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chronic constipation in a child
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chronic constipation in a child

I am deperate for answers for my 8 yr old daughter. She has had problems with constipation as long as I can remember. She was almost 36 hrs old before her first bowel movement. About 2 yrs ago, the dr's finally started to do something about her constipation. At that time, she had numerous enemas, 3days of mag citrate, and was put on miralax 17grams a day. All of this and there is no xray at that time of her being completely cleaned out. So we had her on miralax for about 6 mths and weaned her off it. All that time she seemed to be going normally. Once weaned off, the horrible constipation started back up. Another 6 enemas, mag citrate (which has absolutely no effect on her) and a 2 day stay in the hospital which started with an NG tube of golytely that fell out after about 3 hrs at which time they gave her 4 doses a day of miralax for the 2 days she was there. She left the hospital with a "remarkable improvement". She still has no xray of a complete cleanout, so since we are in Japan, she was sent to Hawaii. We jut spent 3 weeks there and all they did was a barium enema and the dr said it was normal, so she doesn't have Hirschsprung's disease. She did have bloodwork done for thyroid, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease. These all came back normal; except that the dr changed his mind while we were there.
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The workup thus far has been comprehensive and many of the more common causes have been ruled out.

Colonic transit studies and anorectal manometry would be two more specialized tests to consider at this point.  Motility disorders as well as neuromuscular causes can be evaluated with these tests..  

You can also consider looking for cow's milk intolerance, which also can lead to chronic constipation in children.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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He said her test for celiac came back at 7.2 on a test of 1-20. He informed me that it may have been normal, but most children without it come back at 0 or 1. So he was going to take a biopsy. Then he changed his mind, retested her (results are still not back) and said that it was normal so he doubts she has it. She is now on 2 capfuls of miralax one day and 3 the next and when we left there, she still had a decent amount of stool on her one side. So the dr said it was an improvement and we are going to give her 2-3 mths (like we have every time for the past 2 yrs) and then see if her colon goes back to normal because it is still so large. In the end he said that he's not worried about how often she is going, but how soft it is. Her stool has been this soft consistency since Jan, again, and her colon still hasn't gone back to normal. I just want to know what else can be wrong with her? Is this normal and what should they be doing for her? I have no where else to turn and don't know what else to do. I am worried at something happening to her especially if they take her off the miralax. I am also worried at the amount she is taking. The dr said he's not even worried about the med until she is taking 5 capfuls a day, but he hopes sh doesn't get to needing that much. He pretty much told me that if she needs it, give her whatever she needs!! This really concerns me and I don't know what else to do or where I can get answers! Any help that can be offered will be appreciated more than you know! Thank you so much in advance ad sorry to take up so much room, I am just so desperate and don't know what else to do.
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So it is ok for her to be on such a high dose of miralax?
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Hi - sorry to tell you, but the gastro doc does not ever respond to supplementary questions - you have to repost unfortunately.

I am so sorry to hear of your daughter's bowel problems. I have had Crohn's for some 37 yrs so have the opposite problem. However, my husband suffers with constant constipation, and we have recently found a new med, over the counter, that has really helped him. It is called Aloe Pura with syrup of figs. entirely natural, and not a quack medicine, just a natural way of getting food through the colon, and better than laxative tablets he says.  The bottle we buy from a health food store, is made in England, but they do have a website and may be able to post it to you. Just google "Aloe Pura".
Hope this helps and your daughter gets better soon.
Liz.
