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Maddie's mom

Constipation Still An Issue

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This is my first post and since I enjoy reading all of the great info you have to share, I thought I would see if anyone could help. My DD is 4 yrs old and was confirmed Celiac through blood work and biopsy in June. We have tried to be strict on the gluten-free diet; however, she has been accidently glutened a few times (she is sick for about 48 hours). She has suffered from severe constipation for a couple of years which is why we eventually had her tested for Celiac. Although we have been gluten-free for 4 months, she still takes a dose of Myralax every day and Ex-lax every other day so that she can have a BM (still not even daily). The BM's are easier for her, but I thought the gluten-free diet would resolve the need for the laxatives. Her GI doc feels that she can stay on the laxatives for a long time, but I keep wondering if there is another problem that we haven't tested for, or is she still ingesting gluten somehow or could it be another allergy? She just had another stomach x-ray 2 weeks ago and even with all that medicine and diet, it still showed that she is full of poo!

So my question is... Can you still have troubles with constipation on the gluten free diet knowing that constipation was the major symptom that led to the diagnosis? I would appreciate any response and thank you in advance for your help. :)

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Hi Maddie's mom,

Hypothyroidism can also cause constipation, but since your daughter is so young I doubt that's her problem. What if she has another intolerance? Dairy is a common culprit.

I don't think long-term laxative use is a good idea :( From what I've read, your body can become dependent. Also, what if your daughter has another disorder in addition to celiac? Autoimmune disorders tend to cluster. I think the best thing you could do is figure out the root cause of the constipation instead of treating the symptom. Easier said than done.

Sorry I don't have more advice. It must be frustrating for your whole family.

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When I saw this post, my first thought was thyroid, but she seems too young. Dairy can constipate me. It takes awhile to heal as well. I take magnesium oxide (2 daily) from GNC and it does the trick and is good for you!

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Hypothyroid can be from birth. It would be worth checking out. At least you can eliminate it and look elsewhere if it is NEG.

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Thanks for the information! I have never even thought of a thyroid problem. I guess the question is where do you even begin to find out if that is the issue? Unfortunately even though I live in a city that has a wonderful Children's Hospital, we have only been able to see a GI Nurse Practitioner for the last 2 years. She feels that the laxatives are the answer and since we now have the Celiac diagnosis, the GI NP feels there is really no reason to look any further. So I feel stuck b/c it has to go through her recommendation to see anyone else in the department. So I don't know what to do... On a side note, I was pulling up info on the thryoid and I thought it was interesting that one of the articles mentioned "double vision". At the same time as her biopsy, she also had eye surgury to correct "double vision and cross-eye". I don't know if that is even related, but I jus thought it was interesting. <_<

Thanks again for the info and I will definately do some more research. I just want her to feel better!

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If you do want to have your daughter tested for a thyroid disorder it's not expensive... just a blood test. Maybe Shay can say more about this, but kids have a lower "normal" range than adults. I think you want to have a TSH level under 1.0. If it's just a little high (let's say 4.0, which a lot of doctors are reluctant to treat even though it can cause all kinds of horrible symptoms), make sure she still gets treated! Thyroid disorders are dangerous in kids (even more than adults) because it affects their neurological development. That's why newborns are tested for congenital hypothyroidism.

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Thanks for the information! I have never even thought of a thyroid problem. I guess the question is where do you even begin to find out if that is the issue? Unfortunately even though I live in a city that has a wonderful Children's Hospital, we have only been able to see a GI Nurse Practitioner for the last 2 years. She feels that the laxatives are the answer and since we now have the Celiac diagnosis, the GI NP feels there is really no reason to look any further. So I feel stuck b/c it has to go through her recommendation to see anyone else in the department. So I don't know what to do... On a side note, I was pulling up info on the thryoid and I thought it was interesting that one of the articles mentioned "double vision". At the same time as her biopsy, she also had eye surgury to correct "double vision and cross-eye". I don't know if that is even related, but I jus thought it was interesting. <_<

Thanks again for the info and I will definately do some more research. I just want her to feel better!

