Constipation/pooping woes w/potty learning aged children - Page 8 - Mothering Forums
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The Childhood Years > Constipation/pooping woes w/potty learning aged children
Rachel J.'s Avatar Rachel J. 01:26 AM 11-01-2007
Okay, I'm on a roll here tonight . Has anyone's dc had constipation issues due to food sensitivites, particularly dairy and wheat? My ds has been constipated since infancy and I just wonder if that could be a trigger for him. He loves yogurt and crackers/cereal (we've cut out the goldfish so that's a plus). I wanted to cut it out a year ago and see if there was any improvement but dh wouldn't go for it ("wait until he's older and can be reasoned with" ).

Momalea's Avatar Momalea 03:55 AM 11-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel J. View Post
Okay, I'm on a roll here tonight . Has anyone's dc had constipation issues due to food sensitivites, particularly dairy and wheat? My ds has been constipated since infancy and I just wonder if that could be a trigger for him. He loves yogurt and crackers/cereal (we've cut out the goldfish so that's a plus). I wanted to cut it out a year ago and see if there was any improvement but dh wouldn't go for it ("wait until he's older and can be reasoned with" ).

Food allergies are a very common cause of constipation. I recently read a book by a naturopath who specializes in irritable bowel syndrome (childhood constipation/encopresis being one type) and to summarize the book-IBS is caused by:
1) food allergies (he highly recommended blood testing for IgG & IgE)
2) intestinal parsites (much more common than you may think)
3) intestinal bacteria/candida (lack of enough healthy bacteria)

If you want to look at his approach, his name is Dr.Stephen Wangen and his website is: http://www.ibstreatmentcenter.com/index.htm

The book is okay-it's informational but could have had more specifics. In some ways it was like a very long ad for his clinic. I think you can get the jist of what he says from his website.

We're currently using magnesium citrate and scheduled potty sitting with our dd which is working well, but she still needs this help for regular bms. I'm thinking allergy testing is the next step, but I need to psyche her up for the blood test first.
adtake's Avatar adtake 11:12 AM 11-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel J. View Post
Do you currently give you ds anything to help him go, i.e. supplements, MOM, mag citrate, etc.?

The only things he gets are multi vit, probiotic and DHA. I may have been a bit confusing about the whole thing. He is NOT having a 'going' problem. He can and does go daily.

If your ds seems to be having issues with pooping during recess (and then retaining to avoid disruption of play or unavailability of the toilet?) then perhaps you could work with the school to have him go to the bathroom and sit on the potty for a few minutes before recess.

We have done this. She is asking him after lunch and before oing out to play and he tells her no.
Today I reminded him if he needed go to tell Mrs A. He said he didnt want to tell her. Maybe it's an embarssment issue. Although none of us have 'done' anything to make it embarassing that I know of. He has never really wanted anyone but mom or dad to tend to him while in the bathroom even at home with relatives around. I told him today that he just needs to tell her he needs to go and she will let him. She is really a great teacher, please don't flame her for her comments. She is wanting what is best for him and I'm sure she's thinking if school is too stressful, or he's not ready physcially that mgiht be an issue.

We feel bad for him. Dh and I are in tears about it most of the time. We want to help and we try and do all we can, just seems we haven't hit the right combo yet. I sent him extra, extra underware today in his backpack. Normally he would have to ask the teacher for underware. So maybe not having to ask her for some will elimnate some of the worry about that.....I just dont know.

Thank gals...keep the ideas coming.

robinkate's Avatar robinkate 12:23 PM 11-01-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel J. View Post
What kind of probiotic are you using?
Nature's Way Primadophilus Kids chewables
Ashersmum's Avatar Ashersmum 04:51 AM 11-13-2007
I'm bumping this thread for some support. My 3 y/o ds withholds his poop and I just started him on a daily dose of Miralax. I tried prune juice, pear juice, fiber bears, prune juice popsicles and a very healthy, varied diet before I resorted to using Miralax. I gave him 3 half doses over a 2 day period before he finally 'went.' His behavior is unbearable after a few days of withholding. He has screaming fits and is aggressive and totally unreasonable. He wants to be carried and held constantly which is impossible to do because I have an infant. I have been called into his preschool twice for his violent behavior. He used to be the most gentle, sweet child : His withholding started well before potty training and now he refuses to poop in the toilet. He freaks out if I even suggest it now. My SIL is a therapist who specializes in anxiety and post traumatic stress. She suggested we do practice sits on the toilet every day. First sitting on my lap for the count of ten, then alone with pants on and then alone with pants off. He's taken to this pretty well. She says it's important to try and desensitize the trauma associated with sitting on the toilet. to all you mamas going through the same thing. Please post with success stories to give me some hope
PinkPixie's Avatar PinkPixie 02:33 PM 11-13-2007
I'm not surprise that your son is in a bad mood. Being severely constipated really hurts them.
My daughter witheld so much that she actually made herself sick. Just smelling food would cause her oesophagus to contract painfully. She would not eat and just want to sit or sleep all day long.

