Monday, July 28, 2008

Help for Harry

I'll say up front here that this post is for other
parents with autistic children and a very
common but terrible problem of constipation.
My hope is that our discoveries will help
another child...or adult.
Anyone is welcome to read, but the topic
isn't very pleasant. :)
That said.....
Digestion problems are quite common in children
with autism. They run the extremes of chronic, long term
diarrrhea to chronic, long term constipation.
Fortunately, only one of our triplets with autism has
had one of these problems, but it was a serious one
that took us years to get a handle on.
Harry has serious constipation.
For years he would only have a bowel
movement once every 10 days and then only with the
help of an enema. We tried all kinds of stool softeners,
fiber supplements, hydration, stimulants and even
a prescription laxitive without any improvement.
Harry developed Encopresis, (holding bowel movements)
due to the chronic constipation. Once a child becomes
constipated, a vicious cycle can develop. They
may avoid using the bathroom to avoid discomfort.
Stool can become impacted and unable to move forward.
The rectum and intestine become enlarged. It was such a
traumatic event to give him an enema. We would literally
have to hold him down, sit on his kicking legs...he would
cry....I would cry....it was a nightmare. Then he would have
to pass 10 days worth...very stressful on all of us!
In doing some research for some vitamins and supplements
that may be beneficial to our boys, I came across an
interesting article on Biotin.
It is well known for aiding in healthy hair and nails.
It also aids in digestion and plays an important role in
metabolizing the energy we get from food.
Biotin assists four essential enzymes that break down fats,
carbohydrates, and amino acids.
I bought it for the digestion benefits and was surprised to
notice that it seemed to help Harry's constipation!
After some experimenting with the doses and added
Benefiber (new to the market) to his daily supplements
we have come to a better routine of about
4-5 bowel movements per week (no enemas).
He takes 3 heaping teasoons of Benefiber
and 15 mgs of biotin daily.
In case any one is interested, I get my supplements,
including the biotin from Swanson Health Products.
Really great quality and the best prices I've found.


  1. you know what's so interesting about that? they say that yeast can be very constipating...and biotin is a yeast fighter...danasview.net...her kiddo couldn't tolerate probiotics so she gives biotin...she also recommends GSE...grapefruit seed extract...

    also, i have heard that vit c is good for constipation....how amazing is the body?

  2. Granola ~ that is interesting. Even when we cleared up the yeast problem, he didn't get better. We tried the Vitamin C, too. Just goes to show you that each one is different. It may have something to do with the encopresis, too....mixed with the obsessiveness....it's a wonder we cracked the case at all! :)

  3. I appreciate you sharing your findings with everyone. Although there are unpleasant subjects that not many folks want to talk about, some of these subjects can seem to alter your life. I feel so bad for him having to go through all that constipation. As his mother it must be so frustrating to you to see him suffer with this. I pray this combination continues to do the proper movements. God bless you for your honesty and willlingness to help others. You are truly a sweet person!

  4. You're a good mama! I appreciate your honesty and willingness to be open about the difficulties (and delights) that you encounter with the triplets. Poor Harry... I'm glad he feels better these days.

  5. Nanatrish ~ yes, it is an unpleasant topic, but if you can find a way to treat it effectively it really can improve the quality of someone's life! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  6. Thnaks, Modgirl ~ I'm hoping my info here helps someone else, too. When you come across a solution to a problem you are facing with your child it is like winning the lottery. We have celebrating some strange things around here ~ haha!

  7. Poor Harry...but, I am SOOOO glad you have a handle on it...I KNOW he is a happier guy because his Mama worked so hard to find the "right" fix for him.
    EE has milk allergy and we use Benefiber for her as she suffers from belly upset so much (everything has dairy in it!) and I am a HUGE fan of Benefiber. It works!

  8. I appreciate your candidness!!! This is vital information... I will be sure to pass it on...
    I'm glad they make benefiber... so much easier to swallow than the other 'nasty' stuff!!!

  9. Techo ~ Hi and thank you. I hope it helps whoever you are passing the info to.

  10. Oh, you poor, poor things. that must be so incredibly stressful and difficult. You are very strong people.

    And as people have commented here, it is indeed GOOD for all of us to have someone like you openly share the challenges, the ups and downs so that we can be more help and more compassionate to those in likewise situs.

    ..It also lets us know how to pray.


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