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Why is my son not passing stools regularly?

Q: My son is 5 years old and studying in UKG. He has been suffering from constipation. Sometimes he does not defecate for a whole week, and defecates only on applying Dulcolux - External. When he defecates he does it 6 or 7 times in a single day. He does not inform us that he is passing stools. He has been facing this problem for about 18-24 months. When he passes stools, his body language becomes very uncomfortable and he crosses his legs. Doctors who examined him suggested us to make him drink more water, and change his diet. They have also suggested for a thyroid test. Early in his childhood (first 2 years) he passed stools more than 7-8 times a day. Please advise.

A:There is no easy solution to this problem. Sorting out a bad bowel habit takes many months. You have to be regular with medication and diet. The broad outline is as follows -

  • Initially ensure a stool is passed everyday either by using a suppository daily and using stool-softening agents. Give a mild laxative regularly initially until the stool is semi solid and easily passed.
  • Prevent rectal pain by applying a local ointment that gives pain relief. Once the fear of pain while passing stool is overcome there will be improvement and your child will pass more regular stools.
  • Fix a time for passing stool based on when the child normally has an urge to pass stool.
  • Alter the diet and increase roughage and fluid intake. Treatment will need to be continued for at least 6-9 months. A great deal depends on your understanding of the problem and the hard work you put in.

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