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Does milk constipate you: Worst Foods for Constipation


Can milk cause constipation? | Professionals

Milk and other dairy foods are thought to be a trigger for constipation in some. Let’s explore this further, identify the potential causes for this, and look at possible alternatives to these foods.

Why does dairy cause constipation?

The milk that most of us buy is deemed to be a processed food due to the processes it goes through before it reaches the shelves. It may contain both antibiotics and hormones from the cows it originates from, and is almost always pasteurised in order to kill off milk-borne bacteria. However, the pasteurisation process also removes valuable enzymes that help us to digest the milk, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. Additionally, in contrast to traditional farming methods, intensive farming techniques have led to cows being fed grain rather than grass. This has the potential to cause further digestive problems and act as a trigger for constipation, particularly in those sensitive to grains.

Dairy is considered by many health practitioners to be mucus-forming in the body, and for this reason it can be helpful to avoid dairy products if you are suffering from a cold or hay fever and trying to relieve a runny nose. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, milk and other dairy products are labelled as damp-inducing foods (foods that can make our internal systems sluggish), which may also go some way to explaining why they could cause constipation and digestive problems. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spleen meridian (the digestive system) does not like cold or so-called damp foods, with ice cream being a strong example.

Constipation and lactose intolerance

If you believe that dairy foods act as a trigger for your constipation, it does not necessarily mean that you are lactose intolerant. In fact, it is more typical for those who are lactose intolerant to experience diarrhoea. It may also cause bloating and abdominal discomfort as a lack of the enzyme lactase, which we need in order to break down milk, causes the dairy in our system to ferment and release excess gas. Taking a probiotic supplement can be really helpful for those with a lactose intolerance, as the beneficial bacteria exert an enzyme-like activity, helping to breakdown the lactose (sugar) in the milk.

Dairy products that may reduce constipation

There are certain forms of dairy foods that may actually be helpful in relieving digestive problems. Raw milk is considered by many natural health practitioners to be more easily digested than the more widely available pasteurised varieties, and may be helpful in relieving constipation and other digestive problems. Raw milk is something of a controversial subject and it is important to source as much information as possible to help determine if it is suitable for you. If it is something you would like to try, it is recommended that you get this from a reputable supplier.

Live natural yoghurt contains live cultures which may possess a probiotic benefit in helping to boost levels of healthy gut bacteria, working to improve digestion and keeping things moving. Another more unusual type of dairy food called kefir may also be beneficial to those experiencing constipation and abdominal discomfort. Kefir is a type of fermented milk containing live cultures, and is used in many Eastern and Northern European countries as a health food. Kefir is becoming more popular here in the UK too, as its potential health benefits in the gut are recognised.

Alternatives to dairy

It may be helpful to try avoiding dairy products to reduce constipation, but as they are a useful source of protein and calcium, as well as other minerals, it is important to take care to replace these nutrients. There are many other delicious foods we can include in our diet to ensure we maintain an adequate calcium intake including sardines, green leafy vegetables (pak choi, broccoli, swiss chard, cabbage, kale, spring greens etc), sweet potatoes, sesame and sunflower seeds, tahini, figs, blackstrap molasses and almonds. If you are concerned that removing milk and dairy foods from your diet may impact upon your health, certainly seek advice from a Nutritional Therapist or Naturopath.

There are a number of great alternatives to cow’s milk. Some popular choices are coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, oat milk and rice milk. Coconut milk, which differs from the thicker, more concentrated type you would add to curries, is also a source of medium chain triglycerides, providing the body with an easily accessible source of energy. Almond milk is also rich in calcium, making a lovely alternative to dairy.

It is worth bearing in mind that we are all individuals. Some people may be able to tolerate milk and dairy products very well, and for others it may cause constipation and digestive discomfort. A food diary, or elimination diet may be helpful in determining whether this food group is a potential problem for you, and by slowly reintroducing them you may find some products such as butter and ghee are better tolerated and do not cause constipation. In addition to an elimination diet, there are many other natural remedies for constipation that be looked into further.

Dairy-free probiotics

Some strains of probiotic are grown on a food substrate that contains dairy. For people with an allergy to dairy, or for those following a strictly vegan diet, they may need to source dairy-free probiotics. Many strains of probiotic bacteria, including the strain Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12®, which is a well-researched strain for regularity, grow well on a dairy-free substrate and would therefore make a great option for those needing to avoid even possible traces of dairy.

You can find Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12® in Optibac Bifido & Fibre.

You might also be interested in:

New study suggests probiotics can improve cow’s milk allergy in infants

Probiotics for Constipation

Article Updated: 13 Jul 2021
Originally Published: 06 Nov 2019

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance | Austin Gastroenterology

Lactose is a natural sugar that is common in dairy products. Lactose intolerance is the inability to breakdown lactose. The condition is due to the body’s inability to create a sufficient amount of lactase, an enzyme that is supplied by the small intestine. Lactase’ job is to break down lactose.

When the small intestine doesn’t make enough lactase, lactose goes undigested as it moves into the large intestine. Interaction between undigested lactose and bacteria in the large intestine cause uncomfortable symptoms related to lactose intolerance or lactase deficiency.

Symptoms related to lactose intolerance are primarily uncomfortable but do not point to a serious digestive condition. The symptoms generally subside within a few hours. If you are lactose intolerant, you will likely feel the following symptoms:

  • Excessive gas – When the lactose gets fermented in the colon, it can produce hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide. This can lead to increase flatulence. The extent of gas will vary from person to person, with some people feeling no gas and others having a lot of painful flatulence.
  • Constipation – When lactose is fermented, it can produce methane gas. Methane gas slows down the time it takes food to travel through the gut. This can cause constipation.
  • Diarrhea – Lactose intolerance can cause the volume of water in the colon to increase, which causes the volume of stool and liquid to increase. Combined with the fermentation process that happens, this can lead to diarrhea.
  • Stomach pain – The combination of gas and water in the colon can lead to stomach cramps. This pain is typically in the lower abdomen.
  • Bloating – The feeling of bloating is the result of increased water and gas in the colon.


According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney, 68 percent of the world’s population is plagued by malabsorption. However, malabsorption doesn’t necessarily trigger digestive symptoms. In other words, it is possible to have insufficient absorption of lactose and not be lactose intolerant.

The degree of symptoms a person experiences can vary. Some people who are lactose intolerant may be able to consume a small amount of dairy foods and not have symptoms, while others can experience a lot of painful symptoms with even the smallest amount of lactose intake. People tolerate lactose differently.

Vitamin Deficiency

Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are more serious symptoms of lactose intolerance. The main sources for vitamin D and calcium are dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Avoiding these foods will allow you to avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance but could also place you at risk for conditions related to vitamin deficiency. If your intolerance of lactose is so severe that you’re unable to receive the required daily amount of calcium and vitamin D, your health might be compromised. A doctor can help you get the right amount of vitamin intake through supplements and dietary guidance.

Lactose Intolerance Treatment in Austin, Texas

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to lactose intolerance but haven’t been diagnosed, visit one of Austin Gastroenterology’s convenient locations in the Austin area. Our physicians will diagnose your condition and help you to move forward with a plan to address symptoms.

For more information or to make an appointment in our North Offices, call (512) 244-2273. Call our Central Offices at (512) 454-4588 and the South Offices at (512) 448-4588. You can also request an appointment online.

Is Lactose Intolerance Causing Your Constipation?

Constipation isn’t typically a symptom of lactose intolerance.

Image Credit: YakobchukOlena/iStock/GettyImages

Feeling constipated but not sure if it’s due to lactose intolerance or something else? It’s easy to assume that lactose intolerance could cause the same uncomfortable gastrointestinal tract ailments as other digestive conditions. But constipation is not a typical symptom of lactose intolerance.

“Lactose intolerance leads to diarrhea, bloating and pain — not constipation,” says Matthew Ciorba, MD, a gastroenterologist and associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Nausea, gas and sometimes vomiting can occur as well, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms tend to show up about 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking lactose-containing foods — milk and other dairy foods, plus packaged items that include milk products, such as whey, in their ingredients.

Read more: Are There Remedies for a Stomachache With Lactose Intolerance?

About Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance occurs when a person’s small intestine does not produce enough lactase, which is the enzyme that digests lactose, the sugar in cow’s milk, says Mayo Clinic. With lactose intolerance, the sugar moves along the gut without being digested, and then bacteria in the gut ferment that sugar, causing gas.

