My youngest has been suffering from constipation for a couple of weeks. The only way she can go by the use of laxatives and stimulants. The doctors are not being much help. What can we do or use to help her?
I have suffered from this since I was a child. From the sounds of your situation, your doctors aren't much help…mine weren't either until now.
First, please have your doctors check for a lactose and wheat intolerance because that could solve your problem right off the bat. If there is an intolerance and you eliminate these from the diet, problem should be solved.
Here's what we have done and it is finally working!
2 doses per day of Milk of Mag, a daily dose of fiber and a TON of water. I had to do this for about two months to train my digestive system to go daily. Once I had gotten on a schedule of daily bowel movements, I was able to slow down to one dose per day of the Milk of Mag. After about a total of 4 months, my body took over and started to do what it was supposed to do.
I still have problems triggered by certain foods so I also did a food diary to try and figure out which ones were causing the problem.
Your child may have juvenille Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well. This can be helped, but not cured, with a certain type diet and help from the doctors. Keep hounding them and they should eventually start to get the ball rolling.
Constipation can be a difficult IBS symptom to deal with, but so can diarrhea. People who suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS experience frequent bowel movements of watery and/or loose stool. Other diarrhea-related symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, gas, nausea and dehydration.
The following are 5 treatment options for relieving IBS related diarrhea:
1 – Diet Control
Before resorting to medications or alternative remedies, you should always consider your diet first. Although diet changes may not entirely cure you from diarrhea, it may help reduce the frequency of attacks. Therefore, you should monitor your diet by keeping a food diary and recording the symptoms you feel after eating different foods to determine which ones cause diarrhea and which ones don’t.
For instance, avoiding/limiting foods high in refined, artificial or natural sugar can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms. This doesn’t only include chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and sweets. It also means foods containing fructose such as honey and a variety of fruits. Foods high in sugar can act like a laxative to your body, especially for an IBS sufferer who already has a sensitive stomach.
You should also ask your doctor to test you for lactose intolerance, as an inability to properly digest milk sugar can cause diarrhea.
2 – OTC Antidiarrheal Drugs
Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medications can be effective at providing diarrhea relief when used as short-term treatment. There are two types of antidiarrheal drugs.
- Stool thickeners -these contain fruit pectin and clay which absorb toxins and bacteria in the intestine to help thicken stool (I.E. Kaopectate)
- Antispasmodic – these slow spasms that occur in the intestine (I.E. Imodium).
Although, antidiarrheals are usually effective, they may not help other symptoms such as bloating or abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, prolonged use of antidiarrheals can result in dry mouth, constipation, and other symptoms.
Consult your doctor about OTC antidiarrheal meds for IBS treatment before taking anything. In addition, you shouldn’t resort to antidiarrheals until at least 24 hours after experiencing diarrhea, as you don’t want to stop your body from expelling toxins in the event your diarrhea is a result of bacteria such as food poisoning.
3 – Prescription Medications
Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants are commonly prescribed to IBS patients for abdominal pain. These meds effectively block pain signals to the brain and don’t cause diarrhea. However, they can cause other symptoms including constipation.
Another medication that may be prescribed is Lotronex. This particular drug is designed to block the effect serotonin (chemical produced by the body) has on digestive system, and in so doing, soothes the colon and slows bowl movement frequency. Lotronex has been found to be successful at alleviating IBS symptoms including diarrhea, stomach discomfort and urgency.
Note: Lotronex has only been approved for women who suffer from severe cases of diarrhea-predominant IBS ad have not responded to previous treatment methods.
4 – Alternative Therapy
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, probiotics and herbal remedies can effectively reduce and alleviate diarrhea and its related symptoms in some IBS sufferers. Each of these methods is designed to assist the body in healing itself by providing it with stimulation (acupuncture), healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), or herbs. All work to aid in normal digestion.
If you are interested in learning about alternative treatments, talk to you health care provider first, and be sure to seek treatment from qualified practitioners.
5 – Behavioural therapy
Stress can actually trigger your IBS symptoms and make diarrhea worse, by causing your stomach to tense, leading to cramping and overall stomach upset. You can help reduce the regular stress in your life, and the stress you feel towards your IBS condition by engaging in:
- Meditation exercises (I.E. Yoga)
- Relaxation therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
It’s also a good idea to distract yourself by taking part in regular activities you enjoy.
A person, who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, primarily suffers from one of three symptoms.
2. Alteration of diarrhea and constipation
Although, it is less common for a person with IBS to suffer from predominant constipation than diarrhea, for those who do, there are ways to find relief from constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.
There are different treatment options – both medicinal and alternative remedies -for those who suffer from constipation. The following is information regarding diverse treatments and what you need to know about each.
Constipation symptoms may be caused by specific foods that are being ingested. Therefore, try keeping a food diary to find out what foods may not only be making constipation worse, but may help to relieve your symptoms.
For instance, gluten is recognized as one of the leading causes of constipation in IBS sufferers. Therefore, a gluten-free diet may help alleviate symptoms. In order to eliminate gluten from your diet ensure you read food labels to see if gluten is among listed ingredients. However, keep in mind that gluten-free foods tend to be low in fiber. Therefore, you may require other sources of fiber such as eating more fruits and vegetables.
If you are considering a gluten-free diet it’s a good idea to consult a dietitian to find out how effective this diet control is for constipation.
Fiber supplements are designed to add bulk to the stool so that waste can travel faster through the intestines. That being said fiber supplements need to be taken with great care, as problems can occur.
For instance, inundating the boy with fiber without sufficient water intake, can cause bloating, gas and make constipation worse. It is imperative to drink plenty of water when taking fiber supplements because fiber absorbs water.
Furthermore, natural fiber sources, such as bran, can aggravate the stomach of an IBS sufferer. This is because bran contains high amounts of wheat and gluten which are not tolerated well by an IBS stomach.
Nonetheless, the right fiber supplement taken as recommended may be helpful in relieving constipation in some sufferers. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Konsyl or Citrucel can be found in pharmacies, but it is a good idea to talk to your doctor first and learn more about supplements before starting treatment.
Laxatives are an effective short-term solution for relieving constipation. However, there are different types of laxatives and some are stronger than others. Although laxatives may work in the body differently, depending on the type, each is designed to soften stool so it can slide easier through the intestines. One such laxative that is often recommended to IBS sufferers is milk of magnesia. This is a gentle laxative that is known as a hydrating agent and causes the intestines to retain more water to soften stool.
Laxatives are not recommended for long-term use and can be habit forming. If laxatives are taken for long periods of time, the body will eventually develop immunity and require stronger laxative methods. Prolonged used of laxatives can also make constipation worse and make the body laxative-dependent. Furthermore, be advised that stimulant laxatives such as Ex-lax are powerful and very hard on the system.
Make sure you investigate different over-the-counter laxative products, and speak to your doctor about laxative treatment before using this remedy.
Consider talking to you doctor about prescription medication for relief of constipation. Zelnorm is one of the newer drug treatments for IBS constipation and works by increasing stool movement in the bowels. Zelnorm has been found to effectively alleviate abdominal pain, bloating and constipation, and is only prescribed for short-term use.
Finally, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water helps to relieve constipation, and are natural remedies that can be used with any form of constipation treatment.