“Parents tend to broadcast their children’s sleep struggles-they’ll blog about their baby’s 2:00 am cry-a-thons or their sleep-training bible or their favorite white-noise machine. But at the playground you don’t hear, ‘Payton pooped in her pants again yesterday and the weird thing was, she didn’t even notice.’ No one posts on Facebook: ‘My second grader wet the bed again’.”
-Steve J. Hodges, MD, from his book It’s No Accident
He’s so right!! No one wants to reveal that their long time potty-trained child has accidents. Why? Because we don’t want to be met with the response, “oh really?! My kid hasn’t had an accident since she was 3.”
Yeah I get it.
Your kid has the gastrointestinal system of Thor.
Good for her.
*I want to start this out by saying I am not getting paid to promote this book. It has helped me tremendously with 2 of my boys to not only help them with their potty problems but to understand them. I desire to help shed light to other frustrated parents and children who can’t seem to find an answer.*
I will finally be the mom to talk about her kids potty problems in hope that I can spread awareness on this rarely spoken about topic.
In the past several months since my 2 year old has started having his pooping issues (he’s not potty-trained, he just can’t poop…that’s another story) I have learned that potty problems are a big problem in a lot of families. Some kids that parents tell me about wet the bed, other kids have Encopresis (poop leaks and there’s nothing you can do to keep it in) paired with chronic constipation.
Unfortunatly, potty related accidents among school aged kids are quite common. And according to Doctor Steve Hodges, the culprit is quite the epidemic.
Another excerpt from his book It’s No Accident says,
“Parents are often led to believe: Sure, my kids have issues, but they are just kids. They get caught up in playing and forget to go potty. Their bladder isn’t “caught up” to their brain. They wet the bed, but that’s typical for their age. These notions are untrue.”
They are untrue, then how come even our pediatricians say things like, “it’s normal”? I found myself so very very frustrated this year with my 2 year old sons potty problem. In short, at the beginning of the year he got a little constipated. He started having Encopresis (poop leaks out because their is a large ball of poop clogging things up). Every diaper their was a nasty skid. Then suddenly one day he wouldn’t eat or drink and felt awful. I got so side tracked with all of the skid diapers that I did t realize it had been 2 weeks since he actually pooped. The doctor advised me to give him an enema. It worked. But then days go by and still no poop. Another enema. For some reason he just couldn’t/wouldn’t poop. The ped puts him on a laxative. Doesn’t work. She puts him on 2 laxatives. Nothing. So she sends him to the GI Doctor. She puts him on another laxative (now he’s on 3 laxatives). Nothing. She ups the dosages. Nothing. She runs tests. We go to Jacksonville and they run tests. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. 6 months go by and my kid can’t poop on his own. What the heck?!
If it wasn’t for the wonderful people at the Continence Clinic at Nemours in Jacksonville, I truly believe Silas would have ended up having a bowel obstruction. The local GI Doctor was dragging their feet and I was getting scared. (Kim and Elizabeth y’all were awesome).
After they ran the last test they could on him and it came back normal, I was frustrated to tears. How do I help my son?
During all of this I had come across an article on Parents.com by Steve Hodges MD titled The Shocking Dangers of Constipation in Kids. Reading the article I realized how crucial it was that I keep pushing doctors until I find an answer. Otherwise my son could be left with much worse problems than he started. I even emailed Dr. Steve Hodges in desperation and he emailed back!
After the doctors were left with no answers I researched more on Silas’s issue and again came across Dr. Steve Hodges article. I read reviews of his book on Amazon and parents praised him for finally helping their children. Even a mother who’s 15 year old son still wet the bed, was finally cured. I went ahead and bought.
What other options did I have?
Reading the book was like a light switch. I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t the specialist ever tell me these things?”
Suddenly all of the “I just don’t understand” turned into “ohhhh I get it now”. Dr. Hodges explained how constipation happens, how it gets worse, and what can happen in extreme cases when the body is too far gone. And most importantly, he teaches you how to fix it.
