Dear Breda, My seven year old son suffers from constipation. Can you recommend any natural remedies to help? Thanks. Rachel.
Dear Rachel, An old Chinese proverb states “There is no disease but stagnation, no remedy but circulation.” Our large intestine is about 5 feet long and our small intestine about 20 feet, so at one level, it is amazing that anything finds its way through our body! Although constipation in itself is not an illness, it is a symptom that something is wrong. Does your son have a poor diet? Is there stress in his life? Is he exposed to certain toxic substances? Is he on medication which has side-effects? Is he getting enough exercise? Constipation can be extremely uncomfortable, and may lead to a general state of lowered health, with sluggishness both physically and mentally. If not treated, it can lead to bad breath and body odour, haemorrhoids, diverticulitis (infection / inflammation of the large intestine) and other health ailments.I have seen children with constipation who have perfect diets, so it is important to understand the other potential factors, such as constitution, genetics, lifestyle, emotional upset, geopathic and electromagnetic stress. Whilst diet is the most common reason for constipation, I have seen many patients – especially children - where the maintaining cause was something quite different. The following advice may be of assistance: Diet: the best sources of fibre are grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables. Introduce slowly as they can cause gas and diarrhoea. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add linseeds or flaxseeds to your son’s cereals. Take one tablespoon of olive oil with the juice of one lemon just before bedtime and upon getting up in the morning. This helps to stimulate liver function, and improves overall digestion and elimination of food.It is sometimes useful to get your son to sit on the toilet at the same time ever day. This may create a signal to the body to defecate.Consult with a homeopath, as there are number of remedies which are effective.If diet is the underlying cause of your son’s constipation, the above advice may help, but as ever, it is important to play the “health detective.” By this I mean taking a dispassionate look at your son’s life: did the problem start when he changed school, began taking a certain medication or eating a certain food, moved house or lost a loved one? Diet is the common cause of constipation, but be aware that there are many other potential causes too.