This is due to the fact that the constipation in Hirschsprung Disease is so severe to the point it does not only slow down the bowel movement, but also develops a build-up over time.
The danger of Hirschsprung Disease
The large intestine, which consists of colon and rectum, may be the last part of human’s digestive tract, but it has such an important task. The large intestine is not only responsible for absorbing water, it is also responsible for holding the stools. Those who suffer from Hirschsprung Disease does not have the proper nerve cells in either all of the large intestine, or in just a part of it.
Said nerve cells are responsible for sending the right signals to push the stools along – without it, stools will remain in the large intestine which will then lead to severe constipation.
In constipation cases we are familiar with, stools move slowly through the intestines – this is, often, due to changes in our usual diet or condition such as irritable bowel syndrome. Although the stool is initially difficult to pass, with available treatment and home remedy, it can be passed along like it is supposed to.
However, in Hirschsprung Disease cases, the same thing can’t be said as the problem is not originated from diet or activity changes, but rather due to the lack of nerve cells. In Hirschsprung Disease cases, stool cannot be passed and over time it forms a hard mass which will the completely block the intestine.
Signs and symptoms
Intestinal obstruction (or constipation) which appears shortly after the birth of the newborn is the main sign of Hirschsprung Disease, it cannot be used as the only pointer to determine whether or not your child has the condition. There are so many healthy children and newborns with infrequent or difficult bowel movement issues – thus it is important to know other symptoms to help you determine. Most newborns or childrend with Hirschsprung Disease have other symptoms such as:
- Sudden, unexplained fever
- Diarrhea (in some cases, blood is present)
- Brown or green vomit
- Slow growth (or worse, growth-failure)
- Swollen, bloated abdomen
- Explosive stools once a finger is inserted into rectum
When you and your doctor notice these Hirschsprung Disease Symptoms, a further physical exam such as X-ray test and biopsy should be done.