Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby amphitecna » 23 Apr 2012, 19:55

Hello all,

DD (17 mo) has been struggling with the pooping thing since we started weaning just about a year a go. At first I thought it was normal, but now, after such a long time I'm not convinced. She was exclusively breast fed, and still nurses OD, and frequently. All day if she had her way.

She has never been a daily pooper, but from the moment the first solid food hit her lips, her poos became thick and sticky. On days when she does poo, she'll do a number (I can't keep count, but often it's every diaper change) of very small but very sticky poos, that really are just a tiny bit crammed between her cheeks and often not even hitting the diaper. Sometimes its a little more than that, but "normal" diaper filling poos are few and far between for us. Occasionally I get tired of it, especially when I see her little tummy all extended out, with what I can only imagine is a fully loaded gut, and will give her Eau Hepar (we're in France, and it's a locally available bottled water that is high in Magnesium....a colon stimulant) and if that doesn't work, I'll add probiotics to her yogurt, then if no results give her a spoonful of paraffin (something the Pediatrician gave me ages and ages ago) a day until I get a poo.

Is this constipation?

I've just been on a very scary and probably ill-advised internet search. The poo doesn't strike me as black, but it does smell.

The child definitely does not drink enough. I offer her water or diluted fruit juice a LOT. But she either refuses or pours it all over the floor. Lovely.

(as an aside, she usually drinks too fast and ends up inhaling what seems to be quite a bit of fluid based on the coughing fits she has...this happens at least 1x per meal, sometimes each time she takes a drink....doesn't matter sippy-cup or regular cup.....I kind of thought she'd have figured that out by now....).

I was avoiding constipators like bananas, carrots and apple juice, but gave up when that didn't make a difference. She sometimes eats sometimes doesn't, but I always cook (rarely do I give them pre-packaged foods). She has yogurt daily, sometimes with added probiotics as I mentioned above, and loves potatoes and pasta and rice. My little carbohydrate addict. Rice and Pasta in this house are always semi- or whole grain. Bread is always half whole grain (semi-complet in French). She'll have fresh fruits when she feels like it and generally does not eat meat (her choice). I've been trying to get more beans into her diet to make up for the protein. She'll eat veggies if they're not too, you know, green. She loves dried fruit and will eat lots of dates, raisins and apricots, and whatever else I may have on hand.

Incidentally, her brother eats the same diet and doesn't have a problem.

She can be kind of fussy, and difficult to console, so I don't know if there might be some underlying cause. She also asks to nurse a LOT...but I think so did her brother at this age and I know that lots of kids do that. She does have good energy and can keep up with her very active older brother.

I've mentioned this to her ped on just about every well-baby visit, but she asks my definition of constipation and then doesn't say anything more. I'm ready to go back for a specific visit without all the other well-baby stuff, but although my French is improving there is still a language barrier that always makes me nervous. I do generally like her Ped.

But I was wondering if any of you had similar experiences. Maybe this is just normal for DD and I should let it go.

How do you get your kids to drink more? Do I need to get more fiber into this kid?

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks in advance for all your advice/suggestions!

Susan
Mom to two little angels born 4/10/2008 and 24/11/2010
BLW, nursing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, signing and having lots of fun!
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby MumtoMonsters » 23 Apr 2012, 20:13

Firstly, there is no such thing as TMI about baby poo on this forum!

Secondly, at this stage, yes, I would consider her to be constipated. I would take her back to the doctor and ask for help. Explain the tiny poo every nappy change (maybe even take a fresh example in with you) and stress the point that that is all you get each time.

I hope the doctor will be more helpful!
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby scotrail » 23 Apr 2012, 20:27

Hi, our daughter is very similar though not quite as bad. We give probiotic yoghurt, which seems to work, if we skip it for more than two days, blockage.. Linseed works too. I'm like this myself, sweet dairy worsens it, so I really feel her and your pain!
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby amphitecna » 24 Apr 2012, 09:29

Yeah, I have a call in, but she's not in today, and doesn't see patients tomorrow *sigh*.....not sure if this is something worth seeking out a new Ped who doesn't know DD.....

