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Trouble getting your kid to poop?

eat well Jul 28, 2023

Poop is one of the first things I talk about with all of my nutrition clients, and we talk about it often (like, in every single session). It tells an important story of what's happening on the inside (of the digestive system). So, when my daughter (4 years old at the time) would go for days without pooping, I knew something was up. 

Was she just holding it in because she was scared of the toilet? Was she eating enough fiber in her diet? If you have kids, you know that fruits and veggies may not be their first  choice of snack! Was she drinking enough water? Was her spine out of alignment and she needed to visit a chiropractor? Those were my first thoughts, and the first things I tried working on with her. I tracked her water intake, we talked about if the potty was scary, we started seeing a chiropractor weekly, and I even added in some fiber supplements to her smoothies. And yet, with all of this effort, still crickets. No poop. She would go up to a week without pooping. It's normal to poop EVERY DAY, at least one time, if not more. 

Pooping is important to remove waste products from the body. When that waste is held in, it gets recirculated and can cause more harm and dysbiosis within the gut. 

My next step was to begin her on some magnesium citrate. Certain types of magnesium are helpful for "getting things moving." I chose a liquid form of magnesium with a sweeter taste. It would be more palatable and compliant for a 4 year old. Within a few days, the pooping came more frequently: once every 2-3 days instead of 4-5+. So, progress was being made. After a few weeks on the magnesium, we were really close to a daily poop! But then, it started to get worse again, sliding back to 2-3 days. 

I kept my investigative hat on, even ran a GI Map stool test on her to see if there were any pathogens in her digestive system that could be causing the pooping problem. 

The results of the stool test led me to try a new probiotic with her. Lo and behold, within a few days, the pooping went back to every 1-2 days, and we were able to remove the magnesium. I notice that on days she skips her probiotic, she skips her poop. But when she takes it, she usually has a bowel movement that day. 

So, all of this to say: when you've got symptoms or a condition, or a problem, there may not be just one solution. Start with the basics: water, food/fiber, alignment, and then be open to specific nutritional supplement therapy. Working with a nutritionist is a great way to narrow down the solutions that may work for your case. 

If you'd like to try any of the products mentioned above, you can order them via my Fullscript Supplement Store. Just create an account and you'll be able to view the Pooping Protocol for Kids and place your order! 

Want to schedule a session with me? Become a nutrition client here.


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