Cures for constipation - PLEASE HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-10-2011, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok ladies I need some serious advice. My daughter who is four is having a major issue with pooping. She refuses to go bc she says she is "afraid" and then gets completely constipated and is a wreck for days. I have spoken with our peditrician - they said to use magnesium citrate and if that doesn't work to use a suppository. This has been going on for WEEKS and nothing works. I need some ideas. I really don't like the whole med/laxative way but feel like i might just go there. I have tried every juice imagined, prunes & raisens, fruits and veggies up the wazoo ( not literally) and no difference. She hasn't gone since friday and she is in pain and refuses to go. I am trying not to make an issue out of it but it is becoming issue regardless. please share any stories or advice you can ~ Thanks!


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#2 of 22 Old 03-10-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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My daughter is a chronic withholder and we've had to resort to laxatives.  However, the most helpful non-medical things we've had some luck with are pear juice, prunes, and lactation cookies.  (The ones with oatmeal, flaxseed meal, raisins and brewer's yeast.)  With the cookies, I cut the sugar and then let her eat a lot of them.  You can also try probiotics, that helps for some kids.  The other thing that made some sort of impact was a book I got her  The book has a simple diagram of the digestive system, and I showed her how the poop was stuck in her large intestine and couldn't get out or go away any other way except by letting the poop out.  For a long time, she wanted to look at that picture every time she pooped.  I hate using the laxatives, but I definitely prefer that to suppositories.  I had to use them when she first started the withholding at about 18 months old and managed to go 10 days without a bowel movement, but it was so traumatic and invasive that I'll personally never use them again with her.  My advice would be to get this fixed as soon as you can, even if you have to resort to laxatives--because once they get into a long term habit of withholding (we've been dealing with this for over 2 years), it's insanely hard to break the cycle.  We use Miralax, which I hate doing, but it works.  It takes a couple of days to work but keeps the stool soft so that it's easy and painless to pass when it finally does come out.  There may be something you can change in her diet to avoid future constipation (i.e., dairy, gluten, etc.) but we haven't had any luck.  Good luck--it's really frustrating to deal with!

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#3 of 22 Old 03-10-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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Have you tried ground flax?  I hear it works wonders.  You can just sprinke it on toast or in oatmeal or whatever.


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#4 of 22 Old 03-10-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Is she afraid to poop or afraid of the bathroom? If it is the poop hurting aspect then I am not sure what you can do besides the laxatives until she realizes that the pooping doesn't hurt anymore then loosening foods like dried fruit, coconut, bran muffins, and beans for a long time afterwards so she doesn't get the fear back.  If it is the bathroom you may be able to help her by just staying in the room with her (gross to do but it works to stop pee accidents and constipation when kids go through this stage) then weaning her off of needing your presence after a few weeks.  A small portable potty and lots of clorox wipes may also be a good way to go because she can poop in places that she doesn't associate with the dreaded bathroom.

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#5 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nope it is not the bathroom she is afraid of it is the fear of it hurting. I caved in and did the laxitives and she still isnt going. It is on day 8 and she refuses. I swear i am losing my mind. I think i am just going to call the peditrician on monday (3rd time) and tell them they need to do something altho i have no idea what they can do?? I am afraid that she is causing some major harm to herself.irked.gif


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#6 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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If she's going that long, you may have to go the full laxative regimen.  We were told to give it (Miralax) to DD daily for 6 weeks, and not to stop if she started to improve until we'd gone the full 6 weeks with her having daily bowel movements.  I made the mistake of stopping, and she would always immediately revert to withholding, which leads to a difficult bowel movement, which reinforces the fear, which puts us back at square one.  Also, if she hasn't pooped by Monday even with laxatives, the doctors will most likely tell you to use suppositories.  I'm so sorry you guys are going through this.  hug2.gif

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#7 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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My daughter had similar fear issues and got constipated at the same age. Please pm me if you would like more details. We tried fiber gummies from the health food store but they did not help. After extensive reading on mothering.com, I found Miralax. it is forceful and works in about a couple of hours. We used it because I read here that kids can develop mega colon from not pooping ... Compounding the issues.