The worst thing about encopresis, is how people lack compassion and understanding when it comes to it. They just assumes it's potty-training failure and that the parent is somehow responsible. I have 4 children, 2 with encopresis. My daughter is still young and doesn't really notice "accidents" and all, but my son is deeply affected and lacks self-confidence because of it.
annekevdbroek's Avatar annekevdbroek 02:33 PM 11-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashersmum View Post
I'm bumping this thread for some support. My 3 y/o ds withholds his poop and I just started him on a daily dose of Miralax. I tried prune juice, pear juice, fiber bears, prune juice popsicles and a very healthy, varied diet before I resorted to using Miralax. I gave him 3 half doses over a 2 day period before he finally 'went.' His behavior is unbearable after a few days of withholding. He has screaming fits and is aggressive and totally unreasonable. He wants to be carried and held constantly which is impossible to do because I have an infant. I have been called into his preschool twice for his violent behavior. He used to be the most gentle, sweet child : His withholding started well before potty training and now he refuses to poop in the toilet. He freaks out if I even suggest it now. My SIL is a therapist who specializes in anxiety and post traumatic stress. She suggested we do practice sits on the toilet every day. First sitting on my lap for the count of ten, then alone with pants on and then alone with pants off. He's taken to this pretty well. She says it's important to try and desensitize the trauma associated with sitting on the toilet. to all you mamas going through the same thing. Please post with success stories to give me some hope
Many moms here, including myself, have had very similar experiences. Keeping your DS poop's soft for a while is going to be really important to him learning to not hold his poop. He's going to need a good number of positive poop experiences (moths of them, most likely) to undo the discomfort of passing really hard ones. KWIM? It sounds like you have issues with the toilet, and with passing hard stools - and those are separate isses.

My DS is 4 1/2 and we have been dealing with constipation issues for 4 years. We have our ups and downs, and he took Miralax for about 3 1/2 years. He's old enough now to use more behavioral measures, rewards, and encouragement, but those things really did not work well until very recently. It does get better and having soft poops will really help - but even with soft poo it may take a while for him to stop holding it in (and all the discomfort, crankiness, etc. that goes along with that).

At the age your DS is now I found it helpful to keep a calendar of poops and have a plan of action for the number of days of no poop. For instance, Miralax was daily, on day 3 if we had no poo I'd give him a 1/2 chocolate exlax (or MOM, or whatever he's take), if that didn't work then on day 5 I'd do a whole exlax, and on day 7 a suppository or enema (we rarely got that far along). Now I use Magnesium Citrate for the occasional stop-up.
MtBikeLover's Avatar MtBikeLover 04:55 PM 11-13-2007
I have not read this whole thread, but my DD also suffers from constipation. She actually learned to use the potty at 18 months, but then she couldn't poop in it so she asked to go back to diapers.

The strange thing was that every time my mom was here, she would poop every day. We never really understood why until just a few weeks ago. My mom was here for Halloween and I made a comment that Gabby only seems to poop when she is here and joked that maybe it was because she liked the way my mom changed her. My mom said "Maybe it's the pecans." Everytime my mom comes, she brings a bag of pecans with her and Gabby eats them too. Well, a lightbulb went off. It had to be the pecans.

I have been giving her pecans every day (just 2-3) and she has been much more consistent in her pooping and it is way softer than it used to be and she is using the toilet to poop. One night, I was eating pecans and she was in the bath and kept asking for them so she must have eaten about 15-20, plus drank a ton of water. She ended up going poop in the middle of the night, very soft and a lot of it. She definitely got her system cleaned out. And then she went twice the next day as well.

