My little girl has been struggling with constipation on and off for about a year now. When it first started I took her to her Dr and was instructed to give her an enema whenever she would go 2 or 3 days without a bm. She got to a point to where she would go everyday, but they were usually pretty hard and small like a golf ball.
Within the past few weeks it has gotten worse. It was so bad one day that she was screaming with pain. I called the ped and talked to a nurse. High fiber diet, grape juice, and enema... yadda yadda... She had gone a while without going again and I gave her another enema and started putting a little fibersure in her juice. She already eats loads of veggies, broccoli and peas are her favourite. She eats a bowl of cheerios in the morning as well.
We were going on day 4 without her going even with the fiber in her juice, so yesterday I gave her another enema and she had a huge BM. I thought that I would wait and see if she will go on her own within the next few days. I called and talked to a nurse and she told me to do all this and then make an appointment to see the Dr who she said would just tell me the same things. Why I am going to take her in if he is not going to do anything? The nurse said that he will tell you exactly what I have told you, but you need to bring her in.
I don't want to give her any more enemas, it is not good for her. Besides this she is a happy, healthy and very active little girl. Should I take her to see her Dr again, or go to a specialist, or just write it off as a common toddler problem? She is always telling me that her hinney hurts and now she has had a decreased appetite, specifically in the mornings. I just don't know what to do. I feel so helpless. Could this be a sign of something more serious or is this just part of being a toddler? Could this be a tolerance to dairy? She doesn't have an overload of it, but she does have a little everyday.
Anything you have to say is welcome, I am just over this. Thanks for your help in advance.
hi there! i have to say that i have been in your exact same shoes! my dd is 7 and has fought constipation since she started eating regular food. we actually just had an endoscopy last week to see if there was anything underlying but it turned out to be gastritis and we are working with a new medication.
what i wanted to tell you is that there is a medication that is now over the counter called MIRALAX. when my dd was 2, it was a prescription but she was on it for one capful, even at the age of two. she is actually back on it again right now. maybe you could call your doctor and see about giving it to her for a while.
believe me, i understand your frustration. we have tried the high fiber diets, nutritionists, medications and it has gotten better but still exists. you really have to try anything and everything you can because otherwise potty training will be a nightmare. it was horrible for us and i hope you succeed.
good luck and please feel free to ask any questions. good luck. : )
Thank you so much for your response. I just don't know what to do anymore. It is good to hear from someone who has been there before. I am sick of people acting like it is because I don't feed her enough veggies. Last night before bed she had 2 bowls of corn. She LOVES veggies and eats them with lunch and dinner. She still hasn't gone, today will be day 2, but she hasn't gone on her own in 2 weeks. If she doesn't go today I am making an appointment to take her to her Dr.
I have a question actually. I read on the internet that sometimes they will do an abdominal x-ray if constipation is a chronic problem. Has your daughter ever had this done. Also if a take her to the Dr, what should I expect from the appointment? Should I be content with, just give her lots of fiber and an enema, or should I want more?
Hi, my daughter is 5 and has also been suffering from constipation since around two years old. I agree with the other poster, try the miralax. It is safe to use and works really well. She also had an endoscopy, which was normal. When I took her to the ER once, they offered to do an x-ray but the dr. did not really feel it was necessary. I think they do the x-ray to check for obstruction but he said you would know if there was obstruction because she would have been in terrible pain. The dr.could feel by pushing on her abdomen how backed up she was. He explained to me that enemas and suppositories don't normally work because it has to be held in for 15 minutes, and children just can't do that. Even then it only gets out what is in the bottom part, not way up in the intestines so she would still be constipated.
Another thought, your dd may be scared to go because it hurts. She may be holding it in and that makes it worse.
Do try the Miralax. I don't think you should be doing enemas so much. You should check with her dr. on that.
Last edited by Mom22greatkids; 07-11-2007 at 10:30 AM.
Thanks, a lot of people have mentioned Miralax, but I haven't been able to find it. My daughters pediatrician is the one who is telling me to do the enemas. I would never be giving her enemas like this unless I was told too. I too think that it is odd, but every time I call or talk to them, that is what they say. The Dr said he would rather me do the enemas then the laxatives. I am not comfortable doing too much of either. I am afraid that if I keep pushing the issue they will run unnecessary tests. She is always telling me that her hinney hurts and sometimes points to her tummy. She also tells me that she has to sinky, she will try, but is usually unsuccessful. She has some raisin size bms sometimes, so it appears that she is trying. She pees on the potty regularly, but not stinkies. She tries sometimes, but we aren't pushing the issue and we tell her it doesn't matter where she goes right now, as long as she goes.
Thanks again for your response, she still hasn't gone today, so it looks like I may be calling the Dr tomorrow. She has has a lot of nasty smelling gas though and I have seen her try to go. She will get on all fours or curl up in a ball on her tummy when she is trying to go.
No, I didn't think you were being harsh, I am sorry, I am just emotional about this whole thing, I also have a 5 month old, so I think my hormones are still getting balanced.
She drinks a lot. She has been drinking more and more water lately. She does eat raisins, applesauce and bananas. Well, she still hasn't gone, lots of gas, but nothing. I think I may be calling the Dr tomorrow.
I have also dealt with this problem...it can be very frustrating. I have 3 daughters and they all eat the same things at mealtimes. One of the three has NEVER had a problem and has always gone regularly. The oldest struggles still. She is now 5 but this started when solid foods were introduced. It makes me think that there's some genetics to all of this.
