Natural health: My three year old suffers from constipation 

Natural health: My three year old suffers from constipation 

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My three-year-old son suffers from constipation. He’s a picky eater which doesn’t help. What would you suggest?

Constipation in children especially when they are particular about what they will and won’t eat can be difficult to manage. However, it is important not to create any additional tension around toileting habits as stress can further contribute to difficulty with bowel movements.

Your son might enjoy a smoothie with fruits rich in digestive enzymes, such as kiwis and pineapple. You can add in herbal helpers such as one to two teaspoons of slippery elm powder or a teaspoon of aloe juice.

Slippery elm powder can also be used to make a nourishing broth. Mix a teaspoon of the powder with 100ml of warm water and a little raw honey or maple syrup to make a smooth porridge-like nutritious and medicinal food.

Another option is a herbal infusion with marshmallow root. You can prepare this as a cold infusion by adding a heaped teaspoon of dried marshmallow root with a cup (250ml) of cold water and leaving it to infuse overnight. Strain the next morning, and your son can sip on this as a cold drink, or you can gently warm it and add raw honey to taste.

Alongside stress and diet, other factors that are linked with constipation in children are dehydration, posture, and lack of fibre.

Exercise is an additional factor as we age, but this is not usually an issue with three-year-olds.

It is also worth finding a local chiropractor or osteopath who specialises in working with children. Sometimes a simple adjustment or a series of gentle manipulations are enough to make a significant difference. This can be particularly useful when dietary additions or changes are not an option.

I get about four sinus infections a year — often just before my periods. What steps can I take to stop them from happening?

Sinus infections are not something we commonly associate with hormone health, however, allergies and sensitivities can appear or increase alongside menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

Thyroid imbalance and adrenal fatigue are also linked to immunity and can contribute to infection.

Nasal congestion and sinusitis can also be a symptom of candida overgrowth. If you suspect this may be a contributing factor, then you will find taking therapeutic doses of a good quality probiotic could be what you need to support healthy immune function and reduce the likelihood of repeat infection.

It helps to look at food sensitivities when dealing with sinus inflammation and overproduction of mucous. Congested sinuses are more prone to infection than clear sinuses, so avoiding foods that produce excess mucous is important.

Keeping a food diary and noting any reactions can help to pinpoint which foods disagree with you — not just congestion, but also headaches, tiredness, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and the like.

Bromelain is a natural remedy that may help during a bout of sinus infection. An enzyme found in pineapples, it breaks down protein and helps to digest food.

Bromelain works by loosening congestion, allowing it to clear out of the sinus passages. Take 500mg three times daily between meals.

Horseradish is another wonderful remedy for sinusitis, catarrh, and lung infections.

It has warming and antiseptic properties, plus it is rich in minerals and vitamins. Simply grate the root raw onto salads.

  • Please send your questions to feelgood@examiner.ie 
  • NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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