5

votes

Hack my kids constipation, PLEASE.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Ok so here goes: I am a mom to 3 (almost 4) & my oldest son never had digestion problems. My daughter started having severe constipation at 6 months & has fought it ever since (age 4 now). We tried everything for her & nothing seemed to work consistently & now she has such terrible emotions associated w pooping, she can hold it for days. When my 3rd child, my son, started w the exact same problems as her, at 6 months, I knew something was wrong. Personally, I have been paleo/primal for the past year & have had really great success w it. In the last month I have taken my family off grains as well, in hopes of seeing a change, especially w my two youngest kids & their constipation. I have kept a vigilant food journal for my son (19 months) & he has been doing so well for 25 days. Now, the last 4 our of 7 days he has started up w sever constipation again. It is misery for all of us. I don't know exactly what to do now. Probiotics? Take him off dairy? He has 2-3 cups of cows milk a day. I was feeling so thrilled & like I was making the best choices for him until this happened. Now I am feeling insecure & confused, especially seeing him in so much pain & now having to field questions from people like - how does he get his calcium, what about fortified cereals, he probably has too much iron from protein, etc. Please be kind & give me some words or advice or at least reassurance.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:56 PM

I think this is horrible advice (even though I'm following the same regimin for lack of anything better, or dietary support from non-paleo family!). My son who just turned 4 has been having Miralax with breakfast for OVER A YEAR following a rectal prolapse (I promise you that you do NOT want to google images of that). I was the one who had to deal with the prolapse (enough said). Laxative every day? That's just not right. Any time we reduce the dose, the constipation returns.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:13 PM

You realize edamame is soy? and bean? Not even the semi-tolerated fermented kind, but the full thyroid inhibiting kind. UGH! I would never have a bowel movement if I ate soy beans daily. I agree with Travis!!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 01, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I should also say that nobody should eat edamame.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 01, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Cut out the egg whites.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Also with regular stock/broth try to simmer the bones for 24hrs + and use a bit of acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) to draw out every last drop of minerals and vitamins. And as for sauerkraut I am not brave enough to try myself. Bubbies makes a pretty good one. Personally I stick to yogurt, and fermented beverages and buy the rest.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:05 PM

I use grain fed meat, I figure if broth is so healing any bones are better than none. Also I figure that not to many toxins gather in the bones especially if you leave the fatty skin out. Are the bones you get hormone and antibiotic free? If I leave out the fatty bits in the stock then when pouring myself a cup to drink I add extra tallow, ghee or whatever good fats I have on hand. You can also use chicken feet to add gelatin to your broth. If you can get them I figure not much builds up in the feet. Here is a general idea how to use chicken feet http://nourishedkitchen.com/chicken-feet-stock/

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:37 AM

Also, I think people are less likely to judge you on your personal decisions when you are an adult, but when you are choosing something for your child that goes against CW, people get up in arms.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:21 AM

Thanks for all your suggestions! I do have a good salmon patty recipe that I haven't used in ages & my kids really like it as well. I'll dust it off & see if he'll eat them. I would like to ferment my own saurkraut, just haven't been that brave yet. Bc of where we live I can't get any local kefir so anything Id buy would be an online starter. But I might try that as well. I would also like to do a bone broth but again, not sure how to make it since my only meat bone sources are grain fed.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:18 PM

@Warren, the cuts of meat vary. Like I said, I prefer fattier cuts bc I'm pregnant but my husband prefers leaner cuts. Since he eats w me most of the day he has what I do, evenings he eat the leaner cuts. @JayJay, I hear such conflicting stuff about the dried fruits so that's been confusing to me as well. Some people say they are helpful some people say they are not bc they absorb too much water in your gut. Honestly, the only reason he eats them is bc it's a go to snack while we are running around- errands, picking up older kids from school.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:14 PM

When you say 'no probiotics' does that mean, he needs them? I know we don't eat a lot of naturally fermented foods so I did just order online some probiotics for him to take. Idk, he may not have that healthy gut flora so I was hoping it would help. How would you suggest I make the gelatin? All of the grass fed beef options I have available to me are boneless.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 03:50 PM

I'd consider more fat, replacing the milk with some 24hr home made yogurt if you wanna keep giving dairy, and baking his fruits/skipping the dried ones for a time.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 19, 2012
at 03:46 PM

tplus3, are the cuts of meat lean or fatty?

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Which I guess sounds pretty funny considering we DO live on an island in Japan. :)

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Ah, yes, we do eat beef but not as often. Our red meat is mostly lamb or bison. Bc of where we live, I don't have access to much grass fed beef - only ground & some other very small cuts. I live on an island in Japan. But no, we don't eat a ton of fish.