Plus, the sugar draws liquid into the gut, causing loose stools, explains Scott Sicherer, MD, a professor of pediatrics, allergy and immunology and director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

About 65 percent of the world’s population has some form of lactose intolerance, to varying degrees, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It can get worse as you go from childhood into adulthood for those with primary lactose intolerance, according to the Mayo Clinic. There’s also secondary lactose intolerance, the type that develops as a result of a primary disease, like Crohn’s or celiac, or after intestinal surgery.

Your doctor may be able to tell if you have lactose intolerance based on your symptoms, but a lactose intolerance test is available to confirm a diagnosis. This involves drinking a lactose-based liquid and then having bloodwork done, according to Mayo Clinic. The bloodwork will gauge the amount of glucose in your blood. If your glucose levels don’t rise, your body did not properly digest and absorb the liquid.

Another test, the hydrogen breath test, involves drinking a lactose-containing liquid and then measuring the amount of hydrogen in your breath, says Mayo Clinic. If you exhale larger amounts of hydrogen than normal, it can show that you aren’t absorbing lactose.

In children, a stool acidity test can also diagnose lactose intolerance. A child who is not digesting lactose will have lactic acid, glucose and other fatty acids in the stool, says Stanford Children’s Hospital.

Once you know if you definitely have lactose intolerance, you can do things to prevent the symptoms. Many people avoid large servings of lactose-containing products, or use lactose-reduced dairy products. There also are products that can be added to regular milk to help break down the lactose and ease symptoms.

About Constipation: Causes and Signs

Constipation often occurs when stool moves too slowly in the digestive tract, causing it to become hard or dry and difficult to eliminate. Constipation can be caused by dehydration, certain medications, physical inactivity and many diseases or conditions, Mayo Clinic reports.

Signs of constipation include having fewer than three stools a week and feeling as if you can’t fully or comfortably pass stool. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience constipation on a regular basis or if it gets worse.

Because it is not a known symptom of lactose intolerance, having constipation might indicate that you have another health issue. Medical conditions that can cause constipation include blockages and other problems in the colon or rectum as well as diseases that affect nerves in those areas.

About Milk Allergy

According to the Mayo Clinic, having a milk allergy or eating too much dairy can sometimes lead to constipation in children. Like constipation, bloody stool is another symptom mistakenly linked to lactose intolerance.

Experiencing bloody stool is not a symptom of lactose intolerance, but can be a sign of a milk allergy, according to Mayo Clinic. Check in with a doctor if you or your child is experiencing this.

Read more: How to Avoid Dairy in Your Diet and What to Eat Instead

Milk Allergies and Constipation | DrGreene.


Dr. Greene`s Answer:

A cranky, unhappy toddler may well be responding to physical discomfort. Tummy troubles of one type or another can make anyone feel miserable. Milk is a major part of most children’s diets. If a child is intolerant to milk, this can affect how he feels every single day of his life. Nausea, cramps, and pain can squelch the normal joys of discovery and mastery.

Symptoms of Milk Allergies

But the classic symptoms of milk intolerance are diarrhea, spitting up, or abdominal pain. Many kids with milk intolerance also wheeze, especially when they get a cold. They can also have the dry, sensitive skin of eczema and their noses always seem to be running. Ear infections are also more common than in other kids. Constipation, however, has not been typically associated with milk intolerance — until now.

The observation that constipation might sometimes be caused by milk intolerance has appeared in the medical literature from time to time, dating back as far as 1954. But only recently has there been a well-designed study published showing that this is indeed the case. The results of this study have helped many children to enjoy the exuberance of childhood without pain.

Studying Milk Allergies and Constipation

Researchers at the University of Palermo in Italy worked with 65 children with chronic constipation. All of these children had been treated with laxatives when dietary measures had failed. Even with the medical treatment, these children were still constipated, having hard, painful stools only every 3 to 15 days. Forty-nine of their little bottoms had fissures and redness or swelling from the hard plugs of stool.

Each child received either cow’s milk or soymilk for 2 weeks, with no one knowing which was which. Next, they had a week during which they could eat and drink anything they wanted to wash out the effects of the first 2 weeks. Then they switched sides for 2 weeks and got the milk that they didn’t get the first time. Careful recordings of the bowel habits were made.

When the secret code was broken at the end of the study, they found status quo constipation for each child while he or she was on cow’s milk. But while they were taking soymilk (which causes firmer stools in most kids), 68% of these kids were no longer constipated! The redness, swelling, and fissures on their bottoms healed. How wonderful to finally have relief after diet and medicines hadn’t worked for so long!

The results were most dramatic in kids who also had frequent runny noses, eczema, or wheezing. Nevertheless, sometimes constipation can be the only symptom of cow’s milk intolerance.

Treating Milk Allergic Kids and Constipation

This has broad implications. The children in this study were those with severe chronic constipation that was unresponsive to medications. I am convinced that they are only the tip of the iceberg. There must be a much larger group of mildly allergic children whose constipation improves with laxatives. Time may prove that it is better for these children to avoid the offending protein by switching milks rather than being treated with laxatives.

Presumably, swelling of the intestinal lining causes the constipation. Whatever the exact mechanism, the problem is likely with the protein in cow’s milk, not with the fat or lactose (the sugar). Skim milk or lactose-free milk will not help with this one. Switching to soymilk and other soy products might transform the life of your son in only a couple of weeks!

These same ideas also apply to infants who may be experiencing constipation related to their milk-based formulas. In the past, low iron formulas had been recommended for constipation. However, starting in 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Nutrition declared that constipation is not a contraindication to iron-fortified formulas and that, in fact, lowering the iron content causes more harm than benefits.  

First, let’s address the iron in formula and constipation question. Some people will (or have) told you that the iron is the problem and that switching to a low-iron formula will help. It makes sense, because when adults take iron supplements, we get constipated as a side effect. But there was a study done concerning the formula and constipation question in babies. Half got low iron, half got regular (not knowing which was which) and the rate of constipation was the same in both groups. For most kids, that does not make a difference, and the iron is very important for growing babies.

The constipation can be formula-related, though. Allergies to some of the proteins in the formula could cause the discomfort. Sometimes switching to another brand will help (the milk-based formulas are not all the same). Sometimes switching to soy will help (just as we saw in the study above). All other things being equal, soy makes stools firmer; but for kids with an isolated allergy to milk protein, the constipation may dramatically clear up on soy.

Unfortunately, some children are also soy protein intolerant. As it happens, this is more common in kids who are allergic to cow’s milk protein. If you don’t get good results within two weeks, I suggest also eliminating soy from the diet and trying Alimentum or Nutramigen (protein hydrolysate infant formulas) for two weeks. Because the proteins in these formulas are broken down, your son is less likely to be allergic to them. If they work, you can then experiment with other sources of calcium, protein, and fat for the future (perhaps fortified rice milk). 

It’s not that common for simple changes to relieve relentless, longstanding problems. But when a child is made miserable by an allergy, removing the source can result in a rapid, dramatic improvement in the quality of life. I hope, Shannon, that this turns out to be the case with your son and that this next season his smiles double to make up for those he has missed.

Resources and References

Committee on Nutrition. Iron fortification of infant formulas. Pediatrics. July 1999, 104 (1) 119-123.

Dehghani SM, Ahmadpour B, et al.  The role of cow’s milk allergy in pediatric chronic constipation: a randomized clinical trial. Iran J Pediatr. 2012;22(4):468-474.

Iacono, G, et al.  Intolerance of cow’s milk and chronic constipation in children.  New England Journal of Medicine. 1998; 339:1100-1104. 

12 Constipation Causing Foods That You Must Avoid

Isn’t constipation annoying to the core? Irregular bowel movement, stomach cramps, gas, and bloating – all are symptoms that you are constipated. Pushing, cringing, and trying different breathing techniques don’t help, and who has the time to sit in the bathroom all day? Constipation is a sign that you are eating the wrong foods and have a poor lifestyle. So, the BEST way to get relief is to eat right and tweak your lifestyle – unless you are a huge fan of anything-but-yummy herbal laxatives and medicines. Get on the wagon to find out which unassuming foods cause constipation and a bonus list of foods that relieve the condition. Let’s go!

