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Very bad constipation : (

(18 Posts)
Myth Tue 15-Jul-08 21:13:39

Hello! This is my first post...
My daughter is is 3 and a quarter now, and a very bright and cheery little girl. I feel I was bullied into potty training my daughter 3 weeks ago by my Health Visitor who said it 'would be cruel not to' - I was planning to do this anyway in August and had booked 2 weeks off work. As it is, I was just due to increase my hours at work and change my daughters childcare arrangements when I was pressurised into cramming potty training into 4 days..
Anyway.. to cut a long story short, my daughter has suffered from constipation for almost 3 years, and has been on lactulose all this time. She is now on 10mls twice a day, with 5mls senna each morning. I was given suppositories for her by the Dr, but she is terrified of them, and it just feels so wrong to give them to her...
I've had to take her to the out of hrs dr twice in the last 2 weeks, because of her pain with constipation - she 'holds on' to her poo, and then won't wee either. I've just put her to bed as she is howling again, hasn't had a wee since at least 1.pm (its now almost 8pm), and won't sit on the potty, won't go in her nappy, won't eat anything, won't drink...
She is very small - just below 0.4th centile - she doesn't eat a lot, and will only sip water now and again with persuasion. She'll drink about 300mls milk a day, and has the odd jelly or yoghurt, but she just doesn't have enough fluids and this is the problem.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Do I need to get her referred to a child gastroenterologist?
Look forward to hearing your advice.

madcol Tue 15-Jul-08 21:19:18

Yes get her seen by a paediatrician before you start potty training.

Myth Tue 15-Jul-08 21:21:55

Thank Madcol - unfortunately potty training has already started...Health Visitor not supportive just says keep going with the training... My daughter is brilliant with the wees (apart from when she just won't go because she doesn't want to let go for a poo, iykwim), so it would be really hard on her to put her back in nappies...

madcol Tue 15-Jul-08 21:43:33

My main worry would be with the weight and intake given the constipation. If wees are ok she sounds developementally good but the constipation would bother me particularly given the length of time she has suffered with it. Could all be nothing - I was a nightmare as a child re: constipation and nothing wrong with me physcially just got a complex about it very youg.

I really would dheck it out though. As a medical student I used to see whole clinics full of constipated children - very common and therefore no problem asking for help with it.

Myth Tue 15-Jul-08 22:00:41

Thank you Madcol. Just to give a bit of background - she was a very prem baby - just under 24 wks, in hospital for about 16 weeks, came home on oxygen etc etc. She has only recently been discharged from the neonatal consultant and the child development consultant - so we've had a lot of 'interventions' from the health professionals so far. Up until fairly recently we've had the constipation under control - but now we've been discharged we're at the mercy of our local surgery...I will ring them in the morning and have a long chat about it all...Thank you for your quick reply - it's good to talk to someone about it

Thomcat Tue 15-Jul-08 22:06:03

Ask your GP to prescribe MOVICOL. Lactulose is shite imo, Movicol has been a god send. Changed our lives. Serioulsy make an appt and make him give it to you to try out. It's magic stuff.

yomellamoHelly Tue 15-Jul-08 22:06:58

Would a reward system for poos work? My ds1 suffered with constipation on and off for years (14 months to 3 1/2 years) and over the course of 2 months this totally did the trick. We bought cars, stickers, felt tips, magic colouring pad, bouncy balls, slinkies etc etc. for each poo done. It gave us something nice to talk about while he was trying as well. We also bought some books for the bathroom which we'd read to him whilst he was on the loo trying to do something too.

madcol Tue 15-Jul-08 22:07:58

Worry about movicol is the low fluid intake your daughter has. This would be a contraindication to Movicol.

yomellamoHelly Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:26

I potty trained late too (3.10) despite all sorts of nonsense from the SENCO at his school.

Myth Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:28

Thank you Thomcat - yes I've heard of movicol - the hospital said no before because she doesn't drink enough, but I'll speak to the gp about it . It sounds great - do you use it as well as lactulose or instead? I think the combination of meds she's on is partly responsible for the belly ache as they can cause cramping - along with the constipation she must be in agony..

