Navigation Links
Fiber Beats Other Remedies for Constipated Kids, Study Says

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Many children in western countries suffer from chronic constipation, and when the going gets slow, fiber seems to beat all other non-drug remedies, new research from the Netherlands suggests.

A review of nine studies with 640 children up to age 18 with functional constipation, which has no known physical cause, found that fiber supplements were somewhat better than placebos at reducing kids' abdominal pain and improving frequency and consistency of stools.

Other common non-drug treatments -- including prebiotics and probiotics, which help restore the digestive tract's balance of "good bacteria," increased water intake or behavioral therapy -- were deemed to be of little use, a finding that puzzles some doctors.

"Treatments we typically use were not, in fact, proven by these studies to be effective. I find that very difficult to believe and put into practice," said Dr. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., who was not involved with the research.

"Anecdotally, that doesn't really jive with what I see in clinical practice. Increasing water intake helps with the improvement of establishing normal bowel habits, and I find it hard to agree with the concrete findings of the study," Samuels added.

Study author Dr. Merit Tabbers, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Emma Children's Hospital in Amsterdam, pointed out that a lack of well-designed trials on children's constipation made it difficult to determine how credible the results really are. The results should be viewed cautiously, said the authors, noting future studies of high quality and uniform standards are needed to obtain definitive answers.

The study is published in the Sept. 26 online edition and the October print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Constipation affects many small kids who eat lots of processed foods. Low-fiber, "white" diets, replete with bread, pasta, rice, crackers and dairy products, are mostly to blame for the 3 percent estimated prevalence of chronic constipation among children in the Western world, experts said. In addition to infrequent stools, the condition is characterized by abdominal pain and "fecal incontinence," or uncontrollable soiling caused by leaking stool.

Over time, chronic constipation may impair a child's development and disrupt psychological and social functioning, the authors pointed out.

Dr. Howard Bennett, a pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and author of It Hurts When I Poop! A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty, said the first thing many doctors do is ask parents about a constipated child's diet and suggest either cutting back on white foods and adding fiber-rich foods and supplements, or both. Stool softeners and other gentle medications may also be recommended, he said.

"We can't force a 3-year-old or an 8-year-old to eat a prune . . . so if we cut back on cheese and highly processed foods and increase fruits and vegetables . . . we find most of these kids do better," Bennett said.

Samuels and Bennett said they recommend stimulant laxatives -- which are thought to be potentially habit-forming -- after other options are exhausted.

"By and large, we see these kids pooping," Bennett said. "Often parents won't use enough (medications) or use them long enough. Constipation is not a serious problem, but you have to take it seriously . . . or the ability to evacuate gets worse."

More information

The U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has more information about constipation.

SOURCES: Merit Tabbers, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Howard Bennett, M.D., pediatrician, author, It Hurts When I Poop! A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty, Washington, D.C.; Roya Samuels, M.D., pediatrician, Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Sept. 26, 2011, Pediatrics, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. National Nutrition Month Kicks Off with Hottest Celebrity Diet Trend: Fiber -- F-Factor Diet Book Promoting Fiber Soars Up Best-Sellers List
2. -- Food, Fiber and Fuel Questions Answered
3. Association of fiber and colorectal cancer risk differs depending on dietary assessment method
4. New Form of FiberAid™ Added to Swanson Ultra
5. The brains journey from early Internet to modern-day fiber optics -- all in 1 lifetime
6. New forms of dietary fiber to boost health
7. Diet High in Fiber Might Lengthen Your Life
8. Fiber May Lessen Lifetime Risk for Heart Problems
9. Load up on fiber now, avoid heart disease later
10. Researchers inject nanofiber spheres carrying cells into wounds to grow tissue
11. New cotton candy-like glass fibers appear to speed healing in venous stasis wound trial
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fiber Beats Other Remedies for Constipated Kids, Study Says
(Date:11/30/2015)... DE (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... guest lecturer at a University of Delaware Accounting and Management of Information Systems ... software solutions for mid-market businesses. Sommer will speak at before student in the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Cycling, running, and walking are regular Sunday activities ... morning of February 28, 2016. , That’s when the 7th annual ANF Group ... to help children and families at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. , The ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... HemoTreat™ has announced that the ... ointment to its website. , “Our goal is simple:” says Michael Blasco, HemoTreat’s ... the comparison chart and ingredient list allows our customers to quickly see why, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... At Grand Dental PC, their priority is to deliver quality care ... problems, you need to turn to a dentist who listens and responds; an experienced ... friendly dentist who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. Seth ... three office locations, patients can visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available orthodontic ... hold the title of "NJ Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 North America ... is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2015 ... valued at USD 135.6 million in 2014, and is expected to ... --> According to the new Market Research Report "North America ... By End User (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis And Forecast ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds a ... for 2010 - 2015 with comprehensive ... a range of deal types, such ... strategic alliances. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Kevin Smith has been ... a global pioneer in wireless monitoring of vital ... MA , Mr. Smith will be responsible ... commercial strategy.  He will also directly oversee partnering ... clinical evidence for SensiumVitals, the first early warning ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: