Beneficial therapeutic effect of probiotics has been reported in children with irritable
bowel syndrome, but not consistently in other functional gastrointestinal disorders. Although
there is evidence that probiotics increase stool frequency and decrease stool consistency in
healthy individuals the evidence for efficacy in constipation is limited.
Children with functional abdominal pain (FAP) and constipation will be included in the study.
Children with FAP will be randomized in one of two groups and will receive either L. reuteri
in a daily dose of 108 CFU, or placebo during three months. Children with chronic
constipation will receive either L. reuteri in a daily dose of 108 CFU and lactulose, or
placebo and lactulose. Frequency and intensity of episodes of abdominal pain during and after
intervention will be recorded in children with FAP. Frequency of defecation, stool
consistency and need for lactulose will be recorded in children with chronic constipation.