I understand being a parent. In fact, it's been one of the greatest adventures of my life. However, we aren't given a guide to navigate the changing world of children, especially those on the autism spectrum, or with any chronic illness. What I hear from parents most, in addition to my parenting experience, lead me to ask the docs:
“What’s your number one go-to for constipation?
Here's my answer to this question, as well as some of the expert advice by the autism recovery doctors in our Doctors Panel.
“I love magnesium hydroxide for constipation, especially the ozonated form from Global Healing Center. That helps get the bowels moving. Follow it with activated charcoal about an hour later to mop up the toxins that are released from microbe die off in the bowels.
Castor oil internally or externally can help. Your child can take 1-3 teaspoons of castor oil orally. Or, massage the oil onto the belly in a clockwise fashion; this can help move matter through the intestines.
Mitochondrial support supplements may help give energy to the muscles that move feces through the colon. These include the active form of CoQ10, ubiquinol, acetyl-L-carnitine, Vitamins C and E, B vitamins , zinc, magnesium, and alpha lipoic acid. When I work with clients, right after the first session parents typically report back a big, stinky bowel movement that evening or the next day (along with better sleep, less anxiety, better eye contact and focus and much more). ”
– Luminara Serdar, BS, MBA, NMT
“Number one for constipation is drinking more water! Number two and number three vitamin C and magnesium-citrate or magnesium oxide. Those are my three favorites for constipation. And I can tell you it's a huge issue. It's a huge issue when it comes to behavior – and it needs to be addressed. A lot of our parents think because their kids are having a bowel movement every day that they're not constipated and a lot of our kids have what we call low motility or slow motility. Things aren't moving through the gut like they should and the bowel movement that they're having is like a day old or two days old and those toxins are sitting there recirculating, affecting the brain and creating ammonia and behaviors. So even if they're having a bowel movement every day make sure they're completely emptying their tummy, that it isn't bloated, distended, not gassy or refluxing. Because then I'm going to really try to think about things like SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) as a possibility of causing some poor motility issues…”
– Dr. Anju Usman Singh, Illinois, USA
“… I use a lot of Miralax and the reason I do is because it's colorless, odorless and tasteless. We've got these constipated kids who are on a very self-selective diet who will look in their water, will smell their water and can differentiate whether you put anything in their water. Oh yeah, there's natural things out there that we can use, but they're not gonna touch that! I mean short of putting them on the floor and opening their mouth and ramming it down their throat and praying to God they don't aspirate it into the lungs – you're not gonna get it into them. I'd like not to, but go ahead sit in this seat and tell this parent with a very orally defensive child what to put in their mouth, okay? It just doesn't work. So if I have a huge problem with constipation I like to use a soluble fiber, which I use all the time and nobody's giving me any slack about soluble fiber so I use that. And I will use Miralax…”
– Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, California, USA
Next Steps: Want more answers from the rest of the Doctor's Panel?
Purchase your full length copy of the Autism Recovery Summit Doctor’s Panel video, which contains more answers to this question and other questions!
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Questions answered by this panel:
- I just received an ASD (or SPD, developmental delay or other neurodevelopmental) diagnosis. What should I do? What can I do on my own, before the doctor visit, to help?
- I’ve been doing biomedical treatments, detox, therapies and been to several doctors for years. I’ve seen some incremental gains, but no real huge leaps. Now what do I do?
- Is there some treatment – intervention, test, supplement – that you use in your practice that consistently helps the most kids – a game changer (and what do you do with someone when that doesn’t work)?
- Can you give some insight into what is underlying some of the following behaviors and what to do? Tantrums/aggression, crying for apparently no reason, fears and anxiety for no apparent reason, stimming/hand flapping/rocking?
- Can you give some insights or what to do about when a child is stuck in a rigid behavior, has echolalia, not using expressive language, running away.
- What’s your number one go-to for constipation? Tantrums? picky eating?
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