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Children Get Constipated, Too
Do you notice your child putting off going to the bathroom because he/she is busy doing more important things? Do you notice avoidance of the bathroom for fear of a painful bowel movement? Is your child not experiencing daily bowel movements? These actions may be signals of constipation.
Parents often hope their worries about their children's bathroom habits will end with the final diaper. But successful toilet training doesn't prevent occasional troubles with bowel movements. Constipation is among the most common but should never be considered normal.
Unfortunately most of the medical literature defines childhood constipation as not the frequency of bowel movements but the hardness of the stool. According to the Physicians' Manual for Patients, "Daily bowel movements are not essential to health." Parents are told that as long as the child is having three bowel movements a week AND they are soft that this is totally normal. Not so! Just as we eat three meals per day, a child should be experiencing between 1 to 3 bowel movements per day. Food should never be sitting in the digestive track longer than 24 hours. Ideally, everyone should have comfortable, unforced bowel movements 20-30 minutes after every meal.
Because the discussion of bowel movements between child and parent usually brings out total dread in parents, it is often ignored and assumed that the child is experiencing bowel movements each day. Many of us remember cringing when a grandparent asked us "Have you had a bowel movement today?" The cringe was not necessarily because of the question but because it was usually asked very loudly at the dinner table! You see, in their generation this was considered a very important function for good health. Somewhere along the line we have stopped looking at this as an important clue in overall health. Digestive track health is considered by many to be the most important function in keeping the body healthy.
Causes Of Childhood Constipation
Constipation can undermine the whole body and it is now known that irregular bowel movements are directly related to serious health conditions. Constipation does not have to be a problem if you will practice prevention with your children and implement the suggestions found in this article. Regular bowel movements are an important mechanism for removing toxins from the body and thus keeping the body healthy. Remember: Prevention is always the key. As always, if severe symptoms persist, do not hesitate to see your healthcare professional.
About The Author
Loretta Lanphier, ND, CCN, HHP is a Doctor of Naturopath, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Holistic Health Practitioner in the Houston, TX area and Vice President of Global Healing Center, Inc. A teacher and educator, she counsels Global Healing Center clients on the aspects of getting the body healthy and keeping the body healthy. As a cancer survivor, she is able to relate extensively, both as a patient and a practitioner, to clients suffering from disease.
She is also involved in researching new alternative disease treatments and products. Dr. Lanphier is Assistant Editor and contributor to the worldwide newsletter Alternative Health & Healing.
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