Hirschsprung’s Disease – Congenital Megacolon

Hirschsprung's Disease

What Is Hirschsprung’s Disease?

It is a blockage of the colon, also called the large intestine. Reduced muscle movement in your bowel is responsible for causing the blockage. hirschsprung’s disease is a congenital condition.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hirschsprung’s Disease?

Common symptoms of hirschsprung’s disease in infants and newborns are:

  • Watery diarrhea (newborn babies).
  • Vomiting.
  • Poor weight gain.
  • Poor feeding.
  • Jaundice.
  • Explosive stools.
  • Infrequent stools.
  • Difficulty with bowel movements.

Common symptoms of hirschsprung’s disease in older children are:

  • Swollen belly.
  • Slow growth.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Fecal impaction.
  • Progressively worsening constipation.

When Is The High Time To Seek Medical Assistance?

Call up for an appointment with your doctor in case:

  • You are noticing the above mentioned symptoms of hirschsprung’s disease in your child.
  • Your child is experiencing abdominal pain, or has developed unusual symptoms after already being treated for hirschsprung’s disease.

What Causes Hirschsprung’s Disease?

Normally, contractions of muscles in our gut tend to help the digested liquids and foods to pass through our intestine. Nerves in between the layers of muscles are responsible for causing the contractions. However in the disease, these essential nerves tend to be missing from a bowel’s part. Thus, areas devoid of these nerves are unable to push through the digested food causing the blockage. Intestinal contents then accumulate behind the blockage, ensuing the abdomen and bowel to swell.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Hirschsprung’s Disease?

Since hirschsprung’s disease is a congenital disease, around twenty five percent of intestinal blockages in newborn babies are sourced by it. It is far more common in males as compared to females. At times, it is associated to other congenital conditions for example Down syndrome.

How Is Hirschsprung’s Disease Diagnosed?

It is a difficult task to diagnose mild cases of hirschsprung’s disease in a baby until he or she turns older. While conducting a thorough physical examination of the child, the doctor will try to feel the bowel loops in the child’s swollen belly. Through a rectal exam, the doctor will determine a tight tone of muscle in his or her rectal muscles. In order to diagnose the disease, the doctor will carry out or suggest the following tests:

  • Rectal biopsy.
  • Barium enema.
  • Anal manometry.
  • Abdominal X-ray.

How Is Hirschsprung’s Disease Treated?

Serial rectal irrigation is a procedure that helps easing the bowel pressure. The doctor can suggest the option of surgery in order to remove the abnormal section of the large intestine. Often, the abnormal part of the large intestine and rectum are removed. The surgeon then pulls down the normal working part of the large intestine and connects it to the anus. Rarely, the complete surgery is performed in a particular operation, though; usually it is divided into two parts:

  • At first, colostomy is carried out.
  • Whilst the second part of the procedure is conducted when a child turns one year old.

By : Natural Health News


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