Childhood Diseases

Posted by: margaret | 2010-02-01


chronically constipated

Hi Doc

My 2 and a half year old daughter has been struggling with constipation as from July 2009. It happened quite suddenly, meaning that she never struggled with it before. I went to see our Paediatrician in October 2009 and she prescribed Pegicol for 3 months (three times per day for the first week, reduced to 2 times a day thereafter). The Paed did an external examination and said that she could " feel"  that their is a lot of faeces present. All went well while she was on Pegicol, but now she' s struggling again. Had diaree last week - this week she' s constipated, despite the fact that I have given her Pegicol (1X per day) for the past two days. She complains about stomache ache quite often (usually between 16:00 and 18:00.). What bothers me is that she " tries to keep it in when she wants to poo."  She also complains that it " hurts back there" , so I' ve decided to apply some Bactroban and/or a local aneasthetic cream, which seemed to help a bit. (The Paed had a look by the way and said that there' s no " cuts"  present.) My little girl is eating well, she loves Weet-Bix, apple, banana, grapes, peaches BUT refuses to eat some of the fruit unless it' s peeled - which doesn' t help. She eats her veggies, chicken, red meat and fish. Loves raisins, dried apricots - but can consume only so much of it at a time! She refuses to drink water though. Loves Rooibos (black) and Sweeto colddrink. Should I " force"  her to drink water? If so, how should I go about it? What should I do. Shall I take her back to my Paed? Please help - I feel so sorry for her!

Expert's Reply



It is unusual that your daughter suddenly started with constipation when she was about 2 years old. She may have ha an anal tear at the time which has now healed. From your description now she appears to be significantly constipated and has what is known as overflow incontinence which is the liquid stool which leaks past lots of constipated stool trapped in her rectum.Your daughter is on a good diet and drinks enough except for water but do not force her to drink this. She may need an enema to clear the constipated stool and for this reason should see the paediatrician again. This should be as soon as you can get an appointment.

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