Constipation Issues - Arlington,TX

Updated on January 02, 2007
K.S. asks from Arlington, TX
18 answers

Does anyone have any ideas about what to do about my son's constipation problem. We are dealing with doctors right now and they want him on a laxative for 8 weeks or more. I have read so many things about how if you are on a laxative for a long time you can become dependent on it. We have done the whole prune, grape, fiber thing. I ended up at Cook Children ER one night and it was tramautic for the both of us. They have tested him and he doesn't have any bowel obstructions or twisted intestines. We are giving him the laxative, but I don't feel good about it. Has anyone ever experienced anything similar and have any advice? Thanks...

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great advice. We finally got test results back from the pedi GI. The x-ray showed that even though he was going to the bathroom while taking the miralax he still had some blockage. We flushed his entire system and he is still on the miralax and going to the bathroom consistently without complaining and holding his stomach. We also found out that he has a mild allergy to soy, whole eggs, chocolate and beef....BEEF?!?!?! Who knew?! Because they are mild, the doc thinks he may grow out of them, but for now we are avoiding all those things. The hardest one is actually soy, because it is in EVERYTHING. We will do our best to avoid it. He is much happier about life now.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Try sugar water...it helps.....put a teaspoon of sugar in 4 oz of water and let him drink it...it should help

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S.R.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 4 now, but she had the same problems, we even had all of the tests ran. Finally her doctor put her on a medication called Merilax. It was great. It is not a laxitive, it is a stool softener. It works great!!! She had to be on it for a while, but she does not need it now. She never became dependant to it.

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A.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi - so sorry your little one is having a difficult time right now. I can't say I've experienced constipation to the extreme that you are...ER, and all...but we do have some problems in that area. This is what I do:

A soak in the tub or I take the core temp when really desparate. But first, ...

a. Offer lots of fruits like mandarins, watermelon, grapes, and pears. I also give them sweet potato which seems to make them go quite well.

b. Limit foods like: crackers, dry cereal, apples, bananas and bread

c. Offer 50/50 pear juice + water

d. Baby food jar of prunes + oatmeal (one full jar worked really well so I would do half the jar at one sitting then the other at another sitting later)

I haven't tried the corn syrup (my mom says Karo syrup) but would if all else failed. Constipation really stinks! No pun intended. I had it baaaaad during pregnancy. Good luck and let us know what happens.

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, My son is four and he has cerebral Palsy and we have issues with constipation. Doctors prescribed Miralax it works great once your on it for a while it just takes sprinkles in his drink, no taste, no color. And the doctors assured me its just a fiber not a laxative.Just a prescription required. Hope you find something that works I know it must be miserable for your little one and you, T.

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

Our pediatric urologist had us make mineral oil milkshakes for our son. Just put some mineral oil into a milkshake (I'm sure it would work in a fruit smoothie as well). Once the initial constipation is releived, we give him Philips Milk of Magnesia once a day. It has helped for us, but our son was a bit older than yours. I do agree with other moms that you should look into genetic problems. Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

Not sure if anyone else asked this, but has he been tested for problems with lactose products? I know when my daughter was just an infant, she couldn't use milk based formula. She would become very constipated. We switched her to a soy formula and she was fine. She's never been lactose intolerent though, she does fine with regular milk now(she's 4), she just couldn't have a BM while on milk based formulas as an infant..weird but true.

I also second the Corn Syrup idea, but be sure it's Karo Dark Corn syrup, or some kind of Dark corn syrup. My mom used this on me when I was constipated as a baby, and passed on the remedy to me when I had my daughter. It worked wonderfully with her. We just mixed about a tablespoon in about 4-6oz of water, shake well to mix, and serve. We gave it to her in her bottle, but if your son isn't on one, I'm sure it would work in a sippy cup. Don't expect immediate results, but it worked on her in a few hours.

