Advice needed for constipated 3 year old...

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Dagger
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   Posted 12/4/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I posted this in the IBS forum but I decided to post it here too since we have so many knowledgeable helpful people in this forum. Plus, fibro people deal with constipation a lot.

My granddaughter is very constipated, I didn't realize how bad she was until she spent the night last week. She's at the point now where she is afraid to go because it will hurt, then it hurts because she hasn't gone for days. She ran into the bathroom at least 15 times in two hours but wouldn't sit down and go. When she finally went, she cried.

Her pediatrician is useless in this matter, he says to increase the fiber in her diet and have her drink apple juice. They've already explained that they give her whole grains. fruits (she loves prunes!), and vegetables for meals and snacks. She's three - you can't talk her into eating things she doesn't want to. She drinks water for her main beverage and doesn't eat a lot of junk food. They are stuck with this doctor because they don't have insurance right now and he discounts his rates for them. They hope to get insurance after my daughter graduates in May (if she gets a job!).

I thought Benefiber would be good because you can slip it into anything without her realizing it but the label says to "ask your doctor before use" in patients under 6 and her doc doesn't think it is necessary. I think we need to do something short term right now and get her going regularly so that she stops holding it in.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated but remember, she is three and reasoning with a three year old is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

Thanks!!!!

LanieG
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   Posted 12/4/2009 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I know this can be a painful problem for the child as well as the parents.  My grand-niece has been though this and she's 3 1/2.  Anyway, her pediatrician put her on Miralax, an over the counter medicine for constipation.  Besides drinking enough water, remember that carrots and corn also help a LOT with that (in adults to).  And of course you're sure there are no obstructions?  This is where a doctor is important to determine that.  My two cents.  I hope she gets better.
Lanie
 
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by exercise and a low/no carb diet


Sherrine
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   Posted 12/4/2009 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Dagger, I have an ostomy and when things aren't going smoothly, grape juice really helps me.  I get Welches concentrated grape juice and prepare it.  I'm sure your granddaughter would like that and it could help her.  Things like rice and bananas are very constipating.
 
If she doesn't improve, she should be seen by someone.  I had that problem as a small child.  When I had a bowel movement, it was huge and hard.  Mom had to use enemas and had to give me mineral oil so I could go to the bathroom.  My grandmother watched me one day try to pass a bowel movement.  It took nearly an hour...after an enema.  I was in tears and so was she.  She said it was like watching a baby have a baby.  When I had to have a bowel movement, I'd hide and hold it until the urge would go away.  Then I'd play awhile and with the urge came back, I'd hide again.  Years later I had the opposite...diarrhea.  It turns out I had Crohn's all of this time.  Crohn's can cause constipation as well as diarrhea.  I'm not saying this is what is going on with her but I sure don't think small children and constipation go hand in hand.  So, keep that in mind.  Hopefully the grape juice will help her.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Mrs.T
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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 12/4/2009 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
You might want to look into to switching her to soy milk if this is a continued problem. You could also try little tummies laxative drops, they've worked for my friend's child. You should be able to get that at walmart or a drug store.
Mother to two wonderful boys and wife to the best husband ever.

~Fibro, Diabetes, PCOS~


** "Don't tell me to suck it up, do I look like a vacuum cleaner?"


mamanan
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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 12/5/2009 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Poor little angel! It's so hard to see wee ones suffer, 2 of my babies had trouble when they first went on solid foods. Then I got smart and figured out to stay away from rice as a first food. But it sounds like your dgd already has a great diet. If she is already eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including prunes, I'm sorry I don't have any other tips. If I were your dd, I'd get back to her pediatritian and just say she is goign to give a laxative, which would he suggest. Good luck to her!
fibromyalgia and possible trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline daily, T3s for facial pain (really not appropriate med) and now tramacet


