Another disease that affects the bowel movements is hirshsprung’s disease. While constipation is caused by various internal and external factors, hirshsprung’s disease is congenital i.e. Present from birth. This condition is caused as a result of missing nerve cells in the colon muscles. The nerve cells stimulate gut muscles to move contents through the colon and if they are missing, the food can back up and block the bowel movements.
A new born child suffering from hirshsprung’s disease cannot pass stool after birth. The condition may go unnoticed sometimes till later.
What are the symptoms of hirshsprung’s disease?
The usual symptoms of hirshsprung’s disease appear shortly after birth. Typically the signs are visible within forty eight hours after birth. In few cases the signs become visible later in life. The symptoms commonly seen in new borns include:
- Constipation or gas / obstipation
- Swollen belly
- A delay in passing of meconium.
The following symptoms can be seen in older children:
- Failure to thrive
- Chronic constipation
- Swollen belly
What are the factors that increase the risk of hirshsprung’s disease?
- Hirshsprung’s disease is congenital and can be inherited. If your first born is suffering from this disease, the chances of future biological siblings having the same condition is high.
- It has been observed that hirshsprung’s disease is more common in males than females.
- It is also associated with certain other conditions such as down syndrome, congenital heart disease etc.
What are the complications associated with hirshsprung’s disease?
- Children suffering from hirshsprung’s disease have increased risk of a serious intestinal infection called enterocolitis. This disease is life-threatening and requires immediate attention.