SEVERE constipation in 3 year old!

User - posted on 01/17/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Okay, lets see if anyone can help me. My daughter who is 3 and 1/2 has severe constipation. We have been to a specialist, done the blood work (no major diseases came back positive), and continue seeing him. She takes an adult dose of Miralax every day, benefiber, only 2 cups of milk a day, no constipating foods, etc... I've done all I can do. She also has been potty trained since 20 mo. but has only pooped in the potty every now and then - otherwise in her pants. She also gets about two yeast infections a month (a secondary the doc says to constipation) and have done the yogurt, creams, etc... She only poops once a week! Anyone have any other home remedies or advice? I am exhausted and really don't want to get a colonoscopy done - thats the last resort the doc says. Advice please?

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Stephanie - posted on 07/04/2012

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Hi there...I know this is an older post, but I'm hoping this may be seen by other mothers who have issues with Chronic Constipation and maybe the issue of Encopresis. My daughter started becoming extrememly constipated when she was 4 and kept having accidents (soiling her undies) a few times a day and she was diagnosed as having encopresis. All the doctors did over the 4 years of visits, was tell us she needed more fiber, drink more water and take laxatives. Finally we realized that gluten (wheat products) may be to blame and we started giving her fruit flavored chewable probiotics on a daily basis and within 24 hours, her system got back on track and she had a massive bowel movement.

I started a blog for other moms who are going through this and frustrated and searching for answers. Bananas are not good for a constipated child by the way. It is good to keep them regular, but can hinder them getting there! Please visit my blog at www.momsguidetoencopresis.com to learn more. I'm not selling anything, just trying to educate and give hope to mom's who are going through the same thing I went through for 4 long years.

Have a great day,

Stephanie

Amy - posted on 08/15/2012

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My son has had every symptom you have described. He is now three and our lives have changed due to one little test, magnesium deficiency test. He now takes magnesium dailey and it has been great. He also takes probiotics daily. I hope this helps!

Sandra - posted on 01/17/2009

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All great advice here - I always say see your pediatrician. Our daughter would have that situation on and off, never longer than 3 days, and we always remembered our P's (Pears, peaches, prunes, etc.) and what binds (bananas, apples, cheese, milk). Also there are books about the anxiety of pooing - children feel as though the sensation is a weird to them and that they are expelling a part of their self, not waste to them. Lots of praise, little treats, character panties, and montly potty celebration outings all helped very much. Hope this helps.

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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I would definitely keep up on the doctors but have you tried bribing or encouraging her to go? My daughter does not like to poopie! Im not sure if she had a bad one at one time or what but I bribe her with whatever it takes just to get her to go.



Good luck, what a terrible thing to watch your baby go through.

Deb - posted on 01/17/2009

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I donlt know if you're already doing this, it sounds like you may be, but absolutely no white bread or saltines....use agood multi grain bread...I don;t know if you have Nissan available to you, but Canadian Whole Grain is great! (Works for me, I used to be like your daughter) Nuts and peanut better help, as do graham crackers and cantelope....baked beans, anything that loosens.....lots of fresh (not cooked) fruit and veggies.....and cider, cider is really good! Hope something helps!

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User - posted on 01/19/2009

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Wow - I can really relate to Jenny's posting b/c that is what always happens - leakage 5 or 6 times a day and a HUGE HARD as a rock poop. In fact that's what happened this weekend. Yes, we have had the testing done for celiac disease and hirschsprungs also and they were negative. We are going to the pediatrician regularly and also to a specialist every two months. This weekend I tried the warm apple juice, kiwi, and dried fruit. Once we got that HUGE HARD poop out, she went some more. I think it's flushing her out. This happens every other month and then we are back to square one. I thank everyone for their input and I will try the suggestions!

Linda - posted on 01/19/2009

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Raisins worked well for my daughter. Also sometimes a teaspoon of mineral oil. I know how frustrating it is. Good luck.

