When I work with my clients, I recommend many ways to help with constipation. One of my favorites is physical manipulation.
Here's what one client told me after implementing the colon massage I recommended:
“After doing the colon massage you recommended he went from pooping once per day to 3-4 times per day, starting with a first thing when he wakes up. The dark circles under his eyes are faint now, he's more energetic and happier!”
Why does massage work? Because you are physically moving the tissues that may constrict flow through the colon.
6 Reasons WHY Kids May Have Constipation
1. Dehydration! So many people don't drink enough water. Increasing your child's daily amount can help tremendously with constipation. Here are the guidelines for how much we should drink daily:
Drink at least 1 8-ounce cup per age of the child (1 cup for a 1-year-old, 2 cups for a 2-year-old, etc.)
Kids age 4-8 should drink about 5 cups per day
Kids age 9-13, 7-8 cups per day
Kids age 14-18, 10 cups per day
2. Poor diet. Eating wheat and dairy products can be constipating, along with other junk food items. Not only do we see constipation clear up on a gluten and dairy-free, but we see other behavior shifts like anger decrease and brain fogginess lift, among other things. When we shift the diet, we see behavior shifts.
3. Structural adhesions. It's possible the connective tissues around the abdominal organs have adhesions, or tightness, and are stuck and physically restrict movement of waste through the feces. The colon is composed of smooth muscle that should be contracting in a methodical way. This is called peristalsis and can be very dysregulated by physical tightness.
4. Ammonia produced by parasites and other bacteria can stop the muscles from working. In this case, we would use specific supplements to mop up the ammonia to get it out of the way. And then we have to work on getting the bad microbes and parasites out of the gut. This is when we begin to implement the first stages of drainage – getting the waste out of the body. And this first stage is getting the colon working well (daily pooping 💩!).
5. SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. This may be a cause or result of constipation. If the bowels are not moving, it's possible that the bacteria that is supposed to be in the colon backs up into the small intestine. This creates bloating, poor appetite, abdominal distension, pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and weakness. It's bacterial overgrowth and gut inflammation that create this situation.
6. Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) issues. The MMC is a pattern of electromechanical activity in the smooth muscle of the intestines, active in between meals, that helps food move through the intestines. Think of it like a cleansing wave that sweeps the small intestines clean between meals. This can be disrupted due to many factors, including
- Poor vagus nerve control – the nerve that goes directly from your brain to your gut organs to help control them
- Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system – basically staying in fight, flight, or freeze mode (STRESS!)
- Brain injury, inflammation or other brain issues
- Gut pathogens – think parasites and bad bacteria!
- Issues within the fascia connective tissue, including toxins and poor electrical conductivity
As you can see, there isn't a simple answer as to WHY there is constipation. It could even be a combination of all of the above.
However, I find, again and again, following a proper protocol opens up the colon pretty much every time. Getting at the root of the issue – microbes and toxicity – provides lasting help.
Until you are able to begin a thorough drainage and detox protocol, also called cleansing, there are some supplements that can help.
One or more of these can definitely help! However, for lasting elimination of constipation or alternating diarrhea/constipation AND more permanent shifting of behaviors in the direction you want to see, you WILL need to remove the toxic waste out of your child. Once you embark on this, life will become easier and calmer – for your child, for you, and for your whole family!
Here are some of my favorite supplements that can help with constipation right away:
[In Canada, use this link to see supplements in Fullscript Canada.]
Please note: most binders are, well, binding. That means they can cause constipation. And while a constipated child NEEDS a binder, activated charcoal, and some other common ones won't help with constipation. We recommend GI Detox. Add in Organic Aloe Vera Juice if needed.
It really is so simple. We don't need Miralax, which has a neurotoxic compound in it.
Happy pooping to you!