Epilepsy Foundation

Hi -

Does anyone have experience with constipation being a seizure trigger. My little girl has been hanivg brief seizures almost daily for the last 2 weeks. Her stools have been pretty regular, but have been moe like peblles and rocks than lenghty and soft (sorry for being gross). I thought that she was experiencing constipation since she was put on Trileptal back in November. It seemed she always had stools that were more like rocks and pellets. Today, she woke up and after breakfast told us she she had to go potty. I took her off her little potty (she still prefers that one, even though she is way to big for it) and it was almost totally full of fecal matter. I could not believe how much she did. I feel bad because all weekend she has been off and was wondering if this could be a factor. Also, when she has been pushing to go, she really struggles sometimes. I just never thought she was experiencing sever constipation because she go usually once a day or at least every other day, it would just be that harder pellet like stool.

Any thoughts, even if it is not seizure related could be helpful.

Thanks,
Bridget

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ABSOLUTELY!!
It's one of my dd's biggest triggers. We HAVE to keep her as regular as possible. Let me know if you need some ideas.
Pam
Yes, this used to be a common trigger for Ava.
Since she has been on the diet, her BMs are much more regular.
We also use magnesium ... this can help to improve BMs and some say it can help with seizures too.
I'd love to chime in on this conversation. My son has long term constipation and has been on Miralax for a while, but we've also been trying to d/c for a while so he wasn't taking daily, the ped knew this. But since my son has been on Depakene, I read miralax can increase seizures w/ Depakote so I stopped it even though my ped felt it was okay. I haven't asked my epi yet. Ideas to keep regular? Any one's kids on Miralax and Depakote?
Lisa
Cal/mag can help to keep kids regular as well as possibly help with seizures.

As I mentioned above, the diet my daughter is on for epilepsy, LGIT, has also helped. She gets a lot of good fiber.

Lisa said:
I'd love to chime in on this conversation. My son has long term constipation and has been on Miralax for a while, but we've also been trying to d/c for a while so he wasn't taking daily, the ped knew this. But since my son has been on Depakene, I read miralax can increase seizures w/ Depakote so I stopped it even though my ped felt it was okay. I haven't asked my epi yet. Ideas to keep regular? Any one's kids on Miralax and Depakote?
Lisa
I would absolutely love suggestions. I tried benefiber a few weeks ago. But was so scared to use it heavily. My daughter is 3 going on 4. She is really good with the potty with BM, but has a harder time always telling us the pee pee part. The RN said it was okay to go ahead and use the benefiber for children, she just cautioned to go slow because if you give them too much for them, they may soil themselves. Has benefiber been sucsessful for anyone? I was thinking I was crazy, but i really think she strains so much on the potty sometimes this can only be lending to the stress on her body. Also, I go t to imagine it is somewhat toxic to have BMs stuck in you on an on-going basis. How did you figure it was a trigger fro your kids?

Thanks,
Bridget
It's one of Elsa's biggest triggers. We also work hard to keep her regular. Right now, we're going through a "clean-out" (xray revealed that she's really backed up) and seeing more absences despite being well controlled for the past few weeks. I just got off the phone with her epi who suggested we raise her Keppra dose to help us through this phase.

Personally, I'd avoid Miralax and look for another solution. Elsa had a terrible time on it. Coconut oil has worked well for us. Magnesium too. Vitamin C can help and, if you're not carb-restricted, many parents recommend Fruit-Eze.
I know more about constipation issues in children than any one person should ever have to know, lol. Between my own son and probably half of my day care kids...well let's just say a large part of my life centers around poo, who needs to, who hasn't, what color it was, what consistency....

My one son had horrible constipation, with the constant pebbles, eventually he backed up enough and the stool got bulky enough that it caused him to tear and bleed. They tried him on lactulose first, that made it run out like a faucet. Then they put him on Miralax. The Miralax worked for him, but we had to keep him on it for loooooong time and very slowly wean him off and we did probably 4 trials of this between the time he was 2 and 5, then he did great for a couple of years and then we've had two shorter episodes from vacation and not watching his diet as well. He was very self limiting in what he would eat for a few years..he lived on peanut butter sandwiches, milk, bananas, yogurt...now he eats broccoli, carrots, spinach, green beans, kiwi, melons, grapes, strawberries. It was a loooong learnign process though. The Miralx though was a decent tool for us to keep him regular until he learned ot eat new foods. You really want to get a handle on this though, because the longer it goes on teh more likely she coudl end up with encoporesis, and it may have somethign to do with her enuresis also...somethign about the constant pressure and stretching of the bowel causing nerve loss and then they can be less likely to feel if they have to urinate also....

Other than the meds....

Things that cause constipation...too much milk (we were told to limit to 3 cups a day), too much cheese, bananas, not enough fiber, and too many cooked carrots, applesauce (remember the BRAT diet for diarrhea), plus too many fast foods, fried foods and processed stuff

Things that help constipation...graham crackers, other fruits especially grapes, raisins, prunes, juices (prune and pear especially), vegetables, raw or cooked, and whole grains
ANother thing that helps when they are constipated..a warm bath with baking soda in it...I don't know they WHY behind the baking soda part of it...but it's one of teh suggestions of our pediatrician.
"I asked about this...and drs probably won't tell you yes.."

There are many epi's and Gi docs that do acknowledge this problem.
The other thing that is possible about constipation/seizures is increased seizures can also lead to more constipation.
It is an icky cycle.

I agree with Delaine ... I'd personally avoid miralax. I would also avoid psyllium in small children with seizures ... esp if they are prone to vomiting. Psyllium can be a choking hazard.
In terms of fiber ... IMO food is the best way to get it. Brown rice ... veggies and so on. Broc can be very helpful.

Beside magnisium, L Carnitine can help some with chronic constipation .... but this only ought to be done with the help of a health care professional.
We also do epsom salts/baking soda baths. The epsom salts provide added magnesium and can be very calming too.

It was explained to me this way. The epsom salts provide added magnesium which helps to keep stools soft. Baking soda relaxes and soothe the anal sphincter and helps pass the stool.


Grimins said:
ANother thing that helps when they are constipated..a warm bath with baking soda in it...I don't know they WHY behind the baking soda part of it...but it's one of teh suggestions of our pediatrician.
Erghh...my daughter is so picky. I can't even get a vegatable in her anymore. She loves orange juice though. Which, when I buy the healthy kids kind it has a lot of nutrients in it. So do you bathe them in the epsom slat every night? What is the bath recipe? I think i am gonna give the benefiber a good hard try, but if she is currently backed up, do you think it would beneficial to do something like an enema, and then do the benefiber. I know this a question for the ped, and believe me..i have a call into her, but she has yet to return my call.
We bath her as often as we can, usually every other night. The ratio is usually 2:1. I started off gradually, about 1/2 cup salts & 1/4 cup soda, then increased to about 1 cup salts & 1/2 cup soda.

Will she eat a whole orange instead of the juice? The orange has more fiber and, in general, whole fruits will be better for constipation than juices.

Good question re the clean-out. I'd defer to your ped, or maybe even consult a GI. I'd also ask your neuro for his/her input too. Sorry I'm not familiar with benefiber, just that you need to make sure she's drinking enough water while she's taking it.

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