A condition which affects the large intestine and creates problem with passing stool is known as hirschsprung disease. The condition is present in an infant when they are born and it is a result of missing nerve cells in the muscles of part or all of the infant’s colon.
When an infant suffers from hirschsprung disease, they are usually unable to pass stool due to absent bowel movement in the first days after birth. When the condition is not severe, it may not be detected until later childhood.
The signs and symptoms of hirschsprung disease depend on the severity of the condition. The symptoms can be usually seen shortly after the birth but at times they may not appear until later life. The most common symptom of hirschsprung disease is an infant’s inability to have bowel movement within 48 hours after the birth. The other signs and symptoms in newborns may include:
When the condition is detected in older children, the symptoms include:
The cause of hirschsprung disease is not known till now. At times it is present in the family and in some cases it is associated with a genetic mutation. The disease occurs when the nerve cells in the colon are unable to form properly. These nerve cells are important in the functioning of the colon. They control the regular muscle contractions that make the food move through the bowels.
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Read more on Hirschsprung Disease Causes and Risks.