Failure to Thrive/Constipation: Help Please

Jennifer - posted on 07/03/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Joey, born Oct. 13, 2008 is my second son. He was born weighing 7 lbs and 19 inches long. Now at 20 months, he is 21lbs (♥%) and 32 inches(18%). He was gaining weight normally (around the 25% percentile) up until 9-12 months when he began eating solid food (not pureed baby baby food). Around this point he also began having severe trouble with bowel movements. Pushing against the wall and screaming (dr. says its "withholding" but I think he was struggling). Since about this March, he has been on miralex and benefiber daily and he no longer has those issues. However, if he misses a dose, he begins struggling again. He also had a incident in May involving metabolic acidosis- although we have no idea why- he was admitted to the hospital for 3 days and he got better.



We have been to a GI and metabolic specialist and my poor son has been tested for just about everything- and it all came back negative.



Crohn's disease exists on my husbands side and Celiacs exists on my side of the family. He tested negative to both on blood tests.



I am out of thoughts and the drs seem to be as well. Any ideas?



If he was just small, I wouldn't be too concerned but since he has issues with pooping, I am very concerned.



Any information would be greatly apprecaited and if you guys need any more info just ask! I have no idea if I left anything out that would be helpful to making a potential diagnosis.



Thanks mommies!

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Jennifer - posted on 07/03/2010

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How much milk does he drink a day? other dairy?

My daughter cannot have any dairy products, most especially milk. Though her ped. says nothing is wrong I say otherwise. It consitpates her horribly. She is 3 1/2 now.

Can you try a glutein free/dairy free diet for a week or two and see if this helps your son.
Does he like yogurt? Yogurt is great for belly troubles.
Best of Luck. I know how frustrating this can be.

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Angelia - posted on 07/16/2010

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I understand what you are going through. My son Zek has Down Syndrome and has been small since he turned 2. He also has a problem with pooping and has been put on miralax. I have a problem with keeping him on it since my daughter also has to use it and it causes her to dehydrate. I have found that if Zek eats fruits he will poop. He generally only poops every 2-3 days. At this point he is 5 1/2 and weighs 43 lbs (he finally starting gaining weight). We started him on thyroid medicine in 2008 because he wasn't growing or gaining weight. (I figured it out since he wasn't sweating) At this point he is growing and he has come off the medicine.

So I guess what I'm saying is don't give up. You will find an answer and as he gets older hopefully it will get better.

Charlotte - posted on 07/15/2010

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I'd be careful keeping him on the Miralax or any other stool softener/laxative for long. The body gets used to having the help, and when it is discontinued, the body doesn't know what to do. That being said, my son has problems with constipation as well. He is on a feeding tube and only gets Boost Kid Essentials. What we (his GI and I) have come up with that helps is changing the feeding schedule. My son was only fed on the family schedule (3 times a day at regular mealtimes) with a continuous feed through the night. We changed his feeding schedule to smaller feeds with more water and more often during the day. He now gets fed 5 times a day (roughly every three hours), but ony about 200 mL at a time, with the bulk running continuously throught the night (about 600 mL). He is still getting his 3 boxes of food through the day, but it is mixed with a fairly large amount of water. He gets a total of 1600 mL of liquid per day. Since changing the schedule and adding more water, we haven't seen any of the problems with constipation that we had been seeing.

All of that being said, your son may just be afraid to go. Maybe a bad experience with some constipation, it hurt at some point? Kids can get frightened by the experience, and not want to go through it again (who would???)

Sherri - posted on 07/14/2010

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Just wondering if there are any possible food allergies? I have Crohns and my multiple food allergies make the Crohns act up even worse. Don't know if this will help but it's worth looking into. I didn't even know there was a blood test for Crohns - maybe this is new since I've had the disease for so long.

Testa - posted on 07/14/2010

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You may have already done so, but look for a list of binding foods. Often I find there is a lot of confusion about what causes binding or constipation as opposed to what does the opposite. Many people think most fruits will loosen however the most common apples, bananas can cause constipation. Grapes a nice choice for keeping the track looser and they are nice to buy on sale and then freeze. They make a great frozen treat. Also cherries have a similar effect and can be bought already frozen. Hope this helps.

