Constipation - alternative remedies — Scope | Disability forum
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Constipation - alternative remedies

katlil Member Posts: 17
Has anyone tried anything that works?

Lily has been on Movicol for the last 3 years (she's now 5) but it makes her quite loose and so we're having problems toilet training. She did manage wees for a few months but we had to put her back into pull-ups when she go bunged up adn then she stopped going ot the toilet for wees.

I've come across something called Benefiber on the net which you cna but form Supermarkets. Going to give that a try but wondering if anyone else has tried it.

I was also debating going to see someone, e.g. Homeopath, Osteopath, etc. Anyone tried that?

We have tried Bowen in the past and I'm wondering whether we go back and give that another try.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated as she starts maintream full time in Sept and I really don't want her starting in pull-ups. I'd love to start something now as it gives me 3 months to get into back into the routine of going.

Thanks! x


  • sarahpratten
    sarahpratten Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Have never had a serious problem, but found that syrup of figs (available from chemists) helped my son.

    Best wishes,
  • Mandy31
    Mandy31 Member Posts: 5
    My daughter has Lactulose Solution from her G.P or you can buy from a chemist.
    She's semi toliet trained. Good luck Mandy
  • Leilasmum
    Leilasmum Member Posts: 8
    When we weaned our daughter, she got constipated a few times and I used to boil a dried prune in a bit of water and gave that to her in a bottle. She liked it as it was naturally sweet. It took a day or two to have an effect, although a friend of mine used them more regularly with her baby girl and she said that soon after they first tried it, it only took hours to work. I'll get the prunes out again myself as my daughter has just started having difficulties again in that area :-) O, make sure the prune juice is quite concentrated, meaning use only a little water and try and squash the prune a bit with a fork. When the water has turned brown and you pour it into a cup, also squeeze all liquid out of the prune by mashing it in a little sieve. The more concentrated, the better. And this is a cheap and healthy method :-)
  • redicane
    redicane Member Posts: 4

    Can I ask how much movicol you are giving. Maybe you should decrease the dose a little. Our consultant told us to gauge it as we know what works. Laoise is usually on 1 sachet a day but occasionally she needs more and sometimes when she is loose she needs less.

    We were advised also by the consultant to give 100mls of pure prune juice a day. Get the most pure you can find. We get ours from a health food shop.

    The other thing we do is a constipation massage which we find brilliant. If I find that she has not gone for a day or two, I will do the massage and she usually goes within a few hours. We were shown how to do it by the OT, so maybe if your ask your OT they may be able to help you.

    I have also done oesteopathy. It worked very well and at the time we did not need to use any medication for about 6 months. The only reason I have not continued with this is that we have to travel quite a bit to avail of the service and trying to fit it in between all the other appointments and my study was very difficult. I intend to do some more over the summer.
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Hi Redicane

    She is on 1 sachet of Movicol but that doesn't make her go every day.

    If she has 2 she goes loads and it leaks out of her pull-ups onto her clothes. I couldn't keep her on 2 as it was getting very messy at school and I was worried they wouldn't take her.

    If she has half she poos little and often several times a day.

    We've also tried stopping the Movicol altogether. When we do that, she only goes once a week. She has no problem passing it, but it is huge (school said they thought an elephant had been!). On the plus side she knew she had to push it out and was happy to sit and do it on the potty. However, I read that the bowel can stretch which could cause long term problems. She also suffered from overflow, and small amounts would leak out in the 2 days running up to her having the huge poo.

    I'm going to get some prune juice to try but I can't help but think she won't entertain it. Other than that I'm running out of ideas...
  • Leilasmum
    Leilasmum Member Posts: 8
    Just writing to let you know that Leila has been drinking prune juice (rather than boiling a dried prune I ended up buying pure prune juice (from concentrate) from Tesco) for the last three days and things have been moving much better since yesterday :-) I give her about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup full and then dilute that with water and offer it to her throughout the day. It seems to have worked for us nicely.
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Hi Leilasmum

    I bought a bottle of pure prune juice (from concentrate) from Holland & Barratt on Monday night. It sat in the fridge until this morning when I brought it out and offered it to Lily. I managed to get about 2ml down her. I didn't dilute it. Should I have? She didn't say it was awful, but I doubt I'll be able to get her to drink much more than that.

    I was just about to post and ask how much I should be trying to get her to drink each day. Does 2ml sound too little?

    The problem with Lily is the more you try to get her to drink the less she'll have. She will quite happily gulp down a carton of apple capri sun or a fruitshoot. But, give her a drink of fresh juice or diluted juice in a cup and she takes ages to drink a few mils. I've tried putting juice into empty fruitshoot bottles but she's not daft...

    Fingers crossed!!!
  • Leilasmum
    Leilasmum Member Posts: 8
    Hi jogo, you don't have to dilute it at all, I'm just doing it as Leila is only used to milk and water and I thought the more diluted it is the more likely she is to drink it. In fact, not diluting the juice would mean she doesn't have to drink as much, so if she doesn't refuse it because it is too sweet, then stick with undiluted juice! I would have thought 2 ml won't do much difference, but I might be wrong. The quarter of a cup worth that Leila's been having has seemed to do it for her. How old is Lily? Would she be motivated by a fancy straw? Leila's only just figured out how to drink with a straw, and the novelty of this has distracted her enough from the unusual (since so sweet and different, she wouldn't drink any kind of juice) taste to get enough down her. Also, at every mealtime I put the cup to her lips without giving her time to look at the colour of the content and she just takes a sip or two. Then in between the straw comes out for some fun time, and with these combined methods the cup is usually empty by the end of the day. So, just get as much into her as she lets you and see how it goes. Good luck :-) Would be great if this helped her and was able to bypass a medical laxative . . .
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Hi Leilasmum

    Sorry, that should have been 2 fl oz, not 2 ml.

