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Many children will suffer from constipation during their childhood and teenage years. In many cases, no organic cause can be found – it is then referred to as functional constipation.
In children and teenagers, constipation is often caused by insufficient fibre in their diet, a low intake of fluids, or a course of medicine. But as we know, our digestive system and intestinal flora is also affected by our emotional and mental well-being, something that can be subject to ups and downs during our childhood and teenage years. As such, the cause for constipation could also lie in emotional stress, a change in circumstances, travel, or bad mood.
Most of us don’t feel very comfortable talking about our bowel movements and children and teenagers can be even more reluctant to speak about any problems they might be having.
So, besides the key symptom of having two or fewer bowel movements a week, it is good for parents to know about other signs of constipation. These could include abdominal swelling and pain, reluctance or even avoidance of going to the bathroom, traces of stool in their underwear, or signs of distress during bowel movements.
Constipation may require some changes to a child’s diet like adding more high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Additionally, parents should encourage them to drink plenty of fluids, ideally water, and increase physical activity. Constipation can alos affect the intestinal flora. So, it could be a food idea to include supplements with lactic acid bacteria in their diet. So, it could be a good idea to include supplements with lactic acid bacteria in their diet. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis help to colonize microbiota in the digestive tract.