12 Foods That Cause Constipation (AVOID THESE)

1. Unripe Green Bananas

Bananas, in general, are healthy. But unripe green bananas may cause constipation. This is the reason they are used as a home remedy for an upset stomach. About 70-80% of the net weight of a green banana is resistant starch, a complex carbohydrate that has dietary fiber-like property. And though fiber is known to help relieve constipation, this particular type of dietary fiber is tough for the body to digest. So, avoid consuming green bananas if you are constipated.

2. Chocolate

Sorry to break this news to you, but yes, chocolate causes constipation. Especially milk chocolate. The humongous amount of fat in chocolate slows down digestion and peristalsis or movement of food through the digestive tract, thereby leading to constipation. In fact, the cocoa beans with husks are said to reduce constipation, but since most milk chocolates are devoid of it, having too many chocolates or chocolate products can lead to constipation.

3. Caffeine

Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly brewed coffee/tea? Aromatic and soothing! But drooling time’s up, the reality is it causes constipation. Drinks that contain caffeine, including energy drinks, black coffee, coffee with cream, decaf coffee, tea, tea with cream, hot chocolate, soda, etc., are a strict no for you. Caffeine tends to draw water from the colon when consumed in excess. However, when consumed in limited amounts, caffeine can stimulate bowel movement. So, be careful about the amount of caffeine you consume per day.

4. Processed And Frozen Foods

Processed and frozen foods may be convenient, but they are dangerous for you in every way. Foods like salami, sausage, frozen dinners, and ready-to-eat foods are loaded with preservatives, are high in sodium or sugar content, and have added flavor and color. To digest all of these complex and artificial additives, the digestive system has to work extra hard. This, in turn, weakens the digestive system, leading to various gut problems, including constipation. Stop consuming these foods right now.

5. Gluten

Gluten is a binding protein found in wheat, semolina, rye, and barley. It gives the food its shape and holds it together. But a majority of people are gluten sensitive and may suffer from constipation. Not all gluten sensitive individuals experience constipation, but those with Celiac disease should completely avoid gluten products.

6. Persimmon

Persimmon is a delicious orange tomato-like fruit that is loaded with nutrients. And there are two varieties – sweet and astringent. The astringent variety can cause constipation. And that’s because it contains a lot of tannins that tend to slow down food movement through the digestive tract and reduce gut secretions. So, consume the sweet variety and not the astringent one.

7. Red Meat

Consuming red meat can cause constipation as it is high in fat and iron and has protein fibers that are tough to digest. So, it is best to avoid consuming red meat like beef, ground beef, lamb, pork, venison, veal, and goat.

8. Crackers

A cracker is a flat biscuit made with baking flour. And though it may seem the perfect snack, it can cause constipation. In fact, any biscuit made from baking flour tends to slow down bowel movement. So, avoid consuming these when you feel constipated.

9. Alcohol

Alcohol consumption has consumed most of us, especially because we tend to go overboard with it. It can cause constipation, nausea, and headache because it is dehydrating. And not drinking enough water when you have alcohol may prevent the cells from working. And as a result, the cells draw more water from the wastes in the digestive tract. This, in turn, prevents bowel movement and causes constipation. Avoid alcohol completely if you regularly suffer from constipation. Or drink as much water as you can when you consume alcohol.

10. Too Much Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream can cause constipation when taken in excess. The lactose in dairy products has been found guilty of causing gas and bloating. Cheese often causes constipation in adults. A study conducted on Iranian children aged 1 to 13 observed that dairy products were the cause of their constipation. Nearly 80% of the children who eliminated cow’s milk and dairy products from their diet had more regular bowel movements. However, this does not mean that dairy products do not have any health benefits and should be eliminated completely. To avoid constipation, it is advisable to consume them in moderation as part of a high-fiber diet.

11. Fried Or Fast Foods

Fried and fast foods are food trends that need to go away. These are the main reasons for many health issues like obesity and heart diseases. Since these foods are also high in sodium and artificial food additives, they tend to slow down the passing of food through the colon, leading to constipation. If you are someone who has at least one meal consisting of fried or fast foods, you will be at risk of not only constipation but also many other health issues. Stop eating these – the sooner, the better. Avoid them completely if you suffer from constipation regularly.

12. Chips

The last, but not the least. Without blinking your eyes, you can finish a big bag of chips. The perfect balance of salt and sugar in the chips makes it really tough to stop once you have started. But did you know that apart from making you gain weight, they can also cause constipation? Yes, chips are fried and high in sodium. Avoid consuming too much of them or just banish them from your house.

These were the 12 constipation causing foods. Now, let’s take a look at foods that relieve constipation.

10 Best Foods For Relief From Constipation (CONSUME THESE)

1. Papaya

This golden orange tropical fruit is loaded with a digestive enzyme called papain and has a good amount of dietary fiber. Papain helps in digestion, and the dietary fiber aids good peristaltic movement of the digestive tract, thereby helping relieve constipation.

2. Prunes

Prunes are loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers. Drinking prune juice in the morning and during your evening snack time can help stimulate bowel movement. Drink this regularly to prevent constipation and keep your colon clean.

3. Kiwi

This luscious green, sweet and sour fruit tastes amazing and helps support digestion, absorption, and excretion. Kiwis are high in dietary fiber and have a stimulatory effect on the colon. Consume at least one whole kiwi before lunch or as an evening snack to provide your body the nourishment it deserves.

4. Berries

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are good sources of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) that stimulates peristaltic movement. They also provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Have a cup of mixed berries every day to help prevent constipation.

5. Popcorn

Finally something on the list that’s crunchy, fun, and can be made and eaten any time of the day! Popcorn is a high-fiber, low-calorie snack that helps add bulk to the stool and stimulates colonic emptying. Have one medium bowl of unsalted popcorn every day.

6. Whole Grain Bread

Whole grain bread is loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers. Since dietary fiber helps draw water and adds bulk to the waste in the colon, passing stool becomes easier. So, switch to whole grain bread and have 2-3 slices of it every day.

7. Pears, Plums, And Apples

Apples, plums, and pears are not only good sources of vitamins and minerals but are also loaded with dietary fiber. You can consume half of each of these fruits or may have each of them on different days of the week.

8. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a great source of healthy fats, which is why they are known to aid weight loss. One of the reasons they cause fat loss is that they are high-fiber seeds that stimulate bowel movement, thereby preventing constipation and improving digestion.

9. Broccoli

Broccoli can be super delicious if you cook it right. Add it to your diet and see all your constipation, weight gain, and other health-related issues vanish. A cup of blanched broccoli with other colon stimulating veggies and foods is all you need.


Dried Fruits

Nuts, apricots, dates, etc. are all good for relieving constipation. They are a rich source of fruit sugar, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Consume at least a fistful of dried fruits every day to flush out toxins from your colon.

Consuming these foods regularly and avoiding the foods mentioned in the first list will help you get rid of constipation without having to gulp down a tasteless powder or tablet. Keep a DO NOT EAT list with you until you get well. Drink water every hour, go on morning walks or runs, avoid smoking, and have your meals on time. Also, keep your doctor in the loop about your new lifestyle. You will feel better for sure. Take care!

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Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

Is Your Child’s Diet Causing Constipation?

Constipation in children is a frustrating problem for many parents, and dietary changes may offer relief. However, sometimes parents don’t realize their children are constipated. It’s easy to mistake the symptoms for a potty training problem in younger children. Older children may complain of stomach aches if they are constipated.

What Causes Constipation?

Diets that are high in residue and low in fiber can play a role in the development of constipation in children. This might include eating a lot of residue foods (such as white flour and white rice), and not eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

If your child is constipated, increase the amount of fiber and bran in your child’s diet by feeding them more high fiber foods. Increase your child’s intake of fluid each day, especially water and apple, pear, and/or prune juice.

Preventing Constipation in Young Children

Foods and drinks that are often thought to help prevent constipation include many fresh fruits that you eat with the skin on, including apples, grapes, and peaches. Also helpful are many fresh fruits with high water content, such as watermelon and cantaloupe.

Add High Fiber Foods

  • Raw vegetables
  • Beans
  • Raisins
  • Prunes and figs
  • Foods made with whole grains (such as whole wheat bread)
  • Shredded wheat
  • Popcorn (caution: choking hazard for younger kids)
  • Bran cereals and bran muffins
  • Fiber wafers
  • Vegetable soup

Constipation Treatment

Be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician for more help with treating or preventing constipation in children. In the meantime, read food labels to choose foods that are high in fiber.

