Effective Ways to Treat Constipation in Children You May Not Know. In addition, we all have problems with bowel movements from time to time. But when the defecation becomes highly irregular over a period of time, it is a good sign of constipation. And the problem can be very frustrating if this is happening to your child.
Constipation in children is a problem in which your child may have less than two bowel movements a week. Generally, the stools are hard, dry or lumpy; and stools that are difficult or painful to pass.
Children may also have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, changes in posture, loss of appetite, nausea, and changes in behavior.
Children may suffer from different types of constipation, such as acute constipation, chronic constipation, functional constipation, idiopathic constipation and pseudo-obstruction. A 2015 study reports that the most common type of constipation in children is functional, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases.
Functional constipation is commonly the result of a child holding stool to prevent painful defecation. Often, children with constipation also experience recurrent episodes of fecal incontinence when the stool leaks out of the rectum due to an overflow caused by fecal impaction.
There may be several causes of constipation in children , including genetics, low fiber diet, dairy or wheat intolerance, not chewing food properly before swallowing, low water intake, low muscle tone, gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and problems emotions. Some medications like antacids, narcotics and antidepressants have constipation as a side effect.
Constipation can cause extreme discomfort, and when neglected, it can become chronic and lead to other health problems such as fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and rectal prolapse. In addition, constipation prevents toxins from leaving the body and can lead to weight gain over time.
It is not easy for parents to see their children with pain and discomfort, but Constipation in Children is curable. There are many simple and effective remedies, as well as lifestyle changes that can prevent and treat constipation, in addition to alleviating your child’s discomfort.
Now, check out some of the Ways to Treat Constipation in Children!
1. Fiber Rich Foods:
The first thing that can be done to treat Constipation in Children is to increase your child’s fiber intake. Fiber is a natural laxative that helps soften the stool and stimulates regular bowel movements.
The recommended intake for dietary fiber is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories in your child’s diet. A 1999 study reports that lack of fiber may play an important role in the etiology of chronic idiopathic constipation in children.
In a meta-analysis of 2012, the researchers concluded that dietary fiber intake may increase stool frequency in patients with constipation.
In a review of several studies in 2018, researchers reported that adequate fiber intake should be recommended only for functional constipation, and fiber supplementation should not be prescribed for children and adolescents with constipation due to a shortage of studies qualified to evaluate supplementation.
You can include foods rich in soluble and insoluble fiber in your child’s diet.
Some good sources of soluble fiber are oranges, apples, carrots, barley, oatmeal and linseed.
Some good sources of insoluble fibers are nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, unprocessed grains and dark leafy vegetables like kale or spinach.
2. Consumption of Liquids:
Children tend not to think about drinking water between the jokes, which can leave them dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation in children .
Water is essential for the digestive system to function properly, and without sufficient water intake, feces become difficult to pass.
A 2013 study reported that insufficient intake of dietary fiber and fluids are associated with symptoms of aggravated constipation.
Have your child drink water, fruit juices, and other healthy drinks as much as possible during the day. Pure water or warm water with a little juice can make your child stay hydrated.
If your child does not like the taste of water, try flavored water, coconut water, fruit juice or vegetable juice. For babies under 6 months of age, breastfeeding is enough to keep them hydrated.
3. Stomach Massage:
A stomach massage is very effective in relieving constipation. Gently massaging the stomach and lower abdomen of your child stimulates bowel movements. It can help loosen the abdominal muscles and release the pressure, helping in the promotion of intestinal activity. It can even relieve the gas.
A 2007 study reported that abdominal massage appeared to result in stools of more “normal” consistency in some cases. Put some mustard oil or coconut oil in your child’s stomach. Massage gently clockwise for 5 minutes. Apply only very light pressure. Get several massages throughout the day until your child has a bowel movement.
4. Hot Bath:
A warm bath can relieve tense muscles in the abdomen and relieve bowel movements. It helps things move through the body faster and also brings relief from the gases.
