Hirschsprung’s Disease | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of Hirschsprung's disease?

You or your doctor may notice that your newborn did not pass the first bowel movement, called the meconium, in the first 24 to 48 hours after birth. Your newborn may also have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Constipation or gas, which may make your baby fussy
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting bile (a green liquid) after eating
  • Diarrhea

Hirschsprung's disease is usually diagnosed shortly after birth, but in some milder cases, symptoms don't develop until later in life. Symptoms in older children include the following:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Lack of weight gain or growth
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Ribbon-like, foul-smelling stools
  • Anemia (which is a low number of red blood cells)
  • Frequent colon infections


Hirschsprung's Disease: Diagnosis and Management by J Kessmann, M.D. (American Family Physician October 15, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061015/1319.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 12/06