Consider using a stool softener or laxative if dietary changes are not quickly helping your child’s constipation. Although there are many OTC medications available, Miralax (polyethylene glycol) is a popular option, as it has no taste or odor, works well, and is tolerated by most children.

A schedule of having your child trying to have a bowel movement twice a day can be helpful to get them in the habit of going. Choose a time, such as right after meals, when they are most likely to have a bowel movement. Don’t force them. Simply encourage them to try to go for a few minutes.

Regular exercise can sometimes help children have more regular bowel movements. Be sure to see if constipation is listed as a side effect of any medicines that your child takes on a regular basis.

Encopresis, in which your child has stooling accidents, can be a complication of constipation. Keep in mind that constipation often takes months and months (if not longer) to correct, that constipation can sometimes be caused by something more serious than a simple diet problem. Constipation sometimes requires an evaluation by a pediatric gastroenterologist for more help.

How to Introduce Whole Milk to Baby

Got Milk? Our providers and nurses field a lot of questions from caregivers about how to introduce whole milk to babies. Here, you’ll find some of the most popular inquires – from timing to intolerance to decoding the differences in the various types:

When should I introduce whole milk to baby?

Whole milk is traditionally introduced at the first birthday. There is nothing magical that occurs on that very date, but this is a good time to anticipate introducing whole milk. If formula is running low or the mother needs to stop breastfeeding due to supply issues or other factors, whole milk may be introduced a couple of weeks early. It is also fine to delay the introduction of whole milk by a couple of weeks.

How do I introduce whole milk?

Some children have no issue taking whole milk right away. Other children require more of a weaning process. Weaning is simple in principle (but not always in practice), and just involves adding in some breastmilk or formula to whole milk until your child is used to the difference in taste. There is no exact percentile, however, the goal is to add less formula or breastmilk into the mixture over time. Whole milk can be warmed if you think this will help your child transition to enjoying whole milk.

How much whole milk does my child need daily?

Children should receive between 16-24oz of whole milk per day. Greater than 24oz per day may cause tummy troubles and other problems including constipation, poor appetite for solids, or low iron levels (anemia). If you have been introducing whole milk for over one month and your child is still not taking at least 16oz per day, please discuss this with a medical provider at the one-year visit or call the office to speak with a nurse if the one year visit has already passed.

Does it have to be whole milk?

A child should receive whole milk only until his or her second birthday unless specifically directed by a medical professional. Once the child is older you may introduce other types of milk with less fat and less caloric value (like 2%, 1% or skim milk).

What about other types of milk?

Whole milk is fine to introduce to children who do not have any medical condition or allergies that would contraindicate giving dairy. If your child has an allergy to dairy, milk choice should be discussed with a medical provider. Other types of milk (almond, coconut or rice milk) may not have the fat, nutrient or vitamin content necessary for a growing child.

Is organic milk better for my baby?

Buying organic is a family choice. Theoretically, grass fed cows may provide more omega-3s in milk, but there is no evidence-based practice that shows only providing organic whole milk is better for the child.

Should I be worried that my child is lactose intolerant?

Lactose intolerance is exceedingly rare in children less than two years of age. Infants are born with lactase in the gut and infants with lactose intolerance typically have severe diarrhea, dehydration, failure to thrive and are often admitted to the hospital.

Does whole milk cause constipation?

Whole milk can initially cause constipation in some children. Make sure not to exceed the limit of 24oz of whole milk daily and include a diet high in fiber as well as other sources of hydration like small amounts of water.

Have a question not covered by FAQ?

This is a great topic to discuss at your child’s one year well visit. Non-urgent messages may also be sent to the office via Follow My Health online health portal.

Do you need some additional resources?

90,000 🧬 Constipation in children under one year old

Usually, parents of babies are worried about the exact opposite problem – too frequent bowel movements. Therefore, not everyone immediately understands what to do if a baby under one year old has constipation.

Gastroenterologist, hepatologist GMS Clinic Sergey Vyalov gave an interview to the Internet portal parents.ru and spoke about constipation in children under one year old.


Constipation, aka adiarrhea, stool retention, dyscolia, caprostasis, difficult bowel movement is not a universal condition with unambiguous characteristics.Each person, including a child, has his own indicators of the norm and deviations from it, associated with age, intestinal microflora, diet, state of mind and hormonal background, concomitant diseases. And yet there are a few common points of reference.

What is constipation?

Specialists diagnose constipation if the baby does “big” things:

  • regularly and without problems, but at the same time dry and hard feces are excreted;
  • with difficulty – the child has to push, the feces do not come out on the first try;
  • less often 5 times a day.

In the first six months of life, constipation is a rather rare occurrence, rather, on the contrary, in the period from 0 to 6 months, 6-10 bowel movements per day are considered the norm. In breastfed children, defecation occurs more often, in artificial people – less often.

Up to 6 months constipation – rare

Usually, parents of babies in the first months of life are alarmed by the opposite of constipation – too frequent bowel movements. But in a baby, regardless of whether he feeds on breast milk or formula, the intestines should work this way – in a mode that is considered diarrhea for older children and adults.

There should be no other option, at least until the introduction of complementary foods at 4–6 months. After all, the baby receives mostly liquid food, the waste of which has the same consistency and leaves the intestines, without encountering any obstacles in the way – the baby has not yet learned to control the sphincter that restrains the excretion of feces.

The baby’s intestines have just begun to “get acquainted” with microorganisms that come from the mother’s milk, from her skin (the baby licks the nipple), from the environment. Not all new “partners” are accepted: there are rejected ones, those who have not taken root, and so on. Inspection and rejection are accompanied by loose, unstable stools.

Too frequent bowel cleansing does not need correction and treatment if the child is gaining weight and developing correctly. Normal appetite and sleep, gas, lack of fever and other signs of illness indicate that parents have nothing to worry about. If the baby’s mother, tired of changing diapers 10 times in one day, wants to change the situation and asks the doctor to prescribe fixing medications to the baby, then, unwittingly, she will condemn her baby to chronic constipation.

Not according to the rules

Nevertheless, in the first 6 months, constipation in babies is not excluded. It can be called by:

  • microflora transmitted from the mother;
  • insufficient liquid volume;
  • stress.

Let’s say a woman has too many methane-producing bacteria in her stomach and intestines that cause constipation. They grow rather slowly, ferment, emitting carbon dioxide, which contributes to flatulence and bloating.With this deviation, the woman lives, adapted and learned to solve the problem with the intestines in one way or another. Noticing the same in the child, she decides that the baby has inherited her features and “saves” him by the same means, making a mistake. Babies should not be given laxatives, especially those containing senna. The body of the crumbs gets used to such drugs too quickly and without them it can no longer cleanse the intestines.

Constipation in a baby up to 6 months is also provoked by a lack of fluid and hormonal changes.At 6 months, the baby should receive a lot of moisture – about 140 ml per day per kilogram of weight. A child who is breastfed gains this rate at the expense of mother’s milk and does not need additional sources of fluid (but only in the absence of a predisposition to constipation). Little artificial people are drunk from the moment they switch to the mixture.

If a woman is stressed or nervous, then her levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase. Through breast milk, saliva or sweat, the substance enters the baby’s body and also provokes constipation.

Even if the mother does not breastfeed the baby, the microorganisms that cause constipation sooner or later reach the crumbs’ gastrointestinal system and make negative changes in it.

Constipation after the introduction of complementary foods

The kid grows, improves his skills, and it’s time to introduce him to new food products. These circumstances, on the one hand, help to establish peristalsis, and on the other, increase the risk of constipation.

By the age of six months, the baby is already trying to control bowel movements, because he realized that after it there are unpleasant sensations – itching, burning and other discomfort in the areas where feces enter.In order not to experience discomfort, the child tries to restrain the urge. At first, he does not succeed, since the rectum has already learned to work – to reflexively contract and push out waste. And after a couple of months everything works out, the baby wins and enters the path leading to chronic constipation. To take the baby out of this vicious circle, the mother must minimize the duration of the baby’s skin contact with feces and expand his diet by mastering complementary foods.

