33 answers

5 Year Old Cronic Constipation

My 5 year old daughter has had constipation since she was born. She would go for 2 weeks without having a bowel movement. At times, she has been so constipated that she has had fevers. When she does go it "hurts" her.
We have asked the doctor and they said that it was her formula (when she was an infant) and the lack of fiber, fruits and veggies now that she is older. Laxatives have been recommended. I was told the same thing by two different PCPs.
Yesterday, I gave her a dose of laxative and today I gave her another dose. She has not had a bowel movement yet.
I am concerned that something more could be wrong. I have not really had any answers from doctors, except the "change her diet" thing. Yes, she probley does not get enough fiber, veggies, fruits or water, but I am still concerned. She has had this since birth. Any ideas? Do I have a right to be concern or am I over reacting?
I know that laxitives are not a good idea. We have been to two different Doctors and each one recommended a laxitive. I did not give her laxitives on my own.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I have put her on a fiber suppliment. She is now going and things seem to be looking good.

Featured Answers

have you tried mineral oil. My nephew had this problem when he was ababy (35 yrs ago) and I know there doctor had them try this and it did help. or maybe speak to a gastro doctor for there advice. Good luck, I hope you find something that will help her.

She should see a pediatric gastroenterologist who can give you specific recommendations after a thorough examination.

More Answers

have you tried mineral oil. My nephew had this problem when he was ababy (35 yrs ago) and I know there doctor had them try this and it did help. or maybe speak to a gastro doctor for there advice. Good luck, I hope you find something that will help her.

I am sort of having the same problem with my two year old. I am not sure if this is something you may have already tried but i have started giving her prune juice and prunes in heavy syrup (which actually do not taste bad) along with lots of juice and fruits as snacks whenever she is hungry and at first i did not think this was working but after a few days of doing so i have noticed that it is working. I have also read that you should limit milk and milk products to no more than three cups milk or the equivenlant in other dairy prducts. Hope this helps! I know it is very difficult! Good Luck!


I'm sorry to hear of your little girl's troubles.

My only question is, does she drink/eat a good deal of dairy? It honestly sounds like she doesn't handle something IN her diet very well. Perhaps eliminating the dairy ... in milk, cheese, yogurt etc. might help.

I know you've heard the "change her diet" thing one too many times, but to me it's screaming dairy issues.

Let us know what has happened since your post.

Wife, Mother, Friend

My 2 yr old also has chronic constipation. My doctor had me put her on colace everyday. It has really helped her out, so maybe this is something that you should talk to your dr. about.

It's possible that she has a fecal impaction, where the stool is so impacted in the colon that nothing wlse can get out. It can be a very serious condition if not treated. Unfortunately, the way to resolve it is to digitally remove the stool (the doctor will use his fingers). It's unplesant, but necessary. A very good laxitive that we use in my hospital for the kids is called Miralax. It's a powder and can be mixed in a drink. It's nice because it's gentle and can be adjusted to the strength that is needed according to how your daughter's stools are. Some days she may need more, some days she may need less.
I urge you to find out if she is impacted and get it treated ASAP if she is. Also, since it is a chronic condition, use the laxatives. It's not going to hurt her. Be sure, if nothing else, she drinks plenty of water everyday. Apple juice works even better with constipation.
I hope she feels better.

Hi S.-

My 2-year old has had the same thing since birth! He now takes a daily dose of Miralax. I also bought Activia yogurt and made them into yogurt pops with a home made popsicle kit. In addition, I have started buying products made with whole wheat and not bleached wheat flour. I also found this juice called Plum Smart and it's for digestive health. One more thing I have done since my son has never voluntarily eaten a vegetable is I bought a food processor. I sneak veggies into everything! I was doing it before Jessica's Seinfeld's book came out, but she does have some good recipes. I put processed brocolli, cauliflower, carrots etc.. in brownies, cookies, pancakes, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, peanut butter (then put the jelly on top!). It takes a little work, but it's worth it. He's finally regular now! It did take about 3-4 days for the Miralax to work. Once it worked it was about 1 week before it got regular.

Hi S.,
Yes, you should be worried about this. My son has it too. We tried the diet and the fiber additives. Neither one worked, because he learned to hold it because it would hurt. The Dr put him on a prescription stool softner. It works great. My son developed a mental problem with going number two and so I had use the stool softner for quite awhile in order to get him potty trained. We have finally gotten through it all, but I still give the stool softener if he hasn't gone a day or two. I personally would not let him go for 2 weeks without going. I bet she is pretty backed up. I wouldn't use a laxative, use a stool softener. It is much easier on the system and can be used more often. If she hasn't gone a few days, it could take a day or two for that laxative to work. Once you get her "cleaned" out with the laxative, switch to a stool softener to keep her regular. Make her Dr prescribe the stool softener for kids. It will help. Then you do need to introduce more fiber into her diet somehow. If she won't eat fruit and veggies, then use a fiber additive to her juice or milk like Benefiber. Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck.

please ask your ped for a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist. We have been on miralax--a prescription laxative--for some time. I don't beleive it has ANYTHING to do with diet or fiber--I think some kids bowels have slower motility and it takes them longer to mature. Alos, there could be a serious problem causing it--so go see a specialist.

good luck.

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