Symptoms of Hirschsprung disease include diarrhea, vomiting, swollen belly and the inability to pass stool, according to KidsHealth. Hirschsprung disease affects the large intestines of children and prevents stool from passing through the intestines because of missing nerve cells in the colon. The condition is caused by a birth defect and can be life-threatening. Treatment for people suffering from Hirschsprung disease is usually surgical. It is very important that this condition be diagnosed as early as possible.
Other symptoms of Hirschsprung disease are lots of gas, slow growth or development, and lack of energy because of a shortage of red blood cells, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Newborns suffering from Hirschsprung disease may fail to have their first bowel movement within 48 hours of birth.
In addition to partial or complete bowel obstruction, bacterial infections can also develop in the digestive tract, notes Cincinnati Children's. If the obstruction gets worse, it can lead to a hole in the bowel. Hirschsprung disease can also lead to serious colon complications such as toxic megacolon. Most of Hirschsprung disease cases are with babies and children, and an adult suffering from the condition is very rare. Hirschsprung disease is significantly more common in males than females.