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates that make up the food are absorbed in the small intestine, and do not reach the large intestine, where feces are formed.The same cannot be said about fiber. While the baby is drinking breast milk or formula, this component of the dishes is not familiar to him. Even if a nursing woman herself consumes a lot of plant foods, the baby does not get anything. Fiber, as already noted, is not absorbed in the intestines, does not enter the bloodstream, which means that it is not in breast milk. For the first time, a baby is getting fiber with complementary foods by trying their first 25 grams of puree from squash, carrots and other vegetables. Plant fibers literally attract all waste products, as a result, feces are formed, which help the intestines to master the correct peristalsis.There are many muscles in this part of the gastrointestinal tract, in the intestines, they must learn to contract consistently – to strain and relax in order to squeeze waste out.

The next new product should be introduced one month after the previous one. The novelty is likely to cause more frequent and loose stools at first. If it does not have a green color and does not foam, you do not need to run to the doctor and ask to prescribe a fixing agent. Be patient, after a while the innovation will be mastered and bear fruit.Instead of liquid and shapeless, yellow-white feces, you will see brown feces formed.

Special constipation

There are other causes of constipation in babies. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to deal with them, since these are developmental pathologies, diseases, injuries.

Acute constipation. It develops for anatomical reasons, for example, due to obstruction of the colon, or with intussusception – the introduction of one part of the intestine into another, which causes blockage of the lumen.Against the background of complete well-being, the baby suddenly becomes restless, cries, refuses to eat. The attack ends as unexpectedly as it began, but after 3-5 minutes it repeats and intensifies: one or two vomiting appears with an admixture of green bile. If the stool leaves, then blood impurities are visible in it. After 5-6 hours, the stool stops, and bloody discharge is released from the rectum. At the same time, the baby’s belly is soft. The temperature is most often normal. The child may even faint.With such symptoms it is necessary to call an ambulance.

Hirschsprung’s disease. It is based on a violation of the innervation of the colon – the central nervous system cannot control this part of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, processed food accumulates in the intestines. The picture of the disease is quite diverse. If only the short part of the intestine is affected, then constipation forms gradually, and it is possible to do without surgical intervention for a long time.When a longer segment is affected, the absence of stool is fraught with serious condition and immediate surgical intervention is required.

Infectious attack. If in the first months of life the baby suffered an intestinal infection, the nerve cells in the large intestine may die, which will lead to a delay in the act of defecation, the accumulation of feces and the development of constipation. With dysentery, the so-called toxic megacolon (a sharp expansion of the large intestine) is possible. The child develops impaired consciousness and repeated vomiting.The abdomen increases sharply due to the greatly expanded intestines. The complication requires urgent surgical attention.

Problems with the central nervous system. Injuries during childbirth and infantile cerebral palsy syndrome also affect the work of the gastrointestinal tract, since they are associated with various complications, for example, impaired swallowing, regurgitation, and vomiting.

Vasculitis. Vascular inflammation also spreads to the nerve plexuses and sensitive cells located in the intestinal wall.

Disorders in the endocrine system. With hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid function), the movement of contents through the intestines slows down. With dysfunction of the parathyroid glands, constipation occurs due to a violation of mineral metabolism, with diabetes mellitus it becomes a consequence of damage to the nerve plexuses of the intestines or dehydration of the child’s body.

Constipation medication. Read the instructions carefully before giving your child any medication prescribed by your doctor.For example, anemic remedies containing iron can cause constipation. To avoid it will help observance of the rules of admission – directly with meals, reducing the dose of iron when introducing foods high in iron into the diet – buckwheat, apples, greens. Particular attention should be paid to constipation resulting from treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antipsychotics, sorbents and antibiotics that cause intestinal dysbiosis.

Diseases and conditions accompanied by constipation are not so common in infants.Many pediatricians do not remember them right away. Before getting to the truth, they prescribe a lot of unnecessary drugs, forgetting about effective intestinal examinations, such as X-rays.

Source: parents.ru

Constipation in a child: what to do?

In case of constipation, the work of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract is disrupted. The main manifestation of constipation is rare stools, difficulty in emptying the intestinal tract. If emptying occurs every three days, but there is no bloating or discomfort, and the stool has a normal consistency, this is not considered constipation.

If your child suffers from constipation, you should consult a specialist. Initially, you should seek help from a gastroenterologist. The First Children’s Medical Center employs the best children’s gastroenterologists in Saratov: here you can get qualified medical care!

Symptoms of constipation

The main symptoms of constipation include:

  • infrequent bowel movements;
  • if the child is pushing hard when trying to go to the toilet;
  • if there is pain during bowel movements;
  • bowel movements look like balls.

When the baby is breastfeeding, he can empty up to seven times a day, after each meal. During the first week, the frequency of emptying is three times a day.

When the baby is one month old, there will be daily bowel movements. At two months of age and when complementary feeding begins, there may be a chair every two days. If the baby has a soft stool, he feels good, but at the same time he defecates once every few days, this is the norm.

Signs of constipation include: discomfort during bowel movements, moodiness, very hard stools.If this situation persists, you should consult a pediatrician.

It is important to adjust the feeding regime. Do not overfeed the baby, do not transfer to artificial feeding, if the mother has little milk. First you need to try to settle the situation. A nursing mother should drink more fluids, refuse to eat foods that cause flatulence, and reduce intestinal motility. Only as a last resort it is necessary to transfer to artificial mixtures.

If a baby is bottle-fed, it should be emptied once a day.The main mistake in this case is that parents often change mixtures, try others. The mixtures should be adapted, fermented milk, which contain probiotics and prebiotics. It is also necessary to strictly follow the instructions, properly dilute the mixture, taking into account all proportions. The introduction of complementary foods should be on time. The diet should contain foods that contain a large amount of fiber.

After the introduction of complementary foods, the stool becomes formed, hard, less frequent.Up to the age of three, bowel movements should be daily. After three years, the frequency of bowel movements should be at least three times a week.

Why constipation appears

There are two types of constipation – organic and functional. The causes of organic constipation are:

  • Hirschsprung’s disease;
  • anomalies in the development of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • pathology of the endocrine system;
  • metabolic disorders.

In a newborn child, this symptom may indicate a narrowing, lengthening or expansion of the intestinal tract.

The causes of functional constipation include:

  • psychological problems, such as being in an unfamiliar environment;
  • lactose deficiency;
  • lack of fluid in the body;
  • inaccuracies in the diet;
  • negative reaction of the body to taking antibacterial drugs, drugs for the treatment of anemia, anticonvulsants;
  • stagnation of bile in the gallbladder and its ducts;
  • intestinal worms.

In newborn babies, the nervous system is immature, it is just being formed. Therefore, children are unable to control the movement of their muscles during bowel movements. You can help them by carefully bending the legs, pressing them to the tummy. With these movements, the pelvic muscles are relaxed, and the bowel is emptied much faster.

How therapy is carried out

In the treatment of constipation, an integrated approach must be followed. Treatment is prescribed in each case individually, depending on the cause of constipation.

To ensure the normal functioning of all organs, you need to adjust the stool in children. Correction of diet and lifestyle will be required, do not abuse laxatives, since they only help temporarily.

The basic principles of therapy include:

  • Diet correction. Elimination of foods that can cause constipation is required. Among them are dairy products, rice, baked goods, bakery products, pasta. It is recommended to include vegetable fiber in the menu, which is found in fresh fruits and vegetables.You should also give up fast carbohydrates – flour products, sweets. You need to add more products to the menu that contain potassium, for example, figs, dried apricots, and prunes.
  • Observe the drinking regime. It is important to use clean drinking water. During the day, the child must drink at least 40 milliliters of water per kilogram of his weight.
  • As prescribed by the doctor, you need to give the baby medicines, homeopathic remedies. These include drugs for the outflow of bile, drugs that restore the intestinal microflora.You can use antihelminthic drugs, laxatives, drugs with lactulose in the composition. Also, the doctor may prescribe medications that contain polyethylene glycol. They retain moisture in the intestines, thinning the stool.
  • In case of prolonged constipation, the child can be given a glycerin candle, a micro enema can be made as a stimulant.
  • Undergo physiotherapy, massage, and therapeutic exercises prescribed by a doctor.
  • Provide a calm environment, help the child psychologically so that he is not afraid to empty the intestines. You can read fairy tales, play with your child.
  • Train the intestines, after eating, put the child on the potty for a few minutes.

First you need to get rid of constipation and only then potty training. If you do not deal with constipation in a timely manner, this will entail unpleasant consequences for the child’s health.