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on January 19, 2012
at 02:00 PM

wheres the grass fed beef? and fish. maybe the lack of omega 3 is causing some inflammation

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 19, 2012
at 01:41 PM

No probiotics. They don't really help you, unless you want help emptying your wallet. Gelatin, apple cider vinegar work wonders. Especially gelatin. Eat one tablespoon in water first thing in the morning. And taking him of dairy could indeed help. I don't understand the calcium hype.... Nobody ever talks about vitamin D or magnesium around me, but when I say I don't drink milk they're all like "WHAT? and what about calcium???". If you're so worried about it, let him eat chia seeds.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 01:39 PM

He also sometimes has a cup of almond milk as well.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 19, 2012
at 01:04 PM

I agree with this assessment. In lieu of any real medical conditions, constipation could be a sign of too much protein, and not enough fat... at least it was for myself, and practically every bodybuilder/strongman I know that ate high protein and neglected their fats.

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7 Answers

4
F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

on January 19, 2012
at 03:02 PM

I don't know how helpful this will be but I have had varying digestive issues most of my life. I am 24 now. I agree with Jules K on GAPS but if that is to harsh the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I also agree with Korion on the gelatin but stir it into homemade bone broth. Homemade bone broth will provide minerals and vitamins and some calcium the broth is also healing to the gut which is why it is recommended on both the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and GAPS. Also more Omega 3 to help with any inflammation they may have. If you make salmon loaf or fish cakes or fish burgers using canned fish with the bones there is plenty of calcium in there. Just blend it really well so no one knows there is bones in there.

Fermented vegetables helped a lot for me personally but before I could eat the vegetables I was just drinking the juice. It has to be traditionally fermented no vinegar and start with a 1/2 tablespoon of juice and work your way up. These can be bought from your local Weston Price chapter store or Bubbies is a pretty decent brand. I also drank kombucha.

If you really want to do dairy, milk kefir is super amazing. Make your own or buy from your local farmer who uses raw milk or your local Weston Price chapter, do not use store bought! Start with 1/2 tablespoon a day and work up from there, it is pretty powerful stuff. Also don't forget yogurt. Again this has to be homemade you can follow the procedure here on the SCD website http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/beginners_guide/yoghurt/yoghurt.htm It must be fermented 24hrs to get rid of any lactose and if you use a pre-made yogurt as a starter it is 1/4 cup yogurt to a pint of milk.

Hope this helps again this is from my personal experience.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Also with regular stock/broth try to simmer the bones for 24hrs + and use a bit of acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) to draw out every last drop of minerals and vitamins. And as for sauerkraut I am not brave enough to try myself. Bubbies makes a pretty good one. Personally I stick to yogurt, and fermented beverages and buy the rest.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:05 PM

I use grain fed meat, I figure if broth is so healing any bones are better than none. Also I figure that not to many toxins gather in the bones especially if you leave the fatty skin out. Are the bones you get hormone and antibiotic free? If I leave out the fatty bits in the stock then when pouring myself a cup to drink I add extra tallow, ghee or whatever good fats I have on hand. You can also use chicken feet to add gelatin to your broth. If you can get them I figure not much builds up in the feet. Here is a general idea how to use chicken feet http://nourishedkitchen.com/chicken-feet-stock/

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:21 AM

Thanks for all your suggestions! I do have a good salmon patty recipe that I haven't used in ages & my kids really like it as well. I'll dust it off & see if he'll eat them. I would like to ferment my own saurkraut, just haven't been that brave yet. Bc of where we live I can't get any local kefir so anything Id buy would be an online starter. But I might try that as well. I would also like to do a bone broth but again, not sure how to make it since my only meat bone sources are grain fed.

3
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on January 19, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Could you provide some examples of what he eats in a typical day? If he isn't getting enough fat, that could be a factor. You may want to look at the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) protocol; that can fit really well with paleo and might help!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 19, 2012
at 01:04 PM

I agree with this assessment. In lieu of any real medical conditions, constipation could be a sign of too much protein, and not enough fat... at least it was for myself, and practically every bodybuilder/strongman I know that ate high protein and neglected their fats.

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 01, 2012
at 02:03 PM

I was constipated for more than 10 years, without realizing it. After those 10 years, I tried coconut oil, magnesium, more fat, more water, more fiber, ... Only the first three didn't make it worse. Gelatin solved it all. Let the kid try gelatin, it's the best food I ever introduced into my diet.