I find that when she has water and pecans that seems to be the best combination for helping her poop.
goddessjulia's Avatar goddessjulia 12:47 AM 11-15-2007
ashersmum! you were in my ddc this summer! *every* single time I've posted on this thread that things are going well, we have a major setback, so as my success story I'll keep my mouth shut it's kicking my tail big time with the new baby, just in general, and right now ds (5 in two weeks, and the reason I'm on this thread) has a nasty cold, and I and the baby are recovering from a cold as well, so it's just nuts here. oh yeah, and ds's cat brought in a live mouse tonight. :

it *is* possible to reach a point where they will use the potty, albeit much less frequently than desired. I at least don't have to fear leaving the house with him like I used to (the baby is another story ). what's funny at my house now regarding this is that the baby is doing EC, so at 4 months she poops in the potty something like 20 times for every time big brother goes!
Ashersmum's Avatar Ashersmum 02:01 AM 11-15-2007
Hi GoddessJulia! Sorry you're here too This is totally stressful and confusing. It's hard to know how to deal with the issue because there seem to be so many ways to go about it. I'm wondering at this point if I should ditch the diapers again because he's complaining and withholding just as much now as he was on the toilet: I LOVE Miralax. Never thought I'd hear myself say that! I'm just so glad that he's not clogged up any more. Today he was a different child - a joy to be with (although he didn't poop today and showed no signs of needing to). A heard some advice to not talk about the poop/needing to go AT ALL to your child so as not to make it an issue. Just treat it as a very normal occurrence (which it is) no pressure. I'm going to try that now because I really having been talking/thinking about it too much. Good luck with the ECing. That seems like a lot of work!
annekevdbroek's Avatar annekevdbroek 12:16 AM 01-29-2008
topping for two moms on the toddler forum.....
Way Up North's Avatar Way Up North 01:53 AM 01-29-2008
Just subbing in so I can read through all of this. I have a 29 month old who has had constipation issues her whole life and now, after being sick, constipated and passing (er, not passing, they got stuck!) very hard stool she is with holding and even the signs of having to go are disappearing completely despite high doses of lactulose and all the 'right' foods, liquids, flax etc. I am now haveing to give her a supp every 4-5 days because she can't sleep and is miserable and not eating but won't go. What comes out eventually is diarhea after super soft very pass-able stuff but she won't let go.
So I'll be back!
L
AmyShin's Avatar AmyShin 02:27 AM 01-31-2008
So here I am, jumping on the poop wagon! Wish my DD would... can't believe after all the googling I find all this here on MDC in my backyard! I have been so torn between using Miralax and knowing that it is such a major UNnatural chemical solution... glad to see that other moms are like me... just glad there is an answer!!!

DD is 3.2, she has been having poop issues for about 9 months. I go away for a weekend (my first weekend away) and come back to a constipated baby and a future of skid marks and withholding. She has not been constipated since that one time... but the kid apparently has a memory like an elephant.

The last couple weeks we have been potty training and she is very excited about panties and will pull them down and climb on the potty and pee on her own. But she is holding (and leaking) until she wears a diaper to poo. We have preschool 4 mornings a week and I have a feeling she saves it for then. (They are ok with diapers there.)

After reading about the behavior issues... suddenly a lot of her "spiritedness" is becoming clear... and I'll bet predictable based on the bloated belly.

I've never been steady with the Miralax. I just dose her once in a while when I realize she hasn't had a big messy diaper in a few days. I do 1 tsp in 2 oz. of juice (she usually doesn't get juice so she sucks it right down with no question) twice in 24 hours. That usually stimulates a few messy diapers in a row and seems to clear her. She is a GREAT eater (knock on wood) so I can feed her lots of veggies and fruits and she loves her steel cut oats every morning. She also has spinach/fruit smoothies with CodLiver oil and Flax oil and yogurt 3-4 times a week. That is probably why she hasn't had any further issues with constipation.

Although... tell me what is "too firm" for bowel movements? My peditrician recommended the miralax and suggested peanut butter is the best consistency. Any other recommendations? Did someone say oatmeal? That seems runnier than peanut butter. OMG, this is TMI. :P

I can't wait until my DH comes home from out of town on business tomorrow. He is going to read all 12 @!#$!# pages of this thread! This is going to give us the strength to stop worrying about this and let her take control. As long as we can control the Magic Miralax and she is peeing on the potty... it feels like progress. And as long as the paraprofessional at preschool doesn't start charging us per pound.... UGH... the woman is a SAINT.

God bless you ladies! Thanks for all your progress reports.
MtBikeLover's Avatar MtBikeLover 05:04 PM 01-31-2008
I posted before but thought i would give an update. We are still using pecans and having great luck!! My daughter is pretty regular right now and she just has to eat a few pecans a day. She knows that they help her poop so she eats them.

