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StepUp Program

Constipation Management

A Common, yet major problem

Constipation is absolutely and positively a common and often major problem encountered by those treated in our StepUp program. It frequently has been unrecognized and/or not thought to be connected to their bladder problems or urinary infections. Parents are usually unaware unless their child brings in brought to their attention. Many children have had it for so long that they don't think about it as unusual.

Several important facts that parents and older children must realize are:

  • Constipation isn't always obvious and includes those individuals who carry large amounts of stool in their bowels.  his can even occur despite having daily bowel movements. 
  • Bowel emptying problems are highly associated with urgent urination, wetting, abnormal bladder emptying, and recurrent urinary infections. These may be experienced as:
    •  Infrequent bowel movements
    • Hard, small, or pebbly stools
    •  Unusually large bowel movements
    • Pain or straining

 Guidelines can be useful to describe the appearance of bowel movements to your child's physician. 

  • Many of the patients whose constipation is treated successfully also experience significant improvement, or even the end of their bladder problems.
  • When constipation has been long-standing, it may take 6-12 months of continuous treatment before the intestine’s function completely recovers.  If treatment is stopped too soon, the constipation often returns.

If you think that constipation may also be a problem for a child with bladder control or urinary infection problems we recommend evaluation and, when necessary, treatment by your physician before arranging for a StepUp appointment. It may be all that is needed.