2
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on April 01, 2012
at 01:21 PM

Avoid the soy (shelled edamame) its a huge digestive upsetter. Also I found what works is a good course of non-dairy probiotics and coconut milk gets things going (sometimes too much but in small doses it can help).Avoid dairy, it is completely unnecessary and is very likely causing his issues. If people are celiac, they are usually casein intolerant as well. Trust me, we went through this with an 11 year. Avoid raw vegetables also, always cook them well and have lots of fat in them (butter/coconut oi).

2
9ff1affa9c371cfa5ffc82bcb3e30ca6

on April 01, 2012
at 01:16 PM

I would definitely try giving up dairy to see if that helps. If your kids are already fine with almond milk, that's a good start. If it's difficult to get a subsitute for butter, you might try ghee, clarified butter that lacks the milk proteins that can cause problems. You can make it at home from regular butter, if it's not readily available.

You can also make it easier to poop by teaching your kids to squat on the toilet seat to poop, rather than sitting. It requires less abdominal effort. Ask older Japanese who gripe about newfangled Western toilets.

Because your kids' constipation has been going on for a long time, it may have disrupted their learning how to control their sphincter. Once you remove dairy and have them squat on the toilet seat, they might still have difficulty. You can try giving them a mild laxative such as Miralax in a small dose every night, and taper down the dose to zero as they learn new pooping habits.

Best of luck!

2
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 01, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Some kids just have a hard time with constipation. A friend of mine went through this with her daughter and was told to add a 1/2 tsp of Miralax to some water every day. It's totally helped.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on April 01, 2012
at 07:56 PM

I think this is horrible advice (even though I'm following the same regimin for lack of anything better, or dietary support from non-paleo family!). My son who just turned 4 has been having Miralax with breakfast for OVER A YEAR following a rectal prolapse (I promise you that you do NOT want to google images of that). I was the one who had to deal with the prolapse (enough said). Laxative every day? That's just not right. Any time we reduce the dose, the constipation returns.

2
626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

on January 19, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Yep, sure! Here is a list of his typical day. Breakfast: milk, scrambled egg in coconut oil, banana, maybe a home made grain free blueberry muffin. Lunch: milk, usually leftovers, reheated in a pan w coconut oil, so chicken, pulled pork (some kind of protein) w leftover veg - spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, shelled edamame, broccoli, etc. He stays home w me so I'm able to cook us an actual meal every day. Snacks are usually craisins, raisins or apples. Dinner is same as we eat, some kind of protein, chicken, pork, etc w a cooked veg side. For him, his veg is topped w coconut oil or organic butter (we don't have access to any grass fed butter where we live). I do think I get a decent amount of fat into his diet as I'm currently 8 months pregnant, so I am consuming a lot of fat myself. He has a pretty consistent habit of eating his plate & then heading to my lap to eat mine as well. I will try & make sure I am more diligent of giving him even more fats tho.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 19, 2012
at 03:46 PM

tplus3, are the cuts of meat lean or fatty?

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Which I guess sounds pretty funny considering we DO live on an island in Japan. :)

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Ah, yes, we do eat beef but not as often. Our red meat is mostly lamb or bison. Bc of where we live, I don't have access to much grass fed beef - only ground & some other very small cuts. I live on an island in Japan. But no, we don't eat a ton of fish.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 01:39 PM

He also sometimes has a cup of almond milk as well.

626a03a7a63f0751b29f29e3f0b2bf09

(45)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:18 PM

@Warren, the cuts of meat vary. Like I said, I prefer fattier cuts bc I'm pregnant but my husband prefers leaner cuts. Since he eats w me most of the day he has what I do, evenings he eat the leaner cuts. @JayJay, I hear such conflicting stuff about the dried fruits so that's been confusing to me as well. Some people say they are helpful some people say they are not bc they absorb too much water in your gut. Honestly, the only reason he eats them is bc it's a go to snack while we are running around- errands, picking up older kids from school.

537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on January 19, 2012
at 02:00 PM

wheres the grass fed beef? and fish. maybe the lack of omega 3 is causing some inflammation

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 19, 2012
at 03:50 PM

I'd consider more fat, replacing the milk with some 24hr home made yogurt if you wanna keep giving dairy, and baking his fruits/skipping the dried ones for a time.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 01, 2012
at 07:59 PM

I should also say that nobody should eat edamame.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 01, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Cut out the egg whites.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:13 PM

You realize edamame is soy? and bean? Not even the semi-tolerated fermented kind, but the full thyroid inhibiting kind. UGH! I would never have a bowel movement if I ate soy beans daily. I agree with Travis!!

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