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Constipation

(41 Posts)
doiley1 Mon 19-Aug-02 10:49:47

My 2 year old daughter keeps getting constipation every few days. She eats plenty of fruit and veg and drinks lots of fluids.

The problem seems to be that when she needs to pass something, she will tense her body and try to hold it in. She seems to be in a lot of pain and it would be good to see if anyone has come across this, before I take her to the GP.

Thanks in advance

threeangels Mon 19-Aug-02 14:01:55

Hi doiley1, Maybe you can add more foods with a higher fiber count each day. That should help. My dd age 9 has had a constipation problem for several years. Its probally not a case like yours though. Shes had to see a stomach doctor because it had gotten to where she was not going for up tp a week or more. Shes been under the doctors care for a year. I have and had her on all kinds of stool softners. Right now I have her on a certain amount of fiber a day along with milk of magnesia once a day. The milk of magnesia is going to be used for the next year. She is also getting 1/2 tsp of a powder fiber in water 4oz of water 1-3 times a day to regulate her. You gould just need a fiber supplement daily or just extra fiber foods. Some things that could help are cereals with high fiber, ( even just to munch in a bag) bran muffins, anything with bran is good. They have really high cereals you can add to yougurts. Talk to your doctor about using metamucil fiber powder which comes in strawberry or orange. You can add the small dosage to foods like puddings, jellos, even milkshakes. One thing is not to eat to much dairy. Limit this to her reccomended servings only for a while. Add the powder to muffin or cake mixes. You wont even taste it. Check to see if age 2 is ok to give this fiber supplement first. It should be since its to help with fiber intake. Hope this helps

susanmt Mon 19-Aug-02 14:09:40

What type of fruit is it she eats? My dd gets very constipated if she eats bananas, I just wondered if this could be part of the problem?

Tissy Mon 19-Aug-02 15:01:54

doiley1, she may have an anal fissure, which is a tear in the lining of the anus. This can make it very painful to pass a pooh! It can be treated very easily by your GP, so make her an appointment and in the meantime, plenty of fruit/ veg and fluid, as you have been doing.

batey Mon 19-Aug-02 15:43:29

I would agree with all the advice so far. But just to tell you my experience... my dd was like this at 26ms, it coincided with potty training. But she had previously had a bug, not eaten, got constipated and had a painful poo. This seemed to freak her and from then on definitely fought the urge and clenched her buttocks, laying on the floor screaming. We dealt with it by upping fluid and exercise (swimming etc) and lots of cuddles and reassurance on the potty when the poos eventally arrived!For a week or so ( much to big dds horror) she poo'd in the bath lying down. And eventually got over the fear. I bought laxatives etc but didn't have to use them in the end. Good luck, it's a worry isn't it, my days were spent focused on poo for some time. Hopefuly it'll right itself without too much intervention.

Ditto the banana thing, makes my big dd constipated too!

soothepoo Mon 19-Aug-02 16:11:03

Definitely watch the banana intake, and go easy with the bran as well - too much and it prevents the absorption of certain nutrients.

doiley1 Mon 19-Aug-02 19:26:41

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I'm going to take her to the GP tomorrow and will cut the bananas and dairy for a while.

robinw Mon 19-Aug-02 21:01:51

message withdrawn

batey Mon 19-Aug-02 21:24:31

My dd loves fig rolls too!!!

batey Thu 22-Aug-02 15:28:47

Doiley1, how's it going? Any luck with GP?

Tortington Fri 23-Aug-02 00:07:34

by shear luck i would like to say thanks to three angels, was at casuallty tonight with ds age 9 stomach ache for ages turns out he is constipated, its comforting to know someone else is in same situation with same age child.

threeangels Fri 23-Aug-02 13:22:47

Custardo, my dd had been so constipated so long I never even knew it and she never even said anything to me. At age 9 you dont really think to ask if youve done a poo poo each day. Her record time beleive it or not was once not going for almost 2 -3 weeks. It was only till she started soiling her underwear that I put two and two together. Thats when all her specialist treatment began. Her colon was so severly stretched out and is still trying to shrink down to normal size. When I took her to her pediatrician the first time she was given her first stool softerner and relaxer. It took ten min to work in the office. When she finally rushed to their bathroom in pure panic and went the doctor, me and the entire staff there could not beleive what came out of her. It was beyond imagination. My mom and I were in complete shock that she could be so impacted. Intestinse can hold way more then I ever thought possible. How all that came out in one shot and in one form not broken up Ill never know. The toilet was so clogged up I had to get help. Dont want to ever exp that again. Now everyday I have to ask her if she has gone and make her sit in the pottie for 15 min after every meal to try and go because shell lapse back into not going if I dont. I was told her problem started when she was younger and was holding it in. She got so used to that she couldnt feel when she was full anymore so it kept building up. Hopefully one day she be back to normal. Sorry to go on and on this incident will just always stay in my head.