Miralax was a godsend the few times we used it. It softens it all up and creates an urge to poop. It has no side effects.

Best of luck...

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#8 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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search for the term Miralax on MDC and you will find good threads on the topic you are facing. Miralax is not natural but it is an inert substance ... So if you have to use it, i feel it is not harmful if used for a brief period.


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#9 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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We have been dealing with extremely frustrating constipation issues with my 4 year old son for several months now and finally found a solution.  We tried changing his diet/exercise routine, reading to him while trying, rewards etc... but found it didn't help.    What finally worked was having him sit on the toilet after every meal for 2-4 minutes while I read him a book, even when he insists he doesn't have to go.  He did put up a bit of a fight at first, but now he just jumps on and I don't even read to him every time.  We haven't dealt with constipation issues since we started doing that.  I can sympathize with all of you, because it was a really frustrating few months.  I hope that this suggestion helps.  Erin

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#10 of 22 Old 03-13-2011, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well she finally went last night but it wasn't a whole lot. I am going to go get teh miralax and see what happens. I have tried the suppositories and pedilax but not really helping much. i was going to go buy the fiber gummies today but iam thinking against now that you have said they don't work. I am trying so hard not to make an issue out of it but it is becoming extremely irritatingat thi spoint in  time.I actually was going to take her to teh Er last night bc she wouldn't eat all day yesterday bc of teh whole poop issue. i know dramatic , lol, but i got super concerned.

 


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#11 of 22 Old 03-14-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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My son had constipation issues from a year until last year at 3.  We had to bring him to a pediatric Enterologist as he was having issues with rectal prolapse.  She had us give him Lansoyl (mineral oil based jelly) that is a stool softener/lubricant.  It worked great for him and we gave it once daily.  We also had to limit constipating foods (bananas, rice, cheese) and those not limited had to be served with a high fibre food.


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#12 of 22 Old 03-18-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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My son is almost 5 and has had constipation issues since about 1yr.  I've tried so many different things.  A few natural things that worked for us were:

- aloe vera juice, I would ask at the health food store for dosage for a child (we haven't used it for a while).  I remember starting low and then upping it.  It is almost tasteless and you can sneak it into juice or a smoothie

- our home-made 'poo paste' - this one works the best for my son, equal amounts of figs, dates, raisins and prunes out in a pot with a fair bit of water and simmer until it becomes a paste.  I usually have to add water as it simmers away.  I then blend it with a hand blender to make it smooth.  My son will eat this by itself or mixed with apple sauce.  I try and get him to drink a glass of water when he eats it.  I freeze it in portion sized servings.  For my son he has 1/3C at a time.

- Peter Gillham's Kid's calm, it is a magnesium citrate powder to mix with water, again I adjusted the dosage on this until it was doing the trick.

 

The key to all of these (for my son) is sticking with it.  I find if I forget to give him the poo paste for a few days then we're back to where we were.

Avoiding binding foods as pp said is key for him too.

I also got my son the bk "it hurts when I poop" and he found it interesting and it helps him knowing why he needs to get the poop out.

 

Hope you find something that works soon.

 

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#13 of 22 Old 03-22-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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We've had constipation/ holding on issues with DD (4yo) for about a year now. I was very reluctant to use laxatives at first but I can see in hindsight what a lifesaver they have been. I used them reluctantly at first and not curing the constipation early enough may have led to the UTI DD developed that lasted months and was far more stressful than the constipation alone. Using the laxatives really takes the pressure off everyone and I think that is very important if your daughter is anxious already. I have also used ground flax (in cooking and in oatmeal) and probiotics every day with good results. We also found that eliminating many foods for awhile has helped us enormously (dairy, wheat and eggs). It has been a long process for DD and rebuilding her confidence was important. For us that meant using treats as well, something I didn't really like doing at first either, but it definitely put a positive spin on it for DD. We even had a little pretend party (with a few real candies) one day to celebrate her doing a poop and she thought that was fantastic.

 

I really have tried the whole time not to reveal too much of my stress about it to DD, but it is a very difficult thing to go through as a parent and the constipation definitely has an impact on behaviour which adds to the stress. Best of luck.