SassyMyKitty
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Date Joined Apr 2009
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   Posted 12/5/2009 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a lot of constipation problems when I was a kid. I would get really bound up and then I would be afraid to go because I knew it would hurt, just like your granddaughter. My mom would make me drink prune juice. That stuff really goes right through you. My advice is to give her at least one glass of prune juice a day. Make sure she doesn't eat a lot of cheese. That was my problem. I ate too much cheese. Do you have a doctor? I assume you do, so I would tell him/her the situation and see what he/she says. There are ways to go around one doctor's opinion. This doctor sounds like a real ***. Also, if she is really constipated, you might try children's suppositories. After my son was born, for a while he would get really constipated. He would cry because he hurt. Then we woul give him an infant suppository, and as soon as we put it in, he relaxed. It's like he knew he would feel better. Sorry I don't have any other advice for you. I really hope this helps.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss
 


upbeat
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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 12/5/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Your granddaugher's doctor does sound useless! My niece had this problem and her doctor took it very seriously - it can lead to a bowel obstruction or a condition called encopresis. I know that he had her on Milk of Magnesia, but that was years ago before Miralax was available over the counter.
 
 
I hope she feels better soon!
Fibro dx 2004, RLS, raynauds


Nana Monster
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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 12/5/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Dagger,
    My grandaughter is going through the same thing. Chey is 5 and going to school.
It hurts her terrible when she does go....sometimes 3 or 4 days between. She
says she poops rocks. I tried reflexology and it helped but to get her parents to
get off their butts and help is like pulling teeth. I've told them about using vit C or
even putting flax seed in her food.  Her dr is even worse and says
there is nothing wrong with her. She ended up at the hospital after 5 days without
a movement. 3 enemas and laxatives later, still nothing. After about 4 hours she
did a small one and they sent her home. For her she will hide in a corner where
nobodys around and do it in her skivs as it is more comfortable to do it standing
up. Someone on the celiac site said to test her for it...it's a simple blood test.
I told my son but I don't know if they will do it or not.
        Nana Monster

Dagger
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 12/5/2009 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone!!! I really appreciate the advice. We will be trying some of these suggestions over the next few weeks and hopefully will get it under control soon.

I don't think there is a medical cause for the constipation but my daughter plans to look into it further when they get insurance coverage. If the constipation gets worse, or any other worrisome symptoms show up, we will find a way to get her taken care of sooner.

She is the light of our lives. Hugs from 3 year olds don't hurt, they can actually make you feel better.

Thank you!!

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 12/5/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunally, I have some medical training. And I hate the ever so unfortunate part on saying the doctor was right on about fiber. How? Fiber works TWO ways, increase the fiber when constapated= movement, Lower the fiber when too loose= solid. Its an old natural trick. Now another natural trick (ok get ready to laugh folks) is dairy on lactose intolerants. Seriously. After my surgery they would not release me til I had a bowel movement ( one week later I still have no movement). I refused stool softerner and asked for a milkshake. They thought I was nuts and told me I'd get sick (I'm lactose intolerant LOL). I drank a small milkshake and within an hour....."Nurse, I had a BM" Next day... Released from hospital LOL. Ironically, I've tried the "dairy" approach a few other times, and I still got results. Go figure, sometimes being lactose intolerant can be useful instead of a drag LOL!
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days


Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 12/5/2009 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dagger!

We have one grandson with the opposite problem but he had rotavirus and c-diff at the same time before he was 2! But whether they are constipated or have diarrhea they do need to be seen right away for either problem. You might give the Red Cross a call to see if they can get your daughter some help in paying for a pediatric gastroenterologist. Another option is to call the neared church based hospital and ask for some help. All towns with more than one hospital almost always have one that is funded and run by churches. Often no one knows since they look like all the rest. But they will not turn down anyone for lack of ability to pay. Plus if you can't pay then you don't need to. I took someone to a place like this while on a trip. No way could she pay for the ER treatment and they signed her out and away she went.

I wouldn't let this go until insurance comes around. If they have tried changing her diet and it doesn't help then there has to be a reason. Please don't wait...OK? Besides just watching her sugger has to be heartbreaking.

Hugs,
Chutz
The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. — Alexander Chalmers

(\o/)Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
(/|\)
Fibromyalgia, PTSD, UC, Diabetic on insulin, collapsed disk, arthritis scattered around and a few other delights.


Dagger
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 12/5/2009 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Fiber does help a lot but sometimes, with a 3 year old, you need dynamite, LOL. She definitely has more fiber in her diet than your average 3 yr old but kids her age don't eat a lot to begin with. Short of force feeding her wood chips, I don't see how we can get her to eat more fiber. My daughter is calling the pediatrician Monday and telling him she is going to give her Benefiber. It mixes right into liquids so we'll be able to get a few more grams of fiber into her a day.

