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Conditions

Constipation

Constipation

Constipation is a common condition in kids and there can be many different causes – emotional as well as physical. As a parent, the problem is easy enough to spot in babies and young children, but older kids may be reluctant to admit they have constipation. Awkward and uncomfortable though it is, constipation itself is rarely a symptom of anything more serious, and with a few changes in lifestyle or diet, it’s usually easily treated.

The first thing to note is there is no such thing as a completely ‘normal’ toilet habit. Some children poo two or three times a day. For some it’s once a day, or even every other day. Constipation means they find gong to the toilet difficult or painful, and when they do go, they only manage to pass a few small, hard stools. It’s often accompanied by tummy ache, a lack of energy and being in a bad mood. In babies and young children constipation can actually appear as diarrhoea, as the bowel gets overloaded and causes kids to soil themselves.

So what causes constipation? One of the commonest reasons is a lack of fibre in the diet or being dehydrated. It can also be that, for a variety of reasons, children deliberately resist going to the toilet when they need to. If they are away from home or in an unfamiliar environment (at school for example), if they recently found going to the toilet particularly painful, or if there’s some other form of anxiety associated with defecating, kids may deliberately ‘keep it in’.

Short term or temporary constipation usually passes naturally, but the condition can be eased by making sure your child has plenty of fibre in their diet (lots of fresh fruit and veg, pasta, rice and potatoes, and a regular intake of fluid will generally keep constipation at bay.) If the condition is chronic – ie, it lasts a long time – your doctor can prescribe a course of laxatives. As parents, the key is to keep an eye on your child’s toilet habits and take note of any significant changes.

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My son has been on movicol since aged 10 months for constipation. Recently he has started potty training and constantly has smear stains in his pants. The gp moved his movicol to x2 sachets per day they felt he wasn't having enough but now there is such a large amount coming through (pasty) its impossible to train him. Am I giving him to much but if I withdraw it to 1\2 sachet he does smear but eventually struggle s to go





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My 4 year old has not been for a poo for over 6 weeks, she is now being sick because of it. She is not necessarily constipated as such, she more holding it in on purpose because passing a stool hurts too much. I've been and seen a number of doctors and all just give me a powder to make her go but this only makes this awkward as she just holds it in more and it runs down her legs. She is terrified of pooing and I just don't know what to do any more. Doctors do nothing. Even before the 6 weeks she was holding on for another 6 weeks. so in total she's passed a stool once for 12 weeks. Help me please!!





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Google Dr. Daum. My 4 year old daughter had the same thing from 3-4.5 years old. I tried everything punishment reward begging crying yelling miralaz - back and forth between gastro and pediatrician and NOTHING BUT increase the miralax. FINALLY I FOUND HELP!!!! He addresses the behavioral and the physical. He did a full clean out and I truly understand now why there was so much frustration. The rectum actually gets stretched because the poop hardens in the rectum. IT stretches to the point that it no longer functions as its supposed to - sense and release. I also found a book called Its no accident by Steve Hodges. I promise you all going through this that I was SO HOPELESS because the preschool was at their limit with us as well. PLEASE look up these resources. The Dr has a one time fee of $450 BUT he doesnt go away. He has stuck with us ordered xrays and found a maintenance plan on getting her to go daily while here parts ar being restored to normal function!! BEST OF LUCK!!!!

My 9 year old has always sufferes from constipation but ive always found different foods to help him go. he has recently been complaining of a bad tummy and was goign to the toilet with runny and hard stools 9 the stools were dirty sand colour). the docter said that he has cronic constipation gone bad and has given him movicol and to increase the sachets every day till he reaches 8 then to decrease back to 2 a day. But he wont eat, and i fear if he doesnt eat he will end up not week and wanting to get out of bed.