Hope this helps.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Katya,
My first born had constipation issues and we had to administer laxatives for a couple of days - this was years ago. Now I know that there are other alternatives that may have helped, like a fruit/veggie gummy bear form. I recommend trying this over any long use of laxatives! You can't buy a quality one in the store. Let me know if you would like me to send you a bottle.
Hope this helps!

Blessings,
A.
Wellness Consultant
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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L.E.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Katya

I have a daughter who is 5. She has a medical condition that causes her constipation. I know your son is much younger but I would recommend trying something not so harsh if you do not feel comfortable with the laxative. We use benifiber with her. Although it does not totally take care of the problem it has been safer than some of the meds the Dr.'s have put her on. I would also add continuing to see Dr.'s for this issue in case it is something that can be treated. Hope this helps
L.

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J.K.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried giving him a few teaspoons of Corn Syrup? My Pedi recommended this for my infant when she was transitioning to solids and have some issues. It soundeded odd but works very well for us.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

I am no expert in the field, but I wonder if you would be willing to have him see a chiropractor. There are even chiropractors that specialize in treating children. I have heard wonderful things about how much they can help with childrens constipation. My husband is preparing to attend chiropractic school, so unfortunately we arent experts in the field, but when we mention his career choice, we get told lots of stories, and chiropractors helping with these issues is the most common one. Also, if it is celiac disease, or something else, they can often help you with nutritional needs as well. Let us know how it all turns out. ~A.~

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have a friend that has had similar problems with her 5 year old. He had been potty trained but yet began having poopy accidents. I went with her to Childrens Medical in Dallas on one of many visits and the doctor explained that he had become so impacted for so long that it had actually stretched the muscles that give you control over bowel movements and tell you when you need to go to the restroom. The only way to correct this was to get him unconstipated and keep him that way long enough for the muscles to contract back to normal. They gave him a prescription for a laxative that he was going to have to be on for a long time to correct the problem. My friend didn't like giving it to him so she quit and he became constipated again and she has done this cycle several times so from what I have seen with them, you are going to have to use the laxative. Keep in mind this is coming from a doctor and I am guessing you are going to have follow up appointments so they can monitor him so I am sure they would not give you something they think he would become dependent upon. I would discuss your concerns with the gastro doctor you are seeing so they can put your mind to ease.

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R.

answers from Dallas on

I have constipation issues myself and I think along with treating the problem, you really need to get to the source. Start taking journals of what preceeds the constipation (foods, etc.). As far as treatment, i found that the best treatment is also in food types and alot of water. Try steamed fresh baby spinach (puree if need to), steamed, squash varieties and pumpkin - a very good natural laxative. Also try and massage the base of spine (right above the bottom) with warm oil and also massage baby's stomach gently in circular motions.

Above all, give the baby plenty of water thru out the day. Dilute juices and only drink in moderation, eliminate white flour and sugar from the baby's diet. It's best if you stick to fresh foods (veggies, fruits). Making fresh foods is far easier than we think, especially quick steaming is best for veggies. Greatly reduce processed foods (canned, boxed, etc). If I were you, I'd try and eliminate milk - look for other calcium/vitamin d sources like plain yogurt or kefir with live cultures. Milk is one of the worst culprits for constipation and allergies. My 5 yr olds are so adjusted to not having milk instead they get their calcium/vitamin d from kefir or yogurt -great natural sources for calcium/citamin d. BTW,I am lactose intolerant and have constipation when I take milk products; I don't have problems when I take kefir tho'.

Good luck! Be careful because chronic constipation can lead to chronic illness. The GI tract contains 60% of the immune function in the body. A long term imbalance can escalate into different ailments. I am a living witness.

Best wishes - R.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with a test for celiac disease because it is often overlooked because many doctors look only for the major symptoms while some children only exhibit a few of the more minor symptoms. Simple blood test to start.
I also second the chiropractor. My son would get constipated when he was younger, although not to the degree that you are talkign about. We'd take him to a chiropractor that specializes in kids, she'd do her thing on whatever part of his body they believe is connected to the digestive system, and within a couple of hours - explosion!! And it's not like they crack his back like they do with adults. It is really more of a gentle manipulation. I still take my son when he is sick or really cranky and it really seems to work.

