I couldn’t help but buy this book for Elijah, partially due to my own curiosity about what it had in it for information for little inquiring minds. It’s pretty cute and always makes me giggle when I see him “reading it.”
For those that know me, I have no problem with talking about topics that might be embarrassing for some, and this time is no different.
The other day I was chatting with a friend about what she could give her toddler who was battling some constipation issues. The pediatrician recommended Miralax and she didn’t want to use that and was wondering what other options she had. Miralax is a common recommendation that healthcare professionals make when dealing with constipation, as it is effective. I remember a protocol that I would use with pediatric patients that included a large amount of Miralax mixed with Gatorade. The thought of that combo today makes my head spin.
Due to many of our diets, constipation is something that many of us suffer from, estimated at 20% of the American population (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206560/) . The standard recommendations are to eat more fiber and drink more fluids. I remember when I was younger and dealing with this I would consume large amounts of fiber with the thinking that it would help, but it only made it worse.
If you aren’t familiar with Miralax, its active ingredient is polyethylene glycol 3350 and is an osmotic laxative, which means it causes water to be retained in the stool producing a laxative effect. As with all laxatives your body can become dependent on it to have normal bowel movements.
The FDA has not approved Miralax to be safe for daily use in children as there is question behind its psychiatric effects. And, when you take a look at the active ingredient, polyethylene glycol (PEG), it is something that is on Beautycounter’s Never List for concerns regarding contamination with ingredients that are carcinogenic.
Now, if you are wondering what to do to help with constipation, I will give you some recommendations that are more natural and safer than using something like Miralax.
For daily maintenance/prevention it comes down largely to diet. Avoid/minimize processed foods (including food with added fiber, it’s a trick!), alcohol, and dairy. Eat a diet rich in fibrous foods like fruits and veggies, plenty of healthy fats, and get enough fluids. I would recommend supplements that include magnesium (best taken at bedtime) and high quality probiotics. Regular exercise is also important.
For acute issues (these are adult amounts) I would recommend prune juice (8 oz in the morning and 8oz at night), Flaxseed oil (8 oz of orange juice and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, wait 5 hours before redosing as it takes time to work). And, my last recommendation is using magnesium, my go to is magnesium glycinate then magnesium citrate and I love the brand Natural Calm. If you are using the brand, Natural Calm, you will want to take at bedtime. Start with 200mg and you may increase the dosage in 200-milligram increments until your bowels move regularly. You may need to adjust dose based on effects.
Once again, I believe prevention is the best strategy and if you struggle from constipation, I hope this helps!