How is constipation in children diagnosed?

To diagnose constipation in a child, a doctor will perform a physical exam and take a medical history. The doctor will ask about the child’s:

  • Bathroom and bowel movement patterns
  • Diet and eating habits
  • Potty training
  • Health problems (if any)
  • Medications (if any).

During the physical exam, the doctor will check the child’s abdomen to see if it is swollen or tender, or has any masses or lumps. The doctor may also examine the child’s rectum to look for blood or blockage.

The doctor may also order tests, such as an X-ray, which can show stool that is still in the colon. Sometimes lab work is needed to help with diagnosis of an underlying health problem.

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