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My 8yr old cant remember the last time she opened her bowel shes not constipated just not had a poo





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my 3 year old doesnt go to the toilet for 3-4 days she has been on movicol which didnt work, she is now lactulose solution which still dont work, when she does go its hard pellets and sometimes causes her pain, she suffers from colic quite a bit. would it be worth getting the doctor to run tests. shes is also intolerant to cows milk and is on a dairy free diet n even that aint helping





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My four year old son has the same problem. He doesn't go for 5-7days normally he has been put on lactolose but not working. His diet is not great won't eat any wet food at all just dried. He's not in any pain at the moment but we know once he has to go he be screaming with tears down him face and he be bleeding badly due to straining. On occasions there has been blood in his poo. On holiday at the moment with lactolose if nothing by the time we get back straight to the doctors.





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My daughter now 6 1/2 has been treated with Movicol for nearly four years for constipation. Today ive been told that the xrays on her lumber spine indicate that it is not constipation. She has never been dry> It start with wetting and soiling , to this day we have good and bad days. Now she has tummy cramps, aches and pains in her legs adn hips, feels sick daily and it covered with a prickly red itchy rash from head to toe. She has headaches, and is very emtional and looks like a zombie - generally unwell. This has been getting progressively worse now for eight weeks. And I really dont know who to turn to. What if we missing somethign serious.





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My daughter had just turned 3. About 7 months ago she starting holding her poo in. Doc put her on movicol where either did nothing or if we upped it, the poo would run out of her, also giving her pain. She's now on lactolose which seem to be working at the moment. We are having the problem of trying to get her to fully go. She just wants to do a little bit and 10 mins later she's trying to poo again. Any ideas?





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My son is 12. He has been constipated since he was 6wks old. I have left the gp today on tears! He is up all noght woth severe stomach cramps, had a mucusy loose stool on Sunday, but nothing since.sick yest (monday) he has 1 or 2 sachets of Movocol every day for the last yr, raising it to up to 6 sachets when it gets severe. He hasn't got the best diet due to poor appetite. But as a baby I made all the boys baby food ie: veg mashed with potatoes, fruit puddings etc. They are determined they are not going to refer him anywhere other than a child doctor who jas more time to support us!!! Patronising or what?? X





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Sounds like he might have what my daughter foes. She has allergies to both fruit and table sugar. The fruit causes the symptoms you're talking about. It's time to see a pediatric gastroenterologist

Sounds like he might have what my daughter foes. She has allergies to both fruit and table sugar. The fruit causes the symptoms you're talking about. It's time to see a pediatric gastroenterologist

My children were the same and it wasn't until later we found out it was dairy that was causing it. Cut out the dairy and you may find it helps. I have the same problem.

My children were the same and it wasn't until later we found out it was dairy that was causing it. Cut out the dairy and you may find it helps. I have the same problem.

My daughter is 2years and 5 months and has had constipation for months, recently it's got so bad her quality of life is really affected. I've been in tears just feeling helpless! She eats so much fruit and wholemeal bread-if she has any at all- drinks nothing but water, apart from a bottle of (cows) milk at bedtime. I'm at the end of my tether. She stands with her hands on her lower back, stood rigid still, crying and saying poo mummy, please mummy. My heart is breaking. We've been given a bottle of lactulose which we give her. She does sometimes go and they seem a normal stool but not often but she seems to be constantly distressed! I'm so worried that she's got something more sinister going on. Has this happened to anyone else?





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My son is ten months and has never done a soft runny poo. We have to use lactulose and infant suppositories which at least help him get some out. Its heart wrenching to watch ur child be in pain. Ask ur dr for some suppositories :) x

Cut out dairy but lactulose is daiy so if it is the milk thats causing it this will make it worse. I had exactly the same problem with all 3 children of mine but it wasnt until I found out I had the same problem that we realised what was causing the childrens constipation. I ended up in hospital with severe pains but now i keep well off the milk and im fine.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (faeces) as often as you normally do, or you have to strain more than usual, or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Read More »