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What Not To Eat When You Have Hirschsprung’s Disease?

Hirschsprung’s disease is the disease of digestive tract characterized by infrequent bowel movement. Thus, the diet plays an important role in maintain the healthy condition of the gut. Various foods should be avoided in Hirschsprung’s disease.[1]

What Not To Eat When You Have Hirschsprung's Disease?

What Not To Eat When You Have Hirschsprung’s Disease?

Lactose: The children with Hirschsprung’s disease are generally allergic to lactose. Thus, lactose containing products should not be incorporated in the diet of these children.

Milk And Dairy Products: Milk and dairy products may cause bloating and gas formation. As the digestive system of the patients suffering from Hirschsprung’s disease is not fully developed, the patient may have problem in digesting milk and dairy products. Rice milk can be given to such patients.

Dried And Canned Fruit: Dried and canned food are not easily digestible as they contain large amount of sugar. Thus, they should be avoided by such patients.

White Bread: The standard food for the patient suffering from Hirschsprung’s disease is high fiber, low sugar diet. White bread does not fit in this category and should be avoided.

Sweetened Cereals: Sweetened cereals contains high amount of sugar substance, which is difficult to digest. Sweetened cereals should be avoided by patients suffering from Hirschsprung’s disease.

Ice-Cream And Pudding: Ice-cream and pudding are the derivatives of the milk and should be avoided.

Glazed Meat Products: Glazed Meat products are not easily digestible and should be avoided.

Honey: Honey should not be incorporated in the diet of patient suffering from Hirschsprung’s disease.

Sports Drink: Sports drinks such as Gatorade contains high calories and should not be consumed by these patients.[2]

Cause Of Hirschsprung’s Disease

Hirschsprung’s disease is the condition in which the nerve cells are not present in the intestine. The intestine that may be affected included small intestine as well as large intestine. During the development of fetus, the nervous cells start developing from the initial end of the intestine i.e. from the small intestine side and they keep on forming towards the other end of the gastrointestinal tract. However, due to certain fetal abnormality, the nerve cells fail to develop at the other end of the intestine, this result in complete absence of nerve cells in some part of intestine resulting in improper bowel movement. It is due to the reason that the muscles, which are present in the affected part are not regulated by any nerve fiber, leading to infrequent bowel movement, resulting in constipation.[3]

According to the extent of absence of nerve cells, the disease can be divided in to various types. Short-segment Hirschsprung’s disease is the condition in which nerve cells are absent only in the small part of large intestine. The other severe form of the disease is long-segment Hirschsprung’s disease in which whole of the large intestine and small part of small intestine is affected. The severest, yet rare condition is entire-segment Hirschsprung’s disease, which is characterized by the absence of nerve cells in both small and large intestine.[4]

The symptoms experienced by the patients suffering from this disease are generally related to bowel movement. The symptoms may include constipation, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, bloody diarrhea and bloating and gas formation.


The disease can be managed by following methods:

Low Sugar Diet: The patient should eat less sugar and sugary products and even try to avoid these products. As these products are not easily digestible, they may complicate the digestive system. Further, these products may cause bloating and gas formation and may eventually leads to diarrhea.

High Fiber Diet: High-fiber ingredients should be incorporated in the diet of patients as it will help in easing the symptoms of the disease such as constipation. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels.

Surgery: Surgery is the main treatment for Hirschsprung’s disease as it includes the removal of that part of digestive tract, which does not have nerve cells. After surgery, condition of majority of the patients gets improved.[5]


The diet of the patient in Hirschsprung’s disease should contain high fiber ingredients and the things to be avoided are sugary products, milk and dairy products, honey, glazed meat and sports drink.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 10, 2022

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