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Ask Dr. Y. Vasavada Your Own Question
Dr. Y. Vasavada
Dr. Y. Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3324
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
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Hi there My poor daughter (age 5) had terrible constipation

Customer Question

Hi there

My poor daughter (age 5) had terrible constipation on Wednesday. I didn't realise quite how bad it was and when she refused to push on the toilet in the morning, I still let her go to school which I bitterly regret as she was so scared to go to the toilet that she wet herself three times which I could imagine to be quite traumatic (although, on the surface she seems unscarrred by this particular aspect). When she got home we tried the (maybe unconventional) idea of squirting some olive oil up to loosen her poo which worked like a dream and she was so happy.

Unfortunately I don't think it was all removed and on Friday she spent the whole day at school complaining of tummy ache (but, annoyingly, the school did not call me). Once she got home she seemed to have diarrhoea which had leaked into her pants. For a while, I mistook this for diarrhoea but it was actually a recurrence of the constipation with runny bits leaking round the blockage. We have been at our wits ends as she is terrified and refuses to push on the toilet. we tried the olive oil again but the magic didnt work this time.

We actually put her in nappies and went through about twenty overnight as the seepage leaked into them and she woke up clearly in discomfort but she crosses her legs and 'sucks it' back in. We have tried reasoning with her but she is terrified and is refusing to evacuate voluntarily at all.

we have given her a few doses of lactose (but will this act on the blockage or just the new stuff?) and during her long nap this afternoon, quite a large softish stool came out into the nappy.

please can you recommend a course of action for us. How do we persuade her (ever) that is ok to go for a poo etc and, for now, what do we do?

thanks so much for your help!!!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Paediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada :

Hello Julia, Sorry about this problem. She may be having some pain at anus making her hold back, so please use an ointment containing xylocaine anesthetic to act locally (every 3-4 hours) and remove any discomfort. An X ray film of abdomen may be taken to find out any fecal masses impacting colon, for which an enema may be needed.

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada :

Examination by your GP with a finger in rectum also may detect any impaction.

Dr. Yogindra Vasavada :

In such situation any oral medication will not help.