The New Global Plague: Children’s Constipation

Sorry, kid. Image by Jmh649 via Wikipedia.

Let me say at the outset: if you’re a casual reader of this fine upstanding family blog or you came here from some sort of “Google Search” or something, you might ask a fairly reasonable string of questions that goes something like this.

“Tech.” “Yum.”

“Children’s constipation.”

“Techyum? Children’s constipation?”

“Children’s constipation? Techyum?”

I just don’t have an answer for you. Sometimes there are no answers.

But what I do have is the exciting news that Johns Hopkins has opened a new Children’s Constipation Clinic, and sent out a press release about it. Now you might think that I am a real son of a bitch for laughing my ass off about this, and you’d be right. I am a real son of a bitch, and about the funniest goddamn thing I’ve read in the last six months has nothing at all to do with pink underwear or robots smacking the screaming bejeezus out of Slovenian scientists; it’s it’s about children’s constipation. Bwa-ha!!!

Now, this is no laughing matter. Hee hee! Let me tell you what Johns Hopkins says on the subject:

Mild constipation in children is fairly common, but gastroenterologists at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have been seeing what they believe is the start of a troubling trend: more children with more serious and chronic bouts of the condition. Experts attribute the problem to lack of physical activity, inadequate water intake and fiber-poor diets.

…And while the doctors have not quantified the precise increase in the number of patients, they see children with constipation daily and saw a 30-percent jump in related visits between 2008 and 2009.

Constipation develops insidiously over time, [Dr. Maria] Oliva-Hemker says, and usually begins when a child starts to hold back bowel movements. Holding the stool gradually disrupts the brain-colon signaling mechanism that tells a child when stool needs to come out, and stool builds up in the colon, stretching it beyond its normal shape and size. The longer the stool stays in the colon, the harder and larger it gets, making bowel movements painful.

Oh my God! Oh my God! I’m dying over here! I’m absolutely dying! “Brain-colon signaling mechanism!” “stool needs to come out!” Tell Johns Hopkins to stop! They’re slaying me. Okay. Okay. Hold it together man. Hold it together! Be professional. You’re a journalist. Would Hunter S. Thompson lose it like this? Okay, okay, I’m all right. I’m all right. It gets better:

Toilet training and the start of a new school year are high-risk periods that can trigger episodes, she notes. School-age children may not want to use the school bathrooms or may not be allowed to use them except during lunch or school recess. Other contributors include travel, camping, viral illness and dietary changes.

Bwaaahhahahaaaaaah!!! No, no, no, no, no more! Oh, God, no more! I can’t handle it. Look. If you’re more man or more woman than me, or just have a child with constipation — in which case, look, I’m sorry I just laughed hysterically at the poor little tyke — visit and get help from experts on this impactful subj–subj– bwahahahahaha! I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’ll go now.

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