Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Don't want to...but have to...Constipation

Never in a million years did I think I'd be writing or thinking this much about something I really don't want to discuss! But I figured, for my own benefit - I'm going to have to write this all down, so that I can refer back to it when I've lost my marbles :)

We deal with significant constipation issues, a mixture of contributing reasons: post-op (the effects of so many very hardcore drugs-morphine,anaesthetics etc in a short space of time), muscles just not strong enough from the low-tone with Down Syndrome and then the fact that she's really not mobile at all, so when she starts to move around it'll get much better I'm sure.

So here's my list, starting with the most natural things, the things I've learnt from various doctors / physio's / specialists...and the progression that I take (daily) when figuring out at what stage of the process Katelyn is at...the joys :)

*I really may have left something out...if I do...I'll add it in another day, so forgive me!*
**Obviously, drinking the right milk and eating good healthy foods(not processed/refined) is an essential**

Natural, non-medicated options:
-Flaxseed oil                            
To mix a teaspoon into food daily / twice daily. Has so many other benefits too.
-Fruit...like prunes, peaches, paw-paw            
Fruit-fruits that help your bowel move. Be careful, if she doesn't drink enough, high fibre fruits require lots of liquid to work successfully, otherwise it has the opposite effect (apple, pears, banana's) 
-Bathing or sitting in warm water
So good for the stomach and bowel, relaxes it 
-Water and sugar water....always good
-Glycerine suppositories
These are not medicated, your body doesn't become reliant on them in any way. They only release the 'plug' if there is one.Can give multiple a day.
-Tummy Massage
To the next step:
Laxette is not a laxative. It just helps soften the stool, it doesn't make your gut move. Katelyn is on a very high daily dose of it, and I am continually re-assured that she will not become reliant on it as you would if you took a laxative. Can give a really high dose - though can end up in cramping and discomfort.
Pegicol seems to be far superior to Laxette. Sachets that you need a prescription for. The trick is, they need to be taken along with enough liquid for it to bind itself too. So unless Katelyn drinks 150ml minimum when giving her a              pegicol, it can have the opposite effect. When she is very bad, she unfortunately doesn't drink much, so I often have to rely on Laxette and not Pegicol as I probably would prefer. 
This makes the bowel work. Katelyn seems really uncomfortable when I give her one, but I have to do it often. Preferably only every second day, and not for an extended period. 

My new next step to avoid hospital:
-Enema(1/2 adult dose)
Not even going to go into it...

If no luck...then back to the doctor, x-ray....then hospital admission for a washout....

**Thanks...I needed to get my head around it again. I'm so full of medicine schedules, that sometimes I forget to apply my mind to this daily, as its really (for me at least) about daily staying on top of it if possible, otherwise she stops eating, drinking and it only gets worse. **


  1. Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about the problems you having - but I am with you on this one - the constipation is a pain!!
    Matthew is on Laxette permanently - on about 10mls and it really does help!

    Apparently you need to use crushed Linseed - keep it in the deepfreeze.

    Another thing is to use the Natura products -buy at Dischem - I have bought the one for colic, stomach cramps - think it is called Magna or something like that -it definitely helps!!

    Guava juice is the bomb - Spar guava juice is the best - since been giving that to Matthew he has been much better.

    Milk adds to the problem - I only give one bottle milk a day now - I give cold tea with apple juice at night - Matthew loves it.

    Hope that it gets sorted out! Not a nice thing.

    Lots love

  2. This may sound funny/rude, but I'm so glad someone else is dealing with this as well. Do you use a whole sachet of Pegicol? We find that with Kallen (5 years weighing 14.5 kg ) we use half a sachet p day. I do an enema with water about once a week.
    Although Pediasure is very good for him, and really help him gain weight, it seems to add to the constipation
    Hope Catelyn is getting stronger and stronger each day!!!!!

  3. my 2 year old grand daughter suffers terribly from constipation. Enema is a no no, very traumatic. Have had her on prune juice, prune pudding, Milk of Magnesia, Lacson, Pedigol. Its the most nerve wrecking experience to go through almost every single day. To see her in so much pain.