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What could be wrong w/ my 3 year old's rectum?

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Old 10-04-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
Dawn Elise
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What could be wrong w/ my 3 year old's rectum?

Hi. My son is 3.5 years old. Ever since he was 9 mos old and started solid foods, he has had painful BM's. Screaming and crying out in pain every time a bowel movement was imminent. At about 18 mos his pediatrician gave him lactulose to help with the constipation. He was on it about a year. It helped. You slowly wean them off as you they need less and less. There have been times thru the course of his young life when he has had BM's that were not painful, but by and large most of them have been painful. Now we are at a point where it takes 3 days of "pushing" and expelling liquid stools, before we get a large formed bm. We are told that the liquid stools are not diarhea but constipation---it is the body trying to have a bowel movement and only the liquid surrounding the large bm can come out. It's really an effort to get the bid piece out but in the meantime while you are waiting and trying, all you get is liquid stool. It's not very I am not worried about dehydration or anything. The main thing I"m worried about is that he says it hurts and he always says "ow" or "owie" whenever he needs to push, which on his bad days, happens all throughout the course of the day many times....sometimes when he is nervous about something ......but not always. It's like peristalsis just comes upon him and he has to get into a squatting position on the floor to "push"... (he is still in diapers). The thing that i am concerned about is that his bm's have always hurt him. I want a doctor to examine his rectum and see if there is anything there that is causing this pain and causing the body's hesitancy to expel the solid stool. What kinds of things might a doctor discover? I know nothing about fistulas or hemorrhoids or other such things that occur on the rectum. But I know I need to get my son checked out. We have so far hesitated to take him to a specialist because we are afraid of the invasivness of the procedures they may want to do (ie colonscopy, putting him under etc) but I think just a simple digital (manual) exam might be a good thing here. Can someone please direct me to a site or something where I can educate myself about the different things that can go wrong with the rectum? We are convinced that there can be no blockage in his colon because if there was, why would he occassionally expel these big huge formed bm's. I am worried as his mother as this has been going on a long time and the crying he exhibits on the days he needs to push is causing major stress in my life. I have been "ignoring" it, hoping it would go away for too long. (We have tried lots of things in our effort to avoid having to have him go to a gastroenterologist. The thing that has helped the most is, amazingly, foot reflexology massage to his feet. That helps him go. But helping him go is not the main worry here, it is why is he having so much pain? That is what concerns my mother's heart. We have used herbal laxative tea baths (believe it or not they can induce a bowel movement ) but that is only dealing with the constipation, that is not solving the issue of pain. SO i am here now to try to research bowel disorders, especially rectal ones. I don't know why it never occured to me until now to research this on the internet. If someone could direct me to a place to learn more, I'd be most grateful. I guess I'll start here. But I don't know if there are very many pediatric questions on here or are they all adult?

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Old 10-05-2007, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: What could be wrong w/ my 3 year old's rectum?

You've "ignored and hoped it would go away" far too long. He needs to see a gastro doc now. The "invasiveness" will only have more impact the older he gets and if you see a pediatric GI doc, I'm sure they will have techniques for making any procedures easier for the child.

To me, it sounds like he simply has severe constipation, possibly with a tear or other injury in his bowel that gets irritated each time he goes. How much fluid and fiber does he get?

In any case, call the doctor--NOW.

Old 10-05-2007, 07:02 AM   #3
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Re: What could be wrong w/ my 3 year old's rectum?

Could he have rectal prolapse? Has he been tested for Cystic Fibrosis? Large bulky stools. Sometimes foul smelling...

In any event, sounds like you should see a pediatric gastro specialist. DS had constipation issues off and on -- stool got bogged down in the colon, yet was still able to seep thru the cracks and would turn to diarreah. He also began to associate stooling with pain, so he became a poop holder, which caused a viscious cycle of constipation, pain... We were able to use milk of mag, though I have a friend whose granddaughter had similar issues and the doctors have her on miralax on a regular basis. They also determined she had cystic fibrosis around the same time -- she was 18 months old.

Last edited by Ratatosk; 10-05-2007 at 07:03 AM.

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