Managing constipation usually involves a combination of approaches. It is essential to determine the extent of the problem and develop a plan to correct it.
Keep a record of bowel movements, diet, and fluid intake. Even when a child appears to be "regular," keeping records about diet, illnesses, exercise, and bowel movements will help caregivers figure out if something in particular triggers the problem.
Be consistent about diet, exercise and activity, and fluid intake.
Children and adults with OI who become constipated often respond well to diet changes, a change in activity level, and mild home remedies. The primary care doctor should be consulted about the appropriateness of home remedies. A nutritionist or registered dietitian may offer useful suggestions for modifying the diet. If the problem persists, a gastroenterologist may be needed.
Treatment choices for constipation include:
Diet and Fluids
These changes to the diet can help people with constipation:
Strive for a diet that keeps the stool soft. Too much fiber has the secondary effect of creating too much bulk for someone with a connective tissue disorder. This can put pressure on the rectum. This pressure, along with inactivity, too much prolonged sitting, the lax or elastic muscles that a person with OI tends to have in the pelvic floor, and chronic constipation can lead to a more serious problem called rectal prolapse.
Exercise and Activity
Adding exercise and physical activity can help prevent and relieve constipation. Exercise helps move digested food through the intestines. Infants, children, and adults who sit, recline, or use a wheelchair require regular position changes. People should consult with their primary care doctor and physical therapist about beneficial exercises that suit their particular needs and abilities. For example, infants benefit from water play that encourages them to kick. Children and adults can benefit from swimming, walking, or bicycling.
Home remedies may include:
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