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I have had chronic constipation for many years. The traditional doctors never could find the reason. Then, a holistic doctor, as well as my own extensive research, found that I had an over growth of yeast in my gut. Traditional MD's don't believe in this problem. But it is very real, I assure you. Some babies are born with it. I'd be very interested in knowing if your daughter had any other yeast related problems, like cradle cap, or thrush, or a yeasty diaper rash. Even if she didn't this can still be her problem.You see, we each have about 5 lbs. of good, healthy, probiotic bacteria in our guts. We also have about a pound of bad, harmful bacteria. The good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria in check. When the good bacteria gets weakened or dies (many things can cause this, incl. antibiotics) the bad bacteria florishes and takes over. The result, chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea. It can be helped. She would go on a healthy diet which would include eliminating all simple carbs, even natural ones like fruit, because they feed yeast. And she would take a good probiotic. The best one on the market is Primal Defense Ultra. It can be purchased thru a co. called Garden of Life, cheaper than in the health food store. Before putting her on something like this, see a holistic doctor. Go to Dr. Don Colbert's web site. Read more about this and check out his books. And consider making an appointment with this great doctor. If you haven't had a second opinion from a holistic doctor, he's the one you need to see.  He's in Fla. And very godly man. By the way, he has a fantastic book called, What Would Jesus Eat. You and your daugher would benefit from this diet, regardless of the problem.  Good Luck!  
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mifegr- Of my 3 children, she was the only one to have cradle cap, she had thrush once, and she got yeast infections from the bubble bath. But once the dr asked if she took bubble baths and we found out this was the cause, we stopped giving her bubble baths and she never had another one. If it was yeast, how do we find out? Do they run a test or something? So what kind of a diet do you eat of you have a yeast problem?

lizziecee- I will look into this also. We have tried so many things. But we have been willing to try things... whatever it takes for her not to feel the pain she did.
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i would as your dr to biopsy your childs intestine to rule out hirschprungs. a barium enema is not totally diagnostic.  hope this helps
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My daughter is 10 now, and right from birth was always so badly constipated. Even to the point of taking her to the emerg for it a few times.

About 6 months ago I took milk out of her diet,within 2 weeks we noticed she was free of the constipation,and she is fine now. It took us 9.5 years to figure this out. There is a very high possibility she has a tolerance to milk.
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My daughter was admitted to the hospital in Jan. to be cleaned out. When she came home, we tried using lactose free milk for her without any difference. I am assuming this would be the same thing. She never has drank too much mil or milk products, but I guess I could try it again and see.
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Try soy milk not lactose free.  We went to our son's gastronoligist today and we were  told to use soy milk instead of milk to see if it will help him.  I tried lactose free in the past w/ our son and it did nothing; I mentioned this to the Dr. and she said lactose free milk is still milk based.  Our son is 2 years old and has not pooped on his own w/o meds since we started him on formula at 4 months of age.  I just started using the soy tonight and I hope to get results fast and I hope this completely eleviates all his symptoms.  My son has had all the tests that your daughter has had and it came back normal too.  I am at a loss at how to help my son.  We just had to up his daily dose again, seems like every several months it gets a little worse.  I am so sorry you didnt get the biopsy done for your daughter, and I am mean so sorry.  If your like me you would want to completely rule out everything.  A biopsy is supposed to be done on my son soon.  We have a appointment w/ surgeon next week.  My son had a negative barium enema too but his surgeon said he will do a boipsy if we want.  His surgeon doesnt think he has hirschpungs either,  My son also has waardenburg syndrome and hirschprungs can be affiliated w/ it. I believe that is the only reason why he is willing to do the biopsy. I hope you get answers and help soon.  Definitely try soy milk and also if soy doesnt help I would somehow, someway get a biopsy done.  Can you try finding a doc in japan, maybe get another insurance, or get your doc to refer you to another specialist?
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From what I have read, in an ultra short segment hirschsprung's disease it wouldn't show up on a barium enema and that the only way sometimes it shows up is with the manometry? (Or the balloon test they call it). So I am not 100% convinced she doesn't have the hirschsprungs disease. My sister had it and had surgery when she was 1 day old. I think if she did it would be a short or ultra short segment. But from what I have read, even that can cause the real bad constipation and a lot of the same symptoms as any other form of it. I will try the soy milk. I am trying to remember if that is what I tried the first time. There were 2 times we tried different milk. As far as the biopsy here, I am assuming if I could ask around and find a dr. out in town that speaks english to take her to, I would have to pay for the biopsy though. It would be worth it, but I don't know of a dr. right now. I am thinking of once we get back to the states if I have to take her to a dr. then, even if I have to pay for it. I need to look into it though I guess. Do you know when the biopsy is going to be done on your son? I would like to know what happens. I know how I feel so bad for my daughter. It's so hard to see them in such pain. And then the dr's here keep trying to convince themselves that this is normal I guess because everytime they tell me we're to the point it's not, they change their mind and say that maybe now everything will go back to normal. It is so frustrating and right now we're back to a wait and see stand point. It's nice to know there are other people out there with the same problem though!
