View Full Version : How should I address dd's constipation issue?

09-24-2006, 10:05 PM

Dd has been constipated for quite a while (I dont remember when it started, but it is at least several months). The confusing thing is that she has a good diet. We are vegetarians and she loves fruits and veggies. I was sure it was dairy products (she was allergic to them as a baby, but seemed to outgrow the allergy), so I did not give her dairy for over a week and it did not help.

The way I see it there can be a couple of more explanations
-she is allergic to soy
-she is allergic to soy and dairy
-she doesnt drink enough (a chronic problem, she is a wonderful eater, but not that interested in drinking
-she is allergic to wheat or something else

I have also considered taking her to an alternative practictioner. I am never thrilled with the advice MDs give on these type of issues. One of my friends thinks homeopathy would be the way to go. Yet another friend recommended finding magnesium supplements for children.

What do you all think?

single mommy to my 3 yr old from Guatemala

09-24-2006, 10:17 PM
apple juice (undiluted) and prune juice always worked for us.
But sometimes it took a while to work.
I hope you get a solution - I remember this being a very frustrating problem.

09-24-2006, 10:31 PM
you could attempt some therapeutic massage. You could also really step up the fluids. what kind of soy milk are you using? is it packed with iron? that could be constipating. i would think about seeing a ped, but they will only tell you what you already know. How bad is the constipation? it is important to get it under control if its bad enough. that would be what got me to the doc. DD has suffered with constipation nearly her whole life and is also lactose intolerant. we haven't been able to find a complete solution, but i discovered that offering her diluted juice all day long helps her to at least poop every day. i was a strict "no juice" mom because water is healthier and all that, but she's more apt to drink the juice.....

good luck! i hope you find something that works!

09-24-2006, 10:52 PM
I would definitly find an alternative practictioner or get an opinion from a different MD before you try any supplements.
Best of luck to you!

09-24-2006, 10:52 PM
Robyn,I wouldn't necessarily assume it was a true allergy. Honestly, if you believe that she doesn't drink much liquid, then she probably doesn't and I would focus my attention on that! Does she drink lots of milk/soymilk? She may be quenching her thirst with that and not really getting enough water. At three years old, a bit of juice diluted with water is still sweet enough for my kiddo to drink a ton--it doesn't have to be full strength (1/4 to 1/2" in bottom of cup, topped full with water works). I'd really see what you could to to make this more palatable for her, or more fun. We just offer milk during meals, but water/juice for snacktime.

Our ped, when my son was dealing with this briefly, suggested that glycerine suppositories might work to ease things (blockage--sorry, TMI) until the fiber/water has a chance to work on her system. I don't know how you feel about that, but for me I'd rather try something as minor as glycerine rather than work with supplements.

Good luck, I know this can be quite stressful!

Mommy to Matthew Clayton, 5/19

09-24-2006, 10:56 PM
Fruits can be very hydrating and a good substitute for kids who don't like to drink liquids. I'd try lots of watermelon and other "watery" fruits for a few days to see if that helps.

09-25-2006, 06:57 AM
Our DD is vegetarian and has the same issue. Apple juice always does the trick, or half juice, half water. We just give it when she's constipated (though it's not as frequent as it seems to be for you).

Also, dcp just recommended 1 prune per day. We're giving it a try, though I think more fluids is probably the answer since she eats a ton of fruit and veggies already. Anyway, it can't hurt, plus she likes them.

ETA, our regular pediatrician was great on advice for this. He didn't even mention meds. He said juice--especially juices beginning with a p--pear or prune! He's young, though, so is aware of natural methods that work well. Some older docs are more likely to push drugs, imo.

09-25-2006, 07:47 AM
When Nathan had some issues my ped recommended 1 oz of prune juice every day. I mixed it w/ apple but did it 100%. Nathan was so amazed it wasnt watered down he drank it w/ no problem. It did the trick.

The 1 oz kept it soft but not runny.

09-25-2006, 08:34 AM
You probably already know this, but go easy on the bananas. Those are constipating. DD has been constipated from the very beginning. She loves bananas, but we are sure to give her grapes (cut up) when we give her bananas. DD doesn't really drink much, either, so we do try to give her liquidy fruits like a PP mentioned, and lots of apples for the fiber. That seems to help.

09-25-2006, 08:39 AM
My daughter was also pretty constipated. I heard lower fat milk was less constipating, so she went to skim at two years.

She also has diluted white grape juice every morning. Some mornings she gets more juice than others, depending. ;) I heard somewhere that white grape juice is somehow easier on infant/toddler tummies than apple juice. I did a quick google and the first articles are from Welches http://www.welchs.com/healthy/white_healthnews.html but here's a couple others http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/23252.htm & http://www.usaweekend.com/00_issues/000723/000723eatsmart.html.

When she was younger and the problem was worse, we used diluted prune juice. But, now a bit of white grape juice does the trick. Now, if only my son liked it too....

09-25-2006, 09:16 AM
If it is dairy, it will take longer than 1 week to fix the issue. My dd had constipation issues due to dairy and it took 2 weeks of removing all dairy, even traces for it to show some improvement and about 3 weeks before the issue was fixed. Soy usually goes hand and hand with dairy, it did for my dd.

Magnesium will help. But becareful when giving it, if you give too much you end up with diarreah and in small kids you can mess up their potassium and calcium. Once daily should be plenty.

Not drinking enough doesn't help but if she eats that much fruit and veggies she should be getting some liquid that way. Try more water. Apple juice can make things worse, pear juice works better. Apple juice does work but it can cause gas and a bellyache is the last thing you need right now.

09-25-2006, 11:31 PM
Thanks everyone! You are all so smart and knowledgeable!

Interesting about the too much iron idea. I never thought of that! I looked at our soymilk and its 10% of the daily recommended amount. She only drinks about one serving a day, but we do lots of beans, and I think they may have iron as well.

I think I will just let her go wild with the watery fruits (I actually have had to limit in the past, as she would be happy just to eat fruit, and more fruit, and more fruit) and try some of the juice suggestions.

single mommy to my 3 yr old from Guatemala

09-26-2006, 01:13 PM
My son has constipation also so I am very glad for this post and all your knowledge. I have tried prune juice (Trader's Joe) before and he didn't like it all. Is there any particular one that your children enjoy?



09-26-2006, 01:16 PM
you could also try white grape juice. DD seemed to prefer it to other things. I use the gerber juices.

09-26-2006, 01:45 PM
Is she potty trained or in the process? She could be holding it in, which is common during potty training.

When DD was holding her poop, we put some Benefiber in her milk (you can put it in anything - it's tasteless) to help her along. For a while she was really constipated and it hurt when she finally went. The pain made her scared to go again, so the holding continued. When we started giving her the Benefiber and she started having poops that didn't hurt she started doing better.

Just a thought since it doesn't sound like it is related to her diet.

09-26-2006, 02:51 PM

She has been potty trained for way over a year, so that's not the issue, but a good guess!

I havent tried the prune juice yet, but I like someone's idea of putting a little prune juice into apple or pear juice.

single mommy to a 3 yr old from Guatemala

09-26-2006, 02:55 PM
OK I don't hink that the solution we used is probably as natural as you would like, but our ped recommended mineral oil. Pardon the pun, but it really did work to grease the skids.


Mama to Brendan, aka Boomer, my little peanut who is allergic to peanuts! 01/16/04


09-26-2006, 04:06 PM
Hmmm, is she taking any new medication (particularly something like Benedryl)?

I sure hope you're able to find the cause, it's sad to see them uncomfortable.