Bowel issues and ADHD

Scott - posted on 01/24/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I'm not a mom. I'm the dad. Can anyone shed some light on how to deal with our 7 year old daughter with ADHD? We have tried multiple medications, all of which work for the 1st couple weeks and them stop working. The biggest problem we are dealing with right now is bowel issues. She just doesn't seem to care about it at all. She comes across as lazy, but we know it has to have something to do with the ADHD. She goes to the bathroom in her pants far more often than in the toilet. She is in the 2nd grade and has only ever had 4 "accidents" at school. We've tried all kinds of award and discipline systems and nothing has any affect on the problem. Please help.

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My six year old would have bowel movements, I took him to the doctor who said he was constipated and then said he was still allergic to dairy. So, of course, following the doc's orders, I tried watching his eating habits, did the non-dairy diet too....well of course, none of that helped. It was the same for a year. Come to find out after much talking with him (it wasn't easy getting it out of him, took a lot of talking) he did not like his kindergarten teacher. They bumped heads all year long, he litereally hated school and begged me not to send him on a daily basis. My son also has ADHD. Once school was over the bowels in his underwear stopped and occassionally happened during the summer. When school started again he was good until he was told "no." I learned it was a control thing and when he didn't get his way, or was felt someone was being mean to him, he would poop in his pants. After speaking with an occupational therapist who has dedicated her life to children with ADHD she has also found that it is a control issue. Children can't control everything, but can control their bowl movements so they use that as a form of control. It was very frustrating, but after changing up discipling and more talking about feelings he hasn't had any "accidents" in a few months. He has the occasional skid mark because he gets in a hurry to get back to playing, but he has done good! Hang in there and try new techniques to help your daughter. Talking is key!

Anna S - posted on 12/12/2012

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I'm a grandmother who has 2 grandkids and my daughter their mother living with my husband and I. Not sure how to deal with the 7 year old boy who does the same thing every day. We have tried everything from discipline to rewarding to taking away toys and computer time. Nothing seems to work and I have had it. Mom yells and spanks him, and I don't agree with that either! I am losing my patience and sometimes I want to pull my hair out. I don't work outside of my home due to a layoff and it seems I get stuck with cleaning the underwear and bleaching to stop any germ transference. Mom is not currently working due to her own psychiatric problems and my poor husband works two jobs to keep the bills paid. Help!!

Vicki - posted on 01/30/2010

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Bowel issues are very common with all children. My son had diffuculties from age 3-7. After having constipation, and large bowel movements which caused fissures, he was understandably afraid to go. This fear was powerful. Miralax helped soften the stool, which lessened the pain, which eventually lessened the fear.

Another thing we did was monitor his diet, and implement a regular schedule for him to sit on the toilet and "try" for a few minutes 3 times each day. We made sure the program was pleasant and free of shame or blame. I highly recommend this protocol. Good luck.

Jeanette - posted on 01/28/2010

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Thank-you. I thought my child was just too busy to go to the bathroom. I thought he had other things more important to do. I will talk to my Dr. about this. Maybe it is his medication or something else will post when I find out.

Jenny - posted on 01/27/2010

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This is going to sound crazy but I have lived through this with my son. He got diagnosed with ADHD but after going through what you are going through I pushed and researched and discovered through the use of a brilliant physician and a lab that holds a patent on a stain that reveals pathogens in the blood, my son was diagnosed with Babesia and BArtonella. A microscopic parasite and bacteria. Please check out my page on FB called Think Zebras or my web page www.thinkzebras.org. I am curious to know what her temperature is normally. My son's was always a little low. Because of what he went through with the illnesses and meds, he developed fecal impaction. Laxatives help alleviate the problem temporarily but it always came back. The info I have is brand new and most doctors don't agree. I have seen proof and have passed it along to many others who have been properly diagnosed and treated. Let me know if you have any questions.

Shelia - posted on 01/26/2010

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My son had bladder issues and it turned out he was having seizures. Sometimes issues like this could be your clue that there is something else going on besides the ADHD. Since finding this our my son started medications for the seizures along with the ADHD and his "bladder issues" have stopped all together. I suggest speaking with your child's doctor and exploring all options. It could be something that calls for a small fix but will provide you both with big relief. Good luck

Teri - posted on 01/25/2010

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With my son it is a control issue. He has always had problems. My doctor would say that newborns don't get constipated, but my son was. Any how, my son is now 9 and we still deal with it. He doesn't mess in his clothes any longer, but there is still the issue of smell. After giving him "medication" for this, we started having him eat Activia Yogurt. When he is regularly eating this, he manages to go to the bathroom every other day or even every day. I don't bother with the reward stuff, I just don't think it has been very effective. One laxative we have given our son is Kondremul (sp?) It is sort of like milk of magnesia, but has a more pleasant taste. That seems to help when things get really backed up. Hope this helps.

Shannon - posted on 01/25/2010

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Have you ever concidered their is a bigger problem? My son as is ADHD, and he also has bowel problems. However his problem was found to be a blockage in his small intestine. It blocks up for a small period of time and then when it loosens there is no feeling it come out, it just comes. I would ask your doctor about having an upper GI done to make sure there is not a more seriouse problem. If it's not the problem, then try a toilet scheduel to go along with snacks and meals. Don't forget, at her age she might be just as frustrated with it as you are...

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