August 26, 2009

Tips for thickening loose stools

As everyone knows,Dylan has struggled with having loose stools. We are trying different things with the "trial and error" attitude. At this point we have nothing to lose, and hopefully will find something that works. So far we have tried things such as Benefiber and Pectin. Here is some tips that we have learned through doctors and hirschsprungs support groups. Hope someone finds this information helpful.

*High fiber diet
*Constipating Diet
*Probiotics (see link on the left)

Dylans doctor has also recommended that we try immodium in hopes of slowing down his motility. We have not yet tried this. High fiber diets seem to have the opposite affect on Dylan as well, instead of thickening up the stool he gets worse diareaha. We have yet to try the probiotics but that is something I have been doing some research on, my concern is finding one that I can crush and mix with food or a drink. I did purchase a cheap brand at the local drug store and realized after I got home that the box said "do not crush". Benefiber is suppose to help regulate the bowels. Alot of people use this when they are irregular. Its most commonly used for constipation but was recommended to us because its suppose to regulate bowel movements, it is basically an extra source of fiber. We recently tried pectin, fruit pectin is used to make jar jams thicken up. There are flavored kinds with sugar added and flavorless with no sugar, but a fair warning this stuff is bitter which is why we had no success, and it also thickened up Dylans drink no sooner than i mixed was the consistancy of pudding which of course would be hard to convince a child to drink. As we try more things I will report back with the results, as of now we are leaning more toward trying the probiotics because alot of parents with HD children or children with bowel problems in general use these and say it makes a world of difference.

Good luck to the rest of the parents out there sharing our same journey, it takes patience and understanding and a whole lot of failed experiments with different stuff, but sooner or later we will figure this out!


  1. I was so glad I stumbled onto this blog. We are at wits end with our 5 year-old, Mitchell, who has Hirschsprung's in addtion to Down Syndrome. He has multiple soft BMs each day and has no interest in potty training yet. We are going to try some of the tips suggested here. We had no luck with probiotics as he ended up with severe diarrhea. Once he gets it, it takes days to slow him back to "normal." He has a follow up at CCHMC late this month, we are hoping for some advice on how to help potty train him.

  2. A great source of Probiotcs is Kefir ( a yummy liquid yogurt-type drink) there are also chewable Primadophilu by Natures Way for kids.

  3. My son got n.e.c as a premature babie and lost his whole large bowel and more than half his small intestines.He is on immodium and it seemed to slow things down and his stool was thicker, now it seems there is another problem (unknown) and it is very runny again, i cant seem to thicken it back up with diet. But he is also vomiting every 4 or 5 days.Maybe imodium is worth a shot for you.Be sure on the dose to give him, i had to break the capsul open and mix it with 2ml of water and give the correct amount for his weight. It taste very bad( thats why it is in a capsual!) But i put 3 or 4 drops of pentavite to hide the tasate, he suck it up most of the time. I wish you luck and strength on your journey to help Dylan.

  4. a healthy life in the future for Dylan

  5. My husband is in his 30's and was diagnosed with Hirschbrungs when he was about 1 1/2. He still has loose bowel movements daily. I just want you to know that he is a healthy man despite this. I'm hoping this will encourage you!

    1. My son is 3 1/2 now. Thank you for this insight. Now maybe I can sleep a little easier.

  6. Thanks for your blog...I'm desperately seeking information...I'm also having problems with my 3 1/2 year old and loose stools....I'm leaning towards cutting out fruit and juice completely...fiber also has the opposite effect and makes it worse...It's made potty training quite the challenge to say the least...when he is firm he has control other wise he has none...very frustrating to say the least...

  7. Janet, mum of Joshua.December 21, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    I am so pleased I have found this blog, I have been looking for years for someone with the same issues we are having.
    My Son is 8years old and found out he had HD when he was newborn, he had a colostomy bag until he was 9months old and then the reversal. He soils in his sleep, he sometimes has up to 3 accidents at school on a bad day and was being bullied terribly until recently about being a "poo pants" :( he gets the feeling but by the time he gets to the loo its too late or it just comes without a warning sometimes.
    Its an on going battle that is breaking our hearts as he just wants to be like his friends and younger sisters.
    He has wash outs and on 5mls of Immodium 3x a day and we have to avoid high fibre foods as they make things worse.
    Its very rare for HD children to suffer this was we were told by our Son's consultant so its good to finally hear from other people.

  8. Hey Catrina, Thanks for this blog entry. It's helped me a lot.

  9. I found that Metamucil thickens the stool. Two to three round tablespoons with 1 cup of water first thing in the morning before you eat anything, another at lunch and one before bed. You must drink it fast because it thickens very quick. In between these three doses carry the Metamucil pills and take one before your first bite of any food and five pills with the meal. It has taken my system about six months to adjust to it but I am finally living again...

  10. Have you tried the wafers made by Meta? They are fiber wafers that taste good. I can't use the fiber pills but the wafers work great to thicken my stools. I have no large intestine anymore with a ileoanal pouch.