IBS in Toddlers

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Source: HeathTap

Source: HeathTap

Orange has always had irregular stomach issues. She started life as a tiny 6 pounder pumped full of antibiotics out of fear that she was coming down with signs of GBS meningitis. It was scary but we made it through. We never really thought it would lead to a long journey of gas bubbles, screaming and uncomfortableness. With her frequent ear infections, she had even more antibiotics. The poor thing was just being set up to be miserable. It wasn’t until recently though that we realized that a three-year-old could feel stress and anxiety and just how detrimental those things are on your stomach.

Late last year, Orange was diagnosed with anxiety induced Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Her pediatric GI ran many tests to confirm no other issues existed. We made diet changes, cut out things like dairy, dyes, spicy food, greasy food, etc. and nothing helped. It wasn’t just the frequent complaints of stomach pain though. IBS comes with psychological changes, behavioral issues, violence and depression. Seeing these things in your toddler is horrifying. So many people said, “Oh that’s how my 2 or 3-year-old acts too.” But, no, I promise you, your toddler did not act like this.

I was her only advocate. With so many people just telling me she needed better structure and discipline, that she was doing it for attention, that she was just adjusting to having twin little sisters now, changing schools, etc, it was hard to fight for her. I had my doubts. It was easy to think she was making it all up. It was easy to feel frustration. Trust me, I still felt a lot of frustration. But I kept putting my energy towards it. I knew there was something wrong with my baby.

With the diagnosis finally, she was put on Miralax in combination an anti-colorectal spasm medicine. We saw changes almost immediately once the issue was under control but after three months of consecutive use of Miralax, I discovered this article that points out the dangers, things her GI doctor never even mentioned as risks. I was appalled. I immediately felt like a failure that I hadn’t done a better job to know what she was putting in her body. We immediately began weaning her from the Miralax but her symptoms started up again. Finally, by accident we discovered Vitafusion Fiber Gummies. Target (our go-to store) carries a generic brand as well. They are gluten-free, dye free, no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup. After just three days of switching from Miralax to the all natural fiber supplements, I have a normal toddler again.

The IBS is maintained. We’ve even been able to decrease her spasm meds. She’s finally fully potty trained. And I have my sweet, imaginative and spunky big girl back.

Does your journey follow a similar path? Has your child been prescribed Miralax as a cure-all? Remember to do your homework. Our doctor (we will not be seeing her again) didn’t give us all the truth. Yours may not either.

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About Heather Campbell

I'd like to say I'm fun and interesting, but that all depends on who you talk to. I have everything I've ever wanted. I've been married, mostly happily since 2006. Together we have a spunky redhead and giggly identical twins. I am a mom/homemaker, doula-in-training and a freelance writer. Our story is magical. Our life is chaos.

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