medication is necessary.

(4) Unlike fiber intake, which is related to constipation, it is inconclusive whether fluid intake is related to constipation or not. One study found that there was no difference in the total fluid-intake of constipated and non-constipated children. However, the finding of another study indicated that for children who have chronic constipation and are under the medication of osmotic laxatives, PEG 4000, a good fluid intake can improve defecation and bowel-movement compared with children who have poor fluid intake. The results can be seen after 25 days of treatment.  

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM


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Details of Scientific Answers: Click on each bullet to Read References

References:

1: "A dietary fiber mixture versus lactulose in the treatment of childhood constipation: a double-blind randomized controlled trial," Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 2008, by Kokke, F. T., Scholtens, P. A., Alles, M. S., Decates, T. S., Fiselier, T. J., Tolboom, J. J., ... & Benninga, M. A. . (Citations: 61).



References:

1: "Measurement of low dietary fiber intake as a risk factor for chronic constipation in children," Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 1999, by Morais, M. B., Vítolo, M. R., Aguirre, A. N., & Fagundes-Neto, U.. (Citations: 150).



2: "Increased prevalence of constipation in pre‐school children is attributable to under‐consumption of plant foods: A community‐based study," Journal of paediatrics and child health, 2008, by Lee, W. T., Ip, K. S., Chan, J. S., Lui, N. W., & Young, B. W. . (Citations: 77).



References:

1: "Prospective evaluation of dietary treatment in childhood constipation: high dietary fiber and wheat bran intake are associated with constipation amelioration," Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 2011, by Maffei, H. V. L., & Vicentini, A. P. . (Citations: 22).



References:

1: "Increased prevalence of constipation in pre‐school children is attributable to under‐consumption of plant foods: A community‐based study," Journal of paediatrics and child health, 2008, by Lee, W. T., Ip, K. S., Chan, J. S., Lui, N. W., & Young, B. W. . (Citations: 77).



References:

1: "Effect of fluid intake on the outcome of constipation in children: PEG 4000 versus lactulose," Pediatrics International, 2010, by Bae, S. H., Son, J. S., & Lee, R. . (Citations: 9).




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Scientifically Proven Strategies to Relieve Children with Constipation

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