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What's Best For Constipation?
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my son has had trouble with constipation since he was a little over a year old, he just made three. I have bought him fiber tabs, he wont' take them, I give him probiotics he sometimes won't take. a doctor suggested psyllium, but I doubt that he will take it. Does any one have any suggestions that work for a constipated three year old. I feed him bumble bars and for a while that kept him regular, but lately he's still constipated. I try to feed him fruit and nuts and anything that I think will help him go. anything I bake has flax meal in it, from pancakes to muffins. thanks for your suggestions in advance.

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First it is VERY IMPORTANT that he get adequate liquid when receiving extra fiber or that very flax in the bread could be contributing to the problem. Fiber alone is never the answer unfortunately. If he doesnt like to drink, you can sneak liquid in by making yummy frozen pops, smoothies and such. You can add to them Benefiber which has no smell, taste or detectable texture. You can buy powdered probiotics and sprinkle them into the smoothie and mix by hand. Add extra to yogurt. If there is any way you can get him to drink 4 oz of water first thing in the morning, it could go a long way to getting rid of the C.

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Some people don't respond well to extra fiber. Also, can you be sure he's 100% gluten-free?

Something I know works is magnesium. If you buy the powdered form of magnesium citrate or magnesium carbonate, you can mix it into all sorts of foods or drinks, and he won't even know. You could even blend the powder with cocoa or other drink mix, so you or he can mix up a drink or smoothie anytime without raising suspicions. Just don't prepare it ahead of time, since the magnesium can react with certain foods slowly over several minutes. The citrate form is obviously acidic, so it's best for acidic foods and drinks. The carbonate form is fairly neutral, so it will work in just about anything, though somewhat less potent than the citrate form. Both powders are white.

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A warm bath in Epsom Salts will get magnesium in as well. You really have to be careful about adding supplements because Magnesium has to balance with calcium. If you just add magnesium supplement, you could throw something else off. Best to get a balanced multiple if you want to supplement or feed foods higher in magnesium and try the baths.

Magnesium Rich Foods

Magnesium is an essential mineral for human nutrition. Magnesium in the body serves several important metabolic functions. It plays a role in the production and transport of energy. It is also important for the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of protein, and it assists in the functioning of certain enzymes in the body. Learn more about the many health benefits of magnesium.

According to recent USDA surveys, the average intake of magnesium by women 19 to 50 years of age was about 74 percent of the RDA. Men of the same age got about 94 percent of the recommended amount. About 50 percent of women had intakes below 70 percent of their RDA.

These are the recommended daily requirements of magnesium:

* Children

o 1-3 years old: 80 milligrams

o 4-8 years old: 130 milligrams

o 9-13 years old: 240 milligrams

o 14-18 years old (boys): 410 milligrams

o 14-18 years old (girls): 360 milligrams

* Adult females: 310 milligrams

* Pregnancy: 360-400 milligrams

* Breastfeeding women: 320-360 milligrams

* Adult males: 400 milligram

What Foods are High in Magnesium?

Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium.

You should note that refined grains are generally low in magnesium. When white flour is processed, the magnesium rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour. Tap water can be a source of magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. Water that naturally contains more minerals is described as "hard". "Hard" water usually contains more magnesium than "soft" water.

List of Magnesium Rich Foods

Foods High in Magnesium Serving Size Magnesium (mg)

Beans, black 1 cup 120

Broccoli, raw 1 cup 22

Halibut 1/2 fillet 170

Nuts, peanuts 1 oz 64

Okra, frozen 1 cup 94

Oysters 3 oz 49

Plantain, raw 1 medium 66

Rockfish 1 fillet 51

Scallop 6 large 55

Seeds, pumpkin and squash 1 oz (142 seeds) 151

Soy milk 1 cup 47

Spinach, cooked 1 cup 157

Tofu 1/4 block 37

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For snacks, you might want to stick with ONLY raw veggies (carrot sticks work well ) and fruit--- And prunes :) -- NO baked goods----- and lots of water---- :)

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This sounds old-fashioned, but what about PRUNES? With prune juice, you only need a few ounces a day and another way is to take some hot water and let a few prunes soak in it. When they get soft (10-15 mins) then blend them up. My girls (almost 2 y/o and almost 4 y/o) love this.

I keep my littlest one on either juice or prunes because she had constipation since she was born, but now she goes regularly, and if she seems to be passing little rocks instead of normal bowel movement, I add an extra dose for the day.

She does not need it every day now though.

Another very gentle product can be found on ModernManna.org and it's called Children's Bowel Formula. It is prune and fig based syrup with a few herbs (in a very small amount). It is very gentle, causes no intestinal cramping or pain, and I have given it to my 2 y/o since she was around 1 year old. I wouldn' t hesitate to give it to an even smaller baby. It comes with a dropper, and you give them a few dropperfuls depending on their weight. Both of my girls love this "med" and sometimes my older one asks for it just because she likes the taste. I take it myself in a larger dose when I feel the need (i have constipation issues too....probably from celiac my whole life, but never knew it!)

Things to avoid? Cheese definately, as it is one of the most constipating foods you can eat. White rice/pasta/bread is a no-no, dairy causes constipation in some individuals. We use lots of nuts, but have found that too many nuts, or too much peanut butter seems to cause us trouble, so definately use them, but in small amounts. Make sure grains are whole-grains, not refined, and avoid using too many foods containing thickeners and starches (cornstarches, etc) as these tend to "glue up" the system.