Linseed....hmm...as in oil or the actual seeds? We put the seeds in our granola (which she sometimes will eat), but I haven't tried the oil....had a bad experience with it a few years ago and a pervasive fish smell in my kitchen.....steered clear ever since. But maybe worth a go? What do you do with it?
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby littlemimi » 26 Apr 2012, 20:51

This sounds exactly like the problem L has. In fact her diet is very similar to L and her poo sounds the same too!! I've not found many people with the same problem after searching. L poos little and often, struggles to go more than a teaspoon of soft poo. I never really considered it constipation because it was soft but that's apparently what she has. It's worth getting further tests done. we had various blood tests and an ultra sound to check her stomach. Not really much of an explanation but recently the doctor said she'd read a journal that said it was such a common problem with toddler girls and that most grew out of it by 3 and a half.
I believe that she has a sluggish system. No amount of prunes, prune juice, lentils, orange juice etc made any difference. We got lineeds that were ground up and put them in her cereal and they didn't help either. She can only go regularly and happily if she has movicol (powder medicine in juice) Without it she can barely manage these little poos - the doctor told us what happens is that a large stool builds up and the little poos are just squeezing down the sides of the big poo. Total blockage and eventually the big poo will come out, but it takes ages.
I'd push to get her checked out further, it is a problem and if it doesn't get sorted it may get in the way of normal living - last summer L was trying to poo up to 6 times an hour and her bum was red raw. Lactulose didn't work either (though many find it does work wonders). The situation was awful and I was concerned about her hurting her stomach/bowel muscles. I got so annoyed when everyone decided (as in friends etc)that she was trying to withhold - she definitely wasn't , it was her constantly trying to poo and not getting anything out.
Anyway, sorry for the essay! Good luck!
Also, some people have said that dairy caused their kids to be constipated or sluggish, but that doesn't seem to be the case for L.
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby amphitecna » 27 Apr 2012, 08:35

Hey thanks! We have an appt with her real pediatrician on the 10th, but on W saw the GP. He gave me the schpiel about withholding. Your comment about the blockage and the little poos coming out around is exactly what was going on (I figured that out just after I wrote the initial post). At this point, she may very well be witholding, but it's a symptom of a larger problem. She was always sluggish (I prefer to think of her system as being exceptionally thorough :wink: ), and the instant the first solid food hit her lips, we landed in this space. He did gave me some baby enemas to help her out, and it worked wonders! Hoping we don't have to use the other 3. But she is a much much happier child.

We have also tried the lactulose, and no, it doesn't do anything for us either. We're on something similar to the movicol, and so far, fingers crossed, as long as I can get it into her it seems to be working. But we've only been on it for 3 days, so we'll have to see. Baby girl needs to learn to enjoy drinking though.

This whole thing really surprises me. She's *still* nursing. And I was always told that nursing babies can't get constipated since BM is a laxative. I guess *most* nursing babies don't get constipated! But that's part of what took me so long to get feisty on this.

So I have prune juice and a whole lotta other things on the list. But they didn't help you? Prune Juice never helped her in the past (prunes, neither), so I'm not optimistic, but thought I'd try it. Maybe I'll give it a miss since it's not a family favorite.

I was wondering about the dairy. I've thought about doing elimination, but in this family that is very difficult (bunch of cheese and yogurt addicts, we are). I might give that a go, just to see if it helps. Have you stumbled across anything else in your searching?

And what is perhaps my biggest concern right now: do you worry that L. will become "addicted" to the movicol? Obviously it's necessary, but I'm worried that if DD is on this for a while her body may not be able to move along without it. What did your Dr say on that front? Being on this stuff until 3.5 ish seems like a long time...

Thanks! I'm happy to not be alone on this.
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby littlemimi » 30 Apr 2012, 12:18

Just realised I'd forgotten to come back and answer you! sorry!! Will respond when L is napping. ;)
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby littlemimi » 30 Apr 2012, 13:06

ok, think she's finally napping!
I would give the prune juice and other things a go, it doesn't hurt to try. It just doesn't work for us. Some people find it makes a big difference. It also tastes quite nice, in fact I love the taste of prunes and enjoy eating them.
I'm sure there are other mums on here who breast fed and had problems with LOs being constipated, I think BF helps with the majority of children but not everyone.
The drinking water thing - have you tried different cups, little ones, fancy ones etc. I found with L that she loves the novelty of a new cup especially if she gets to choose it herself. She will swig away at a new cup for the pure novelty of it! Also try getting her to feed and give her babies/teddies water, it really works. One for baby, one for you.