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Were meeting w/ the surgeon 8/17 and I dont know how long after that meeting we will have to wait for the biopsy.  I am so desperate for answers, keeping his constipation under control isnt easy.  I always have to keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesnt start backing up or become impacted.  It is so confusing and annoying to have to think about it so often.  Our son's last barium enema ended up being prepped when it wasnt supposed to be. Our son had problems a couple days before the test and I had to clean him out.  I was upset becuase unprepped barium might have given us more info. I hope both our kids get answers soon.  It sure would be nice for them to go w/o meds.  I actually think there is a good chance that my son might have hirschprung's, because what else could it be.  If it's not I dont know what else it could be.  I guess just wait it out.  I dont want it to be anything and that tommorrow all of a sudden he wont need his meds and he wont be uncomfortable or in pain.  My son is thin, for his age and height, and GI told us to also put soy formula in the soy milk.  My son's constipation is very well affecting his eating habits.  He refuses to eat when he has problems pooping.  I notice when he goes a lot and doesnt whine or cry he is a eating machine, and than he starts having problems and stops eating and I see him actually get thinner(that's when I have to up his daily dose).  I dont think constipation in children should be taken lightly; his docs dont seem to be as assertive to finding the problem as I think they should be.  They are slower w/ getting test done than I think they should be.  His GI specialist also said his rectum is smaller then normal for his age, so I dont know if getting milk out of his diet will totally help him; but might alieviate some or most of his symptoms if he is sensitive to it.  I hope you can find a doc soon, hopefuly in Japan so you dont have to wait too long.  Try to make as many calls as you can or maybe research on the internet for a doc in Japan.  Definitely find a doc that you can trust.  I will tell you what happens with the biopsy.  Are you on any other forums?
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From: mifegr
I'm sorry I didn't answer your question sooner. I have been ill. Your daughters problems are yeast related. She has had thrush, cradle cap, and yeast infections from bubble baths. I assure you, her constipation is from yeast. The first thing you must do is take her off of all sweeteners. Even natural ones like honey. No sugar in any form except fresh fruit. No white flour either. Get the books, The Bible Cure of Candida and Yeast Infections and The Bible Cure recipes for Overcoming Candida.  Both are tiny little books. Both are by Don Colbert, M.D. And start giving her plain yogurt sweetened with Stevia. Stevia is the only sweetener she can have. Get it from the health food store. Put some stevia and some pure vanilla (not extract, get this from the health food store too) in the plain yogurt. Give that to her every day. You can also blend the stevia, oh boy, just email me...my email address is ***@****  My name is Gina.  
