Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Children may experience constipation after surgery to correct Hirschsprung's disease. To help manage constipation:

  • Serve high-fiber foods. If your child eats solid foods, include high-fiber foods as part of your child's diet. For instance, offer whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread. Reduce servings of refined grains, such as white bread. Encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables. Cut down on fatty animal-source foods, such as meat and butter. Be aware, though, that a sudden increase in high-fiber foods can make constipation worse — so 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.
  • Increase fluids. Encourage your child to drink more water. One of the colon's jobs is to absorb water from food in the last stages of digestion. If a portion 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.
  • Ask your child's doctor about laxatives. Certain laxatives — medications to encourage bowel movements — might help relieve constipation. Ask the doctor about the risks and benefits of laxatives for your child.
Mar. 28, 2013