In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni talk about the causes and therapies for constipation in you and your kids. They discuss what is expected or ideal with respect to your bowel movements, the causes of constipation, and some tests and treatments to consider if you or your kids are experiencing constipation.
What is constipation?
Generally considered when you have less than 3 bowel movements a week, or discomfort, even you have a daily bowel movement.
As naturopathic doctors, we consider at least 1 bowel movement daily with a Type 4 rating on the Bristol stool chart to be ideal. You want your stool to sink without mucus, blood or undigested food (with the exception of corn).
What are some causes of constipation?
Not enough water
Not enough fibre from veggies and fruit
Lack of movement and proper circulation
Stress, especially in the case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Travel or another break in your routine
High intake of constipating foods: rice, toast, cooked carrots,unripe bananas
Hypothyroidism or sluggish thyroid function – see Episode 42 for more info
Reduced stomach acid, digestive enzyme and bile flow, often caused by stress and stimulation of sympathetic nervous system response
Gut bacterial imbalance
NSAIDs like ibuprofen and opioid pain killers like Tylenol 3
Hormone imbalance or PMS – constipation then possibly loose stools when your period comes is a common pattern in Traditional Chinese Medicine called Liver Overacting on Spleen
Harmful effects of constipation can include:
Discomfort, bloating, just feeling crappy
Reabsorbing toxins and hormones in your circulation
Megacolon or the abnormal dilation of the colon
Encopresis in kids, which is the uncontrollable leakage of stool
Stool testing through specialized labs, like Comprehensive Stool Analysis or GI-MAP
Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO) breath test
Common treatments for constipation include:
Restoralax or Miralax, also known as Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) 3350
Adverse effects can include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloating, gas, nausea
Potential link to development of tremors, tics and obsessive compulsive behaviour
Contamination with small amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol
Not meant to be used daily and over the long term
The safety and efficacy of Restoralax for use in children under 18 years of age have not been established
Laxative herbs like senna
Side effects can include developing a dependence causing further constipation and other digestive disturbance, electrolyte imbalance, darkening of your intestinal tract called melanosis coli, finger clubbing, kidney inflammation
What else can you do about constipation?
You can try one or more of the following:
Increase fluid, especially pure water
8 oz (250ml) of water multiplied by age (number of years) up to 2 litres daily
Aim for 19g daily for kids 1-3 years, 25g daily for kids 4-6 years, at least 26 g and up to 31g daily for kids 9-13 years and up to 38g daily for kids over 14 years
Beans or legumes – ½ cup = 6 g fibre
Broccoli and other cooked veggies – ½ cup = 4 g fibre
Apples, pears, berries – ½ cup
Prunes or dates – see Episode 45 for more info on sugar balance
Chia seed pudding
Support stomach acid and digestive enzyme production
Bitter foods and herbs like arugula, dandelion root/greens, artichoke, gentian
Start your kids young with small amounts!
Support gut bacteria with fermented foods or probiotic supplement and prebiotic fibre
Magnesium citrate and vitamin C provides osmotic laxative effect
Start with small amount and use only to bowel tolerance
Support proper anatomical positioning with something like Squatty Potty
Slippery elm found in powder, capsules, lozenges and teas, taken away from medications and other supplements
Other herbs and homeopathy for relaxation
Clockwise on belly
I Love You massage
Can use castor oil for extra relief from discomfort
Pelvic floor physiotherapy for kids with constipation
Dr. Lisa chose to re-release this episode since the new year is a time when many people embark on a detox or a healthier start. In this episode, Dr. Lisa talks with Certified Holistic Nutritionist (and best-selling author!) Joy McCarthy about: which foods to eat to support detox; how to “green” your body care products; ways to amp up your salads with powerhouse foods; and how to sneak more vegetables into your child’s diet.
Joy McCarthy is the bestselling author of: Joyous Health, The Joyous Cookbook and Joyous Detox, which was a World Gourmand Cookbook Award recipient. She is also the co-host of the Joyous Health Podcast.
In this episode, we cover:
How a food-based 10-day detox can be the easiest way to get started
The benefits of focusing on what you can eat instead of what you can’t eat
Sources of different chemicals that you may be exposed to throughout the day (and it may shock you!)
The benefits of doing a beauty detox, starting with the products that spend a lot of time on your skin, like your moisturizer and foundation
In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa dives deep with Master Results Coach, Larisa Makuch, about stepping back and looking at how you show up in your life. They discuss actionable ways to live an intentional and joyful life, even during the pandemic. Listen in to: discover ways to foster a positive mindset and gratitude; learn how to be responsive and not reactionary to situations that arise (and to your kids!) and simple ways to live a purpose-filled life.
As a sought-after speaker, educator and author with decades of experience, Larisa is an energetic up level specialist who helps women make an impact in their world and create a powerful, purposeful plan to get there. In addition to being a Masters Results Coach, Larisa holds designations as a Master of Time Line Therapy, a Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and the head of the Neuro-Linguistic Programming Institute.
In this conversation, we cover:
The importance of focusing on what’s good, even if it’s just starting with one small moment after you’ve started your day on the wrong foot
What it means to develop your mindset
How you can be more responsive instead of reactionary in challenging situations with your kids at home
What you can do to live a purpose-filled and joyful life as a busy mom
The importance of finding time to being in quiet by yourself, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, to develop a positive mindset and increase your energy
Dr. Lisa talks with Dr. Debbie Smrz ND about: some physical signs of anxiety to recognize in your kids and yourself; what “mirror” neurons are and how they can impact your mood; how heart rate variability can be used to track your health and optimize it; tools and techniques to manage anxiety; and how she helped her daughter heal from PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), which was the trigger for her anxiety.
Heart rate variability is a health marker that is being touted as the next big thing to help assess (and guide treatment) stress resilience. And who doesn’t need more stress resilience in general, let alone during a pandemic!
Dr. Debbie is a certified Naturopathic Doctor, hypnotherapist, rugby coach and fitness instructor. She studied meditation and Buddhism philosophy at the Suan Mokkh Monastery in Chiaya Thailand, German Biological medicine in Giessen Germany and holds annual Mindbody retreats with her mentor and Mother Wendy Schie. She is an avid lecturer and motivational speaker, created Neuro Health and Fitness, a brain training centre for kids, as well as being the co-founder and director of Naturopathic Living, a large multidisciplinary clinic in Markham, Ontario where she lives with her husband, 2 children and dog. Her daughter was diagnosed with PANDAs in 2016, so she has experience with mental health as a Naturopathic Doctor and as a mom.
In this episode, we cover:
How it’s not always easy to recognize anxiety in your kids and yourself, even while returning to school during a pandemic
That the mirror neurons in your child’s brain teaches them how to react to different situations
The difference between heart rate and Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
How HRV can be used as a way to teach breathing exercises and mindfulness to manage anxiety in your kids
The other possible benefits of using HRV to manage stress in adults include improving health outcomes around:
Weight and metabolism
Metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease
Debbie’s personal experience with addressing the root cause of severe anxiety in her daughter by treating her for PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuro-psychiatric Disorder associated with Streptococcal Infection)
How neuroinflammation caused by various infections and digestive issues can be involved in mood disorders like anxiety
The difference between naming your emotions versus identifying with your emotions