In terms of diet I find the summer mos to be easier. Blueberrys, rasberrys, kiwis currants etc all seem to help. FRESH FRUITS (aside from bananas) work wonders. Also she drinks a lot of WATER (She often needs reminders on this one). Since I have become strict about drinking things have improved. I write down on the calendar when she does a bm...once she gets to the 3rd day I give her a supplement. This hasn't happened in mos.
In the winter mos soup made with potatoes and LEEKS works very well also. Overtime you will learn what works best for your child. It took me time and tears but it will get easier. Good luck.
pediatric glycerin supositories are sold over the counter, are very safe, need only be inserted slightly into rectum, it helps if they are refrigerated prior to use, it draws bm down,works with in 1-3 hours at least it did for my child w similar problem. i only used on occasions when const. seemed worse than usual.
Thanks for all the support. I just hate that my little girl is having this problem. I actually made an appointment for today @ 2pm. Her regular Dr is out until next week so I am seeing another Dr. I really do think that it is for the best. I really like the Dr that she is going to see this afternoon, we have seen her for another issue. I will let you guys know how it goes when we get back. Is there anything that I should mention to the Dr while I am there?
Back from the Drs! Once we got there I discovered a tick on Gracie's head. So they took care of that while we were there. The Dr said that Gracie has a few golf ball size poops up her butt. (OK, that looks funny typed out) Yes, they did a rectal exam to figure that out. I need to do 1 enema a day for 3 days to clear out the hard stuff. I need to give her Miralax (2 tsp) once a day for up to 6 months. The Miralax will soften her stools and help her become regular. The Dr said we may need to adjust it a little depending on how her bms are. The Dr said we need to come back every 2 weeks for check ups to monitor Gracie's progress. She said to back off on the potty training until Grace become regular. She really wants to stinky on the potty so I really think that this is going to help with all that. I was very pleased with the appointment and the Dr promised me that we will cure my little girl.
hi again and i'm glad the doctor went well. personally, i think the enemas are a little much for her age and i know we did suppositories with my dd at that age and she is 7 now and still remembers it. it caused quite a vicious cycle of her being afraid to eat/holding the bowels/bm's would be huge and hurt/she would hold again.
i wish i could tell you how to make it better but i really do believe that the miralax is a good starting place. my dd has had the abdominal x-rays like you mentioned but it did not show a blockage. we actually just had an endoscopy and i am hoping things get better.
also, try as hard as you can to sneak things into her diet to help. i would make milkshakes and sneak prune juice in there, fig newtons (which they think they're getting a treat) and tried to stay away from all of the binding foods like bananas, mac & cheese, dairy, etc. i know it is hard but you have to do whatever you can while she is still young to try to break the cycle. good luck and please write if you have more questions. also, congrats on the new baby! : )
hi there. sounds like you're having a rough time of it (well you and your poor little girl!). two red flags as i was reading your posts... (this is based on foods i cannot give my own two girls because they get constipated...)... my youngest cannot eat cheerios or bananas without getting constipated. i've been told that because cheerios and bananas have such a high fiber content, they couldn't possibly be constipating, but every single time she eats them, she gets constipated. you might try eliminating those two things from her diet.
also, when we were vacationing with my in-laws, my oldest got really constipated, and we realized my mom-in-law was giving her straight juice instead of watering it down. i only give my kids about 1/8 - 1/4 part juice, and the rest is water. if you're giving her juice, especially if you are putting a fiber mix in it, make sure you add a lot of water to it, and push her to drink extra water throughout the day, or it will just cause a lot of gas and discomfort (personal experience on that one!!! ).
things that worked with my two (thankfully, i have never had to resort to medicine, enemas or suppositories!!!).... to get things moving, prunes work wonderfully. i boil a cup of apple juice and add prunes with some cinnamon and sugar, cook until the prunes are nice and soft, then throw the mix into the blender and puree' it... it's great to mix in with oatmeal in the mornings, or with applesauce for a snack. or don't puree the prunes, and serve them warm over icecream for a yummy (?) treat (my kids like anything with icecream!).
we also did oatmeal for breakfast every morning, homemade popsicles with a prune juice/apple juice/water mix, lots of raisins, oatmeal cookies with ground flax seed, stuff like that.
one question... are you sure the decreased appetite is because of the constipation? is she at the age where she could actually be cutting molars or anything? i went nuts worrying about my youngest when she quit eating for a few days, and i really thought she was having serious tummy troubles... turns out she was cutting two big teeth! just something to watch out for...
generally, constipation in toddlers is based on fear of it hurting... they remember it hurting before, they tense up, naturally, it's going to hurt again... it really IS a vicious cycle! the trick is to get her to relax when she is going. for my oldest, i used to sit in the bathroom with her and let her hold onto my finger. i told her while she is going potty, if it hurts even a little, to just squeeze my finger really really tight... this will focus her attention on her upper body muscles and relax her lower body muscles... it also gave my daughter something to focus on besides her bottom hurting.
anyway, i hope things get better for you! i know it's hard to see your little one suffering!!!
when i said, "thankfully, i have never had to resort to medicine, enemas or suppositories!!!" i didn't mean to make it sound like i think i'm so great because of it. i just mean that i've been extremely blessed so far that natural remedies have worked. if we ever get to the point where natural remedies don't work, i'll be all over the medicine, enemas and suppositories! anyway, i hope you didn't take it the wrong way... i know how those "i have a five month old baby" hormones can be!!!