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: Jude Anne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I still want answers and I won't give up until I get one on why I was not diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease until adulthood. I did have it since infancy. I am so angry because I had learning disabilities and I had to go to school in severe pain and was bullied. Somehow I made it to college and the day after graduation, the Hirschsprung's gave in. I am also convinced that this disease also caused my endometrial tumors.

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Comment from: jude, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I was born with Hirschsprung's disease and I am so convinced that this is how I ended up with learning disabilities and endocrine tumors; no one can tell me different. I know how I grew up. I had Hirschsprung's since I was an infant and for some reason, I faked the pain; I guess that an infant can fake Hirschsprung's; how an infant can fake it, I will never know. The disease is so incredibly painful and people say the most ignorant hateful things. They tell me I am doing this for attention, hell no, I will do a lot for attention but not fake a disease. I hear that I should eat more vegetables; look into my fridge and you will see more vegetables than anything else. Even in this day and age, we need to educate the public on this disease and what not to say to someone with Hirschsprung's. This disease is too painful and so misunderstood; too sad.

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