Nutritional and Supplemental Treatments for Constipation and Encopresis

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After reading the information on Common ways constipation presents in children, we need to discuss how to treat this problem. This blog post will discuss - Supplements and Nutritional treatments -

WATER

 Children in general do not drink enough water, teens especially.

  •  Goal of water intake a day: 1/2 your body weight in pounds = oz of water a day. So if you weigh 70lbs, you should be drinking 35 oz of water a day.
  • But water is so boring....... Well, let's make it more interesting

Use duct tape and hot glue gun and jewel up your water bottle with the times of the day

Get this decal for your water bottle from Etsy

There are apps so your phone can remind you to drink water while Snapchatting.

Infuse your water with delicious flavors via water bottles with infusers, fruit frozen in ice cubes, or simply fruit mixed with water and a bit of real sugar. 

WHOLE MILK

can be constipating, especially if it's not organic and locally harvested.  Organic whole milk from local farms is full of omega 3's and due to reduced pasteurization process, it is full of probiotics that aids with digestion.  Furthermore, too much milk may also be an issue.  For example, drinking 24-32 oz of whole milk a day, may be the issue. Change to 2% milk and decrease daily milk intake to 18-24 oz a day.   Add water to the milk in those who refuse to drink anything else.  Consider Organic Local Milk

FIBER -

Fiber Outline Below, age specific. Also see fiber nutrition chart

How to get more fiber in your child's diet with food?

DAILY PROBIOTIC

- a daily Probiotic is a MUST - this helps populate the gut with healthy bacteria and aid in digestion. Milk of magnesia and Miralax work great to treat constipation but they do not get to the underlying issue for constipation. Treating the root cause of the problem is far more beneficial then just treating the symptoms.

HOW TO CHOOSE A PROBIOTIC - it must have 5 or more different organisms, it must have over 1 billion colonies. It should be refrigerated. I am obsessed with the results my patients are getting from VSL3. Capsules for all, open and sprinkle. No taste, no smell. VSL3 packets taste gross.

Start with one pill a day and increase as needed. Beware: first 2 weeks you may be gassy and bloated as the body gets used to the probiotic. This means it's working :).

When your gut is properly working, it helps the rest of the body work well. If your gut is out of sync, there are many other issues you will face.  A little problem called inflammation occurs when the gut is struggling along.  Inflammation leads to acne, asthma, allergies, eczema, diabetes, cancer, to name a few.

  • Price - best deal Costco and Sam's Club Pharmacies. It is available at all pharmacies and Amazon. Ask the pharmacist. It's not on the shelves.

Juice Plus

- instead of fiber gummies or fiber supplements that have questionable ingredients, I prefer Juice Plus. These are organically grown fruits and veggies powdered into gummies or capsules with digestive enzymes. In Summary, the ingredients are fruits and veggies and digestive enzymes, instead of corn syrup and food coloring. Price $28 a month per person for red/green gummies. Miralax is $28 a month if not more, depending on where you purchase it.  In case you don't believe I am saying check out The Medical Research on Juice Plus

MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS

can also help with bowel motility. Discuss with your doctor the dosage for you or your child.

 

Lastly, there are also Behavioral Modifications for the treatment of Constipation and Encopresis In Good Health, Ana-Maria Temple, MD