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  1. #1
    Page is offline Copper level (50+ posts)
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    Default anyone use "natural" stool softener for kids?

    Stepson (7 yrs.) has had trouble with BMs since birth due to prematurity and digestive problems. Gastotroentomologist (sp?) has recommended putting him on a laxative/stool softener. We want to find one that will be as gentle on his system as possible and can be used on a daily or every other day basis.

    Basically, he has a protein digestive issue. The proteins build up in his system and remain in there for so long that the stool absorbs all the water and he has major difficulty passing BMs. Since he's had this problem since birth, he associates going #2 with the "I have to go RIGHT now" feeling and doesn't go when he gets the first signal that most of us do. He just ignores it until the last possible minute.

    We are hoping to put him on a stool softener or fiber supplement and put him on the potty twice a day to try. We're hoping to have that work so he's not having that "need to go RIGHT now" feeling. Just something to get him regulated. He currently has BM's once to twice a week (at best) and we're trying to get him to go every day or every other day.

    Does anyone know of a gentle "all natural" stool softener? I say natural bcz his mom is big on this and we want to try to find something that she's willing to use in her household, as well. We really don't want him on two different treatments.

    So far, I have found "Senokot" that is vegetable based, but I think it is considered a laxative. Anyone ever use it? It seems that Metamucil and Citracel both have ingredients that are types of fiber...is one better than the other? Has anyone used either on an ongoing basis?

    Any experience anyone have with this topic would be greatly appreciated!

    Page

  2. #2
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    miralax is what is most often used for kids. Not sure how natural it is.
    Margaret and
    (DS 2/06) (DD 3/08)

  3. #3
    Aishe is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    The active ingredient in Senokot is senna, which, according to our pediatrician, is not appropriate for long-term use. I think Miralax is probably the best option for him.

  4. #4
    Page is offline Copper level (50+ posts)
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    I checked into Miralax and it's a laxative and I think it might be stronger than what we need. I've been doing a lot of reading and we're caught between the whole laxative vs. stool softener thing.

    The thing is a laxative makes your muscles contract abnormally to expel out the stool and a softener adds water to the stool to make it easier to pass. It seems a stool softener would be more gentle and then if it's not doing the job and we need something stronger we can get a product that is a stool softener and laxative combined.

    Plus, I'm of the understanding that Miralax is not "natural"...it's synthetic. Am I wrong on this? The main ingredient is polyethylene glycol 3350 which is considered an osmotic laxative.

    Thanks for the input...the search continues.

  5. #5
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    There were a couple great threads on this earlier this year/late last year.

    I think the hierarchy went something like this:
    -Add more sugar to diet, with full-strength juices or corn syrup (1t/day), to encourage more water absorbtion in the large intestine. Prune juice was cited by most of us as the ultimate "getting DC to go" medicine.
    -Add an "easer", such as mineral oil (1t/day), which allows things to move.
    And then go for miralax.

    Having said that, let me search for the threads. Here's one: http://www.windsorpeak.com/vbulletin...ht=prune+apple

    HTH!
    -Ivy

    Parenting two active, wonderful boys

    This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. -Gary Lew

  6. #6
    Page is offline Copper level (50+ posts)
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    Thanks for searching the threads and posting this one! I should have done that to begin with...duh!

    The suggestions Threeofus gave and the ones included in the linked thread seem very helpful.

    This whole thing is just confusing, though, because I read online that mineral oil should not be used long-term and people in the other thread said their ped recommended it.

    If we follow the hierarchy as posted, though, it would make the mineral oil and miralax the last ditch effort after diet changes, which I'm more comfortable with.

    Depending on what mom says, I think we'll try a fiber supplement, as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to post your responses. It really has helped.

  7. #7
    dcmom2b3's Avatar
    dcmom2b3 is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Instead of mineral oil, you could give flaxseed oil a try. Works great for us, and has the added benefit of being high in omega-3 fatty acids.

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