Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If your child has constipation after surgery for Hirschsprung's disease, discuss with your doctor whether to try any of the following:

  • Serve high-fiber foods. If your child eats solid foods, include high-fiber foods. Offer whole grains, fruits and vegetables and limit white bread and other low-fiber foods. Because a sudden increase in high-fiber foods can worsen constipation at first, add high-fiber foods to your child's diet slowly.

    If your child isn't eating solid foods yet, ask the doctor about formulas that might help relieve constipation. Some infants might need a feeding tube for a while.

  • Increase fluids. Encourage your child to drink more water. If a portion or all of your child's colon was removed, your child may have trouble absorbing enough water. Drinking more water can help your child stay hydrated, which may help ease constipation.
  • Encourage physical activity. Daily aerobic activity helps promote regular bowel movements.
  • Laxatives. If your child does not respond to or can't tolerate increased fiber, water or physical activity, certain laxatives — medications to encourage bowel movements — might help relieve constipation. Ask the doctor whether you should give your child laxatives and about the risks and benefits.
July 12, 2016
References
  1. What I need to know about Hischsprung disease. National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hirschsprungs_ez/. Accessed Jan. 6, 2016.
  2. Wesson, DE. Congenital aganglionic megacolon (Hirschsprung disease). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 6, 2016.
  3. Tjaden NEB, et al. The developmental etiology and pathogenesis of Hirschsprung disease. Translational Research. 2013;162:1.