Do you have a pediatrician? They should be able to order the test. IMO, when I want a test run on myself or my child, I don't beat around the bush and just suggest it, I usually don't give them much of a choice. I know my body and my kids' bodies better than the dr.s and if I think there's something wong, I don't take no for an answer-the women's intuition is pretty powerful-I went thru this with my dd last month, and instead of saying "what do you think about the thyroid as a possible issue?" I said, "Thyroid disease runs rampant (sp?) in my family, and I had mine removed at age 8, what thyroid tests are appropriate for a 7 y/o and lets go ahead and do them"--he didn't even bat an eye, he just ordered them. Also, what is her diet like? Is she eating a lot of fruits and veggies, nuts, dried fruit, high fiber additives like ground flax seed?

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Again, thanks for all of the insight, it definately gives me lots to research and look into. My dd has a GI appt. in 2 weeks so I will talk to her Nurse practitioner about getting some other testing done. We were already going to retest her blood levels so she should be able to add on a few other tests.

As for diet, there is always room for improvement, but she has been eating much better since going gluten-free. My dd has a very strong gag reflux and does not eat much food with texture. This has always proved to be a bit challenging! Dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk) have always been a favorite, but since going gluten-free we have tried to limit how much she eats of it. She does love fruits and veggies, and nuts, but we have never tried flax seed. Usually I see it in recipies for breads and as of yet, she will still not eat a gluten-free bread. I have tried everything from store bought to mixes to made from scratch and she won't get past the first bite.

Thanks again everyone! I really appreciate your responses!

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Again, thanks for all of the insight, it definately gives me lots to research and look into. My dd has a GI appt. in 2 weeks so I will talk to her Nurse practitioner about getting some other testing done. We were already going to retest her blood levels so she should be able to add on a few other tests.

As for diet, there is always room for improvement, but she has been eating much better since going gluten-free. My dd has a very strong gag reflux and does not eat much food with texture. This has always proved to be a bit challenging! Dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk) have always been a favorite, but since going gluten-free we have tried to limit how much she eats of it. She does love fruits and veggies, and nuts, but we have never tried flax seed. Usually I see it in recipies for breads and as of yet, she will still not eat a gluten-free bread. I have tried everything from store bought to mixes to made from scratch and she won't get past the first bite.

Thanks again everyone! I really appreciate your responses!

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This is my first post and since I enjoy reading all of the great info you have to share, I thought I would see if anyone could help. My DD is 4 yrs old and was confirmed Celiac through blood work and biopsy in June. We have tried to be strict on the gluten-free diet; however, she has been accidently glutened a few times (she is sick for about 48 hours). She has suffered from severe constipation for a couple of years which is why we eventually had her tested for Celiac. Although we have been gluten-free for 4 months, she still takes a dose of Myralax every day and Ex-lax every other day so that she can have a BM (still not even daily). The BM's are easier for her, but I thought the gluten-free diet would resolve the need for the laxatives. Her GI doc feels that she can stay on the laxatives for a long time, but I keep wondering if there is another problem that we haven't tested for, or is she still ingesting gluten somehow or could it be another allergy? She just had another stomach x-ray 2 weeks ago and even with all that medicine and diet, it still showed that she is full of poo!

So my question is... Can you still have troubles with constipation on the gluten free diet knowing that constipation was the major symptom that led to the diagnosis? I would appreciate any response and thank you in advance for your help. :)

Often wheat intolerant people are also intolerant of milk (casein) which can cause constipation as well. Switching to almond or rice milk as a test for a couple of weeks would be a good idea. Chia is an excellent addition to everyone's diet. It's the best source of vegetable omega 3's and also has tons of fiber, calcuim etc. A tablespoon ground in a smoothie with fruit and almond milk goes down our four year old every day. I also grind and add it to all of my baking. If she won't eat bread, will she eat mini muffins? I make banana, sweet potato, zucchini and carrot muffins and add ground chia and flax to them all the time. I also throw ground flax in my pancake and waffle batter. If she won't do muffins, zucchini brownies are generally extremely popular.

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The big C is my main symptom. Be sure she is getting some magnesium, the intestine cannot contract without it. Vitamin C and magnesium have helped me.

You might read the posts on www.pecanbread.com. The SCD has a constipation protocol. I wonder if it might be worth a trial on the SCD and follow the constipation protocol to see if this helps. It could be the inability to digest carbs that are keeping her from healing enough. This diet has helped me with C more than just going gluten-free did.

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