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April 10, 2001

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Question from Stow, Ohio, USA:

My five year old son was diagnosed less than two months ago with type 1 diabetes. He has always had a difficult time having a bowel movement, and now, since we have to control the amount of carbs he eats, it has become worse. Normally the only way for him to have a bowel movement is with the help of an enema. Any suggestions?

Answer:

Chronic constipation in a five year old can have various causes. Although they are not serious in the vast majority of cases, there are causes that need the attention of a professional. Your son’s pediatrician should be able to help you determine the cause of his constipation along with a reasonable solution that will not interfere with his diabetes. Doing frequent enemas is not a good idea for a long-term solution.

MSB