You can also add baking soda or epsom salt to the bath water. Baking soda will provide relief from the pain and itching if your child has an anal fissure. Epsom salt, being rich in magnesium, can also deal with problematic feces.
A 2017 study reported that natural mineral water rich in magnesium and sulfate improved bowel movements in individuals with constipation.
Fill a tub with warm water, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda and mix well. Let your child sit in this water for 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes a week.
Alternatively, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the warm bath water. Let your child soak it for about 20 minutes. Do this 1 or 2 times a week.
5. Regular Exercise:
Whether it’s an adult or a child, exercising daily can aid in digestion and relieve constipation. Regular exercise will help the food move faster through the large intestine and help the bowel muscles to contract.
On the other hand, lack of exercise leads to weakness in the intestines, making it difficult to pass waste regularly.
A 2014 study reported that constipation was associated with insufficient physical activity and excessive sedentary behaviors among Chinese adolescents. Constipation can be prevented by promoting physical activity.
For children, one of the best exercises is walking. Make 30 minutes of walking a day, especially after meals, to aid bowel movements. Swimming, cycling or doing yoga regularly can also help the bowel to stimulate bowel movements.
One of the best ways to deal with constipation in children is to offer plums. Prunes are rich in fiber and sorbitol, which helps in softening the stool and also provides volume to facilitate passage.
A 2011 study reports that prunes are safe, palatable and more effective than for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation and should be considered as first-line therapy. Give your child 3 or 4 prunes to eat daily. Mix 2 or 3 prunes in a little hot almond milk and make your child drink at night before going to bed.
7. Sweet Seeds:
Fennel seeds are also helpful in treating Constipation in Children . Fennel seeds stimulate the movement of smooth muscles in the digestive tract, resulting in a healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Seeds also prevent gas in children.
You can give your child fennel tea. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds in 1 cup of hot water. Let it infuse for 5 minutes, then co. Give your child this tea to drink a few times a day.
8. Psyllium peel:
Psyllium is a natural laxative and can be used to treat constipation in children and adults. It is a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber and helps increase the amount of water in the stool. As a result, the stool becomes softer and easier to get through.
Mix ½ teaspoon of psyllium husk in a glass of warm water. Make your child drink once a day before going to bed. The psyllium husk is also available in most pharmacies in the form of capsules. Always consult your doctor before giving your child any supplement.
Note: When giving psyllium husk to your child, make sure he or she drinks plenty of water, or it may cause discomfort in the stomach.
9. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is a natural laxative that helps treat infrequent bowel movements. The oil can also boost metabolism and help foods move faster through the body. This can mean more frequent and smaller and smoother bowel movements.
In addition, this healthy oil is rich in fats that are important for your child’s growth and development. For consumption: You can make your child swallow a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your child’s milk, soup or any other hot drink once a day.
For topical use: you can apply a small amount of coconut oil on your child’s anus to lubricate the passage and encourage your child to poop. Do this once a day.
10. Healthy Intestinal Habits:
Establishing a period of hygiene can help prevent constipation in children . The human body acts as a clock and maintaining a routine will help to gain pace. So, encourage your child to use the bathroom early in the morning and after each meal or snack to maintain regularity.
Make your child spend at least 30 minutes in the bathroom, about 10 minutes after each meal, every day. They should be made to do this until it becomes a routine and you do not need to remind them.
In addition, it is important to help young children sit in the correct posture in the toilet. Give them a stool to support the legs.
When possible, help your child use crouched toilets because they are the best positions when experiencing constipation. Keep telling your child not to restrain yourself whenever you need to use the bathroom.
If your child is taking medication that causes constipation, ask your doctor about other options. Incorporating Greek yogurt or other probiotics into your child’s diet is another safe and effective way to combat constipation.
Add raw fruits, vegetables or salads in all your child’s meals. When suffering from constipation, give your child five or six small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.