Children’s gastroenterologist: where to go for help?

To get rid of such a problem, you need to visit a pediatric gastroenterologist.First you need to find out why constipation occurs, adjust the diet, after which, depending on the reason, competent therapy is prescribed.

Contact the First Children’s Medical Center: we have pediatric gastroenterologists who have experience working with children of all ages. We monitor the continuous improvement of the qualifications of our staff and offer the services of only highly qualified doctors.

You can sign up for a consultation from 8.00 to 20.00 by phone (8452) 244-000.Reception is by appointment.

90,000 Treatment and prevention of irritable bowel syndrome

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) depends on symptoms. Your doctor should work out a personalized treatment for you. If you are concerned about loose stools, treatment for you will not be the same as for patients with constipation.

If your doctor says that the problem is “in your head,” or that nothing can be done, see another doctor.Many patients get rid of IBS successfully. You need a doctor who can explain IBS and is interested in helping you identify the underlying causes of your symptoms.

Your treatment may be based on the underlying physical or psychological cause of the illness. This can be a lifestyle change, pharmacological or psychological treatment. The right IBS treatment for you may be found by trial and error, but in the end it will still be established.Below are some aspects of the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

Nutrition for irritable bowel syndrome

Certain foods can trigger an exacerbation / attack. It is advisable to keep a log of all foods in order to calculate later which of them led to the disorder. To identify foods that are causing your symptoms, eat regularly and write down the foods you ate prior to the onset of symptoms. Look for patterns.Often, the symptoms do not depend on any particular food, but on the amount at a time. A dietitian can be consulted to identify the foods that are causing the symptoms and to establish a treatment plan. A dietitian will determine how your body reacts to a particular food. Sometimes something is intolerant (for example, lactose intolerance).

For example, caffeine, milk, chocolate, nicotine, alcohol, and an abundance of fatty foods cause symptoms. However, in some people with IBS, these foods do not cause symptoms.

Traditional treatment for IBS, especially for constipation, requires eating foods that contain fiber. Fiber reduces the transit time for the colon and reduces the pressure on it. You need to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, eat grains and bran. Your doctor may also recommend soluble fiber supplements.

For some IBS patients, eating fiber worsens symptoms because bacteria can break it down in the colon; gas will be released, causing bloating. Fiber intake should be discussed with your doctor. You may need to avoid certain types of fiber, in particular gas-producing foods such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and legumes. But it has not been established that abstaining from certain foods will eliminate symptoms.

Drug treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to treat IBS symptoms.The medication your doctor recommends may include:

    • Antispasmodic anticholinergics. These drugs reduce intestinal cramps and may relieve pain, bloating, and discomfort associated with IBS. Examples of such drugs are Dicyclomine (Bentil) and Hyoscyamine (Levsin). Research shows that these drugs have limited efficacy and are best taken if symptoms occur after a meal. Side effects include dry mouth / nose / throat, increased heart rate, constipation, accommodation disorder (blurred vision) and urinary problems.
    • Antidiarrheals, e. g. Loperamide (Imodium). These drugs are quite effective against diarrhea and are used for frequent loose stools or an urge to defecate.
    • Laxatives (such as fiber). They are taken if constipation is the main symptom. Laxatives include psyllium (Metamucil), methylcellulose (Citrucel), and calcium polycarbophil (Equalactin).
    • Alocetron (Lotronex) is used to treat symptoms such as acute diarrhea or abdominal pain. Alocetron is a blocker of serotonin 5-HT3 receptors and inhibits the action of serotonin in the intestine. Soon after Lotronex appeared on the market, it was removed from the market, as it was not 100% safe, but then it was again released on the market and now it is an affordable drug. However, due to its potential side effects, Lotronex is recommended for use only by patients with severe symptoms as directed by a gastroenterologist, who must provide the patient with proper instructions for use.
    • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep, Vanatrip), desipramine (Norpramine), and nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventil) are often used for symptoms such as pain or diarrhea. In IBS, they are taken in lower doses than in depression and reduce pain signals between the gut and the brain. These drugs can also help with sleep disturbances and fibromyalgia, the latter often occurring among the symptoms of IBS.
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be prescribed by your doctor to reduce the depression and anxiety that comes with IBS in some patients.SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil). Your doctor may also recommend other types of antidepressants, such as mirtazapine (Remeron), venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Simbalta).
    • Sedatives can help reduce anxiety, which can worsen IBS symptoms. Sometimes, doctors prescribe sedatives such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and clonazepam (Klonopin) for people with short-term bouts of anxiety that worsen IBS symptoms.These drugs should only be taken under medical supervision as they are addictive.
    • Lubiprostone (Amitiza) is used to enhance intestinal secretion. It is prescribed for the treatment of severe constipation for women over 18 years of age who are not helped by other treatment.
  • IBS can be treated with antibiotics, but it is not entirely clear what benefits they bring. Antibiotics can help those with IBS caused by overgrowth of bacteria in the gut, but antibiotics can now be dispensed with to eliminate bacteria.

How to Eliminate or Minimize IBS Symptoms

In IBS, the intestines are sensitive to irritants. Symptoms can be minimized or eliminated by identifying the underlying causes of poor bowel function. Here are some guidelines that might help:

– Eat regularly for hours, chew food slowly and thoroughly, do not eat fatty foods and too much caffeine.

– Get regular physical activity.This can help ease symptoms and feelings of anxiety, thereby improving bowel function.

– Do not delay or hasten bowel movements.

– Do not strain during bowel movements, try to relax and take your time.

Because the colon becomes very sensitive in IBS, symptoms can be triggered by common events such as eating or distension from gas or intestinal contents.Following these guidelines will help you prevent seizures:

Schedule the appointment and write. Eating food causes the colon to contract. Usually, within 30 to 60 minutes after eating, the urge to defecate appears. With IBS, the urge may occur more frequently, causing cramping or diarrhea.

Eat small meals. The body’s response to food is often dependent on calories and especially the amount of fat it contains. Also, large amounts of food can cause cramps and diarrhea in people with IBS.Symptoms are alleviated by eating fewer meals more often, or simply eating smaller meals. Either way, try to stick to a regular meal schedule.

Change the diet. A low-fat, high-fiber diet may help some people. Someone needs a diet of foods rich in protein and carbohydrates. Fat greatly stimulates the contractions of the colon after eating. Drinking caffeine in many people, and especially those with IBS, leads to frequent loose stools.It is important – the diet should be made for everyone individually.

In many cases, eating foods containing fiber can relieve constipation, but not pain. Sources of fiber include cereals, peas, beans, fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads. Fiber can also be taken as a commercially available dietary fiber supplement, but you should check with your doctor before taking it.

Certain medications (including antibiotics) can cause IBS attacks in some people. You need to tell your doctor everything about your problem so that he can recommend other drugs for treating IBS symptoms that will not cause seizures.

Physical, emotional or environmental stress can also cause or worsen symptoms. Dealing with stress and relaxation can reduce or prevent symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy, stress prevention, hypnosis, and relaxation can also reduce symptoms of IBS. This treatment also reduces anxiety and other psychological symptoms.You can write down what actions are causing your symptoms. Many patients will be able to better control their condition if the symptoms of IBS are found to be related to childhood abuse or trauma.

Prevention of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the diseases that cannot be “preventable”. This is not a disease that can be avoided by following certain recommendations. However, the symptoms of IBS – chronic cramping abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel rhythm – can be prevented, reduced, and sometimes canceled out by eliminating its causes.

People with IBS have a more sensitive colon, and it reacts very sharply to both food (even normal gastrointestinal activity) and environmental factors such as stress.

Although doctors do not know exactly why some people suffer from IBS, and some never do, IBS is a serious functional disorder. Don’t believe if someone tells you that the symptoms are “in your head.”

Lifestyle recommendations

1.Ask your doctor if you have IBS.

Although more than 20 percent of the population suffers from IBS, only 15 percent of people with IBS seek medical attention. If you have severe stomach pain or bowel problems, see your doctor. He will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment to relieve symptoms.

2. Keep a log for identifying IBS-provoking foods

People with IBS are advised to monitor food exacerbations.To do this, you need to write down the entire diet and note the time when symptoms of IBS appear or worsen. Notes with information about the type and amount of foods eaten, as well as meal times, should be taken within two to four weeks. It is also necessary to record the time of onset of symptoms – disorder, pain, discomfort, etc.