If she skips more than 2 days of eating pecans, she does go back to being constipated so i keep a pretty big supply of pecans on hand.
smallburger's Avatar smallburger 12:27 AM 02-01-2008
just went through a similar situation with 2.5yo dd. it's hard not to freak out thinking your kid is setting themselves up for a lifetime of bowel issues. i took bits and pieces of advice from other mom friends and basically just fed her stuff to keep her loose. she was not exactly constipated, but would keep herself from pooping for days at a time, even though she needed to. raisins and graham crackers are my favoritesm, and someone told me that the 'p' fruits are the best for this (pears, peaches, plums), which are hard to find this time of year, but dried and canned will do as well. i just tried not stress and gave her a diaper if she asked for it... basically foregoing the potty lesson in favor of just getting it out of her. once she started pooping again, i would just take off her pants when she started talking about needing to poop. we had one accident on the kitchen floor, but since then, she's been able to get to the potty and doesn't freak out nearly as much. she still says she doesn't want to poop, but i think she's figured out finally that she doesn't have a choice. still will only use the little potty, and not the big one for poop, but who cares!

good luck, and know that you are in good company! there's lots of pooping phobia out there.
boatbaby's Avatar boatbaby 10:01 PM 02-01-2008
This is such a long thread, so sorry if this is old news... I didn't have time to read everything.

Just wanted to say quickly -- we were in the same boat and I was able to quickly find the culprit (took a few months) in his newest favorite food -- chocolate milk. DS never had any cow's milks until about age 3, and then he discovered choc. milk and also had the major constipation and potty fears.

We stopped the cow's milks -- it ended within about 48 hours. A kept him milk free for several weeks, happy pooper. Let him have some milk... BAM! Plugged up again.
If you google "milk allergy constipation" you'll find lots of info...

Here is a quick quote from a study backing this up:


Researchers at the University of Palermo in Italy worked with 65 children with chronic constipation. All of these children had been treated with laxatives when dietary measures had failed. Even with the medical treatment, these children were still constipated, having hard, painful stools only every 3 to 15 days. Forty-nine of the their little bottoms had fissures and redness or swelling from the hard plugs of stool.

Each child received either cow's milk or soymilk for 2 weeks, with no one knowing which was which. Next, they had a week during which they could eat and drink anything they wanted to wash out the effects of the first 2 weeks. Then they switched sides for 2 weeks and got the milk that they didn't get the first time. Careful recordings of the bowel habits were made.

When the secret code was broken at the end of the study, they found status quo constipation for each child while he or she was on cow's milk. But while they were taking soymilk (which causes firmer stools in most kids), 68% of these kids were no longer constipated! The redness, swelling, and fissures on their bottoms healed (New England Journal of Medicine, 1998; 339:1100-1104). How wonderful to finally have relief after diet and medicines hadn't worked for so long!

The results were most dramatic in kids who also had frequent runny noses, eczema, or wheezing. Nevertheless, sometimes constipation can be the only symptom of cow's milk intolerance.

This has broad implications. The children in this study were those with severe chronic constipation that was unresponsive to medications. I am convinced that they are only the tip of the iceberg. There must be a much larger group of mildly allergic children whose constipation improves with laxatives. Time may prove that it is better for these children to avoid the offending protein by switching milks rather than being treated with laxatives.

Presumably, swelling of the intestinal lining causes the constipation. Whatever the exact mechanism, the problem is with the protein in cow's milk, not with the fat or lactose (the sugar). Skim milk or lactose-free milk will not help with this one. Switching to soymilk and other soy products might transform the life of your son in only a couple of weeks!


Source: http://www.drgreene.com/21_106.html
wiggylyn's Avatar wiggylyn 04:20 PM 06-29-2013

Sorry for your troubles we have had them to and I agree that when your kids are constipated they are afraid to go for fear of the pain. My 5 year old has suffered since she was born and had the same issues. I finally found green smoothie recipes that really seem to be doing the trick. you can find them here http://homemomsandhealth.blogspot.com/. The trick is 60% fruit to 40% vegetables to not taste the vegetables in them. Hope this helps all the momma's out there with constipated kids it certainly helped my little one. 


rose1967's Avatar rose1967 12:15 AM 02-17-2014

Hello parents, after reading a few stories I realized that we're all going through the same problems..My sons doctor also had him on Miralax for about six months now, and he pooped regularly for about a day or two and went back to the same patern. lots of watery stools and leakage most of the day.  Finally his doctor took him off of Miralax and is now taking Lactulose twice a day and exlax 3 times a week for two weeks now and for the first time in about a year I can finally relax I feel like finally something is really working for him. Doctor says lactulose is less likely to cause watery stools.


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