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Infant with severe constipation after introducing whole milk. Advice?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1989
Answered : 883 Questions
I have a 13 month old baby and she has been constipated for the last two months. It all started since I introduced the whole milk to her. Well for the past month it has been getting worse and now her poop is getting stuck in her anus everyday or every other day and when she starts sweating with a never ending cry I know her poop is stuck so I have to pull it out slowly and push her legs out to help her. I give her juices and water everyday and its not working. I have also tried to reduce her meal proportion and give her "softer" foods and I don't know what to do anymore. My main concern are that her stools are really "wide" sometimes 2 inches or more wide and I feel that's too much for her anus to handle. Please advice.
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Constipation
Answered by Dr. Ketan Vagholkar 12 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

From the history you have given there are two possibilities:

1. Delay in acclimatization of the bacterial flora to extraneous food products
2. Malfunctioning of the large gut due to an intrinsic neurological problem called megacolon.

The chances of the first diagnosis are less likely as the problem should have reduced over a period of time. However this has not happened.

You need to consult a paediatric surgeon to evaluate the tone of the anal sphincter as well as examine the abdomen. A plain x-ray of the abdomen will reveal perhaps abundant faecal masses which is indicative of a motility problem.

Hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

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