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#14 of 22 Old 03-22-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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Hi!  I could have written this original post myself as we were going through this too!  We tried many things and the only thing that really works is 2 tablespoons of flax oil in her juice.  It works very quickly and I use it a few times per week just for consistency so that she doesn't become constipated.  She never complains that her belly hurts or that it hurts coming out because the stool becomes softened and comes out easily.  I hope this helps!!

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#15 of 22 Old 03-22-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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It is nice to know I am not the only one dealing with this. We use Lansoyl and it helps soften it so it doesn't hurt so much. We also have the issue where she won't go because she is afraid it will hurt so then when she finally does go it hurts and the cycle continues. I have been trying to feed her full of fruit and tracking her BM and if it has been more that 2 days I inform her that she has to go today and then I really encourage and we read stories in the bathroom etc until she goes. I have found that explaining the health reasons really have helped.

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#16 of 22 Old 03-23-2011, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averieella View Post

Hi!  I could have written this original post myself as we were going through this too!  We tried many things and the only thing that really works is 2 tablespoons of flax oil in her juice.  It works very quickly and I use it a few times per week just for consistency so that she doesn't become constipated.  She never complains that her belly hurts or that it hurts coming out because the stool becomes softened and comes out easily.  I hope this helps!!



Does the flax oi; change the taste of her juice?

 

So the latest update is this - Agib we are going on day 6 of no poop. On Monday i had had it - i called the dr and said please help us - we had tried everything that she would take and it is becoming a vicious cycle. He sent her for xrays to see what was going on and how far she was backed up. her WHOLE large intestine is full of stool!!!!! They prescribed her "carters little pill" (which i couldnt find anywhere and had to specially order) and then once she is cleaned out we have to do miralax until we establish some sort of normal pattern. I had tried children laxatives and they didnt work so i am hoping this works. Thanks everyone for the support and advice!


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#17 of 22 Old 03-23-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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She has not noticed, and she is very picky so my guess is no!  Plus it has omega 3's in it, so it's beneficial too I think!

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#18 of 22 Old 03-23-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're dealing with this.  We've had the same issues - and it really makes you crazy, doesn't it? 

 

Obviously you need to get what is in there OUT first.  After that, here are some things we've added in our 4yo's diet to make things come out easy and not get back to the point of constipation:  Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Kefir.  Also, we ALMOST did an enema - but he finally went.

 

I hope she goes soon! 

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#19 of 22 Old 03-23-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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this is such a tough thing to deal with. my sister ended up using milk of magnesia after trying EVERYTHING and it would all work temporarily. after she went with the big guns and her dd got used to pooping and it not hurting she was able to slowly wean her off of it.

 

ds has similar issues. he seems to go fine, but then if something changes (he got sick and stopped up) its hard for him to get back on track and "regular" ... i do rub castor oil like a massage. epsom salt baths too.


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#20 of 22 Old 03-31-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I know you are in the middle of all this now, but you might want to try to get her to eat shredded wheat and beans. I had these issues with my dd, and the shredded wheat really helped her better than anything else. We limited all crackers, bread, cookies, gave her prunes and juice and even resorted to karo syrup in her juice. Nothing worked like the shredded wheat. I had to start her on the frosted shredded wheat, which I hated to do, but then I gradually mixed it and switched her over to the plain. For me, during my last pregnancy, the only thing that helped me was beans. Then I added a probiotic (Culturelle) which helped me a ton. I was so relieved because I was tired of eating beans every day. So once you get through this, it can't hurt to load up on high fiber cereal, milled flax seed, beans, probiotics, etc.. I also used to tell my dd to just read on the toilet for a while and not worry about going. It really eased her fears and kept her mind busy. Was tough to go through.

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#21 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 12:41 AM
 
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All these responses are diet related, but has anyone tried a chiropractor or massage?  My daughter starts to have accidents when we miss her monthly chiro appt. That is the reason we are going.  The chiro explained that her brain may not be getting the message that she needs to go.  And I have heard of people mediating while on the toilet to relax their muscles to go.  When kids are tense, they can't go. I like the idea of reading the books about the body.


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#22 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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