3. Make a personalized diet

A personalized diet can be formulated to relieve IBS symptoms.There is a specific food group that can worsen IBS symptoms. These include fatty foods, dairy products, chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages (such as coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks), sorbitol sweeteners (found in some chewing gum), and gas-producing foods (such as beans and some other vegetables) … However, not all people with IBS need to eliminate these foods. Many of them also have lactose intolerance, which causes intestinal problems and abdominal pain similar to IBS symptoms.People with lactose intolerance need to remove most dairy products from their diet to improve their condition. Women with IBS who suffer from constipation need to drink more water and consume foods that contain fiber. If you decide to see a dietitian, we recommend that you contact a qualified dietitian who can explain the relationship between food intake and bowel problems, as well as create a diet for you that minimizes bowel disruption.

4. Avoid unnecessary surgery if you have IBS

Before surgery, be sure to notify your doctor that you have IBS. Studies have shown that patients with IBS are more at risk of having their appendix or gallbladder removed unnecessarily. According to a survey of 90,000 people, hysterectomy and back surgery are also the most common among patients with IBS. Studies have shown that removal of the gallbladder is performed twice as often in people with IBS than in patients without IBS.However, studies have shown that operations on the coronary arteries and for gastric and duodenal ulcers occur in almost equal numbers in patients with IBS and in patients without.

5. Stress management therapy can help you

Since stress is one of the causes of IBS symptoms, some stress management technologies, such as hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy, may help. They can reduce anxiety, improve health, improve mood, and increase the patient’s sense of responsibility associated with treatment.Since the landmark 1984 study of hypnotherapy in treating IBS in the London journal The Lancet, there have been many other studies demonstrating the effectiveness of this treatment. However, it must be ensured that the physician using hypnosis is qualified to do so.

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Gastroscopy (FGS)



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Preparation for endoscopic examination

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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90,000 How to treat constipation in babies

How to identify constipation in babies?

Medically speaking, constipation is the difficulty in having to empty your bowels in the past 24 hours. Of course, at different ages, babies have different stools both in frequency and consistency. For example, newborns under 1 month of age usually have the same amount of stool as they breastfeed. Parents are not immediately able to determine if the baby has bowel problems. It is important to control not only the amount of stool, but also its density, color and behavior of the child during bowel movements. The stool of a child under 6 months of age has a semi-liquid consistency. It is yellow in color, does not have an unpleasant odor, and may contain particles of undigested breast milk in blotches.

Signs and symptoms of constipation

The main thing is to always pay attention to the general condition of the child and the consistency of the stool.

The following are the symptoms of constipation:

– the child is naughty, shouts

– the baby misbehaves, writhes, screams while going to the toilet – it hurts

– any attempt to empty the bowel is accompanied by screaming and restless movements of the child

– child’s stool is firm

– incomplete bowel movement

– regular stool retention for 1 – 2 days

– restless sleep

– refusal to eat

– absence of gases

– unreasonable crying

– bloating

– the child presses his knees to the tummy

– vomit

If a child has one or two of these signs, this does not mean that he is constipated. But if the baby has more of the listed symptoms, you can be sure that the child is sick and needs to be treated. First of all, parents should consult a pediatrician. Perhaps the baby is reacting to some medications or new foods that enter the mother’s body.

If you are breastfeeding, watch what you eat. Your diet should include pumpkin, beets, or prunes.

Constipation reasons:

In the early stages of constipation, it is quite easy to deal with it, eliminating its causes.These reasons include:

1.Lack of liquid

This is an extremely common cause of constipation in bottle-fed babies, especially during hot summers or cold winters when the indoor air is very dry.

2. Improper nutrition of a nursing mother, inappropriate formula for a child, lack of foods that stimulate the digestive tract (beets, pumpkins, dried apricots, figs, apples, peaches, apricots, prunes and other products)

When choosing a formula for artificial feeding, pay attention to the fact that there is no iron in the composition. Nursing mothers need to exclude tea, coffee, semi-finished products, bread products, rice, nuts, bananas from the diet.

3 mom is on medication

Constipation in a child is possible due to the intake of antidepressants, antispasmodics, antibiotics, and muscle-relaxing drugs by a nursing mother. Mom should also consult with her pediatrician when resuming or stopping medication.

4 breast milk deficiency

This cause causes the baby’s so-called “hungry constipation”.In this case, all the food consumed by the child is absorbed in the walls of the internal organs and blood, and the intestines simply have nothing to do with the process.

5.Introduction of additional products

Most often, the introduction of additional products helps to normalize the gastrointestinal tract, but this also causes difficulties with stool. You should closely monitor your baby’s bowel reactions to new meals.

6 food changes

Constipation in a child is possible if the mother dramatically changes her diet.

7.Infectious or colds

An increase in mom’s body temperature can provoke constipation.

Constipation treatment

The first challenge in constipation treatment is to determine the cause and eliminate it. To establish the normal functioning of the intestines of a newborn, the following is necessary:

– medical checkup

– with artificial feeding, you need to give the child water between meals

– for a baby over 6 months old, you can enter a diet of apples and vegetables

– for children over a year old, soup should be introduced as an obligatory dish in the daily diet

Independent experts have long proved that juices, baby food and other “mixtures” for children are made with the addition of harmful substances, preservatives and are strong children’s allergens.It is better to make mashed potatoes with your own hands: you will get much healthier nutrition from ordinary carrots or apples.

Speaking of laxatives, it is worth noting that they should only be used as the most extreme measure. They flush out the microflora from the intestines: potassium, vitamins, protein, trace elements, impede the absorption of nutrients. If you do decide to take a laxative, try a more natural method first.

Tummy massage

It relieves cramping and increases intestinal tone.The massage is done by gently stroking the abdomen clockwise with light pressure on it. Additionally, you can put a diaper on the baby. Make sure the baby is not hot. In addition, warm baths help him well.

Do not be afraid to go to the doctor, he knows exactly how to eliminate the constipation of the baby!

Milk intolerance – popular diagnosis

According to some estimates, lactase deficiency (in other words, milk intolerance) can be detected in almost every third Russian.

What to do? Some doctors are convinced that nothing – adults do not need milk. Others advise not to deprive yourself of a valuable drink and at least switch to fermented milk products (since the sanctions have washed lactose-free milk from our market). But both of them agree that lactase deficiency is a serious diagnosis for children.

Many adults stop liking milk. And most often it is precisely because of lactase deficiency (it is also hypolactasia). People notice bloating, gas, indigestion, or diarrhea after taking it.And the fact is that they do not produce the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for the breakdown of milk sugar – lactose.

But many people do not even know about it! On average, about 18-30% of Russians (for different nationalities these figures can vary from 10 to 90%), by the age of 20, the absorption of lactose is impaired. But! This is not a disease, but a genetically determined process. Some are able to break down lactose to a ripe old age, while in others, the production of this component begins to drop sharply already in the second year of life.

– With age, the activity of lactose in the intestine decreases, and this is normal. So, in seven-year-old children, the level of lactose activity is only 30% of the norm. But in some people, it is active throughout their lives. We call this the “lucky gene” – its owners can drink milk for life. For the rest, it is reactive in nature – after drinking it, a person runs to an active start, – says the head of the department of hospital pediatrics No. 1 of the pediatric faculty of the Russian National Research Medical University named after Pirogova Petr Shumilov.

In Swedes, such a “happy gene” is found in 90% of the population, in Russians – in 25–40%. Among Asian peoples, the number of its speakers tends to zero. “The Chinese cannot drink milk at all. And an adult who uses it seems inferior to them, ”says the doctor.

And yet, if you notice such symptoms in yourself, it is better to consult a gastroenterologist, at least to make sure that this is lactase deficiency, and not something else. In some cases, people are advised to undergo genetic testing.Lactase deficiency is not only genetically determined, but also caused by external factors: intestinal diseases, food allergies. As soon as the influencing factor disappears, the ability to produce lactase is also restored.

But in children, especially in the first year of life, lactase deficiency is recognized as a serious pathology. Indeed, for babies, lactose is the only sugar found in milk. And it is extremely important for the formation of normal intestinal microflora.And also to improve the absorption of calcium, magnesium, manganese; for the development of the nervous system. “If milk sugar is not absorbed, the child develops loose stools, bloating, constipation, skin reactions,” says Petr Shumilov.