PrettyCandles Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:47

Did your dd's constipation start when she started solids? Has she been checked for food intolerances?

Have you tried cranio-sacral osteopathy?

Do you take her swimming? This used to help ds1 when he was a baby, I think it's the kciking and the weightlessness.

She certainly does need to increase her fluid intake, but how? Will she suck home-made juice-icelollies?

PrettyCandles Tue 15-Jul-08 22:11:48

BTW, does the senna give her cramps? That would probably put her off, too.

Can you add a couple of teaspoonsful of olive oil (uncooked) to her food over the course of a day? Olive oil keeps things moving, gently.

Orange juice and tomatoes are also good to keep things moving gently, can you get them into her diet.

It's not always bulk that's needed.

Thomcat Tue 15-Jul-08 22:13:52

But you can't force a child to drink you can only try and encourage.

Movicol is instead of lactulose, it's instead of anything.

My DD has Down's and everything about her is slowed down, inc her bowel. Her muscle tone is floppy, again ic her bowel so she has lived with constipation for approaching 7 years.

We tried everything. And I mean everything. Movicol is the only thing to topuch it.

You can't potty train a constipated child can you. Poor little mite.

Best of luck sweet, it's horrid isn't it, xxx

Myth Tue 15-Jul-08 22:18:21

Thank you everybody for your words of support and enouragement. I will try some of your 'hints and tips'. I'll see what the dr says about movicol v. fluid intake. Its very frustrating - she'd bright, but in denial about this one, I think
I'll keep you updated

Thomcat Tue 15-Jul-08 22:19:22

Other things to try -

High fibre diet, but not too high as that can have the opposite effect and bung her up more.
Oats are good - so porridge is good.
Fruit with skins such as plums, nectarines etc
Avoid apples and bananas
Prunes - try prune juice lollies, my Dd loved these
I told her dried prunes were chocolate and she loves them now!
Cook bran muffins and use linseed in the cooking
linseed oil over pasta, or give her things like spag bol, wholewheat pasta and pour oil over it, then add sauce.
Play at massaging her. if she is lying down and you are above her, start on her right hand side, your left and work up from groin, up and over to opposite side and then work down towards groin.

somethingsticky Tue 15-Jul-08 23:12:34

another vote for movicol.... but I have the problem that dd won't always drink it. I give it her in a bottle, she is almost 2 and i would really like her off bottles but she enjoys the sucking and its the only way it gets drunk.

dd was up to 30ml of lactulase plus 5ml of senna a day and STILL constipated! she has less than one sachet of movicol a day and is regular and pain free.

girlywhirly Wed 16-Jul-08 13:49:01

Dr Christopher Green of 'ToddlerTaming' fame suggests a way of getting children to drink when they are ill, in a way that will not make them feel worse. He suggests giving lots of small drinks at frequent intervals. Using a 20ml medicine beaker, you give 20mls every 10 minutes, so amounting to 100mls in an hour. It isn't a daunting volume to drink all at once, and could be given from a toy teaset cup if the child wishes. The idea was originally to help rehydrate a child who has vomited without upsetting their tummy more.

I like the idea of fruit juice lollies, I want one now!

Myth Fri 18-Jul-08 21:49:28

Thank you everybody for your concern and suggestions. We've had a couple of poos (quite hard ones), and some very bad evenings, but tonight has been lovely. We got a few sachets of movicol from the gp after a call to triage - and we have a proper appt next Tuesday. I wasn't sure she'd take it - I tasted a very tiny bit, and its really really salty tasting. Put it in her milk with tons of choc nesquik, and she drank the lot (2 days running!). And she did a poo on the potty at nursery (and one in her pants). Very big proper poos - and no fuss whatsoever. So I am chuffed to bits with that.. Who knows what tomorrow may bring, but I'm living in the moment Laughing
She does eat fruit - not a lot, but she has fads of strawberries, raspberries, dates sometimes, and dried apricots, and I have made the home made fruit juice lollies - but when she's so uncomfortable she won't eat anything, and it's hard to get her to even sip water...
However, it was lovely to hear her ask to go on the potty (for a wee) and say 'My tummys not hurting at all mummy' - music to my ears!
Thank you all again!

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