Question: My 2-year-old girl has constipation problems even though she drinks plenty of water, eat fruits & vegetables. Is it good for her to take Duphalac & prebiotic?
Answer: Constipation is a very common problem. It is as much a psychological issue as a mechanical issue, meaning that in many cases, the situation is worsened by the fear of going to toilet. A child can consume the correct proportions of fluid and fibre and still not go as they can withhold the motions.Taking medications may help to keep the stools soft and make it easier for them to pass out the stools but if they are fearful of passing, they can still withhold the stools until it dries out and becomes hard, creating a vicious cycle of events.
If you notice that your child suddenly becomes quiet or hides in a corner, or even starts to make funny postures like crossing their legs, there is a high chance that the child is voluntarily withholding the bowel movements in fear. These children are often around the toddler age where reasoning is a little difficult. They are otherwise well thrived and active in between episodes. These children are often also fearful of sitting on the toilet bowl and are not toilet trained.
Dr Nancy Tan
Paediatrician, Sub-specialty in Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic
SBCC Baby & Child Clinic (Gleneagles)
6 Napier Road
#07-01/03 Gleneagles Medical Centre
Tel: 6235 6706/ 6397 6966 (Hotline)