My 6 months worth of questions were answered in this 1 book. Instead of just giving Silas enemas hoping that something will change, I now have a plan and know what is happening with his body.
in Silas’s case, chronic constipation led to his colon and rectum getting stretched out. This along with holding and fear to poop, makes it much more difficult to go. We are following the enema treatment plan by Dr.Sean O’Regan that Dr.Hodges recommends. The plan is to retrain his body, let the colon and rectum heal, and hopefully he will begin to go on his own. Silas has had a test showing his colon is too large. Dr.Hodges explains that in extreme cases when the colon is too stretched out, surgery is necessary. I hope that isn’t the case.
For Silas I am already seeing results. He had a bowel movement on his own for the first time since April.
Silas is an extreme case.
In the beginning of the book I read this: “Virtually all accidents and recurrent urninary tract infections and, I believe, the majority of bedwetting cases, are symptoms of a silent epidemic of holding.”
Thats right. He is saying that in virtually all of these cases, kids are constipated.
Suddenly I thought of my 5 year old who wets the bed every single night. I’ve tried all the tips and tricks. No liquids past 6. Wake him up to pee before I go to bed. Everything. Many of the times he has already wet the bed before I went in.
But how could he be constipated? He poops every day with no problem. I continue reading to learn that you can be constipated and still poop once or even 2+ times a day. The problem is that kids, being in a hurry, tend to not empty themselves fully. Then due to playing, not wanting to poop at school, or avoidance they hold it.
So how does constipation have anything to do with urinary issues like UTI’s and bedwetting?
According to Dr.Hodges, when your child holds their poop, it fills up the colon.When the colon gets full guess what happens. It starts to squish the blatter! When the blatter starts to flatten it leads to, you guessed it, accidents.
Does your kid have to urgently pee all the time?
Does she have to pee all the dang time even when she JUST went?
Does she get recurrent UTI’s?
Is he 5+ years old and still wets the bed?
Well, your kid just might be constipated.
When the blatter flattens from the colon, it can send urine back into the kidneys, resulting in a UTI.
Dr.H (can I call you Dr.H?) says that most the time parents refuse to believe their kid is constipated until they see an X-ray. Then they are shocked.
Well I decided that I wouldn’t try and get an X-ray of my 5, almost 6, year old and that I would just go for it.
The weekend came and we did what Dr.H recommend. A MiraLax clean out.
I was particularly brave and did the clean out with both Carson and Silas… Maybe not the best idea looking back. I wasn’t trying to be a hero, so Carson wore a pull-up all weekend. For that, I am eternally grateful.
The clean out was a success for them both. Over the weekend they had the recommended amount of thunder down unders.
With Carson I have been following Dr.H post clean out plan. He now has a daily dose of MiraLax and no liquids 2 hours before bed. We are also adding some more fiber to his diet.
And guess what?
We’re almost a week of 0 bed wets!!
He wet the bed the day after the cleanse which wasn’t a surprise due to all the liquid he drank the day before. But he hasn’t wet the bed since.
I never ever ever ever would have thought he was constipated. He poops every day in the afternoon. But let’s face it, he has a tiny little body. So by night time his body has already digested more food, so if he isn’t fully emptying when he goes, then his lil ol blatter would already be squished by bed time.
Since Silas’s issue is completely different and more extreme, the results are not the same. Yet. For him, post clean out, I give him a daily dose of MiraLax and a enema. But like I said, he went on his own the other day. So I have hope!
Ive learned a lot this year about this rather gross and awkward subject. But I am really hoping that I can help raise awareness about potty accidents and incontinence. I hope that a few children will finally get to sleep with no pull-ups and confidentially go to a sleepover. I hope this will help parents recognize the signs of constipation and avoid them.
Silas has been through so much and I would love to keep other children from his struggles.
Again, I am not getting paid to promote this book. But after the pediatrician, GI Doctor, General Surgeon, Incontinence Specialist, and yet another Surgeon, this book gave many answers that I have not yet heard and most importantly, gave positive results.
If you would like to buy the book It’s No Accident so you can learn about your child’s potty problem and how to fix it, it’s only $11 on Amazon (and yes it’s Prime!!!) I recommend reading the great reviews. Follow the link
If you would like to read the article by Dr. Steven Hodges that intrigued me, follow the link
***I am not a medical professional. You should always consult your child’s doctor before giving them any type of treatment. This is my personal experience that I personally recommend talking to your child’s Doctor about.