    Anyway she's had the 2 fl oz for the last 3 days, and she has done a few poos each day. I think the Movicol is still in her system as the poos are still a bit sticky. Are Leila's firm or sticky? I'm hoping for a firmer poo so that she can feel it coming and has to push it out. If we can get to that stage then we stand more chance of being able to toilet train her.

    This morning she did grumble about the tase a bit, so she had a sip of prune juice, then a gulp of apple, a sip of prune juice, then more appple, etc. etc. I read somewhere that apple juice is a good laxative too, so hopefully combining the 2 will work well.

    We'ved dropped the Movicol for the time being, so fingers crossed!!!
  • Leilasmum
    Leilasmum Member Posts: 8
    Hi jogo, 2 fl oz make much more sense :-) Leila's poo was really hard for the weeks before the prune juice. Now they're firm but a bit squishy at the same time. She strains a bit when doing one (I can usually tell when she's pushing one out :-) but she's thankfully not in pain with it any more and it's a lot less work for her. I suppose if Lily's poo comes out too easily you should see what happens if you give her slightly less prune juice. It's all about finding the right balance... Sounds like you're on the right track though! x
  • AnnieB
    AnnieB Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Just to add to the debate.
    My daughter (now nearly 16) had similar problems when small & tried lactulose and prune juice etc. What we found worked for her was YAKULT. one little bottle each day seemed to sort out her tummy issues. It also helps with the opposite problem that was often bought on when she has antibiotics! She still has one a day even now. I've recommended this to lots of other Mums and it seems to help in about 50% of cases, but its worth a try! The milky taste was what made it palatable for my daughter, she's never been a big juice drinker. Also recent research has shown that the pro-biotic in Yakult also has benefits for children with asthma. Take care. AnnieB
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Hi AnnieB

    Thanks for that advice. I'll buy some tonight. Lily loves yogurts and milk, so hopefully she'll try these. I gave up with the prune juice as she refused to drink it after a few days.

    Can anyone advise, are there any specialists that children can see for constipation? I really don't rate our paed as we've been back and forwards for the last 3 years and all he suggests is movicol, movicol and movicaol. Half the time we don't even get to see him, we end up seeing one of his juniors.

    I've been thinking about going to see our GP, but wonder whether she'll just say that the Paed knows best.

    Lily is now full time in Reception, and still wearing her pull-ups. She dosn't bother to ask to go to the toilet as she knows she can just wee in her pull-ups. I had to up her to 2 sachets of movicol at the end of last week as she was complaing of a sore tummy. She had around 8-10 poos of varying sizes on sat and sun. I'm getting really fed up with all of this, and the constant changing of nappies. I'm also worried because she permanently smells and worry that at some point children at school are going to notice and start teasing her...
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Well, we tried the Yakult. Lily took one sip, said it was disgusting, and refused to look at it.

    So, last Thursday we went to see the GP. I explained how I felt we were getting nowhere and she was really understanding. She suggested we go back to basics, and has prescribed Lactulose. Since then I've given her 15ml morning and night (so 30ml per day). She is still having very small poos a couple of times a day, but it's all still quite sticky and very similar to what was happening with a small does of Movicol. I'm convinced she isn't fully emptying out her bowels. I'm also concerned that she may have become reliant on the Movicol.

    I'm not sure what to do. Do I give it a bit longer? She's not straining, and not complaining of a sore tummy. Should I try Calfig? Do I just go back to the GP?

    I don't know what to do for the best...
  • renacahill
    renacahill Member Posts: 145
    Hello. Fortunately we do not have this issue - load of others but not this! I read recently flax seed sprinkled on food does wonders, endorsed by another poster. It cant hurt to try, I think they are fairly small and good for some mineral or other, so maybe sneak it into food or say its magic fairy dust or some such as Lily seems to know her own mind!
  • b8s
    b8s Member Posts: 33
    I was just wondering how much fluid your daughter drinks. My little girl also uses Movicol which has a similar effect. In summer her constipation is far worse as she doesn't drink enough. Our GP suggested giving her a bowl of jelly everyday as a stress free way of increasing fluid intake, and it works really well. I suspect she will always need some help as it is not just poor drinking which causes her problem, but we are looking at things we can change which aggrevate it so we do not have to use large amounts of Movicol. Please keep me up to date with your progress, as toilet training is something we are hoping to achieve over the next yearish, and I know the Movicol is going to be a problem.
  • katlil
    katlil Member Posts: 17
    Thanks but we've tried that. It was quite dry and grainy and she gagged whenever I put it into anything.

    I started her off on 5ml of Calfig last night (as well as the Lactulose morning and night). Fingers crossed something happens today. If not I'm going to up the Calfig to 10ml at night until I get her going.


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