In children, lactase deficiency is also congenital. But this is diagnosed extremely rarely – in Russia in 1 case out of 60 thousand. In Finland, for example, every 35th person has congenital lactase deficiency.

Much more often hypolactasia is acquired.The latter occurs against the background of intestinal damage – infectious, inflammatory, parasitic, etc. And if the child’s diagnosis is not established in time, the case may end in serious violations.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to deprive children of milk in such a situation, because this is their main food. Children simply have nothing to replace it with, and because of this, serious disabilities and developmental delays may appear. “The diet of a nursing mother, alas, does not affect the concentration of lactose in milk,” says Petr Shumilov.- Therefore, such women need to express themselves and add special products with lactase activity to milk, which are sold in pharmacies. If a child is bottle-fed, he needs to select a low-lactose or (in severe forms) lactose-free formula. The lactose content should be 0.1–1 g per 100 ml or less than 0.1 g per 100 ml of milk, respectively ”.

If children simply do not like milk, doctors say that this is more likely not a sign of lactase deficiency, but nutritional habits improperly instilled by their parents.

Adults with lactase deficiency are usually not prescribed medications. And many of them consider giving up milk as the best treatment. “This condition is diet-dependent and can be treated with a diet. Do not tolerate milk – do not drink. In addition, carry out a medication correction of calcium, ”advises Petr Shumilov.

In addition, you can switch to boiled milk, in which the lactose has already been partially broken down. For the same reason, people with lactase deficiency calmly tolerate cereals in milk.However, unfortunately, boiled milk also loses many useful properties.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 26822 dated May 30, 2015

Newspaper headline:
Milk is not fashionable

90,000 Can you eat chocolate if you have constipation?

Does chocolate cause constipation? This is often argued about to this day, and you can often hear completely different opinions on this matter.

Chocolate and constipation Does chocolate cause constipation?

To combat constipation, according to an old belief, bananas and rice should be excluded from the diet.Some foods slow down bowel movements, while others “treat” constipation or may even cause diarrhea.

Diet plays a key role in digestion, and you will not experience digestive upsets by eating right.

What role does chocolate play in nutrition?

Many people simply adore chocolate … In France, for example, 390 thousand tons of chocolate are consumed annually, that is, 7 kg per person. Chocolate can have health benefits if consumed in moderation, while keeping in mind the other pleasures of life,

Chocolate contains fiber: 100 g of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa contains 10 g of fiber, which is more than some types of vegetables …

However, it should be noted that only dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa beans has this effect.

When talking about chocolate, remember that:

• Dark chocolate contains at least 45% cocoa beans (dry matter basis), including at least 26% cocoa butter and 14% non-fatty solids.

• Milk chocolate contains at least 25% cocoa, and premium milk chocolate – up to 30%.

• White chocolate contains no cocoa beans, but contains 20% cocoa butter and 14% dry milk fractions.

In addition, the composition of these types of chocolate is strictly regulated.

Positive effects of chocolate on digestion

Therefore, only dark chocolate has a positive effect on bowel movement.

Dark chocolate contains iron, copper, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Moreover, the “darker” the chocolate (with modern production technologies, the content of cocoa solids in chocolate can reach 99%), the less sugar it contains.

Cocoa, and therefore dark chocolate, contains fiber, which has a positive effect on digestive dynamics. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and prevents or reduces constipation.

So does chocolate cause constipation? No, it does not, if consumed in reasonable amounts. Does it cause diarrhea? No, although when consumed in excess, dark chocolate can speed up bowel movements as it is rich in minerals and fiber.

Constipation and diet: chocolate, fiber and ….. enjoyment

Dark chocolate does not cause constipation, on the contrary, it even relieves unpleasant symptoms.

Due to its bitter taste, not everyone will like dark chocolate. Some people prefer sweeter and more delicate milk chocolate, while others prefer white chocolate. But eating too much chocolate, like any excess, can negatively affect your digestion.

Dark chocolate is not always as bitter as many believe.Try dark chocolates gradually – start with 50 percent cocoa beans, then work your way up to 60 percent chocolate.

Chocolate and constipation

Does chocolate cause constipation?

To combat constipation, according to the old belief, bananas and rice should be excluded from the diet. Some foods slow down bowel movements, while others “treat” constipation or may even cause diarrhea.

Diet plays a key role in digestion, and you will not experience digestive upsets by eating right.

What role does chocolate play in nutrition?

Many people simply adore chocolate … In France, for example, 390 thousand tons of chocolate are consumed annually, that is, 7 kg per person. Chocolate can have health benefits if consumed in moderation, while keeping in mind the other pleasures of life,

Chocolate contains fiber: 100 g of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa contains 10 g of fiber, which is more than some types of vegetables …

However, it should be noted that only dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa beans has this effect.

When talking about chocolate, remember that:

  • Dark chocolate contains at least 45% cocoa beans (dry matter), including at least 26% cocoa butter and 14% non-fatty solids.
  • Milk chocolate contains at least 25% cocoa, and premium milk chocolate – up to 30%.
  • White chocolate does not contain any cocoa beans, but it contains 20% cocoa butter and 14% dry milk fractions.

In addition, the composition of these types of chocolate is strictly regulated.

Positive effects of chocolate on digestion

Therefore, only dark chocolate has a positive effect on bowel movement.

Dark chocolate contains iron, copper, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Moreover, the “darker” the chocolate (with modern production technologies, the content of cocoa solids in chocolate can reach 99%), the less sugar it contains.

Cocoa, and therefore dark chocolate, contains fiber, which has a positive effect on digestive dynamics. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and prevents or reduces constipation. So does chocolate cause constipation? No, it does not, if consumed in reasonable amounts. Does it cause diarrhea? No, although when consumed in excess, dark chocolate can speed up bowel movements as it is rich in minerals and fiber.

Constipation and diet: chocolate, fiber, etc….. enjoyment

Dark chocolate does not cause constipation; on the contrary, it even relieves unpleasant symptoms.

Due to its bitter taste, not everyone will like dark chocolate. Some people prefer sweeter and more delicate milk chocolate, while others prefer white chocolate. But eating too much chocolate, like any excess, can negatively affect your digestion.

Dark chocolate is not always as bitter as many believe. Try dark chocolates gradually – start with 50 percent cocoa beans, then work your way up to 60 percent chocolate.90,000 Can lactating mothers have coffee?

Breastfeeding is important for mom and baby. Because of the composition of breast milk and body contact, feeding has a positive effect on both the baby’s immunity and the nervous system. Since all substances from the mother’s diet enter the infant’s body with milk, nutrition must be carefully considered. Let’s answer the frequent question “Can nursing drinkers drink coffee?”. And consider the situations when the drink should be abandoned.


  • If the baby is less than a week old.The reason is simple: the ability to absorb the components contained in coffee is developed gradually. In the first weeks of the baby’s life, the mother needs to carefully plan her diet, monitor the quality and naturalness of the products.
  • If the child has an allergy. The drink, beloved by many, is included in the allergenic list, so it is worth watching the baby’s reaction after a cup of coffee drunk by his mother. And at the slightest allergic reaction, pause from coffee until the end of lactation. Remember that a reaction can occur within 24 hours.Therefore, we recommend doing this experiment in the morning.
  • In case of individual intolerance to caffeine in a child. This is also easy to spot if you drink some coffee and look at the behavior of the crumbs. Usually, if a woman did not limit herself to a drink during pregnancy, the problem does not arise.
  • Caution in the evening. Caffeine has an exciting and stimulating effect on the nervous system. A cup of coffee drunk by a mother before bedtime can ruin all plans for a good sleep for the baby.If you can’t refuse, have a coffee in the afternoon and observe the baby’s behavior after lactation. This will insure yourself against a possible sleepless night.


Doctors advise to consume no more than three glasses of coffee a day. Otherwise, coffee can harm the baby’s body. First of all, we are talking about caffeine – is the main active ingredient in the composition of the drink.

What is important to know? The amount of caffeine in beans is directly related to the degree of roast.The higher it is, the higher the percentage of this substance. Least of all caffeine in instant coffee. So be sure to consider this option as well as decaffeinated coffee. In any case, the latter should be chosen between strong black coffee and coffee with milk because of its milder effect.


Nobody will give an unambiguous answer. If there are no obstacles from the above list, you can drink coffee, but in moderation.