By Danielle, Contributing Writer
Is Your Kid’s Constipation Normal?
No, it’s not.
Constipation is a condition that many children suffer from in developed countries, with many mothers and pediatricians overlooking the condition. Studies have shown that up to 30% of children in the United States have experienced constipation, and it accounts for over 35% of trips to the gastroenterologist. This condition may be overlooked for the more serious symptoms which may accompany it, such as allergies, eczema and asthma.
Mom after mom has come to me saying something along these lines: “My child sees a pediatrician, specialist doctor, and an allergist, and is on a few meds, but I still am trying to deal with the daily constipation…?”
Most of these children also suffer from autoimmune conditions like allergies, eczema or asthma, are on medication, and have larger health concerns, so the parents may not even mention constipation to the doctor. If they do, the doctor may prescribe over the counter Miralax, which is actually not safe to give children under 6 years of age, and a detrimental product all together. What the doctor may not know, is that the constipation is likely a result of leaky gut and the medication used for other conditions.
A healthy bowel movement schedule is indicative of health. If your child suffers from constipation regularly, it is not normal. There is something in the child’s diet that is not agreeing with their body. This may be dairy, gluten, medicines, or an allergy.
Leaky gut occurs when the lining of the stomach and digestive organs is damaged, and allows undigested particles of food through the organ into the blood stream and other body tissues. These are then locked into the body, causing havoc to detox. Eczema, for example, is the release of these toxins through the skin. This is why the best treatment for eczema is eliminating toxins and allergens from the diet, not an external cream. This can be caused by a vaccine, antibiotic, gluten or dairy intolerance, and GMOs and pesticides; but is typically a mix of all of those toxins.
What is a normal bowel movement?
Most people should have one to two bowel movements a day. It’s normal to have days where you do not have a bowel movement, but it is not normal to go for days without one, nor to only have a bowel movement every 2+ days. If your child suffers with constipation on an ongoing basis, there is definitely cause for concern. Constipation is painful, and signifies an internal digestion issue. Your bowel movement should appear brown and a solid (but not hard or cracked), single unit.
Ways to Help Constipation
Remove Pharmaceutical and Over the Counter Medications
All conventional medications, including antibiotics and over the counter constipation medicine, damage the gut and lead to health issues, including constipation. Work with a trusted, holistic doctor to remove these assaults on your child’s immune system.
Remove Potential Allergens Especially Gluten and Dairy
If your child has constipation and leaky gut, removing these allergens will help speed healing. Most children can tolerate these items in moderation if organic and pesticide-free, after the gut has been healed.
Add Good Fats and Oils
Oils like coconut and organic olive oil can keep things moving. Try making these “Constipation candies” for your little to make getting their oil in fun.
Include Healthy Fiber
Fiber aids your colon in getting the goods moving. Try psyllium husk added into a smoothie or add in when baking.
Cut Out GMOs and Pesticides
Avoid these foods to ensure you are not doing further damage every time you serve dinner.
Ensure You Are Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals
Constipation may also be caused by a nutrient deficiency. Add in trace minerals, especially magnesium.
Constipation is a common issue in kids today. Many parents, and even pediatricians, don’t realize how important gut health is to your child’s overall health. If your child is dealing with constipation, I urge you to treat it as a serious symptom of an underlying digestive issue.