Constipation & Diarrhea

Constipation & Diarrhea Overview & Facts

Constipation and diarrhea are conditions that primarily affect the digestive tract. The development of either condition may be a side effect of another illness, or simply a result of dietary choices. Symptoms should be monitored for signs of increasing severity.

Constipation & Diarrhea Symptoms & Types

The symptoms of constipation and diarrhea are almost exact opposites of one another.

Constipation symptoms include:

  • Hard or misshapen stools
  • Straining to empty bowels
  • Stomach pain or bloating

Diarrhea symptoms include:

  • Runny or liquid stools
  • Cramping around the stomach
  • Inability to control bowel movements

Constipation & Diarrhea Causes

Constipation is a condition usually caused by internal factors such as dehydration, lack of exercise, or diet choices. Diarrhea is often a bodily response to viral infections or food poisoning. However, both illnesses may be a more serious indication of diseases that include:

  • Diabetes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Hypothyroidism

Constipation & Diarrhea Treatment & Care

Short term constipation and diarrhea will likely correct themselves after a few hours. However, if your child’s condition does not readily improve within a short time frame, you will need to consider over the counter medications. Any diarrhea lasting longer than a few days should be addressed by your pediatrician.

Constipation & Diarrhea Prevention

Constipation and diarrhea have different underlying factors that can be mitigated through preventive care and good hygiene practices.

  • Avoid consuming an excess of binding foods like bananas, rice, or fiber.
  • Have your child tested for underlying food allergies and intolerances.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
  • Clean and sanitize bathrooms frequently.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay as hydrated as possible.

If you have concerns over your child’s constipation or diarrhea after your regular peditrican’s office is closed for the day, or on the weekend, we invite you to visit our Midlothian AfterHours location.  There is no appointment needed and we accept most major insurance plans.

Learn More About Midlothian AfterHours