I cannot guarantee that L is exactly the same as your LO, but it is so similar and quite funny because I've not really heard of many with the same problem. I would push for your doctor to give her some extra tests if the matter doesn't resolve soon. We did that and now we know that there is no other problem - just a sluggish system. As for being addicted to movicol, (search this forum as a few topics come up with the subject of movicol) it's not absorbed into the system and is harmless. If L didn't start having movicol and if we stopped it now she would be trying to poo several times an hour and just managing little splats of poo. We really have no choice but to give her it. She missed it one day last week and we could see the difference straight away.

I do think there may be a food that doesn't agree with her, not an allergy but an irritation. I just can't work out what it is. My friend who is a nurse said that if L had a serious allergy then she would be ill and not thriving or putting on weight. I have considered stopping wheat for a short time to see what happens. We cut down on her dairy and it helped a little bit but she doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Good luck and just pm me anytime. :)
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby elenab » 21 Jul 2012, 22:57

Hi, I think we might be having the same problem - adi will not go every day and then often she will have just little balls. the only difference is she loves water, but it doesn't seem to matter how much or how little she has. yougurt on the other hand always makes a difference. the idea of a big stool blocking her is very scary, but so is the idea of enemas etc, as I had to experience it dayly (doctors orders) in my teens untill everybody in the family just saw how crazy this is. i am glad i can talk to you about it, as usually my partner thinks i worry too much. i have some question

i'm in GB and i asume movicol can be found in health shops?
what tests did you make except the ultrasound?

thanks
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby amphitecna » 22 Jul 2012, 06:25

Hi,

Sorry to hear that you’re in this same camp! My ped never sent us in for more testing, I think primarily because we have a good reason for the situation- DD’s lack of drinking. It sounds like your child is drinking though? But it’s yoghurt that makes the difference? There are a lot of bacteria in yoghurt that definitely do help the gut do its job. Is there a reason you don’t want to give yoghurt daily? My kids love it, and if it worked for DD, I personally would just stick with that, the meds are a pain.

The blockage was a bit scary. If you suspect that's what Adi has, or are just worried, you should see the GP. They’ll know what’s available and be able to help Adi best. Plus they’ll also know if there’s reason to be concerned. Movicol is something you'd get at Boots (from the pharmacist), and I honestly wouldn't go that route without checking with a Dr first.

The French do things very differently from what the British did. Those “enemas” I got, are really just liquid suppositories. I see them as being for “emergency” only (i.e. actual blockage), and I believe that’s the spirit in which they were prescribed. They are effective, but definitely NOT something for every day. Poor you!!!!! I can't imagine what you must have gone through.

Three months later, we’re still in pretty much the same place, after much experimenting. The only thing I can say is that at least for DD, when I can get her to drink, her guts are slow- they extract EVERYTHING they can, which I guess in the long run will be good. For now, it's a drag.

Good luck!
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby elenab » 27 Jul 2012, 14:42

hi, thanks for the replay. she was very much blocked, that night was terrible, but oil on the bottom helped. everybody said to get her to drink lots of water and that diary makes them constipated - and she did eat a lot of chese and yougurt that weekend. after the blokage we had three full and mustardy nappies and i hope she is fine now. they also said that stuff like bread, carrots, rice give them constipation, but that is well known. I hope your LOs get better, i can certainly live without having to worry about that too.
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby littlemimi » 02 Aug 2012, 19:20

a small update, our children's doctor has sent us to the kinder-gastrology clinic at the university hospital. Fingers crossed all is well. Our doctor thinks it's ok and L will just grow out of it but wants further tests from the gastrology department. We go at the end of the month.
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Re: Is this constipation? So sorry if this is TMI...

Postby amphitecna » 17 Aug 2012, 14:28

Oh my goodness! Littlemimi- I hope the outcome of that appointment corroborates your Dr's suspicions..... Fingers crossed.

@Elenab- I'm glad she finally passed it and that all is better now!

We just returned from our vacation- I hope the summer is wrapping up well for you all!
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