Chronic constipation- bloating issues

Chronic constipation- bloating issues

Hi there I'm a newbie here. My son has had bowel moment issues since he was round 1, he is now 5 and over time they are not getting better, they are getting worse. We've been on movicol since he was 1 also. He used to have one sachet a day which pretty much kept him regular although he never had the right type of stool. Since around December he has been suffering with major bloating (like huge). We've been docs lots of times since December about it. They say he has chronic constipation although his belly is nice and soft and that he's full of wind. He can't get the wind out. He is pooing more regular but doesn't manage everyday though he does most days.

But the bloating just won't go away. The doctor won't seem to take me seriously about it. I'm really concerned. He's been sick some days too as he just seems so full. We've cut dairy for two weeks hasn't made any difference now also cutting gluten and no difference. The docs won't refer us to a peadiatrian or a gastrointestinal doctor and I really feel something isn't right. I don't know what else to do for him. We go back again and again and just get sent away.

12 Replies

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  • My son often looked just like this. He has an issue with his colon being stretched and blocked and with no feelings from nerve damaged from being constipated for so many years. He is on movical too but we take at least 2 per day too keep him soft and regular without bloating any more. We used to take a lot of laxative and stimulants too. Also he would bloat after jacket potatoes but took me a while to notice the connection. I feel you should insist on the GP seeing him while he's in distress and vomiting or st least a telephone consulate to discuss adjusting his medicine. Best wishes.

  • I would be concerned too. We know our children and when things don't seem right. Are you always seeing the same gp? Are there other gps at your surgery you could see who may agree to refer your son. Has he ever had an X-ray of his bowel? That is a way to see the extent of constipation.

    Is you gp offering any advice with how to deal with the bloating?

    Although not an option for all as it's costly, but could you take him for a private consultation with a paediatrician? Would be about £150-200 for initial consultation, and you don't always need a gp referral. I have had various advice from different GPs over the years, most of it quite helpful, for my daughter but it wasn't until I saw a consultant that I felt I was getting expert and specific advice.

  • Hi thanks for the replys. Since this all began I've seen around 5 gps at our surgery. Two most recently, the two most considered the better doctors. We've just done two weeks of dairy free diet, and it hasn't made much difference and she is now saying I can try a gluten free diet for two weeks which I have already started on Saturday off my own back. I do think they may be right and it may just be chronic constipation but we are not able to get him trumping or burping to release the wind at all. I've tried gripe water although he's 5, tried hot water bottle.

    I spoke with the doc this morning via telephone consultation and she said there isn't anything they can give him for wind unfortunately. So I'm at a loss. And they don't want him to change his movicol. I asked if she's certain it won't be due to a yeast, bacterial or parasitic issue the bloating and she said it's very unlikely going by his bloods and his past appointments, he's been quite a few times in the last few months.

    My son seems to suffer from gas pains so they could well be right. She has said once we've done two weeks gluten free if there isn't any improvement she will refer him to a peadiatrian at last.

    I don't know if it's the higher doses of his meds bloating him up. He used to have 1 per day which probably wasn't enough and caused him to get blocked up or backed up. Then we had to do9 days of high doses to get him to clear. Then came back down gradually to two per day. We found 2 movicol wasn't enough to keep him going daily let alone doing a type 4/5 stool, so he has to have 3 per day to keep him regular yet we still can't get the right stool but very bloated every day. Starts off bloated know the morning and really bloated by the evening. I don't know if maybe I should add abit of senna at night to keep his bowel working or not. But at the same time don't want him to have too much laxatives or stool softeners if that's causing his bloating. I make sure he drinks 1.3ltrs of weak squash a day too as he won't have plain water.

    At a loss

  • He's never had a bowel xray as they wouldn't refer us. We once went to the urgent care centre who wanted to refer us for xray and she rang them whilst we were in the room for our appointment and the hospital told her no they wouldn't do it and that if the laxatives didn't work they would have to do an enema without even doing an xray. The laxatives did work or least it seems that way but he's still bloated now

  • I would increase the Movicol to where you get a type 4 stool. Movicol is only a water carrier so in itself will not cause bloating. Quite often bloating is caused by gas leaching from faeces that stays too long in the colon. I would suggest NICE Guidance is used and you add in 7.5mg Senna to help push the poo out. If he has had long term constipation problems his bowel may not be functioning properly, it takes a long time for this to return.

    Ask your pharmacist for some simeticone. Great for wind .

  • His movements when he has them now are like wet splodges now so I think if we give more they may get wetter rather than firmer. If we go below 3 though he stops pooing. There doesn't seem to be an in between with him. But maybe we should increase if the bloating is caused from feaces. Think I will add some senna tonight too. Never heard of NICE or simeticone but will look in to both of those, thanks x

  • NICE is an organisation set up by the government and gives guidelines on what treatments and drugs are available or recommended for different conditions on the NHS. You can google NICE guidelines for constipation.

    Some good advice above. And also good to know that you may be able to get a referral to a specialist too if needed.

    I have always found movicol a tricky one with my daughter. Trying to get the right dose that didn't cause explosive poo or lots of poo in knickers in between her poos was hard. She was prescribed senokot too last summer which has helped.

    I found I had to get movicol dose right by adding/removing teaspoons as opposed to whole or half sachets, 3/4 sachet worked well with Senokot for us and now we are down to 1/2 sachet with senokot. Both these dosages achieved by going down by teaspoon every few days until we could get frequent (not daily) soft poos but without poo in knickers in between. Consultant said as long as it's soft then it doesn't matter if they don't poo daily.

    Good luck 😊

  • OK thankyou for the help and advice x

  • wow. i'm truly shocked at the medical apathy. This is the terrible part of 'socialized' medicine where GPs act as Gate Keepers and won't let you even consult with someone more knowledgeable. I wouldn't even call this bloating per se because that usually implies water weight from my understanding. I would recommend a big green salad every day, lots of fruits too like peaches, plums (tinned or frozen when not fresh.) And lots of liquid every day (not milk.)

  • We have never achieved a poo that is "good" on the Bristol scale. We are just happy if he goes and doesn't have overflow for the time being as his bowls are in such a state from being constipated for so long. Have you tried squatting? Think of star jumps before he sits on the loo and while he's on there get him to blow some bubbbles this may help pass some trapped gases.

  • Can he not get a scan, honestly this looks like my son's tummy 95% of the time. I hope you get help soon. My son is 7 and we are only now learning that he has a weak colon (not saying this is what your son has) I hope something is done it does look painful. Diana

  • hi thanks for the reply. my doctors wouldn't refer him for scan or x-ray as she said it's unnecessary radiation. the walk in centre wanted to send him for x-ray and meant them whilst we were there but then they said no too. however since my post we are doing much better since we began using senna syrup. he goes more days now, I upped his fluid intake although he drank lots anyway and reduced gluten and dairy and it seems to keep him in much better shape. alot of his symptoms have gone now and I can now read the signs when he's getting poorly with it now too. it's been a long road but I think we are getting somewhere no thanks to our doctors it's all through my own research x

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