I want to touch on the issue of bowel movements in children again because this is an important concept to understand. I have seen a lot of kids in my practice who have loose stools and chronic diarrhea. But I have also seen quite a few kids on the spectrum who also have chronic constipation, I have talked about this quite a bit. There are a couple of different things to consider with respects to constipation.
One is, does your child have the sensitivity or the urgency to have a bowel movement. Meaning can they feel when they need to have a bowel movement. If they can, and basically which means they are actually trying to go to the toilet or you know they are trying to have a bowel movement whether it is their pull-up or their diaper that is a good sign because it is showing you they have the neural connections to demonstrate to their brain that their bowel has fecal matter in it that needs to be excreted.
Some kids with either a change in diet, if you are doing a gluten and casein free diet sometimes you are lacking fiber, so adding more fiber can help or they are not drinking enough fluid or they are not getting enough probiotics or there is a lack of minerals in the body like magnesium and kids may become constipated so they may have the urgency to go but they just can’t get the poop out because it is too hard and compacted. That is usually an easier form of constipation to deal with because you can just use some types of laxatives over the counter or supplement laxatives like probiotics or vitamin C and magnesium which can help them have a bowel movement easier.
The other scenario is with kids who just lack the sensation in the body that they even need to have a bowel movement. This is usually a little more difficult to deal with because they just don’t have the urge to go and the fecal matter can build up and build up and build up to a point where it gets so big and massive that they may just have an explosion because their bowel can’t handle anymore of it but they may be left with a lot of fecal matter in their digestive tract. This is more of a difficult situation because you are talking about a neural connection between the brain and the nervous system and to the gut and just not a good feedback mechanism to tell that child hey I actually need to have a bowel movement.
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