Shriners Children's provides specialty care for children with idiopathic constipation.
The goal of our colorectal and gastrointestinal care is to provide children who have anal-rectal disorders, advanced care and rehabilitation that frees them from social stigma and allows them to live and play like other children.
What Is Idiopathic Constipation?
Chronic idiopathic constipation refers to constipation for which there is no known underlying cause, and it can range from being somewhat mild to severe. It is one of the most common bowel movement disorders among children.
A multidisciplinary approach is essential, because the causes of chronic constipation in children can be both subtle and complex. We are able to help patients who have been suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation for many years.
What Are the Symptoms in a Child with Idiopathic Constipation?
- Not having a bowel movement each day
- Bowel movements are hard
- May struggle with bowel movements
- Bowel movements may be painful
- May soil their underwear
How We Care for Children with Idiopathic Constipation
At Shriners Children's, children with chronic idiopathic constipation receive comprehensive care from a team of physicians that includes gastrointestinal specialists, urologists and colorectal surgeons, as well as nurses, dietitians and others.
Idiopathic constipation can be treated. For many patients, an individualized diet provides significant relief. Sometimes our team also recommends laxatives or enemas. Another option is for patients to participate in a bowel management program. A small percentage of patients with chronic constipation may benefit from surgery.
Children with colon and rectal diseases often suffer from more than physical symptoms. The social stigma these illnesses have can leave children feeling ashamed, depressed and alone. We manage the entire spectrum of your child’s colorectal condition, from the medical to the mental and social. Our team provides complete treatment plans and care for each child’s unique case of colorectal disease.
We provide follow-up care to monitor your child’s health, prevent problems, manage symptoms and give your child the best quality of life.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
Understanding your Child's Colorectal & Gastrointestinal (GI) Appointment(s)
On the first visit, parents and children typically come for a group or individual overview and educational presentation about bowel management. Our doctors and nurses explain the medicines, enemas and diets we use as treatment options. Each family has a one-on-one clinic visit with a provider from the program to make a plan for their child.
If referred to one of or locations for a more complex condition or surgery, you and your child go directly to the one-on-one visit with one of our providers to build an individualized plan of care.
Sometimes, when deemed appropriate, your child may have bowel X-ray. This helps us with diagnoses and check whether your child’s plan is progressing as expected. A nurse from our program will talk with you either in person or by phone to discuss your child’s results.
Our goal is for your child to empty their bowel daily with no accidents and to live with as few limitations as possible. Success depends on your child’s condition and following your plan closely.
How We Support Your Child’s Total Health and Well-Being
Families and patients say that Shriners Children’s feels like home to them, and it's no wonder to us. We know that a child's needs go beyond the physical. Our care teams support their social, emotional and developmental health with patient programs and activities.
A few examples include:
Mathew's quality of life today is so much better than it would have been if we never found Shriners.