Hirschsprung's Disease - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of Hirschsprung's disease?

The main symptoms of Hirschsprung disease are constipation or intestinal obstruction, usually appearing shortly after birth. Constipation in infants and children is common and usually comes and goes, but if your child has had ongoing constipation since birth, Hirschsprung disease may be the problem.

Symptoms in Newborns

Newborns with Hirschsprung disease almost always fail to have their first bowel movement within 48 hours after birth. Other symptoms include

  • green or brown vomit
  • explosive stools after a doctor inserts a finger into the rectum
  • swelling of the belly, also known as the abdomen
  • lots of gas
  • bloody diarrhea

Symptoms in Symptoms in Toddlers and Older Children

Symptoms of Hirschsprung disease in toddlers and older children include

  • not being able to pass stools without laxatives or enemas. A laxative is medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. An enema is performed by flushing water, or sometimes a mild soap solution, into the anus using a special wash bottle
  • swelling of the abdomen
  • lots of gas
  • bloody diarrhea
  • slow growth or development
  • lack of energy because of a shortage of red blood cells, called anemia.
Return to Hirschsprung's Disease

See what others are saying

Comment from: Grams, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 07

My 21 year old grandson was born with Hirschsprung's. He had a pull through done at the age of 10. Today he is in pain, with cramps that he says hurts all over. He stomach is not swollen. I hear the rumblings in stomach. This same situation happened about 4 months ago. He does not have a fever, but says he feels like he is burning up. I have given him a Gas-X, potassium tablet and 2 Advils.

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Comment from: 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 14

My son was diagnosed with Hirschsprung"s disease at 7 days. He was airlifted and had emergency surgery. He had an ileostomy for 10 months and then the pull through. I was told originally he would be very small, sickly and not be able to go to regular school or participate in sports. Today, I am so happy to report he is 14 years old, 6ft 1 and 160 pounds. He takes no prescription medications. He takes a probiotic vitamin daily and 4 salt tablets a day to stay hydrated. He starts on baseball, football and basketball teams.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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