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

We have constipation problems with my son. He has had problems from early on and still has them at 4 yrs. We give him Phillips Milk of Magnesia and it helps and also he loves milk and doesn't like to drink much water or juice. We only let him have milk in the morning and evening and try to push as much water and juice and fruit on him as possible.

Good luck. It is an awful thing to deal with because it is so painful for him.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

My son had chronic problems with constipation and it was a very long time (until the age of 8) and alot of suffering on his part before I was diagnosed with celiac disease and realized that it was genetic and had him tested. He is double-gened and the constipation can be one of the symptoms. His other symptoms were frequent stomach aches, headaches and lack of tooth enamel on his baby teeth. Here's an overview of the disease that includes a list of other symptoms:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000233.htm
(Note that the range of GI symptoms is very broad - his older brother was on the opposite side of the spectrum with diarrhea).

This is the most under-diagnosed genetic disorder, so if your pediatrician hasn't tested for this, I would recommend you ask them to run the celiac panel (it involves 5 blood tests) or do what I did and use enterolab: www.enterolab.com

The DFW celiac support group has good information on the test and there's also a support group just for kids:
www.dfwceliac.org
www.dallasrock.org

My son has been on the gluten free diet for over 3 years and has not been constipated since then.

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C.K.

answers from Dallas on

KUDOS to the Miralax. Both my girls have been on it and it worked wonders.

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

I would definitely ask about celiac disease. I've heard that it's a commonly missed diagnosis.
Both my kids had constipation issues (screaming and crying during a bowel movement, unproductive efforts, days without a BM). We have handled them entirely by dietary means except a few times I've had to use milk of magnesia and maybe twice a glycerin suppository for my son. Never had to go to those extremes for my daughter. About 2 ounces of prune juice and a handful of Cracklin Oat Bran for a few dys would fix her up.
Have you assessed his whole diet? I would hope that by now your doc would have told you what foods to avoid -- cheese, applesauce, bananas. Some people have this response to dairy in general, some to soy.
The thing with dietary changes is they have to be permanent. I didn't realize this at first with my son and he would have horrible cycles of constipation, then relief, so I'd quit the prune juice and it would start back up again. Now he takes one serving of apple juice (100% juice, not from concentrate) and a fiber-rich nutritional supplement every day. We don't let him ever touch cheese, bananas or applesauce. The only cereal, crackers or bread he eats are whole grain, high fiber organic products. We went organic on the bread and grains because they are less processed, therefore work better to achieve regularity. I have also made sure to keep fresh produce in the house. He doesn't eat a meal or snack without at least one fruit or vegetable. And I make sure he gets plenty to drink. I used to only offer drinks to the kids at meal times, but now I let them keep a cup of water on the table at all times and keep Gatorade in stock.
Hope you get an answer!

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

We've used the laxative for my daughter for almost a year. We went on it when she was so obstructed that she couldn't sit and would get very upset about having to go in her carseat because it hurt so much for her to sit in it. I figured anything had to be better than that. Like you, we'd tried pears, apples, oatmeal, whole grains of different sorts, soy (edamame), and prune juice. None of that worked.
When I first began giving her the laxative, she needed it about every other day. Now, I give it to her three times a week and am trying to wean her down to two times a week. I forgot once to give it to her that second time, and she became obstructed again, so I know she still needs the laxative. However, I don't feel like I'm making her dependant upon it because she needed it to begin with. I don't feel like this is something should would have simply outgrown by now if she hadn't been put on the laxative. However, I'm hoping that by giving her low doses of the laxative, we can keep her comfortable until she does outgrow the constipation, and she won't have developed a dependance upon it.
If you feel like something else is warranted, you can try the children's laxative that you find at the drug store. However, that can have a pretty dramatic effect as I understand it.

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