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yrhaven 03-22-2008 10:27 PM

Constipation & Stool Withholding in Children
I have learned a hard lesson, as any parent going through this will attest to. My son who is now 11, had a classic case of Encopresis. As brief a history as I can keep it (and hind site is always 20/20, it sounds much more simple now then it was at the time): My son was breastfed, consequently having fewer stools to start with, (which then progressed to stool withholding), when he was less than 6 weeks old, he would go days (4-10) with-out having a stool. Fortunately, I was blessed with the best pediatrician, who spent many hours on the phone with me, determining what was going on and trying different things. When my son would go, he was Not constipated (characterized by dry, hard stools) but the longer he held it the bigger it would get, and [I]Would[/I] then hurt, but making his stool soft never made him go, or made it so that he still couldn't hold it. Never the less, he withheld from babyhood until he was 6 or 7 when I tripped over a remedy accidentally. I Consistently tried all the glycerin suppositories, fiber, cereals, fruit juices, water, Phillips Milk-Of-Magnesia chewable tablets (which worked better than the other things), and none of these things worked. He would go off and hide and I'd find him literally doing lamaze breathing just to get past the urge to go! Anyway, fortunately he was able to swallow pills for me rather early on, as I have always practiced as much natural healing as possible and this was helpful for taking herbs for me from time to time. For whatever reason (can't remember now why) I gave him a Flax Seed Oil capsule (1,000 MG) and found that the days I did this he always pooped with-out an issue. I put two and two together (duh) and began giving it to him when he'd withhold, or it had been a few days, and he'd always go, that day. After everything I had tried, it was just so easy to think "It just couldn't be this simple", but it was. It did not make his stool noticeably softer, but for whatever reason (that nothing else that "lubricated" his tract ever did) it worked! I Do Not believe that it simply worked because it is an oil that just lubricated things. I think there is something more to it, but I personally don't know what, and frankly all I know is it worked. Finally, I didn't need to give it to him anymore. I think if I would have known about this when he was a baby (or before he could swallow a capsule) I would have punctured the capsule and put drops of the oil into his juice or milk, starting gradually until I found the good balance on dosage, with-out causing loose stools (although it never has). Obviously, there is much more investigation and frustration to this 7 year story than I have shared here, but what I am learning in my old age lol is that sometimes things can be much more simple than we tend to make them sometimes. I can't claim to have a magic answer, a good diet with lots of fiber and hydration to prevent constipation, is obviously very important, but sometimes all that just isn't enough. Anyway, I hope that this helps someone else. Good Luck!!

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