Constipation as a cause of or contributing factor in bedwetting should not be overlooked. Constipation is the Number 1 source of belly pain for kids and is often something parents are surprised to discover. A visit to the ER for abdominal pain and an X-ray that demonstrates constipation identifies this common problem. Constipation not only causes abdominal pain but is a common cause of daytime accidents, urinary tract infections and even bedwetting.
You don’t have to wait for abdominal pain to present before treating your child for constipation.
11 Signs Your Child is Constipated
1. XXL Poops
2. Firm poops, logs or pellets
3. Poop accidents
4. Pooping more than 2 times a day because the bowel doesn’t empty completely
5. Infrequent pooping
6. Belly pain with no obvious cause
7. Skid marks or itchy anus because bottom is hard to wipe, and clogged kids can’t fully empty
8. Super-loose poop because some poop oozes by a large, hard clog
9. Continued trouble toilet training or hiding poop in diapers or underwear
10. Bedwetting and daytime wetting, extremely frequent and or urgent peeing
11. Recurrent urinary tract infections
(Hodges, Steve. “Its No Accident”) 2012
Constipation should be treated aggressively. Miralax, starting with one capful every day, combined with enemas, helps the colon to get cleaned out. Fleet enemas, given by parents or teens by themselves, every day for a month unclog the large mass and keep the colon clear. You should see less frequent voiding during the day, less rushing to the bathroom, fewer wetting accidents and regular mushy daily bowel movements. As results are seen, enemas can be changed to every other night for a month, slowly tapered and then discontinued. Miralax can be used for several months to maintain regularity. Children with constipation require treatment for more than a day! It can take weeks to several months for the bowel to regain its tone.
While you are treating the constipation, now is a good time to look at your child’s diet. Kids’ diets should include lots of foods that are naturally rich in fiber to help keep poop soft. Whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans are high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables are especially great because they’re high in fiber AND fluid–and fluid is vital for keeping stool moving through the system. Supplements such as Benefiber, dissolved in fluid, even fiber gummies (3 grams fiber/gummy) or fiber bars may help.
Some high-fiber fruits and veggies include:
• Pears & apples (with the skin)
• Brussels sprouts
• Potatoes (with the skin)
When you choose foods for your family, read the labels and choose high fiber breads, cereals, pasta, tortillas, etc. Cow’s milk and cheese can be constipating. Limiting the amount or changing to soy or almond milk may help.