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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Julia, mom to lefthandedinarighthandworld.wordpress.com
So I'll be back!
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.
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.
good luck, and know that you are in good company! there's lots of pooping phobia out there.
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!
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.
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.