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My email address didn't post.  I'm a Nutritionist and I really want to help you.  Mis the plain yogurt, stevia, and some fresh fruit, like half a banana in a blender and give her this.  It tastes great and the probiotics in it combat the yeast.  The best probiotic on the market is called Primal Defense Ultra by Garden of Life.  You can order thru a co. called Apple A Day 877-277-5357. You'll have to purchase the powder because she won't be able to swallow the capsules.  If you read these books, and follow them, put her on the probiotic, stop the sugar and white flour, and feed her healthy, whole, natural foods, she will come around. Listen, the reason I want to help you so much is because your daughter case sounds exactly like mine. Exactly. The yeast caused chronic conspitation. I couldn't get any of these stupid traditional medical doctors to believe me after I figured out what was going on. Now my entire colon is going to removed due to 16 years of laxative abuse. If the yeast would have been cured, there would have been no consipation, and therefore, no laxative abuse. Google Don Colbert, M.D. That's where you will buy these 2 books from. Also purchase the book, What Would Jesus Eat. It's a stupid title, but a great book and you and your family will all benefit from eating this way, not just your daughter. Then, find a holistic Do or MD in your area. If he thinks it is yeast he is going to tell you to go on this same diet, read these same books, take her off junk food and sugar and white flour, and start giving her an probiotic like Primal Defense Ultra.(By the way, if her tries to sell you another probiotic, don't buy it. There is no better one than this) However, he will also put her on an antifungal drug.  That will help. Just DO NOT stop it before she is completely symptom free and even then she should still stay on it for several months. The reason why you want to take an antifungal drug as a last resort is because, if you take her off of it before the yeast has totally cleared out, the yeast will grow stonger. That's what happened to me. My constipation left after 10 days on Diflucan, then the doc took me off.  The next day I got a full blown vaginal yeast infection and the constipation was wrose. When they put me back on the Diflucan, nothing happened.  I would do those things I mentioned. Then, if they help but not completely, go see Dr. Clbert in Fla.  Good Luck.  PS  While at the health food store, but pure aloe vera capsules and George's aloe vera juice.  Have her take this every night.  As much as she needs to move her bowels. It's perfectly safe. But after a few years, it will stop working. So get rid of the yeast while she's using the aloe vera to move her bowels. I'll look on here for you again soon.
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What meds does you son take, if you don't mind me asking? I am not on any other forums. I have looked and looked into problems and what it could be and for some sort of forum, but haven't really found anything. It's frustrating and I know what you mean about not being as assertive as they should be. I feel the same way. I have heard some awful things that can happen when the colon is stretched and it scares me. My e-mail is ***@****. You can e-mail me and maybe we can talk that way.
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forget that, mine didn't post either. Are you at any forums?
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I am not really on any other forums.  I have checked out and posted on a hirschsprung's forum on yahoo's groups to ask info; but otherwise I am not.  I did find one site that had parent's on there w/ chronic constipation and thought this was a perfect site, but I lost it and have never found it agaain.  My son is on 1 1/4 caps of Miralax a day; he's also on little tummy lax of 5ml a day only when he seems full (which is a few to several times a month), and glycerin suppositories (when stuck and about once a month)  One thing that I found also helps him go, not just meds, is apple juice.  I quit giving him juice for a few months to have him eat more and when I started giving him apple juice again I noticed he would go soon after the juice.  My son is on a high fiber diet, but I dont notice a difference when he does get less; but I sure do notice a difference when I give him apple juice (it only makes it easier for him, but not enough to reduce meds).  Boy do I wish I can find that other forum the children on there totally sounded like ours, and they were all different ages.  One thing I wonder is how much it can be behavior for my son, like if he is scared to go.  I know it isnt all behavior, but I wonder is okay for him to be a little uncomfortable or how uncomfortable is he really or is it anxiety?  Docs dont think it is all behavior, one thinks maybe some.  This is my first and I really dont know how a kids should/will act when they need to go.  I also have a one year old and he is easy going and doesnt care about going, but I wonder if its okay for my 2 year old to whine and want to be held when he needs to go.  That's the part that is so confusing.  Doc has me up his dose when he chronically is like that to keep from being behaivior.  Wish there were specific directions on how to handle everything, because I know the docs are somewhat dumbfounded on what to do.
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I tried looking a little for that forum and all I found weren't active. They were from 2001. jusshell2001 @ yahoo.com
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ok, it wouldn't come out any other way so that is my e-mail address. Of course there are no spaces in it, so put it together.
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Your daughter has a yeast infection in her gut.  Eventually, your going to accept this.  Do you know how child gets cradle cap, thrush, and vaginal yeast infections?  Think of it this way, have you ever heard of grown women who take antibiotics and get a vaginal yeast infection as a result?  It happens all the time.  They are not putting the antibiotic up their vaginas.  They are putting them down their throats.  When the antibiotic kills off the bad bacteria that it's meant to kill, it also kills off the good bacteria.  We have good probiotic bacteria in our guts, and we have bad, harmful bacteria in our guts. Everyone does at all times.  Antibiotics kill the good bacteria and then the bad bacteria (of which it is the good bacterias job to keep in check) is able to run rampent.  It gets out of control. The bad bacteria in the GUT gets out of control.  Then it effects all systems.  Causing vaginal yeast infections, thrush, cradle cap.  A strong immune system should keep the bad bacteria in check in babies.  But for some reason, your babies immune system didn't do it's job.  It is rare for a child to have a vaginal yeast infection.  And thrush!  Your daughter has a yeast infection in her gut.  That's why she is constipated.  I've alread given you all the guidance you need to help her.  I won't be back to this site again after today because my computor is being disconnected.  Please, help your daughter.  Only you can do it.  She's constipated because she has yeast!
