Gastroenterology Book


Pediatric Constipation Etiologies

Aka: Pediatric Constipation Etiologies, Pediatric Constipation Causes, Constipation Causes in Children
  1. See Also
    1. Constipation Causes in Adults
    2. Constipation Causes in Infants
    3. Medication Causes of Constipation
  2. Causes: Common
    1. Functional Constipation is most common cause
    2. Infants
      1. Consider maternal medications in Breast fed infants
      2. Cystic Fibrosis
      3. Hirschsprung's Disease (delayed meconium passage >48 hours)
      4. Congenital disorders
      5. Anteriorly displaced anus
    3. Older children
      1. Hypothyroidism
      2. Anorexia
      3. Neuromuscular disorders
    4. References
      1. Claudius in Majoewsky (2012) EM:RAP - C3 2(3):2
  3. Causes: Dietary
    1. Excessive cows milk
    2. Cow's Milk Protein Intolerance (blood in stool)
    3. Transition from Breast Milk to formula
    4. Transition from strained foods to table foods
    5. Lack of privacy (e.g. start of daycare or school)
    6. Lack of bulk in diet
    7. Under-nutrition
    8. Pediatric Dehydration
    9. Celiac Disease
    10. Vitamin D Toxicity
  4. Causes: Medications and toxins
    1. See Medication Causes of Constipation
    2. Lead Poisoning
  5. Causes: Structural defects
    1. Duodenal Atresia
    2. Anal stenosis
    3. Imperforate anus
    4. Small colon Syndrome
    5. Intussusception
    6. Volvulus
    7. Malrotation
    8. Presacral Teratoma (or other pelvic mass)
    9. Meconium plug
    10. Rectal Prolapse
    11. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    12. Anteriorly displaced anus
    13. Anal Fissure
    14. Bowel stricture
  6. Causes: Muscle Diseases
    1. Scleroderma
    2. Dermatomyositis
    3. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
    4. Disordered or absent abdominal musculature
      1. Prune Belly
      2. Gastroschisis
      3. Down Syndrome
  7. Causes: Abnormal mysenteric Ganglion cells
    1. Aganglionic Megacolon (Hirschprung's Disease)
    2. Chagas' Disease
    3. Von Recklinghausen's Disease
    4. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasm (MEN) Type 2
    5. Internal anal sphincter Achalasia
    6. Neuronal intestinal dysplasia
    7. Visceral Myopathy
  8. Causes: Spinal Cord defects
    1. See Spinal Dysraphism
    2. Spina Bifida Occulta
    3. Myelomeningocele
    4. Meningocele
    5. Diastematomyelia
    6. Paraplegia
    7. Cauda equina tumor
    8. Sacral agenesis
    9. Cerebral Palsy
    10. Tethered Cord
  9. Causes: Metabolic and endocrine disorders
    1. Hypothyroidism
    2. Hypoparathyroidism
    3. Renal Tubular Acidosis
    4. Diabetes Insipidus
    5. Diabetes Mellitus
    6. Vitamin D Intoxication
    7. Idiopathic Hypercalcemia
    8. Hypokalemia
    9. Hypercalcemia
    10. Cystic Fibrosis
    11. Uremia
    12. Porphyria
    13. Mitochondrial Disorders
    14. Connective Tissue Disorders
  10. Causes: Infectious conditions
    1. Infant Botulism
    2. Necrotizing Enterocolitis
  11. Causes: Neurologic or Psychiatric Conditions
    1. Myotonic dystrophy
    2. Amyotonia congenita
    3. Mental Retardation
    4. Psychosis
    5. Prune-Belly Syndrome
    6. Pseudo-obstruction syndrome
  12. Causes: Social Factors (Functional Constipation)
    1. Mood Disorder (Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
    2. Changes in home (birth of sibling, parents divorce)
    3. Starting at a new school
    4. Toilet phobia
    5. Sexual abuse
  13. References
    1. Bergeson (1996) Med J Allina 5(2):6-10
    2. Abi-Hanna (1998) Pediatr Rev 19:23-30 [PubMed]
    3. Leleiko (2020) Pediatric Rev 41(8): 379-92 [PubMed]
    4. Leung (1996) Am Fam Physician 54(2):611-18 [PubMed]
    5. Mulhem (2022) Am Fam Physician 105(5): 469-78 [PubMed]
    6. Nurko (2014) Am Fam Physician 90(2): 82-90 [PubMed]

Constipation (C0009806)

Definition (CCC) Impression of infrequent or difficult passage of hard, dry feces without cause
Definition (CCC) Difficult passage of hard, dry, feces
Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Constipation means that a person has three or fewer bowel movements in a week. The stool can be hard and dry. Sometimes it is painful to pass. At one time or another, almost everyone gets constipated. In most cases, it lasts a short time and is not serious.