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I bought the baby food prunes and told my daughter it was "prune sauce" and she gobbled it up. It works fast!

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has anyone tried Natural calm, it's a magnesium powder that is mixed in a drink. a doctor i see suggested this. I'm not sure what to try first. thanks for all your advise.

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Let him nibble on berries that have seeds as often as he wants them. If he doesn't like the seeds, just tell him to crunch them with his teeth.

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has anyone tried Natural calm, it's a magnesium powder that is mixed in a drink. a doctor i see suggested this. I'm not sure what to try first. thanks for all your advise.

Yes, it does work, though most I've seen are much more expensive than ordinary magnesium powders. If you decide to try that, there's at least one which is sweetened with Stevia, so that way you wouldn't be giving a sugary drink. The magnesium calm products tend to be lemony tasting, due to the citrate form of magnesium and calcium they have. Be sure to follow the label, as too much of it can cause discomfort. They tend to work fairly quickly too.

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When I was younger my mom used to give me mineral oil - the texture is kind of ick, it is tasteless and odorless though, but it did work ;)

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This is easier for an adult, but if you can get a child to take it, more power to you! A teaspoon or tablespoon of olive oil will help a LOT. Seems odd, but I had constipation for years and after taking one spoon a day, it cleared up! I don't remember if I took a teaspoon or tablespoon, but a child wouldn't need more than a teaspoon.

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This is easier for an adult, but if you can get a child to take it, more power to you! A teaspoon or tablespoon of olive oil will help a LOT. Seems odd, but I had constipation for years and after taking one spoon a day, it cleared up! I don't remember if I took a teaspoon or tablespoon, but a child wouldn't need more than a teaspoon.

This doesn't sound odd to me at all. It is the same basic concept of caster oil or mineral oil. This sounds terrible, but when I was preggo with DD my pregnancy message board was always trying to find a way to kick start labor. Some of them couldn't hack caster oil, so they would do vegetable oil or olive oil. Those two proved to move the bowels more gently than mineral or caster oil but still did the job. It works pretty fast too!

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My son is 3 and takes a 1/4 to a half-dose of Miralax every day to keep him regular. It's worked very well for him. His ped says it's OK to be on it long-term; it's been nearly a year for us (off & on, though mostly on) and he's had no side effects. I also recently started giving him probiotic acidopholous (crushed into powder & mixed with morning milk, along with the Miralax) and it seems to have helped even more - I've cut back on the Miralax dose so that it's maybe about a tsp.

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I give my daughter 1-2 tsp of flax seed oil.

She needs it for the fat and it really helps clear her out and make her regular.

I convince her to take it by giving her a jelly belly for a reward after. But she is just 2 so I can still bribe her.

If your son likes smothies you can make him a fruit smoothie and add the oil in there.

Is he dairy free? we saw a HUGE and I mean HUGE diffrence in my daughters bowls by going dairy free. She use to only go every 3-4 days and when we cut out dairy she has since gone every single day. It has been 3 weeks since no dairy and have noticed some changes with her body wanting to revert back to its old ways so we have been gluten free for just over a day as well.

I highly suggest going dairy free if you haven't and you will see changes fairly quickly.

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Well, we went to my mom's today and while I was at the grocery store, he had an accident, a BM in his underwear, I didn't even care that he had an accident, I was just glad he went. She said it was seedy, that is because, I feed him bumble bars, and they really help him go. I just wanted to share the bumble bar tip with anyone else having constipation issues. I read all your tips and some I have tried, like the mineral oil, that did help, we tried that a couple of yrs ago, but I read that it can block mineral absorption from the GI tract so I wish I had not given it. I don't want them to be dependant on laxatives, I rather try to natural approach, so I think I will try the naturalcalm. Also I have trouble getting him to his probiotic, so I may try to powder form. I do feed him raw veggies and fruits and beans and anything I think will help him go, he getting dairy only on occasion. thanks for all responses.

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I take the Natural Calm and it helps me. You've had some good advice here. I'll add two ideas:

My own celiac symptom is the big C. I've tried a lot of things and fiber really didn't help other than increase stool volume. I could eat 2-3 cups of prunes and it wouldn't faze me except I might have gas. It was because I was looking for more ideas that I found the gluten connection. Anyway, I had to take very large doses (4 x normal for adults) of magnesium at first to have any benefit. I don't absorb well so it hasn't hurt. Levels can be tested if you are worried. I used a combo of magnesium and buffered Vitamin C powder and that really helped me go.

Second thing to consider is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am now on that and have had significant improvement in just a few weeks. But to the point of your situation, I read a lot of reports by parents about children's constipation having major improvement and there is also an SCD constipation protocol. There's a book that is main source, but you can look at www.pecanbread.com for lots of the info related to kids and constipation. There is a yahoo group too linked from that site.

Also what was really interesting is that on the intro SCD you are actually very low fiber and many people's constipation improves on that. It is the opposite of what we are told/believe and has to do with damaged intestine versus normal ones.

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when my daughter goes through the part of her cycle where she's constipated for a week or more (typically she just has lots of diahrrea but constipation does come around often enough too) she takes Miralax. We mix it in her drink and eventually she goes. Sometimes it takes a day or two after getting a few doses of the stuff but it does work.

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