Jenny - posted on 01/19/2009

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Hello

My daughter is 5 years now but she did the exact thing at that age and it went on for months. I took her to have an x-ray and they found she had a huge hard piece of bowel that was blocking and she just could not push it out, it hurt her so bad and she became very timid and scared when she needed to poop so she would hold it in. She would go through 5 or 6 pairs of panties a day from the leakage. They finally put her on a medication, i can't remember the name of it but it was a powder that we would mix in her drink. It really helped her!!

Donna - posted on 01/18/2009

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you can put dark karo syrup in her milk once or twice a day 1 tea spoon

that use to help my youngest daughter hope this can help

Shas - posted on 01/17/2009

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My 2 yr old went through the same thing when she was only 15 months old...
Everytime she cries while passing stool in her nappy, I would know straight away to lay her down with her legs bent up towards her which helped her a bit but this went on for 2 days was very painful and traumatic for both of us. My mother told me to give her Red Papaya 2 serves a day, this helped with the constipation and I started putting her in the potty when she needed to go with a puzzle in her hand everyday around the same time. This turned out well, she has no problem ever since, and also 100% potty trained at 18 months. She'd even tell me when she needed to go and went everyday without fail. Papaw has said to be a good cleanser for the body (inside and outside), this is the Island remedy... Hope this will help.

Wendy - posted on 01/17/2009

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I didn't read all of the other suggestions, but try WARM apple juice.  There is a difference if it's warm...I don't know what or why, but my cousin is a doctor and that is what he recommended for us and it worked!

Demita - posted on 01/17/2009

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Has she rectal biopsy yet to test for a disease called hirschsprungs disease?   Have you seen a pediatric surgeon or a pediatric gastroenterologist?  Everything you are doing should be helping.  The miralax should have helped alot.

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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Wow, 2 bowel movements a day? I do the miralax every day at the strongest dose possible and she only goes once a week! i think she's been on miralax for almost 2 years and am afraid her body is TOO used to it. I like the treasure box idea!

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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We suffered years with costipation, my 2 sisters and my as with my daughter. Untill #3 severed from Neonatel Sepsis @4 weeks, he was still so ill ang getting worse, we then got to see a prof in CAM who diagnosed the food probs. Best thing ive ever done!

Kelly - posted on 01/17/2009

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I just took my almost 3-year-old to the doctor for this same reason. Here is what we were told:



- no bananas or cheese



- Miralax every day until she does 2 bowel movements a day for 2 months straight, then wean her. The doctor said she needs to retrain herself to  know when it is time to go and not to hold it...what is what she was doing.



-drink white grape juice, prune juice, or pear nectar



-eat dried apricots and prunes



She also said to make a treasure box for when she does go on the potty. She should look in the box when she goes into the bathroom and remind her that she will get to pick something when...and only when...she does a poopy in the potty. This has actually worked for us. We found that the sticker chart did not work because it was too abstract.



 



Hope this helps.

Rebecca - posted on 01/17/2009

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Our son was soo backed up once that he was throwing up.

First step was an enema at home to get things started then miralax adult dose for a couple of days.

Prune juice and apple juice (100% juice) mixed together and diluted with water if necessary for taste. Do not use the juices made from concentrate as it doesn't work. That is all our son is allowed to drink other than water although he did used to drink a lot of milk. There really hasn't been that much difference with or without milk.



If she is still constipated with miralax and fibre, take away the fiber. Fiber should not be introduced if you are already plugged up.... that was the advise from our gastro guy and I have suffered with chronic constipation for over 10 years... I hate fiber.... and it hates me.



I don't know why the Dr thought that magnesium would work in 4 to 6 hrs. I am on 200mg * 2 or 3 times daily. I would do some research on the right dose for a child. If you have a water filter or use bottled water there is a very high chance of magnesium deficiency. If you have too much it is like Vitamin C, the stools will become too soft, then you can go on a maintenance dose.



Omega 3 supplements will also soften the stools. If she is trying to hold in, it won't be possible. They have chewable ones at places like whole foods.



Find what works for you and your daughter and go with your gut.

FYI - activia has high fructose corn syrup. I would go with a decent probiotic from a natural food store.



It takes time to find out what works, and in our house we are still trying to get it right, but we know how to kick start it when necessary.

