Getting rid of constipation strikes a chord in me. You see, my special needs son has struggled with severe and life-threatening constipation, so it is an ongoing management issue with his health and for his genetic syndrome. Many just view constipation as a simple side effect of medications or just eating the wrong foods; however, Constipation may also be related to an issue of hormone imbalances and low muscle tone.
Constipation signals your body needs to change something in your diet, unless, of course, you are taking a constipating medication.
Why does constipation happen?
There are some possible causes of constipation, even in children. Many autistic children struggle with constipation, as well as other special needs children, who are immobile. Although you must try to make a Mom diagnosis of the cause of constipation, here are some possible reasons why you or your child may become constipated.
• Changes in diet
• Eating too many dairy products
• Not drinking enough fluids or becoming dehydrated
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Not enough fiber in the diet
• Being too inactive
• Over use of laxatives
• Stress Eating disorders (too much of the same food)
• Over active thyroid
• Problems with muscles or nerves in digestive tract or other medical issues related to genetic syndromes or autism spectrums
While the constipation cause may be super obvious from this list, there may also be complications or multiple reasons.
Frequently, you may need to do some trial and errors of food elimination to pinpoint the cause.
Sometimes bowel impactions cause accidents In some situations, constipation becomes more severe and is diagnosed as encopresis. This is leaking from the colon at unwanted times. If you have a special needs child with this issue, or even care for an elderly person, you may not realize that the cause of poop accidents (outside of diarrhea), is also constipation. Watch this video created by the University of Colorado to instruct children, in particular, about what causes poop accidents, and what can be done to stop it.
What can you do about your constipation?
There are many practical solutions for constipation. Begin by taking it seriously, then work on the methods below (or another one you find out about) that bring bowel movement to empty and get the bowels moving again.
If things do not unclog, you may need to get medical attention from a doctor. Waiting for constipation to take two and three days to pass is an emergency situation and must be dealt with immediately. If your child simply cannot pass stool, then you should immediately see a doctor, or even go to the nearest ER.
Boost your water
Always boost your water or liquid intake. Avoid caffeine and drink water. Caffeine is a known diuretic and dehydrates your body. Anyone who becomes severely constipated, needs to drink plenty of extra water. While I have a kid who won’t drink water (the one who struggles with constipation, of course) and I jump through big hoops to get him to drink. Plus, I will even sweeten his water with stevia if that is what it takes. Pushing liquids all the time helps, along with other motivators. Look for this cute little app called Plant Nanny for your devices. The plant in the app will remind you to drink water throughout the day and will grow everytime you drink a glass of water.
Magnesium citrate liquid
You can often treat occasional constipation with over-the-counter (OTC) medications or supplements, such as magnesium citrate. This supplement is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water helps soften and bulk up your stool, which makes it easier to pass.
Digestive natural enzymes
These papaya and peppermint enzymes really help fight constipation simply by helping your stomach digest properly. You will find they are all natural and do not contain any extra additives or chemicals. Helping stomach acid stay balanced and the body digest and pass food.
Get your probiotics in! Always replenish gut bacteria when you can. You can do this at home by making your own yogurt, kombucha and even probiotic lemonade. Purchasing probiotics in the form of acidophilus or probiotic capsules should be purchased in the refrigerated section, as opposed to the shelf. However, I have used some shelf products that work okay in a pinch.