There are many things you can do to prevent constipation. They include

  • Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains, which are high in fiber
  • Drinking plenty of water and other liquids
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Taking time to have a bowel movement when you need to
  • Using laxatives only if your doctor says you should
  • Asking your doctor if medicines you take may cause constipation

It's not important that you have a bowel movement every day. If your bowel habits change, however, check with your doctor.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Definition (NCI) Irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels.
Definition (NCI_CTCAE) A disorder characterized by irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels.
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) A condition in which stool becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass, and bowel movements don't happen very often. Other symptoms may include painful bowel movements, and feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.
Definition (NAN) Self-diagnosis of constipation and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and suppositories to ensure a daily bowel movement
Definition (NAN) Decrease in normal frequency of defecation accompanied by difficult or incomplete passage of stool and/or passage of excessively hard, dry stool
Definition (CSP) condition in which bowel movements are infrequent or incomplete.
Definition (MSH) Infrequent or difficult evacuation of FECES. These symptoms are associated with a variety of causes, including low DIETARY FIBER intake, emotional or nervous disturbances, systemic and structural disorders, drug-induced aggravation, and infections.
Concepts Sign or Symptom (T184)
MSH D003248
ICD9 564.00, 564.0
ICD10 K59.0, K59.00
SnomedCT 162080004, 363693003, 162083002, 197123003, 139356000, 139359007, 139358004, 162082007, 14760008, 129585003
LNC MTHU013416, MTHU013456, MTHU020768
French CONSTIPATION, Constipation
Portuguese Constipação Intestinal, OBSTIPACAO, Obstipação, Prisão de Ventre
Swedish Förstoppning
Japanese ベンピ, 便秘症, 便秘
Czech obstipace, zácpa, Zácpa
Spanish constipación subjetiva, constipación, SAI (trastorno), ESTRENIMIENTO, constipación, SAI, estreñimiento, SAI (hallazgo), estreñimiento, SAI, estreñimiento, SAI (trastorno), dificultad para evacuar el intestino, constipación (hallazgo), constipación, SAI (hallazgo), Constipation NOS, Constipación de Vientre, constipación, estreñimiento (trastorno), estreñimiento subjetivo (trastorno), estreñimiento subjetivo, estreñimiento, Estreñimiento
Finnish Ummetus
English constipation (diagnosis), constipation, constipation (symptom), Constipation NOS, Constipation, unspecified, Constipation [Disease/Finding], rndx unspecified constipation (diagnosis), rndx perceived constipation, rndx unspecified constipation, rndx perceived constipation (diagnosis), constipating, constipated, constipate, difficulty defecating, Constipation symptom, Constipation (& symptom), Constipation (& symptom) (finding), Constipation NOS (finding), Constipation (finding), Costive symptom, Constipation NOS (disorder), Unspecified constipation, CONSTIPATION, Perceived Constipation, Unspecified Constipation, Perceived constipation, Constipation (disorder), Costiveness, Perceived constipation (disorder), Difficult passing motion, Difficulty defaecating, Difficulty defecating, Difficulty opening bowels, Difficulty passing stool, CN - Constipation, Constipated, PERCEIVED CONSTIPATION, fecal; retention, retention; fecal, Constipation
German VERSTOPFUNG, Obstipation, Verstopfung
Korean 변비
Italian Costipazione, Stipsi
Polish Zaparcie
Hungarian Obstipatio
Norwegian Forstoppelse, Treg mage, Hard avføring, Obstipasjon
Dutch faeces; retentie, retentie; faeces, constipatie, Obstipatie, Constipatie
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

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