Childhood Constipation

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. My son is 3 years old, and has suffered from constipation since he was a baby. We have been prescribed lactulose by our doctor. We feed him prunes, and kiwifruit daily and ensure that he has plenty to drink. He becomes very apprehensive and dreads going to the toilet. Is there anything you can suggest to naturally overcome this problem?

A. It sounds like you have addressed the issues of fluid and fibre which is a good start. I would now suggest trying some magnesium, especially if your child is the ‘nervy’ type. Magnesium relaxes the smooth muscle of the bowel and then you can get a resolution. Some people hold their tension in the gut – even subconsciously. Magnesium food sources include nuts, seeds – which would be best at this age to be ground to a powder – for example “LSA” linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds ground is sold in most health stores or make it in a coffee grinder. “LSA” 1 tablespoon per day can be sprinkled on cereal or porridge, or incorporated into muffins, pancakes etc.

For a therapeutic dose of magnesium, I would purchase magnesium phosphate as a tissue salt/celloid form which is safe to use on young children (do an online mineral appraisal Active Elements on my homepage).

Introduce sour foods into the diet, balsamic vinegar on cucumber or carrot sticks whilst he is waiting for his dinner. The sour effect stimulates the digestive enzymes and bile flow, which in turn, stimulate peristalsis (the wave like contractions of the bowel).

I also get good results from allergy testing – see this website under the About section. Once the problem foods are removed, regular bowel habits can be achieved.