Movacol - Constipation

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I have an 11 year old daughter who has suffered from constipation since she was about 1 year old, it has been a total nightmare. When she was about 5 she was diagnosed as lactose intollerant, she was then only fed foods that had no animal product in for 2 years, her constipation did seem slightly better but not normal toilet functions where resumed fully. On moving into the area I now live I took her to the doctors as she had got so bad she was just continually soiling herself, he referred us to a consultant at the hospital who said she was not lactose intollerant and she was just suffering from severe constipation. He prescribed a course of Movacol to clear out her bowel and then a regular does daily of the powder indefinately. That has been three years now of regular visits with no other outcome, just advice on diet which by the way is very good anyway, lots of water and regular visits to the toilet. To be honest I am very frustrated now and so is my daughter as there seems to have been no improvement over the three years she still soils herself, it is a constant battle to get her to drink the water but even when she does she still gets constipated nothing works. Can anyone offer any other advice as the consultant just dosent seem interested any more...........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted

    Hi claire,

    wow to have reached 11 and not have a solution, this seems so sloppy of the doctors treating her, I know what you mean with the frustration of it all. They don't seem to understand the implications this can have on a young persons social, emotional and educational development. I have a son who is 5 and has been suffering digestive abnormalities since the onset of his autism at about age 1. We asked for help from our G.P.s and was told the old \"more fibre, more fruit juice, more water\" Well, NO SHIT SHERLOCK! that ones not hard to figure out. We were never referred to a specialist and never given any advice other than the above. It was only because of his autism that we went to a paediatrician, (who coincidently happened to be the head doctor of the local Continence Clinic) that we recieved any info on this topic. We have played with his diet eliminating dairy, done the gluten free thing, increased fibre intake by hiding it in everything we could, and tried every fibre drink on the market- NOTHING WORKED. In desperation I spoke to our local chemist and he suggested 'Lactocur' a sweet tasting clear liquid that acts by drawing water from the body into the intestines to soften up bowel movements. It took a while, but after a month we noticed a small improvement, and that was better than nothing. When we went to the Paediatrician, she had never heard of it and put us onto 'Parachoc' (liquid parafin to grease the system and make things slide out easier). We tried this for nearly 3 weeks untill we got so scared that we went back- he had done 1 little gravelly poo and he was soooooo cranky, he must have been in pain(he doesn't talk yet) She recommended adding Senokot to his routine and within a day he exploded - several times. This was a relief but traumatic for him. But within 2 weeks he became tolerant to the senokot so even increased doses didn't work. We decided to return to using the Lactocur but in conjunction with Benefibre(we chose that only because we had some left in the cupboard.) Within 2 weeks we had results. It is still early days yet to see how this new regime works, but things are better. At our next appt. with the Paed. we told her that the parachoc and senokot had not worked, (he dried up so much that old habits resurfaced & he had started to dig it out with his fingers-YUCK) She basicly told us that what she had prescribed him had worked for every other child in her experience. We felt like she didn't believe us. But I did learn a few things from this: Trust in yourself-you know your child like no-one else does. You can try more than one thing at a time(combined therapy) Although this is recommended under a doctors supervision. And just because something didn't work before, it doesn't mean it wont work when used in conjunction with something else. Also, it's not the frequency of poos but the consistency- a healthy looking poo. Ask yourself what is wrong with her poo, is it dry. is it hard, is it dense and try to choose a product that addresses those problems. We chose the lactocur becoz he did dry gravelly poo, and we chose the fibre becoz when it did get more moist, it was dense, smooth and heavy like plasticine- it looked liked it needed some texture. Oh and the last thing(sorry such a long message) If something hasn't worked in 2-3 months - it's probably not gonna, move on and try something else, But when you do try something else, give it 2-3 months and look for changes,(somethings take time for the body to get used to, and acclimatise itself). Other things to say, but this is long enuf, hope it may help. Best of hopes for your daughter, hope you find a solution soon. Elena.

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  • Posted

    This must be very frustrating for your daughter. My daughter is 6 and has suffered since birth. After 6 years, we now seam to be on course. She takes 4 sachets of movicol daily, and is clean most days and has got into a good habit of going to the toilet at school. The consultant described the condition to me like this: The bowel is a bit like a sock with muscles. When its working well the muscles push the poo out, but with constipation, the sock gets full and compacted and bits of poo try to get out by going round the compacted poo - overflow - and this is what your daughter will be getting when soiling herself. The compacted poo stays in and gets more compacted and the bowel stretches and gets wider and the muscles stop working. The plan is to clear the compacted poo with a bowel cleans (12 sachets of movical - we have done this twice now and it really does work) and then cut back on the amount of movicol to keep the bowel clear and hopefully the 'sock' will shrink back to normal size and start working again properly. This could take a year, we are hopefully on this track with my daughter. The trick is - and I have made this mistake 3 times now - is when they start to soil themselves, not to cut back on the amount of movicol, thinking that they are having too much and its making their poo runny, this is actually 'overflow' happening again, and therefore, you need to increase the dosage of movicol until the leakage calms down.

    Hope this helps, sorry if your doctor has already explained all of this. M

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  • Posted

    My son has had this problem from being weaned of milk, he is now 5 and this week has finally seen a peadatrition, he has used micro enemas then that was stopped and started movicol then the doctor took him of that to see if he could go on his own which made it worse constant soiling of himself, the school was understanding and willing to clean him to some extent. At the hospital he was going to have an operation MANUAL EXCAVATION OF THE BOWEL (using the hand to drag the compacted poo out) but decided on the movicol option first he is on 8 sachets a day some of the compacted poo has come out but now he is very runny so was told to lower the dose, he still needs to get rid of more of the compacted stuff but in time it will i hope,
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  • Posted

    This must be dreadful for both your daughter and you. I trully sympathise. My daughter is 6, nearly 7, and has suffered since birth. We seem to be on track, just like the other lady, with Movicol. She takes 3 - 3.5 sachets per day and this seems to be working. Again its the quality of the poo, not how many times she goes. Have you got a routine going at school for her, ie, she's allowed to go to the toilet when she wants. This is vital, as having to hold it will only make it worse. A friend of a friend of mine is a Peadiatrician, and she says its a very long process and not to expect miracles overnight. My daughter has been on a high dosage for 4 years, with a bowel cleans about twice per year. Movicol is def well worth a try, the higher the dosage the better in my opinion, don't cut back too soon, and if she starts soiling again, increase rather than decrease the dose.

    Hope this helps, and don't let them fob you off! Shelljxxx

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