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An Overview of Hirschsprung Disease

            Who has ever heard of Hirschprung Disease? Probably not too many of us have an idea what kind of illness it is since it is not a disease frequently mentioned such as Cancer, HIV, Leukemia or many others. Nevertheless, only the ones suffering from Hirschprung syndrome are able to know and feel the challenge of living every day of their life with a disease that most of the population has never heard of. Hirschsprung disease is a condition that affects the colon and happens when the nerves that are in the muscles are incomplete or missing. Consequently, without these nerves the colon is not capable of moving the stools to the bowel normally, causing a severe bowel blockade. Hirschsprung disease occurs mostly the first days or weeks of life of a newborn. The reason of this illness is caused by a malformation of the fetus. This malformation occurs when the enteric nerves which are the ones that makes the muscles contract in order for the stool to move through the intestine are missing. Unfortunately, without these nerves the fecal material in the body is not able to move out, causing severe constipation and in a worse situation the death of around 20 percent of infants with Hirschsprung illness. However, Hirschsprung disease also affects toddlers and older children in a less severe way. But, compared to children, toddlers and infants, Hirschprung disease is not as common in adults. .
             According to statistics from the Health Reference Center, Facts on File, Hirschsprung disease occurs to around one in every 5,000 labors in the United States. These numbers change around the world, but their statistical average is around 1:1000 to 1:10,000. Also, the Washington University of St. Louis has a Pediatric Research on the Hirschsprung disease, and they were able to investigate that about 25% of the children who are in a good condition, but are having issues with constipation are free of the illness, because the occurrence is very low.

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