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Constipation in children

(22 Posts)
Gingster Sat 04-Jan-20 19:57:15

Thought I would ask all the Grannies out there with all their experience and advice. My grandaughter of 4 years has always had chronic constipation. Has been under the hospital but is only told to take medicine. The meds cause her terrible stomachs cramps and it isn’t right to have to take them all the time. She doesn’t eat well so this doesn’t help. It also takes the medicine a day to work, so she is in constant pain. Any ideas to make this little girl happy and pain Free?

Fennel Sat 04-Jan-20 20:01:34

My eldest had this problem at one time. Our GP said to give him an orange juice drink, warm with plenty of water. Not just once, as a regular thing until the problem sorted.
That seemed to work.

phoenix Sat 04-Jan-20 20:04:40

"Has always had chronic constipation"?

What, even as a baby?

Gingster Sat 04-Jan-20 20:19:31

Always had tummy problems. Was in special milk from the hospital.

quizqueen Sat 04-Jan-20 20:26:51

Will she drink smoothies (homemade)? You can hide all sort of things (veggies) in them to help with regularity e.g. beetroot in a fruit one. Get her to help make them too.

M0nica Sat 04-Jan-20 20:37:03

Yes, constipation as a baby is not uncommon, especially if, like me, it is later discoverd you have very mild Hirschsprungs Disease. In this disease the nerve endings to the anus, or sometimes, bowel do not fully develope. In severe cases it can be fatal, but most have the version I had and it is not easily identified. I was in and out of hospital, including several long stays from the age of 5 and had several years of GP treatment before that, including seeing specialists in outpatients.

DGS also had constipation from a very young age, although fortunately not the same cause as mine. In his caseit was proibably caused by a small and capricious appetite. He is 9 now and the problems seems to have gone, although the small capricious appetite remain.

Hetty58 Sat 04-Jan-20 20:44:22

My kids and grandkids all had the reverse problem - toddler diarrhoea!

Doodle Sat 04-Jan-20 20:45:39

gingster is the medication something like movicol or lactulose? My DH suffers with constipation and doesn’t like lactulose but finds the sachets of movicol which is a softener and a bulker more effective. If it’s any help a consultant surgeon in the colonoscopy department told him to eat rasins which work better than any other fruit. Worth a try poor girl,

Hetty58 Sat 04-Jan-20 20:46:57

How about prune juice? Would that help?

Gingster Sat 04-Jan-20 20:48:55

Yes lactulose and sodium picosulphate. Will give these ideas a go. Thankyou

trisher Sat 04-Jan-20 20:53:05

Have you tried rhubarb or hummus? Both are supposed to help. My GCs like hummus in a small plastic cup with bread sticks which they use to scoop it out

Doodle Sat 04-Jan-20 20:55:19

gingster I do not know what is recommended for children so you have to be careful but I would try talking to a pharmacist. I know when I have been in hospital they always push lactulose which seemed to be the thing for constipation. I think it just makes you want to go and perhaps produces the stomach ache. My DH can’t stand it and finds it doesn’t work well for him. Things like movicol or fybrogel work in a different way they soften the stool by absorbing water and bulk it up so it passes more easily. I do not know if children can take it but a good dicussion with the GP or pharmacist should advise you. Also get her to drink lots of water if you can that helps too.

NanaandGrampy Sat 04-Jan-20 21:26:49

Our smallest grandson has had bowel problems since birth. I had never seen a child in such distress as him when passing a stool.

He is now under a consultant and the ‘poo nurse’ 😁and has to be regularly disempacted. He takes a medication for this process. I’m not sure if this info might help you OP ?

Sar53 Sat 04-Jan-20 21:55:10

Gingster, I could have written your post. My 4 year old granddaughter has exactly the same problem. The doctor has prescribed Lactulose which my daughter has to hide in a smoothie for her. My granddaughter will only drink water and not a lot of it.
She will eat fruit but doesn't have a huge appetite. It's upsetting to see her in pain and because it hurts to poo she holds it and it becomes a vicious circle.
Her dad has Hirschsprungs Disease and I am now wondering if this is something that has been discussed with her doctor. I need to talk to my daughter.
My granddaughter will be starting school in September and I know my daughter is hoping that this can be resolved before she starts.
I hope your granddaughter finds a solution to her problem.

Gingster Sun 05-Jan-20 16:20:32

Thanks for your post, it’s reassuring to hear other children suffer with this. Not that I wish it on any child - it’s so distressing. I hope your little one get sorted soon. I’ve heard of this condition before (Hirschrungs) and will tell my daughter to ask about it at the hospital when she goes next week, hopefully for a scan. Thanks once again

Sar53 Sun 05-Jan-20 16:29:58

Gingster, an update. I have spoken to my daughter and Hirschsprungs has been ruled out. Her husband was diagnosed at the age of 2 which apparently is quite 'old'.
My granddaughter was fine whilst in nappies but has progressively got worse as she has got older. She sometimes doesn't poo for a week and a half. It is distressing to see her in pain.

Gaunt47 Sun 05-Jan-20 16:38:30

We used a tablespoon of olive oil as and when necessary.

Gingster Sun 05-Jan-20 16:58:42

Oh I’m glad your grandaughter doesn’t have Hirschsprungs as when I googled it said surgery would be required. Hope fully our little one is clear of it too. Thanks for update Sar53. And thanks Gaunt47 - we haven’t tried olive oil and will give it a go. Should have thought about it as we give it to the dog when she’s. COnstipated . 😂

Nandalot Sun 05-Jan-20 17:26:50

DGD has same constipation problem. As well as Laxido consultant is always stressing she must drink lots of water. She sometimes is quite good about that but has to be reminded.

sharon103 Sun 05-Jan-20 17:38:25

My daughter was like that at about that age, she's 41 now.
She would rather carry on playing than come in to go to the toilet. She would 'hold on to it' for days. I'd bring her in from the garden when I could see her being quite a contortionist. Sit her on the toilet but she couldn't go.
The doctor prescribed suppositories which worked within about half an hour. Not a very nice job but gets rid of the pain.
Daughter resumed back to normal after that.
In your grandaughter's case lots of fluid, fruit and fibre/roughage in her diet should help. There's a wide range of boxes of healthy snack bars with fruit, nuts, seeds oats etc in supermarkets I bet she would like.

midgey Sun 05-Jan-20 19:04:40

Often if you give a child a straw or even a ‘skippy’ cup they will drink more than they might have done in a glass.

vampirequeen Sun 05-Jan-20 19:27:47

My DGD was OK until she came out of nappies. She had no problem peeing in the toilet but hated pooing to the point where she got constipated because she stopped herself from going until she had no choice. If DD let her wear a pull up then she'd poo immediately and happily go back into pants. But, of course, DD couldn't and didn't want to let her only poo in a pull up. Sometimes DGD would hold it so long that she had small accidents and unfortunately the FS1 teacher made a big fuss about this. This made her even more frightened to poo. DD, the hospital specialist, GP and Health Visitor all worked together and sang from the same hymn sheet. So any accidents were ignored (sadly not by the FS1 teacher), Movecol was used (but not every day as it gave her terrible diarrhoea), DGD was encouraged to eat more food (picky eater), drink more often and given lots of praise and support.. One thing DD found encouraged her to take in more fluids was to freeze the drink into ice lollies. For some reason, probably because it seemed to be a treat, DGD would eat a lolly made out of mainly water with a dash of fruit juice in it. This upped her fluid intake without her realising. Gradually the fear subsided of it's own accord (esp after she moved out of FS1) and now she goes to the toilet regularly. She still has episodes of constipation but nowhere near as bad as it was last year.