A recent article (S Malowitz et al. JPGN 2016; 62: 600-02) examined the age of onset of constipation in a retrospective review of 538 children with functional constipation between 2012-2014.
- Median age of onset was 2.3 years
- On average, “2.7 years pass between the onset of functional constipation and a referral to a specialist.” In the oldest quartile, the lapse between onset and referral was shorter, 1.8 years. This may reflect the social consequences of soiling in school-aged children.
The authors note: “encouraging clinicians and parents to think of constipation as a chronic problem with physical and mental health implications may improve outcomes and quality of life for affected children.”
My take: The suffering and burden of constipation is easily overlooked in a busy primary care visit. This is a shame because this is one area where inexpensive specialty care (i.e. minimal testing) can truly make a big difference.
Related blog posts:
- Updated Pediatric Expert Constipation Guidelines | gutsandgrowth
- Miralax Safety | gutsandgrowth
- Refractory Constipation -Terrific Update | gutsandgrowth