When your child is suffering from constipation the use of laxatives is a must. I know that many parents are fearing this step. That’s because of persisting myths and a lack of explanation about the working and administering of the laxatives. This also applies to tell parents how to start, to continue and to taper off the laxatives. That’s why some parents don’t start or decide to stop too soon.
Of course, as a parent you would rather not give your child any medication. But sometimes you need to. With constipation – piled up poo – laxatives are necessary to turn your child into a super pooper. There are several laxatives. The preferred laxative – according to the Dutch Guideline Constipation for Children 0-18 years – is macrogol that only works on the faeces itself (makes the poo soft and gives volume) and does not stimulate the bowels. Macrogol is in the Netherlands available over the counter and is reimbursed by health insurance on prescription after 6 months of use.
Sometimes other laxatives are needed – such as an enema, tablets or suppositories – that have a stimulating effect on the bowels and make the stool soft. It’s okay to use this every now and then, but preferably not for a longer period of time, because habituation may occur. Then habituation could occur.
Some parents don’t want to give their child a chemical drug and look for a natural laxative which do exist. The disadvantage may be that there is no reimbursement and if your child needs a laxative for a longer period of time, this can be quite expensive. It’s also possible that the effect and result have not been scientifically tested or approved.
A persisting myth is (even among some GP’s), that prunes, fiber-rich food, olive oil, lemonade lax and so on would help with constipation. Of course, certain fiber-rich foods contribute to healthy bowel movements, but this is certainly not enough once there is a problem such as long-term constipation. This requires the use of laxatives for some period.
You can find the dosage of the different laxatives in the Dutch Guideline of Constipation. Please pay attention; this is about indications. In other words every child is a unique person with a unique situation. Therefor the use of laxatives may be more or less, or shorter or longer, than you will find in this guideline. Unfortunately is age indicated at some leaflets of laxatives containing macrogol. This is not true. Dosage of laxatives as macrogol, always are calculated following the body weight!
Okay, I get it and now?
In my SuperPooper Plan I tell you exactly how to find the best way in using laxatives. Step by step I explain to you how to start, when to continue with the maintenance dosage, how often to administer and how and when to taper off. I provide you with tips and tricks so that you know what to expect.
When not treated…
Untreated constipation will lead to chronic constipation and may give physical consequences and symptoms. Think about losing control, soiling pants, pee accidents and bedwetting. But a poo problem may also give your child problems in a social aspect, like being laughed at or teased.
“When starting the use of laxatives, diarrhea may occur. Don’t stop, this is not due to the dosage of the laxatives. It only means that the bowels are being emptied.”
Drinking enough as in a good fluid intake is always important, but certainly when using laxatives. Laxatives are needed with constipation, but can turn into symptom control when not finding out which causes are playing a part in the poo problem of your child. I help you in using laxatives in my SuperPooper Plan ánd in discovering the causes of the poo problem. Obviously, you’ll learn in the roadmap of the plan, what to do with these causes.