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you say to use plain yougurt.  Should this be soy yogurt if I suspect milk intollerance.  I have a 4 year old who has always been constipated.  Miralax will work, but one day we are ok and the next is horrible.  There has to be a reason for this and this is the first website I've come across with any type of help.
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My son is having the biopsy done on Friday.  He said they usually have answers two days after, so we probably wont find out the 4th or 5th. I continue to keep you updated.  I emailed you, dont know if you received the email?
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No I didn't get your e-mail. I just decided today that I would go ahead and see if anyone else had posted anything. Good luck with the biopsy. The e-mail address I wrote should be all together instead of with the spaces, but it wouldn't let me post it any other way. So maybe if you wrote it exactly how I had it up there is why I didn't get it. I am sorry. I would like to know what they say about your son's biopsy though. I do hope it all goes well.
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My daughter has had chronic constipation, but sience she was nine (13 now). She's tried the entire candida diet including nystatin for 5 months, no result. All tests have been normal. After ng golytely cleanout she's been on 3cap of miralax a day and a lot of fluids, her colon is slowly shrinking again and she's supposed to be mostly cleaned out. Still she has severe pain so they are thinking maybe ibs? hopefully treating that will get her pain-free. Has ibs been considered for your son? I hope he gets better!
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No mention of ibs for a possibility for my son.  But the biopsy surgery is now scheduled for 9/13 due to the we missed the surg. appoint.  We both thought it was scheduled friday, but it was actualy scheduled thursday.  Big oops,.  What are the symptoms for IBS in a child and can an infant have it; he was 4 months old when he started having problems from switching to formula.  Oh, soy milk has not seemed to have made a difference for my son yet.  I wonder how long it should take if it would work.  My guess would be a few weeks.  
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I sent you another email.  If you dont see it, maybe its getting blocked or maybe in the junk mail.  I havent received anything from my mail box saying that it cant go through.  
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I didn't get it. But I will be honest, I wasn't thinking of looking for one and I may have deleted it without looking closely. That is too bad you have to wait til the 13th for the biopsy. After that you have to wait a few days for the results?? Hopefully you will get some answers. The soy milk didn't work for us either or lactose free. And I had a hard time getting my daughter to drink it.


partyhatunicorn: So the yeast diet didn't work? I would have to order all the stuff I need and I have been looking into it. My daughters problems, like desgei's son, started very early. They tested your daughter for Hirschsprung's too? So when they cleaned out your daughter did they make sure there was nothing at all in there? They didn't for my daughter, but as the dr stated that's where the poop goes and there will always be something in there unless they admit her again and try the liquid diet with the ng golytely. Even after 2 days in the hospital for that on a liquid diet, she still wasn't totally cleaned out. And she was upped to 3 capfuls a day but her hair was falling out real bad, so we are back to 2, but I am not convinced that she is cleaned out right now even though she is going the way the dr says she should be. So, it's been 8 mths since she was in the hospital with no improvement and her colon isn't shrinking. Or at least it hadn't 2 mths ago. So I guess we will wait and see.
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I, too, was severely constipated as a child to the point of having an enlarged colon.  At age ten, I refused to drink milk anymore as I never liked it.  After I quit drinking milk, I had no problem with constipation ever again.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend soy milk either as it is in the top ten of allergies.  If your daughter has a sensitive gut, she may react to soy also.
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Have you considered the yeast as being a cause to your daughter's problem?  I have a couple family members with a yeast problem but when they follow the diet as previously spoken about they have normal bowel movements.  It doesn't hurt to look into it--you have tried everything else.  
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