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Treating constipation in children - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Child Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3558 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :  
How can I help you?
User :   Hello Doctor
User :   My son is 1 year 7 months
Doctor :  
Ok
User :   He is severly constipated
User :   he does not pass stoolsfor about 3-4 days
User :   we went to a doctor and he advised Dupalac for the days on which he does not pass stools and that has not helped and he advised milk of magnesia whenever he does not pass stools
Doctor :  
ok
User :   we have changed his diet as well
User :   He seems to be holding his stools when he has the urge
Doctor :  
ok
User :   so what do we do?
Doctor :  
Children often develop constipation as a result of stool withholding.
User :   ok
Doctor :   They do withhold stool because they are stressed about potty training,
Doctor :  
They also do not want to interrupt playtime, or are fearful of having a painful bowel movement
User :   sometimes he passes smoothly but whenever he feels hard, he withholds
User :   ok
Doctor :  
a bowel movement withhold causes stool to become hard, dry, and difficult to pass
Doctor :   They in fact cause fecal impaction in children so easily
User :   ok
Doctor :  
postures that indicate the child is withholding stool are such as standing on tiptoes
User :   we feel so painful seeing him cry and trying to pass stools
User :   ok
Doctor :  
rocking back on the heels of the feet and clenching buttocks muscles
Doctor :  
and other unusual dancelike behaviors.
User :   ok
User :   while he is trying to pass stools, he cries and leans a bit...is that withholding too?
Doctor :   If he is withholding stool he should be given laxatives after consulting your pediatrician
Doctor :  
That is hard impacted stool that is painful
Doctor :  
thus he withholds
Doctor :  
This problem should be more earlier it is by chance you noticed it recently
Doctor :  
You should encourage your child to spend time on the toilet after meals
User :   yes it was earlier too thats why he was advised Duphalac and Milk of Magnesia on the days he does not pass stool
Doctor :   and when your child shows signs of withholding stool.
User :   ok
Doctor :   Begin rewarding your child for just sitting on the toilet
Doctor :   if your child sits on the toilet at the planned time, reward your child with a favorite thing or activity.
User :   ok
Doctor :  
If your child has a bowel movement, give your child a praise and a reward.
Doctor :   so sitting is one thing,
Doctor :  
and having a successful bowel movement is other thing
Doctor :  
there is a difference and you have to notice it
User :   ok
Doctor :  
So in the end constipation is treated by changing diet, taking laxatives, and adopting healthy bowel habits.
User :   Is Duphalac and MoM is safe for children?
Doctor :   Yes
Doctor :  
Do not worry it takes some time, One of these things should warn you
Doctor :  
fever
Doctor :   vomiting
Doctor :   blood in the stool
Doctor :   a swollen abdomen
Doctor :   painful cracks in the skin around the anus
User :   he has swollen abdomen but not the others
Doctor :   so take him to Doctor
Doctor :  
get him examined completely
User :   ok
User :   Is there anything I shoud worry about?
Doctor :  
It takes some time to cure this problem
Doctor :  
but you should not be worried
Doctor :  
I suspect it is simple bad bowel habits
Doctor :  
and lack of fibre in food
User :   ok
Doctor :   Now that you have changed the food, stick to whole grains, vegetables and fruits

Doctor :  
Restrict processed food
Doctor :  
Ample amounts of water shall make stool soft
User :   We used to give him Complan but stopped that too
Doctor :  
Give him cereals in breakfast, porridge, oats
Doctor :  
with nuts in it
Doctor :  
Of course milk in it too
User :   ok
Doctor :  
for flavor add the complan or other mixes
User :   Is Cornflakes fine?
User :   as they are cereals
Doctor :  
yes
User :   ok right now this is what we give
User :   Morning when he wakes up...about 3/4th glass of milk
Doctor :  
Ok apart from these what he needs is proper bowel training
User :   after about an hour or so...2-3 idlis
User :   During Lunch...we give him vegetables mixed with white rice
Doctor :  
ok
User :   In the evening...again 2-3 idlies
Doctor :  
Give him THREPTIN biscuits
User :   In the night either vegetables or dal mixed with white rice and some yoghurt
Doctor :  
Whole wheat / brain biscuits
Doctor :  
in the evenings
User :   ok
Doctor :  
eating idli shall bore them
User :   well he is not so fussy...he eats whatever we give him
Doctor :   pieces of fruits as salad is good
User :   ok
Doctor :   Did you follow what all I said?

Doctor :  
Please see me after a week of these recommendations
User :   yes thanks
Doctor :  
Please fill the feedback form
Doctor :  
Thanks for consulting us, Bye for now.
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
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