She refuses to go now even when she has to. She'll run around yelling "No, I won't go!" When she is sleeping, she'll squirm around and yell "No, I won't poop" My thought is that we remove the choice, make her loose enough where she has to go until she learns that she can go without pain. Adding a bit more fiber and some kind of laxative (prune juice, Milk of Magnesia, or even Miralax if necessary) until she can't hold it in even it she wants to.

Her other grandma had decided to potty train her at 18 months and it turned into a big power struggle. My granddaughter, like all of the women in my family, won't do something just because someone wants her to. My granddaughter is even more stubborn than my daughter which I find rather amusing. She kept telling her grandmother that she wasn't sitting on that potty and she wasn't ever going to go poop. Grandma kept buying her things to bribe her with but it didn't work. My granddaughter won the power struggle, she showed everyone that she doesn't have to go if she doesn't want to. This is why I don't think there is a medical cause and why I don't think we can handle it with diet alone.

SassyMyKitty
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 12/6/2009 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I will say this: Stay away from apple juice if she is constipated. Apple juice, though it seems like it shouldn't. is actually constipating. I really hope things work out with your granddaughter. I know this must be heartbreaking to watch. I would definitely give her prune juice. It works wonders. I would be really constipated and my mom would force me to drink a big glass of prune juice. Once I was done, I always ran for the bathroom. I was embarrassed as a kid when I would get constipated. My step-dad would tell my mom that I pooped like an elephant. That always hurt my feelings and really embarrassed me. When I was in school, like forth grade I think, my mom gave me a laxative, and she sent a note to school saying that if I had to go to the bathroom, then I could go anytime I needed to. I knew the teacher knew why, and that was embarrassing. I really hope your granddaughter doesn't end up having those kinds of problems. Good luck to you.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss
 


Gretchen1
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3459
   Posted 12/6/2009 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Poor baby!  One thing I have learned is that too much fiber is just as bad as too little if there is not enough liquids.  Bananas are simply packed with fiber but most of us don't have enough liquid with them.  Fiber is great if there is plenty of water and other liquids being injested.  That is why fruits are so wonderful!  They have the fiber and the liquid as a package.  So plums would be much better than prunes.  The whole point of the colon is to remove excess water so we don't have diahrea.  If you have fiber and fluids then the colon is unable to remove the excess liquid.  It stays bound into the fiber.  Fiber with liquid is a wonderful way to get that much needed fluid to the lower colon. 
 
This does sound like a vicious cycle for this little one.  She has learned that pooping hurts so she holds it thus allowing for her colon to dry up that stool even more!  Miralax could be a good short term help with a doctor's ok.  It is nice since you can slip it into juices and water pretty much undetected. 
 
I have a chronic problem with constipation due MS.  It is very common with spinal lesions. My lower colon has very spastic peristalsis.   Berries work wonders here.  I eat blueberries and blackberries year round (thanks to canned, frozen and mexican fruit).  You could make her a berry smoothy.  This is great with a bit of yogurt. 
 
Good luck.  I hope she can find some relief soon and learn that this is not suppose to be painful! 
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


Dagger
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 12/6/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I love the support and information everyone gives here!

Thanks for the Miralax info, I have never tried it so I didn't know if you could easily disguise it. I passed the suggestions to my daughter and she is deciding which approach she wants to start with. She will call the pediatrician tomorrow to discuss dosages of anything she decides to try and hopefully, he will understand that this is getting serious.

I offered to call the doc but she said she's saving the big guns (my highly opinionated, forceful personality) for later, LOL.

Nana Monster
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 12/6/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Dagger,
     I think the main ingredient of benefiber is phyllisum husks. You can get them from
an herbal shop. If I'm not mistaken you can use them like flax seed and sprinkle
them on food or in drinks.
      Nana Monster

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 12/6/2009 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a note.  When I was having my colon removed, I knew they would not give me food until I had bowel sounds.  My doctor told me to think about food.  I brought some cooking magazines to the hospital and read recipes and thought about the food I could now eat and it worked!   So, if you are ever hospitalized, that might do the trick for you. 
 
I hope your granddaughter gets this resolved soon.  I know how painful it is.  The pediatrician hopefully will help even though there is not insurance.  Let us know what happens because we really do care.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

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