What Role Could Constipation Be Playing in Your Child’s Bed Wetting and Bowel Habits?

Miralax (polyethylene glycol)Someone sent me a link, “What Every Parent Should Know About Bedwetting, Accidents, and Potty Training,” relating constipation to bedwetting, and I found it a good read.  Constipation is prevalent in our society, and kids are not exempt.  The author of the article is a physician, specifically a pediatric urologist, who deals with urinary issues in children day in and day out.  He feels that constipation–which can be difficult to diagnose in children because they leak liquid stool around hard, large impeding stools in the rectum, appearing to have diarrhea instead–is a leading cause of urinary problems in kids.  He also, like me, is frustrated at the medical community’s blasé “just take Miralax and eat fiber” treatment of constipation.

“Constipation is a distasteful subject. No one wants to talk about it.”

As distasteful as it is, constipation is a health condition that needs talked about.  Headaches.  Back aches.  Tooth aches.  Poop aches.

I had a child who used Miralax daily and still had constipation issues.  She would sit on the toilet screaming and crying for her “poop medicine” as I stood there trying to decide whether or not to torture her further with a suppository.  Traumatized by constipation issues, we decided to figure out what was causing constipation problems.  We eventually found that complete dairy elimination cured her constipation.   We next undertook a complete overhaul of our family’s diet, providing foods to help her GI tract recover a good barrier so the foods she ate wouldn’t cause her problems anymore.  Luckily we succeeded, and on the way we learned the importance of proper fuel and the devastation caused by improper fuels–and how each body is unique.

I believe, unlike my conventional medicine colleagues, that bowel habits are a good indicator of health.  Band-Aids won’t help a festering wound, and Miralax won’t really change chronic constipation.  Causes and good treatments for constipation and urinary issues should be sought.  Sometimes it’s as simple as feeding your kids real food. Or identifying a sensitivity to gluten or dairy, even minute quantities.  Or incorporating probiotics or probiotic foods.  Treatment may require more diligence with a bowel retraining program or an elimination diet.  But I am confident that constipation can be improved, especially in young children.

I encourage you to check out “What Every Parent Should Know About Bedwetting, Accidents, and Potty Training” written by Dr. Steve Hodges. Click on the blue texted excerpts below to go there.:


“Reality: Most children wet the bed because their rectums are clogged with poop. The hard, bulging poop mass presses against the bladder, compromising its capacity and irritating the nerves feeding it… The most rigorous studies ever conducted on childhood wetting were led by Sean O’Regan, a kidney specialist drawn to the topic because his 5-year-old son wet the bed every night. A test called anal manometry showed his son’s rectum was so stretched by stool that the boy couldn’t detect a tangerine-sized air balloon inflated in his bottom…

Ultimately, O’Regan’s Canadian research team tested several hundred children with enuresis, encopresis, and recurrent UTIs. Virtually all were, like O’Regan’s son, stuffed with poop. When their rectums were cleaned out with enemas, the wetting, soiling, and infections stopped… A couple years back, I tracked down Dr. O’Regan, now retired and living in Arizona. I asked him why he thought his research, compelling as it was, never made a splash.

He told me: ‘Constipation is a distasteful subject. No one wants to talk about it.'”

If you have kids who have urinary issues or constipation, check it out.

Nothing on my blog should be construed and used as medical advice.  But I do hope it makes you think and start asking questions.

Health to you and yours–


9 thoughts on “What Role Could Constipation Be Playing in Your Child’s Bed Wetting and Bowel Habits?

  1. Ashwin Patel

    I agree entirely. Constipation can also be a cause of lots of other conditions caused by Straining to go. (Diverticulitis, Haemorrhoids, Hiatus Hernia, Pelvic floor strain, etc). Laxatives and Enemas are useful but only a short term answer. The long term cure is to make poop of the correct consistency and form (via Diet) and eliminate the well formed stool using the correct posture (which is squatting). And, it is possible to achieve the squatt posture while sitting on the modern throne. We do need to talk about this taboo subject of Bowel problems.
    Great articles to be found here>>>>>>>>>>>

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks, Ashwin. I agree with all you said and would like to add one more thing–in addition there actually has to be peristalsis–without it consistency and posture and pelvic tone are useless. All these things work together and must be achieved by a holistic type approach. (Ashwin’s link was one that I read long ago as I tried to sort through my family’s GI issues. Thanks for outting it out there.)

      1. IrishMum

        Haha, do it and I want photographic proof. Even better, get the girls to make their own charts as a school project, with real life pictures 😉

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Sounds like a good future post for this blog. I think I’ll take you up on it! Wait patiently as turnaround time is so-oh slow-oh here. But, everyone should know about the Bristol stool chart, including my kids! Deal. Thanks for the idea!

  2. The Vanilla Housewife

    I remember crying in the bathroom when I was still in grade school, because I couldn’t poop! Nothing makes a kid pray fervently than the worst constipation. Ugh! Thankful that my kids don’t have this problem. But my 3 yo will hold her pee for as long as she can so she can play. Tsk. This kid.

  3. Pingback: Bedwetting | Find Me A Cure

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