November 27, 2022

My family is a wealth of content for this blog. This week my 7 year old daughter has been constipated. We are always a little concerned about this because no one else in the house suffers from constipation and you really hate to see your kids suffering from anything.

Usually for the first couple of days after the first day that my daughter is constipated we will just make jokes about poo, with kids there is always joking about poo so it is fine but after a while we will start laying Taylor on the prune juice and making sure that she eats lots of Bran. All of this usually does the job and the constipation will never seem to last more than four days. This time my daughters constipation lasted for about six days so we took her to the doctor.

Our doctor gave us a couple of options Suppositories, Laxative, and Enemas

Suppositories
Glycerin Suppositories acts as a lubricant and a mild irritant and stimulates the muscles of the intestine, causing it to contract. The contractions help to move the stools along and makes passing them out of the body much easier.

Glycerin Suppositories may also be known as Glycerol. You may notice either name on the packaging of your medicine. Before using Glycerin Suppositories make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • if you think that you may be so constipated that you have a blockage
  • if you have any pain in the lower abdomen
  • if you feel bloated or have stomach cramps
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine
  • if you are taking or using any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines

How to use Glycerin Suppositories
Always read the manufacturer’s information leaflet, if possible, before beginning treatment.

1. If the suppository is too soft, it may be chilled in the refrigerator or under cold running water before unwrapping. Remove the wrapping and moisten the suppository with water. Lie on your left side (if you are right handed) and draw your knees up towards your chest, with the right leg drawn up more than the left.

2. Using your index finger or middle finger, whichever you find easier, gently push the suppository into the rectum, pointed end first.

3. The suppository should be inserted as far as possible, pushing the end of the suppository sideways to ensure contact with the wall of the bowel.

4. Lower your legs to a comfortable position to help you to hold the suppository in place.

5. Retain the suppository in place for at least 15 to 20 minutes if possible. If you feel the suppository must come out immediately, it has not been inserted high enough.

6. You may feel an immediate urge to go to the toilet. Try to ignore this as the suppository will not work for at least 15 minutes.

Laxatives
Laxatives are medications used for the treatment of constipation. Constipation may be defined as having 2 or fewer bowel movements per week or excessive difficulty or straining with bowel movements. Every individual has different bowel habits. It is important to know what is normal for you. Causes of constipation include poor diet, physical abnormalities, disease and medications. A diet high in fibre, drinking plenty of fluids, and exercise are important factors for maintaining normal bowel habits.

Laxatives act to produce a stool or to make passing a stool more comfortable. One of the most common types of laxatives is a bulk-forming laxative. Examples include products containing methylcellulose, or psyllium, such as Metamucil. These stimulate the bowel in a normal way by forming a bulky mass. This kind of laxative should be taken with at least 1 full glass of water or juice. Be sure to separate bulk-forming laxatives from other oral medicines by 2 hours.

Stool softeners include docusate calcium and docusate sodium (Coloxyl). These agents do not necessarily cause a bowel movement, but will soften the stool to decrease straining. Take stool softeners with a full glass of water.

Mineral oil acts as a lubricant for easier passing of the stool. Mineral oil is not recommended for long-term use. Lactulose and sorbitol are other types of laxatives. Take these with at least 1 full glass of water or fruit juice.

Stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl, or Durolax, magnesium preparations, phenolphthalein, and senna. Stimulants are not recommended for long-term use.

Glycerine suppositories are safe and effective in children. Laxatives are not recommended if bowel habits have been irregular for more than 2 weeks or for children under age 6 without a prescription. Pregnant women should check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking a laxative.

Warnings about laxatives
1. Laxatives are intended for short-term use, generally less than 1 week.

2. Laxatives can cause your intestines to become lazy and not work as well, which can make you even more constipated when you stop using them.

3. Laxatives can also cause problems with your body’s abilities to use drugs.

4. Laxatives can cause food to move too fast through your system so that nutrients can’t be absorbed by your body.

5. Laxatives can cause you to lose too much water in your stools.

Enemas
Enemas mechanically flush stool from the rectum and lower part of the large intestine. Small-volume enemas can be purchased in squeeze bottles at a pharmacy. They can also be administered with a reusable squeeze-ball device. However, small-volume enemas are often inadequate, especially in older people, whose rectal capacity increases as advancing age makes the rectum more easily stretched. Larger-volume enemas are administered with an enema bag.

Plain water is often the best fluid to be used as an enema. The water should be room temperature to slightly warm, but not hot or cold. Water (in volumes of about 5 to 10 fluid ounces [150 to 300 milliliters]) is gently directed into the rectum; adding additional force is dangerous. The water is then expelled, washing stool out with it.

Prepackaged enemas often contain small amounts of salts, often phosphates. Appropriate salts can also be added to homemade enemas. They offer little advantage, however, to plain water. The addition of small amounts of soap to the water (soap-suds enema) adds the stimulant laxative effects of soap. Soap-suds enemas are sometimes useful when plain water enemas fail, but they can cause cramping.

Many other substances, including mineral oil, are sometimes added to water-based enemas. However, they offer little advantage.

So there you go all the information (and probably more) than you ever really wanted to know about not being able to poo. In the end my daughter had the long awaited bowel movement soon after coming home from the doctor, I guess all of these options were making her nervous

13 thoughts on “What to do about constipation

  1. Can my 16 month daughter have glycerol suppositories 4g. They are what i had when pregnant. They are still well in date. Could someone let me know asap please.

  2. My child has consgtipation.he poops after three weeks and groan alot.ive tried lactulose and glycerin suppository but still cries.he is six months old.

  3. It is important that you move your bowel regularly, fiber rich diet helps prevent constipation. .:

  4. @ nicole – Try seeing a different doctor, your condition is a concern for you, and therefore should be something your physician considers. Good luck!

  5. … i don’t know if you will be able to help but since i was little i have had chronic constipation i would have a bowl movement and not have another one till i forced it out with laxatives or suppositories i have told my doctor about this several times and she has never had much of a concern. now that i am older it is getting worse and worse even laxatives won’t work this time and it has been a couple of weeks, i am very reluctant to go to my doctor because i’m not sure she will do anything for me. does anyone have any kind of help for me?

  6. I have been consipated for 2 weeks I feel awful I have used menerial oil, fiberlax, Polyeth Glyol,nothing is working . I need help

  7. It’s very informational and useful for management of constipation.
    I have ever heard about constipation caused by deficiency of fiber of food consumption, too high content
    pH in large intestine or weak supporting muscles in intestine.
    Visit at PennasiaNormalization for further.
    I have also get two bonuses of ebooks about Healing Food and Pennasia Sleep Therapy (Pleet)
    when I enter forum. have a nice day!

  8. Having all had problems in our family with constipation, we had tried many things over the years. Discovered flax (golden linseed) and the problem was solved. It has changed our lives. For best results try grinding it and sprinkling a teaspoon on a salad and add some dressing. If that doesn’t work try a tablespoon. The oil is an alternative.

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