"HEY DOC, WHY CAN’T I POOP?!"
This is probably one of the most common issues we get asked about. Constipation happens to newborns, toddlers, teenagers but to us adults too! So here’s a few reasons why constipation occurs and what you can do to help it...
IS IT A NERVE SYSTEM PROBLEM...
If you’ve read some of our other articles or you probably already know a lot of information about the brain and nerve system.
In a nutshell, symptoms like constipation, gas, bloating, vomiting and diarrhoea can occur if the messages that go from the brain to the gut are being interfered with or blocked in someway.
Typically, this happens when we have too much physical, chemical or emotional stress occurring in our daily lives that puts too much pressure on our nerve system and causes it to 'malfunction'.
What to do...
An Organic Chiropractor is trained with assessing nerve function within the body using a variety of tests.
Once they've discovered the level of function your nerve system is working at, they can come up with a plan to address those issues and get your body functioning and healing at a much higher rate.
We find that babies and kids are much easier to help when they have gut issues as their body hasn't been blocked up for quite as long as an adult.
In our opinion, finding a family focused Chiropractor will be your first step in establishing a foundation of basic nerve function to make the gut work better for the long term.
IS IT A DIET PROBLEM...
When you were a baby your nutrition came from your Mum through breastmilk or via formula, and the same goes for your children.
The QUALITY of a mothers diet matters, just like the quality of the formula that you are giving your child matters. Your baby’s gut flora is created and nurtured by YOU through what you feed them.
Poor food habits from a very early age that carry on into adulthood are becoming more and more associated with chronic health issues and not just with symptoms like constipation. They’ve been linked to autoimmune conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Graves disease and pernicious anaemia as well as behavioural disorders too.
Avoiding foods and formula’s high in sugar, (click HERE to learn more about the various hidden names for sugar) as well as gluten and dairy are typically not ‘gut friendly’ and this is especially true in newborns.
The majority of children under the age of 12 months are gluten and/ or cow's milk intolerant due to gut immaturity.
What to do...
Taking out gluten and/or dairy from your diet or your child’s diet for 2 weeks will help establish if this is part of the cause behind yours or your child’s constipation.
Use your Facebook account to follow people and like pages that give you ideas on recipes for you and your kids for various inspiration and to make this an easier transition.
If your baby or child likes formula milk before bed then you can switch to Karihome which is a goat's milk formula.
If your child is over 12 months old or you are experimenting with your own diet, you can switch to an unsweetened nut milk like almond milk.
IS IT AN EMOTIONAL ISSUE...
Chronic constipation hurts physically, so the most common issue toddlers and older have especially is an emotional problem of with-holding due to fear of pain.
Breaking the constipation cycle is key but for some young families you may need some guidance from someone more closely trained in these kinds of issues in children.
What to do...
Softening the stool will be a great place to start for home remedies. Using foods like prune juice will help (dosage varies depending on age).
If you already suspect that diet plays an issue in the constipation issues, then even just by switching to a cleaner, fresher and all around healthier diet may help with this emotional aspect in kids and adults too.
Always make sure that hydration is super high and add in herbal teas like peppermint too where you can.
Stress is a huge contributor to gut issues in adults. Ever taken an exam and either had to empty your tummy before it or you just stopped going for 2 days in the build up to it? That’s because when we are stressed the brain releases a different set of hormones into the body that ultimately affect a lot of various organs, including that of your gut!
Stress moves the blood away from our digestive system and shunts it towards our muscles.
To find out more about this an the consequences of longstanding stress and gut health click HERE.
What to do...
Stress management like deep breathing techniques, yoga, exercise, meditation, going for a 20 minute walk each day or seeking out a professional to help will help you to handle your stress better.
One of the amazing side effects of Organic Chiropractic care is the ability to immediately reset your body, allowing it to go from a stressed, hyperaware state to a relaxed and rested state.
Most symptoms like constipation, don’t just have one cause and are multifactorial so taking the time to understand what might be going on makes a big difference to overall health and function not just for now, but for the future also.
For more information CLICK HERE.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy,
-Dr Kylie xo
Organic Family Tribe Leader