Constipation in Young Children

Foods that Relieve Constipation

Constipation in young children

Constipation in young children is a common problem, especially if the child doesn't drink enough water, milk or fruit juices, or if the child doesn't eat a healthy diet that includes enough fiber.

Constipation is described as bowel movements that are hard and dry, difficult or painful to pass, and less frequent than normal.

In children, a decrease in bowel movements can be triggered by several different reasons such as a sudden change in diet, or the resistance to toilet training due to parental pressure.

Emotional turmoil and stress can also cause constipation in young children such as the birth of a younger brother or sister, divorce, or the death or departure of someone they love.

Sometimes child constipation can be brought on by the memory of a painful bowel movement.

In addition, constipation can be caused by a child not wanting to interrupt play, or he or she is busy doing more important things.

Constipation can also occur out of embarrassment to use a public restroom or to ask a teacher.

When to seek help?

Although constipation in young children is often harmless the following are a few guidelines as to when to contact the child's physician.

Constipation can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem.

  • If the child has not had a bowel movement within four days
  • If the child is experiencing discomfort or severe pain while trying to expel stools
  • If the child has a small amount of the intestinal lining pushed out of their anus
  • If the child's normal pushing is not enough to get "things" moving and discharge stool
  • If there is leakage of liquid or soft stool from the child's anus
  • If there is blood in the child's stool
  • If there is an appearance of small, painful tears in the skin around the child's anus
  • If the child is not able to participate in their day to day normal activities

    Foods that Relieve Constipation in Young Children

    Treatment depends on the child's age and the severity of the problem. However, often increasing fiber foods, which are found in plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, drinking more liquids, and getting more exercise will solve the child's problem.

    Fiber that is soluble takes on a soft, gel like texture in the intestines and dissolves easily in water and, as such, it helps soften stools.

    On the other hand, insoluble fiber passes through the intestine virtually unchanged and adds bulk to stools. Nonetheless, both types of fiber help prevent hard, dry stools.

    However, to maximize your child's health benefits of fiber intake, they should eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

    Foods that Relieve Constipation

    Increase the child's daily intake of rich high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits, raw green leafy vegetables, whole-grain oatmeal, and brown rice.

    Also include foods such as asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, garlic, kale, okra, peas, sweet potatoes, and whole grains.

    Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include adzuki beans, barley, dried beans, oats, apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cranberries, figs, grapes, peaches, and prunes.

    Foods that contain high amounts of insoluble fiber include cereals, seeds, wheat bran, whole grains, and the skins of many vegetables as well as fruits.

    Figs or prunes are considered to be the best natural laxatives and can very helpful for constipation in young children.

    Fluids, such as water and fruit juice helps to soften stools so it's important that your child is drinking plenty of these types of liquids daily.

    Diets high in fat, including fried, refined, and processed foods should be avoided.

    Constipation in Young Children

    Herbs that can Help!

    Aside from incorporating high fiber foods and lots of liquids, there are supplements that can help with this complaint.

    However, be sure to consult with the child's physician before administering any dietary supplements.

    In addition, check the manufactures age requirements and recommended dosage.

    Herbs noted to help get things rolling again are:

    Aloe vera juice has a soothing as well as healing and cleansing effect on the digestive system and, as such, it aids in forming soft stools.

    Flaxseed oil helps to soften stools and may get things moving again.

    Dandelion is also used as a constipation aid due to its powerful laxative properties.

    Psyllium seed is also helpful for constipation and may be your salvation.

    Other helpful herbs include ginger, cascara sagrada, rhubarb root, senna leaves, and yerba mate.

    It's important to alleviate constipation because sometimes this condition can lead to hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, fecal impaction, and others.

    It can also give rise to many different aliments such as headaches, fatigue, gas, hernia, obesity, insomnia, body odor, bad breath, appendicitis, indigestion, and others.

    Featured Natural Digestive Health Product

    The best way to relieve constipation in young children if possible is through consuming a high fiber low fat diet and drinking lots of fluids. However, there are times that your child's digestive system may need help!

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    We hope this Constipation in Young Children web page was useful to you.

    To You and Your Child's Health!

    The Editors


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