Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Nicole | 2011/01/20


4yr old holding stool

Hi Doc, My 4yr hold has always suffered with hard stools... in the past month we have tried desperatley to help by including more water and fibre in her diet - Now it looks as if she is scared to go to the toilet and when i question her she says its to sore... it gets to a point where she " leaks"  in her panty, and if i never knew any better i would say that she has diahorrea. At the moment she has not had a stool for about 4 days. She went to the dr about 2 weeks ago with tonsilitis and i asked him to check on this problem, but said he could not feel any blockage he sent us home with Laxette and Glycerine supositories, the Laxette works after a couple of days but the supositories dont have much effect!!!!! I am really concerned! How long should we carry on like this - could it be physcological or physical?? Do we get a second opinion?? Please help- i am at my witts end!!

Expert's Reply



This is a very common problem indeed. You are describing the typical symptoms of a child who is severely constipated.The fluid stool you mention is watery stool that is leaking past her hard constipated stools. She is now at the stage where she is too scared to pass a stool because it is so painful. These very hard constipated stools need to come out. She will probably need what is called a fleet enema to remove them.The glycerine suppositories and even the Laxette are unlikely to help her at this stage. Please take her back to the paediatrician and tell him/her exactly the story you have written here.Your daughter may require a short admission to hospital for treatment so that the fleet enema can be used.Once the constipated stools are cleared out she should be on a regular stool softener such as Duphalac for some time and also a very carefully regulated diet.

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