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Aetiology of constipation in infants and children

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Causes of constipation in infants and children may be caused include:

  • hypothyroidism

  • functional or idiopathic constipation

  • encopresis

  • anal fissure

  • meconium ileus equivalent

  • severe vomiting

  • polyuria - causing dehydration in conditions such as diabetes insipidus or diabetes mellitus

  • lead-poisoning

  • congenital absence of abdominal muscles - Prune Belly syndrome

  • cow's milk intolerance

Constipation may occur if there is inadequate food or fluid intake, while children who drink a lot of milk may have hard stools that are difficult to pass (1).


  • (1) Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (2000), 38 (8), 57-60.

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