The Effect of Probiotics on the Treatment of Functional Constipation in Children of 4–12 Years of Age

Document Type : Original Article (s)


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine AND Gastroenterology and Liver Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Resident, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran


Background: Functional constipation in childhood is a common and frustrating problem and probiotics are increasingly used in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. This study investigated the effect of probiotics on the treatment of functional constipation in children of 4 to 12 years of age.Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on 4 to 12-year-old children with functional constipation, according to Rome III, who referred to the clinic of Besat Hospital in Sanandaj, Iran, in 2013. The exclusion criteria included receiving any kind of laxative during the previous 4 weeks, mental retardation, hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, and intestinal surgery. The sample consisted of 90 children who were randomly assigned to either the intervention or the control group. The control group received routine treatment of constipation (0.7-1.5 gr/kg Pidrolax powder daily) for 4 weeks and the intervention group received routine treatment of constipation in addition to probiotics. Patients were examined 2 and 4 weeks after the intervention. Initial assessment included the frequency of bowel movements per week, stool consistency, number of fecal incontinence per week, and abdominal pain and painful defecation. The secondary assessment consisted of successful treatment, and side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting.Findings: The results showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups before and 2 and 4 weeks after the intervention in terms of the frequency of painful and difficult defecation in (P > 0.05). Nevertheless, there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of abdominal pain in 2 and 4 weeks after the intervention (P < 0.05).Conclusion: The results show that probiotics have no side effects; thus, their addition to standard therapy can be useful in children with functional constipation.


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