Chronic Constipation In A Toddler

In my practice I see a lot of people who are taking a well known drug to relieve their constipation. It’s available over the counter and seems to be the ‘go to drug’ to relieve these symptoms.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a little girl of two and a half. Let’s call her Poppy.  Her Mum tells me she has been constipated since 3 months old and has needed to take this drug daily.  It wasn’t effective in relieving her constipation so recently she had been prescribed another drug that was stronger. But this hadn't made any difference. Poppy’s Mum and Dad were bringing her  for homeopathy because she was constipated and windy, sometimes for 4-5 days at a time and in a lot of pain.  After a few days of not moving her bowels at all she needed to go for several times a day. Each time she needed to go Poppy would cry and scream whilst running around and holding her crotch. This would continue until she had moved her bowels and could be several times a day. Sometimes they thought she had been, only to check her nappy to find she hadn’t and the cycle would start again. It was an ordeal for Poppy and stressful for her Mum and Dad.

Another big concern for her Mum and Dad was her lack of appetite.

“She eats barely anything” and they comment her stomach can feel very hard.

I meet Poppy. She sits down by my toy box and plays, quietly and independently. She demands no attention at all and is absorbed in the toys.

It occurs to me Poppy could be intolerant  to one or more of the foods she is eating but she may also have an inherited tendency as her mother and grandmother also suffered with constipation. Poppy’s had started at 3 months old before she had been weaned. After considering her diet I ask them to eliminate wheat and gluten.

I also treat Poppy’s Mum. Poppy’s Mum had experienced devastating trauma and grief before conceiving Poppy and has done well on a remedy that is useful in treating ‘ailments from shock’ It’s also useful in the treatment of constipation. So I prescribe this for Poppy and another remedy that matches her constitutional picture. Both to be taken once weekly.

I see Poppy 4 weeks later. Immediately she looks different to me. More curious and alert and I sense a change in her. I listen to her chattering away to herself whilst playing with the toys. She is wondering around the room and giggling and a very different toddler to the one I met 4 weeks ago. They tell me 5 days after starting the remedies and eliminating gluten she is moving her bowels daily with no pain. They haven't given Poppy the laxative since she  started taking her homeopathic remedies. Her stomach is no longer bloated and her appetite has increased dramatically. Her physical energy has improved also and she is also a lot happier in herself.

I believe it is worth mentioning that the side effects of this popular over the counter laxative include abdominal pain, wind and nausea.  I give poppy another remedy to be taken for the next 3 weeks to help clear the effects of the laxative and I don't expect to need to see her again for some time.

Like I say, often I see people who start taking the laxative for constipation and then their symptoms turn into IBS symptoms. Constipation and IBS symptoms are so common. There is much research that concludes a healthy gut is the foundation of all good health. In supporting our gut function we can greatly improve the state of our general health. This includes skin conditions, auto immune conditions and basically any chronic ailment. It’s not always necessary to take medications to improve even stubborn conditions. Just some understanding and awareness of what is causing the dis - ease. For some it maybe an ailment from grief or changes that started during the post natal period or an increase in stress levels. When we are stressed our adrenals go into overdrive and our body shuts off our digestion so as to use the energy to pump blood round our heart and brain. If we are often in this state it will have a big affect on our stomach and overall health. But what ever the cause is, it is usually resolvable. Because homeopathy treats the whole person. If you would like to resolve your gut health have noticed changes in your bowel movements you don't understand, please get in touch. I feel sure homeopathy can help.

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