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Child with constipation and stomach pain, eats little food. Suggested barium enema test. Any other alternative tests?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
My son is four and half years old. His weight is about 13 kgs. He eats little food and hardly any fibre. He often has constipation and many times stomach pain. We have consulted several paediatricians . One examined his anal passage with fingers and opined that it was okay. Then to rule out any problem in stomach he prescribed Barium enema test to be taken on empty stomach. My query is this test suitable for children, are there any other/alternative tests that he should undergo to rule out stomach problems
Posted Thu, 23 May 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 10 hours later
The main cause of constipation as you said is lack of fibres in food and also enough fluids.
Barium enema can be done in a child - it is done to rule out a condition called hirsprung's disease.
It is not for stomach but for rectum,sigmoid and colon.

You can get a second opinion from a pediatric surgeon or gastroenterologist in your place.
Barium enema all should be done in a good centre to interpret the results properly.

Meanwhile try to give more fruits ( not juice) whole grain lentils,vegetables,palak,etc and see.
Good luck
God bless
Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child with constipation and stomach pain, eats little food. Suggested barium enema test. Any other alternative tests? 6 minutes later
Thank you,Madam, what other tests would you recommend to be done to rule out any problems in stomach/digestive area/rectum/colon. Money is not an issue, but we wish to confirm once and for all
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 11 minutes later
For poor weight gain - check Cbc hemoglobin,
FOr constipation check thyroid function if not done earlier.( T3T4TSH). Routine liver function tests and renal function tests in blood to be done if not done earlier!
For constipation when you have tried all the dietary management and if it has failed,you can go in for barium enema.
There is a condition called habitual constipation which is also visualised in the barium enema.
A ultrasound of the abdomen is also mandatory if not done earlier.
God bless the child XXXXXXX !

Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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