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Child having formula milk and having constipation. Have hard and dry stools. Stomach pain. Suggest the diet to be taken?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
hello doctor,
my son is 3 years old. he was having formula milk frm 45days till 2.5years , due to this he used to have constipation. particularly after 10months (once he started his solid diet ) . it used to be hard, dry stools. as per his paeditrician, i gave him sorbiline, n agarol too. now the stool is'nt hard , dry but smells badly as well its very sticky. after having agarol, he passes stools freely but almost 5-6 times a day. for the past 2 weeks, he complains of stomach pain (but not every time) and goes for poo. stomach pain just for a few minutes and not unbearable. he remains cool. atleast 5-6 times a day he goes for poo. after every meal(other then dinner) he invariably passes stools. he stays in one place , keeps talking n playing to himself, remains silent n his face n voice slightly changes while he attempts for poo or passing stools. even we try to ask him if he wants to use potty,he says no, but goes for poo in his pants or diapers.
he is potty trained for peeing.
am actually worried. his paed doc says, give fibre diet it will improve as he grows. but am worried about the frequency of stools, stools after meals, smell and sticky nature of stool and importantly why the stomach pains (though it is not every time). i give him packaged juice(tropicana), health supplement(bournvita, boost) with milk, XXXXXXX daily. he has only egg and not other non vegetarian stuff. he once in a week has biriyani(only rice and not the meat) from outside. not fussy abt having vegetables. mostly rice, pulses, diet . wheat, millets twice a week. kindly advice.
Posted Tue, 5 Nov 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
there can be many causes

Detailed Answer:

May be what your son has is habitual constipation.

But before giving this diagnosis, you have to do some tests.

1 thyroid function test ( low thyroid is a treatable cause of constipation)

2 examination by a pediatric surgeon to rule out causes like fissure, hirsprungs disease, dilated colon,etc.

For this he may need some tests.

3 finally dietetic cause - give him both fluids and fibres which you seem to be doing.

Avoid XXXXXXX for a fortnight,give palak,greens,orange fruit( musumbi) ,some flax seeds powder ( about 1 tesspoon) in food

If all the tests are normal ,it can be termed as habitual constipation.

If you laxatives it becomes a habit !

Is he growing well with good weight gain,?

Also give a trial of change of milk brand - sometimes flood allergies can cause this sticky stool with oil smell.

Avoid for colours and preservatives and plain milk instead of bournvita!

Good luck

God bless

Dr Uma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having formula milk and having constipation. Have hard and dry stools. Stomach pain. Suggest the diet to be taken? 25 hours later
thanks Dr. Uma.

i took my son to his paed doc yesterday.. and he after thoroughly examining him said he may not seem to have any serious problem. asked me to continue with XXXXXXX but could stop milk with supplement and cud find out with trial and error. was also opting for fresh fruit juice instead of tropicana.. please advice if tropicana is ok(i am giving him packaged drink coz its better than having no fruit juice at all, my son is fussy abt eating fruits other than apple)

Doctor asked me to give him "flagyl"(composition : each 5ml contains benzoylmetronidazole equivalent to metronidazole 200mg) 4ml twice daily for 3 days in case of giardiasis.

i would like to add he is having iron supplement()for the past 2-3 weeks 5ml daily.
checked his ht and wt yesterday. he is close to 3 feet and arnd 12kgs. he was only 2.2kgs at birth. is this parameter ok for a 3year old. he completes 3 years on 23rd october.

please advice on the above points doctor.

thank u.
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
any way check thyroid function!

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for the details.

Pl do thyroid function test if not done earlier! It is a must.!

Reg falgyl for 3 days - it is OK accepted.

Reg Tropicana juice it has preservatives definitely- avoid and give fresh juice of fresh fruits.

Reg his height and weight -OK.

Yes ,by trial and error you can find out if he has any food allergy.

Iron can aggravate constipation but it is necessary .

Give iron after food.

Good luck

God bless

Dr Uma

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having formula milk and having constipation. Have hard and dry stools. Stomach pain. Suggest the diet to be taken? 2 days later
thanks once again doctor.

i will do the thyroid test as suggested by you.

i gave flagyl 1.5days(3 times) and then due to travel one day cudnt give and then gave another 1.5days(3 times) and completed 3 days with break.

actually from thursday he is not having milk and bournvita. his stools have stopped smelling and being sticky from friday. and flagyl is given from sunday till tonight.

though the foul smell and stickiness has gone, he still passes motion almost 5-6 times a day, mostly after every meal. but if we happed to go out, he doesnt pass motion for even a day. he didnt complain of stomach ache.
but today after dinner , he pooped and generally i asked if his stomach hurts, he says yes before going for poo. i dont know whether he is talking seriously.

his motion is mostly dark green(is it due to iron tonic).
the iron tonic he is having is "nafia" composition each 5ml contains sodium feradetate 231mg equivalent to 33mg elemental iron

he is having XXXXXXX regularly. even he had juice(tropicana mixed fruit). only milk and bournvita stopped.

please let me know if flagyl is to be continued? the break in giving flagyl will have any effect?

is this iron tonic ok? is poop color is dark green due to iron tonic?

is the stomach ache he says(after i asked) is to be taken seriously?

shall i conclude that milk and bournvita is allergic? i give aavin milk. if i change bournvita to some other health drink without choco will he be okay?
shud i change the milk? please advice

can i give him paneer, butter, ghee? he doesnt take curd and plain milk.

if milk is allergic, then what wud i give for calcium?
his skin around the nails used to peel before giving iron, now it has reduced. is it iron or calcium deficiency?

how come he doesnt poo while he is outside?

please advise doctor.

regards XXXXXXX

Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
yes possible food alergy

Detailed Answer:

You seem to be a very smart girl!

You have packed a lot of questions in one major query!!!!!!

Let me answer them.!

I am happy that your child is showing improvement.

Stools of 4-5 times if not watery are OK

If he is able to control outside then it is a good sign.!!

I have a feeling that what is affecting him is not the milk but some flavouring agent or cocoa or some ingredient in bournvita.

Young can try same aavin milk with some other flavour.

It is a matter of trial and error.

Each child behaves differently.

Gradually introduce milk after a week and try.

Iron can cause green stools

Do not worry.

The dose is OK.

But now stop iron for 4-5 days till he completely becomes normal.

You can try planner,ghee etc and see the effect..

Reg flagyl just finish the course.

Do not worry about the missed doses .

If he turns out to be milk allergic there armed always calcium supplements,Soya milk ,etc !

No problems!"

Good luck

God bless

Dr Uma


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