Copper Fri 23-Aug-02 13:30:52

I'm not surprised - it certainly sounds memorable!

bundle Wed 28-Aug-02 12:01:29

3angels - this 'constipation with overflow' is incredibly common, but no one seems to talk about it much as it's so embarrassing, happening in older children. it takes a long time to treat but the results are very good. good luck

threeangels Wed 28-Aug-02 15:03:02

Hi Bundle, I remember when my dd was beginning to get constipated she started out soiling her pants. I felt so horrible for her because I had to pack 4-5 pairs of extra underpants in her school bag each day. I had to write a note to her teacher explaining that shes under a doctors care and will have these soiling incidences. I was told Ill probally have to work with her on this problem for at least 6 months to totally correct this. It is getting better but she does lapse into not going for several days if I dont keep at her. I really hate this whole ordeal.

Bozza Wed 28-Aug-02 15:06:28

Threeangels - just wanted to give you and your DD my sympathy. Sounds like you've both had a hard time.

bundle Wed 28-Aug-02 15:15:15

the doctor I spoke to about this (I'm a medical journalist) said 20% of UK referrals to paediatricians were because of this problem - and it can take years to fix, sometimes needing fairly large doses of laxatives (parents often alarmed by this!)to sort of re-train the bowel. she also said the problem often starts as a baby begins on solid food - as the consistency of the stool gets thicker the child dislikes the sensation in its nappy and begins to hold on. If they never fully relax they lose the sensation of what it feels like to have a full rectum. The psychological impact on the child - and family - also needs 'treating' - it's easy to see how a parent can 'blame' a child for soiling, but the child most often can't help it; siblings/schoolfriends can be cruel about smells and teachers less than understanding about a child who needs to drink plenty of water during the day to ensure they're not dehydrated - a common cause of constipation. I wish you luck - and patience! - with the treatment.

Bozza Tue 31-Dec-02 12:57:46

I have revived this thread (I was actually quite surprised that 28 Aug was the last discussion of constipation) because we've been having trouble with DS. He's 22 months and seems pretty permanently constipated. He has a bowel movement every 1-3 days which doesn't seem too bad but he seems to struggle with them (cries) and they seem large and hard. He's not potty trained but has some understanding (ie asks to have his nappy changed). Recently we've been having a little soft/liquid following movement which sounds like constipation to me.

Of course, I've been trying to keep him on a healthy diet but its been difficult over Christmas. He only has one drink of milk a day (about 6 oz at bedtime) and maybe a yoghurt, milk with his cereal and some cheese/custard (sometimes) so not much dairy. Not sure what to do - thought about contacting health visitor. Wondered about keeping a food diary for a week first. What do people think?

Dizzymummy Tue 31-Dec-02 13:05:37

I get this problem periodically with dd - she is 20 months. The last time I added lots of grapes and oranges to her diet also gave her more water rather than milk during the day - it took a couple of days of this but it seems to have done the trick. It may be worth a try.

good luck

Bozza Tue 31-Dec-02 13:27:22

Thanks Dizzymummy. I will try the oranges (am already doing the grapes). Would orange juice help, do you think? He normally has watered down apple juice in the day time with milk only at bedtime.

I have spoken to DH (I'm working today) and so far he has had a weetabix with milk plus raisins for breakfast, grapes for a snack, and apparently a huge vat of baked beans with wholemeal bread followed by a yoghurt. Surely that should be sufficiently fibre filled for a one year old. But we're going to MIL's tonight so it will probably go down hill....

Bozza Tue 31-Dec-02 13:28:36

That was DS's diet I was describing BTW - not DH's. Just realised that my post didn't make that clear!

Dizzymummy Tue 31-Dec-02 13:43:43

I had spoken to the hv about this and she advised giving either just water or some fresh orange mixed with water so I did this as well as the oranges and grapes (after a couple of days everything loosened up and she literally exploded...not nice but such a relief as her little face would go as red as a beet and I was afraid her head would explode!)

After the weetabix & wholemeal bread I'm sure you'll have some lovely nappy action soon!! - good luck

hmb Tue 31-Dec-02 13:47:00

We had this problem with Dd. I'd advise anyone to have a chat with their gp about it. Dd's diet was excellent, with masses of friut and veg and lots of water. With Dd it was a psychological thing, which is very common. the sooner you get it sorted the easier it is to treat. Many children are given lactolose. This is not absorbed by the child, but softens the poo by incresing the amount of normal bacteria in the gut. the children do not get 'used' to it, and it can make things a lot easier. As Bundle says parents are worried at giving children laxatives, but used properly there is no problem. Dd is now fine, but it did take a bit of time as I put off going to the GP. the sooner you get it sorted the easier it it.

HTH

Bozza Tue 31-Dec-02 14:25:05

But he has weetabix and wholemeal bread virtually every day. The reason I give the apple juice mixed with water is because he seems to drink more this way. I will try him on oj mixed with water and see if he will accept it. We've been through this before and I know what you mean Dizzymummy about the bright red face, grunting/crying etc. Hmb you are right I am reluctant to go to the doc's which is a bit daft really but I do feel as though they will either just dismiss me or prescribe a laxative as the easy option.

Jaybee Tue 31-Dec-02 14:40:18

I agree hmb - constipation seems to result in painful poos which means that young kids don't want to go so they hold it - my nephew had a similar experience to threeangels' dd, if natural remedies do not seem to be working after a few days speak with your gp - I was prescribed some glycerine capsules that I had to insert into ds' bum - only took one and it soon worked !!

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