Julie - posted on 07/11/2010

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TRY EVERYTHING! Long story short....My 4.5 year old daughter had chronic diahrrea for 4 years. We tested her for anything and everything, scopes, diets, etc. and her GI is one of the top in the country! Nothing... no answers. After almost losing her in January, they had to put her on IV nutrition......come to find out she is one of the rare people that are glucose intolerant!!! The only thing we DIDN'T try. Just keep working the system and things should work their way out! : ) No pun intended. You know your kid - so if you think there is something going on other than behavior go with it - just keep pushing them until they figure it out. In the mean time, give him a diet that works against constipation. There is a diet The Specific Carbohydrate Diet that you can get online. It's working wonders for alot of kids with Celiac and Chrons that I know. Best of luck to you!!!
julie webster
www.specialneedsceomom.com

Kat - posted on 07/11/2010

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my 5 1/2 year old daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive at 5 months old...she was just under 4kgs and was admitted to hospital....it was when she was admitted they diagnosed her with a global developmental delay with severe to moderate hypotonia (which they now believe to be caused by the failure to thrive). B was NG tube fed for 9 months until they reliased that even the suppliment feeding wasnt helping and she still wasnt gaining weight.....right from birth B had problems with constipation....especially when they started her on a high calorie diet full of glucose additives....esp polycose!!!! we tried everything with her.....she was on prune juice, eatin prunes, fibre suppliments, fresh fruits and vegs, coloxyl drops, microlax, she even had to endure enemas at the hospital which werent too pleasant for her nor us having to take her........but long story short....when she hit 3 years the constipation seemed to clear up on its own....she still only does poos once a week but shes nowhere near as bad as she was....the paeds now are telling me that its all caused by low muscle tone....due to the low tone the bowels dont understand that they actually need to go.....

Becky - posted on 07/10/2010

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I have a grandson and a nephew with the same problem. It is more common in boys then girls.Both of their Drs. said the same thing,that it is withholding. So I told them both that every day mix 2 tbls. spoons of Karyo into a drink of some kind, and it worked wonders for both of them. good luck give it a try with your son. Becky Stairs

B.Jane - posted on 07/10/2010

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My child is 7 years old, has a feeding tube, eats Pediasure with fiber only and has constipation most of the time. I have increased her water amount changed from Miramax to Lacotose and finally have permission from Dr. to just give an enema every 3 days as necessary. It is so difficult to watch your child struggle isn't it? Her diagnosis is mitrochonrial myopothy.

Ester - posted on 07/08/2010

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Most likley has very low muscel tone. Have you tryed massage? Thier is a certain way to do thier tummies to help them go. My daughter had that prob as a baby and still does. she is 19 now. All the things docs tell you to use only work for a few, then thier little bodys get used to them. It hurts me to watch her go. Good luck!!!!

Erica - posted on 07/07/2010

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My little girl is FTT and she switches between constipation and diarrhea. When she is constipated she gets apple juice and glycerin suppositories. We can't give her a laxative because as soon as the constipation is gone she gets a c-diff infection and we fight that for weeks. I am with you on the lack of diagnosis. She isn't gaining weight right now and she has a Mic-Key button! (5oz in 4 months) Biopsies show severe irritation in her stomach, and duodenum. There are also mysterious white spots in there too. She is 22 months old right now and its a constant fight, we have been to 3 different Children's hospitals looking for a diagnosis. Hang in there, its a hard battle.

Brenda - posted on 07/06/2010

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My son had a light case of encopresis when he was young. I left his father at age 10, and it started getting better. I'm convinced it was stress due to the fighting he was always exposed to.

My daughter had very hard stools. She also has Downs. It got to the point where she told me she was not going to poop anymore because it hurt. I thought, "oh oh, here we go again!" and started miralax therapy. What a nightmare. So, a shrot time later we discovered that her dad (my 2nd husband) is Celiac. I'm gluten intolerant as well. We removed all gluten from our home, and she has regular, softer BMs now. I tested her for Celiac disease, and she has a marker, but not the disease yet.

A diet lower in gluten helps her alot. She is not gluten free because of school. The dr doesn't think we need to restrict her diet that much yet. I wonder what a gluten free diet would have done for my son when he was struggling with encopresis.

Lorena - posted on 07/05/2010

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My son is also developmentally delayed and he has been tested for metabolic and mitochondrial and both came back negative. His metabolic acidosis was high when tested but the mitochondrial test came back neg. He also has constipation, I try to feed him lots of food with fiber and less milk, he eats bananas and yogurt but he is taking Miralax which seems to help him. Is your son mobile and able to walk if so keeping him active, might help. My son was diagnose with fragile x and genetically constipation runs in our family due to this genetic disorder "weird" but it does, at least to us. If he is not mobile do physical therapy by moving his body, best of luck to you and don't stop the Miralax unless told by your doctor. If thats what helps him keep it up.

Iridescent - posted on 07/03/2010

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Have they checked for mitochondrial diseases? Metabolic acidosis is a huge flag for them, and slow growth/failure to thrive as well as constipation are also related (along with many other symptoms). It takes a specific type of specialist to even think of these generally.

Jennifer - posted on 07/03/2010

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He doesn't really drink milk other than in cereal some mornings. He loves cheese. Yogurt is a necessity for him. He LOVES it!

I was told to stay away from altering his diet because it could potentially change results from any tests he might get.

He has another appt. with the GI Dr on 7/14- if I still get no results, I think I will try a new diet for him.

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