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Tummy problems? POOP PROBLEMS?

Our provider Bre Like the Cheese (I guess she isn't lactose intolerant) used to work as a pediatric gastrointestinal (GI) doctor. She has been kind enough to guest


Enough said -- here you go!

 

Sometimes people say “Get your head out of your ass” or “ I have butterflies in my tummy”


Well the truth is… our head is directly connected to our butts and guts!


The stomach is highly innervated and its common for our feelings/stress to manifest in our stomachs. Its doesn’t mean “it’s all in your head”, in fact, the science shows that its really in your gut! The pain, constipation, diarrhea, and sensations are real! But there’s things you can do to help.


It is important to have chronic abdominal pain, or chronic diarrhea or constipation worked up to be sure there is no other medical explanation.


Once that is done the best thing is to treat the anxiety, stress, or whatever feelings are manifesting physically. While doing that, there are things you can do in the meantime to help with your tummy trouble.


CONSTIPATION


Your provider might recommend you do a “cleanout” to get thing back on track. Then you can do some of the following:

  • Continue Miralax 1 capful in 8 ounces of water ONCE A DAY *** 1 CAPFUL= 4TSPS***

  • Adjust dose as needed by 1 tsp to aim for 1-3 soft pudding like stools daily

  • Increase intake water, fruits and vegetable

  • Encourage the "P" fruits (prunes, pears, pineapples, peaches, papayas) to diet, remember “P fruits make you poop” (not as true for the fruit juice as the pectin is often in the skin)

  • Maintain fiber 10-15grams/day

  • Take 2 tsp of Benefiber/Fibersure daily OR fiber gummies 1-2 gummies daily

  • Limit dairy products, breads, bananas, and pastas- these foods are constipating

  • Limit milk to no more than 2 glasses a day

  • Encourage activity

  • Sit on toilet after lunch and dinner for 5-10 minutes to remind your body that we poop after we eat

  • Keep a stool calendar

Functional constipation is the most common type in school age children. Thyroid issues, celiac disease and too much calcium in the body can cause constipation (which your provider can test for). Dysuria (which means pain while peeing) is very related constipation, and some people get urinary tract infections related to constipation.


Encopresis (poop accidents) is usually the result of long standing constipation secondary to stretching of the rectum and loss of sensation and urge to have a bowel movement. Usually aggressive treatment of constipation results in the return of sensation and ability to have the urge again. Occasionally in children with other behavioral issues encopresis is a behavioral/emotional problem and can be helped with behavioral modification.


IBS

Do you have alternating constipation and diarrhea? This is a common finding in Irritable bowel syndrome. The best way to help this is to take good care of your mental health. Other things that can be helpful, once medical causes are ruled out, are:


  • Medications that reduce acid production

  • Sometimes a medication called an antispasmodic can be helpful for that nerve related abdominal pain

  • Imodium as needed to slow diarrhea

  • Benefiber/Fiber sure 2 tsp. daily or 2 fiber gummies or increase fiber in diet

  • Avoid: Fried or spicy food, juice, chocolates, soda, sweets, tomatoes, junk/processed food

  • Consider Lactose free diet

  • Consider FODMAP diet (but requires complete elimination which can be difficult), very effective

  • Some have said red dye exacerbates their symptoms, consider elimination

  • Exercise/yoga

  • Counseling for stress and anxiety management

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