Good luck

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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oh and forgot check out your nearest chiropractioner who specialises in pediactricts too, that helps with this as they also look for nerves that need stimulating in that area. all 4 of mine go to one.

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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Mum of 4, IMHO look at her diet!



-Over a 7-10 day period give only fruit, veg, meat(no burgers, sausage etc), rice, fish & dairy.



-Cut out wheat, oats, barley (most breakfast cerials), corn, Monosodium Glutamate. u will not be endgering ur childs health by avoiding these foods for at least 10 days!



-get some probiotics in her germans swear on symboflora, the ones in the supermarket milk drinks only offer a fraction of the bacteria.



-keep a diary, looking at digestion, moods, sleep etc



-if u notice a change on the 10th day give some wheat products only on that day (pizza & cake etc...) see whot happens over the next 48 hours.



-if no change then look at going with out potatoes/ dairy/ rice in her diet. avoiding dairy for 7-10 days is not going to be bad for her how ever u will need to supplement if over 12 weeks.



this worked with all 4 of mine! xxx



 

Angela - posted on 01/17/2009

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My daughter would not go either and only went in her pants.  She is now 8 and still does not go everyday.  We gave her a laxative that is available at drug stores.  It is like a jam.  You just put it on toast or give it by the teaspoon.  Our specialist also suggested peach juice or white grape jucice.  It is frustrating, but she will eventually start going.  Good luck.

Lee - posted on 01/17/2009

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i dealt with severe constipation however it was with my 6 month baby so didn't have any toileting issues which sounds like might be compounding the issue. the doctor told me a naturual way was dissolving brown sugar (as others have advised too) which worked really well as well as keeping fluids up, also eating a kiwifruit a day. the problem with starting the perscription medicine is it makes it difficult to wean off and can cause stomach cramps. i would recommend natural remedies along with homeopathy etc... look at diet as well like others have suggested.



it is a very worring time and hope that your little one gets better soon.

Jessica - posted on 01/17/2009

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Sounds like it is a possible lactose problem.  Try giving her Lactaid instead of milk and see if that helps.  She may be lactose intolerant.  And dilute it by  giving her 4 oz of the lactaid and 4 oz water twice a day.  If she doesn't like the taste...throw in two tablespoons of carnation instant breakfast.  Maybe try taking her to a Neopathy.  Not covered by insuarance, but I heard they are awesome!

Trudy - posted on 01/17/2009

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Hi there, my three daughters have all gone through the same thing, seems to be a family trait, as i suffer too.... What i was told is that when they do go to poo it hurts them so much they  become scared to go, so when they get the urge to go, they ignore it, and the bowl becomes lazy after a while, and learns to ignore the urges until it can hold no more, the thing is whilst this is sitting in hr bowel it is releasing toxins around her system and eventually she will become lethargic, with a cant be bothered feeling....



The way that i dealt with this is to have set times that you make her go and sit on the loo, keep to the correct times as what will happen the bowel will become used to knowing it must go at this time, but you must stick to this for  a period of time, if i remember correctly it took around a month to start working, but believe me this is the only thing that worked for them, they also had loads of meds, tests etc, and i was really worried until someone told me the above, and it all made sense the first explanation that did in fact.   Whilst she is sitting there give her a book to read, an mp3 player to listen to, sing nursery rhymes with her, play a game of i spy, tell her she must try to go, and that the more she goes the easier it will become for her, basically you are turning something painful and scary into a game that takes her mind off of what is happening, now and then remind her that she has to push, and bare in mind that she probably may not even know how to do that as she has become lazy with it, and doesn't want it to happen so psychologically she has blocked it out, so show her, even if you look a fool, dont worry, as long as she picks it up that is the main thing, so make pushing a game too......   The other thing is to give her her own seat to sit on the loo with , they do like seat rings that go over the one that is your loo, this is smaller and gives her the knowledge that she cant fall, so she will feel comfortable sitting there, the potty to many children is not a comfortable place to sit, especially at 3 1/2, also her body will be in the wrong position because she is sitting all scrunched up, which will squash the bowel so it cant work, also give her her own step to get on to the loo, leave the seat and step there all the time, inconvinient for you but easier for her to get on when she feels the need!!!  Make a really big deal out of it, take her to buy it, with you, and let her choose mother care used to do them, and some 99p shops also.  Once home let her unwrap it and show her how to do it, but allow her to do it, so she can see its nothing to be afraid of.  When she pushes make a big deal clap, and tell her how clever she is, wow you're such a clever little girl you are wonderful, act like a complete wally basically, because she will then forget her fear and start laughing at you and begin to keep doing it to make u laugh and to get the attention from, it.  Our lovely little ones love nothing more than to please us, and will do anything to please us!!!!



