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Is my son suffering from constipation?

Q: My three years old son is suffering from irregular motions for the last 15 days. We consulted a doctor, who prescribed medicines. Whenever he feels the urge to pass motion, he controls it. Is my son suffering from constipation?

A:Your son is suffering from constipation of recent onset. It would be prudent to identify any stressors he might be facing, especially if he has just joined school. Separation anxiety and dirty school toilets often play a significant part in childhood constipation. Establishing good stool habits is the sine qua non for treating constipation. Encourage your son to use the toilet at a pre-determined time each morning. Ensure that he takes plenty of fibre and at least 2 litres of fluid (milk, water, juice etc.) every day. Get in touch with your paediatrician and let him examine your son thoroughly for any local problems like a fissure or fistula. A mild laxative along with a stool softener given on a regular basis for an initial period of 2 weeks, till bowel habits regularise will help him tide over this difficulty.

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