Good luck and let me know how it goes; I am sure that it will work, just stick to it, even if you have to keep it up for two to three months, sitting there for ages each time, it will make it worth it in the end, it will depend how long she has suffered like this and how scared she is, and don't forget when she does eventually do the poo poo, make the biggest fuss of her u can, jump around get really excited with her, and take her out to buy her a reward for it, like a book to read on the loo!!!!  She will love it..  Good luck!!! 



Trudy

Diane - posted on 01/17/2009

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So sorry to hear about your little one. I think OJ does help. Also, I always gave my daughter a glass of warm water on the potty, and tried to help her relax by hugging and rubbing her back. Perhaps a second opinion would help. Good luck

Sandy - posted on 01/17/2009

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My daughter was the same ans she is now 12 always had bowel problems, She was diagnosed with lactose intolerance at about 2 and 1/2, she now has irritable bowel, the best thing I found for her was kiwifruit, good luck

Kara - posted on 01/17/2009

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Brown sugar is a common cure they tell us here in South Australia when we ring our state run mother's helpline.
Hardest thing I found was actually getting them to drink it. Licorice is another good one

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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I tried that when my kids were infants and my doctor said to NEVER do that again! I forget why he said not to do it....I have done the magnesium supplement and it didn't work either, doc said it was suppose to work within 4-6 hours and she didn't poop until 4 days later....I might try this brown sugar thing.

User - posted on 01/17/2009

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Thanks - I'm going to look up the specific carbohydrate diet. I have had a reward system and even a chart. I do think she holds it in sometimes but then when she does go it seems like she doesn't know its about to happen. I may get a second opinion. I will have to ask about this lower intestinal infection - I curious.... Thanks for all the advice, keep it comin!

Kara - posted on 01/17/2009

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Have similar with our daughter 3.5. We have limited her gluten and know when she has had too much when she gets constipated. (Also had issues with poo in pants this week too). You could try disolving brown sugar in water and giving it to her to drink.

Emma - posted on 01/17/2009

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Further to her problem being a possible fear of pooing a friend of mine had a similar problem with her child (just to a lesser degree). She had to set a reward for her child when they poo'd in their potty, don't know if this may help your daughter. Good luck.

Cherie - posted on 01/17/2009

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I know a mom who's son was on a large dose of Miralax daily. She started him on magnesium supplements, weaned him off the Miralx and put him a diet called the specific carbohydrate diet. I think if you google "the specific carbohydrate diet" you will find out more about it. It got rid of the yeast in his system and made his bm's more normal and regular. If she is sensitive to the milk, even 2 cups a day may be too much. I can not have milk so I worry about getting enough calcium, but I looked it up online and found there are lots of foods that have calcium, like brocolli and almonds and any leafy greens.

Charli - posted on 01/17/2009

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Some kids get scared of doing poos in the potty... is she just affraid of that and holding on to in too long? I have a book by gina ford which has a case study where a lad had problems leading to a fear of pooing.



A friend of mine also had problems with her daughter and sever constipation and it turned out to be a lower intestinal infection! Keep trying all you can i suppose. My daughter loves fig rolls and orange juice which always helps if her poo is getting to hard

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2009

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it really sounds like your doing the right things. i know apple juice and broccoli are two food that will help her to go. along with a lot of water! if you don't get any relief have you thought about a 2nd opinion with another doctor?

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