You may be asking yourself, “What does constipation have to do with tics?” Well, you may not know, but a study by the University of Chicago Medicine Children’s Hospital and published in Pediatrics Journal found that children who suffer from chronic constipation often also struggle with Tourette syndrome. The study looked at 60 patients diagnosed with chronic constipation and found that 83% had some neurological disorder such as ADHD or Tourette Syndrome. So if your child has been struggling with both issues, it might be worth looking into hidden stressors before exploring other options!

We know two things here: your child has a tic and they are constipated

BUT have you ever asked why can’t they poop?

Today we are going to explore some of the underlying reasons your kid can’t go!

Rich food vs. Poor Food

Do you know what they are eating? If your child is on a diet of mainly junk foods and artificial sugars, they will have an increased amount of waste and, therefore, constipation! Junk foods also tend to be high in fat, which can cause constipation. Your child should consume 300 grams of fiber per day; this is roughly 10 times the average intake, so if your kid’s diet consists mainly of fast food and candy, chances are they don’t even come close to getting those recommended amounts. Fiber can also help with the absorption of nutrients; it aids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, lowers cholesterol, helps prevent certain types of cancer as well as helping regulate blood sugar levels. When choosing your child’s snacks, try to avoid sugar, gluten, and dairy, which can cause tons of gut problems.

Underlying Gut Infections

If your child is suffering from constipation, you should also consider the possibility of an underlying gastrointestinal infection. Hidden infections that may be causing your child to have stomach aches and pains, diarrhea, or other types of GI distress could weaken their immune system, which slows down digestion and elimination.

Nutrient Deficiency

Underlying infections and junk food make it difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. As a result, 90% of your nutrition which is absorbed in the gut is hindered by inflammation. This can lead to a decreased ability to get proper nutrition.

Hidden mineral deficiencies

Over 80% of people with constipation are deficient in key minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, or vitamin D. These nutrients assist the body in absorbing water which is essential for normal digestion and elimination. (source: CDC report on Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Disease http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ace/gastro/ugid_factsheet_050714.htm )

Food Sensitivities

Hidden ingredients in processed foods can cause food sensitivities and exacerbate constipation. Hidden sources of gluten, casein (dairy), and soy are common culprits. Hidden artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are also major contributors to food sensitivities. Hidden ingredients, for example, would be the list of additives on this label such as caramel color; xanthum gum; guar gum; carrageenan, and maltodextrin. The best way to avoid these ingredients is to avoid packaged, processed foods.

Immune system dysfunction

You may be wondering, how does the immune system impact your gut? Hidden sources of heavy metals, pesticides, and artificial ingredients can wreak havoc on the immune system. Nearly 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. If your gut isn’t right, your bathroom habits may not be either. A wrecked gut doesn’t have a good microbiome balance making it harder to stay healthy.

With Hidden infections, food sensitivities, nutrient deficiency, and immune system disfunction, your digestive system gets backed up. It’s no wonder they can’t go. Constipation can also be a cofactor for many of the other neurodevelopmental issues our children experience. For example, attention deficit- hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been identified as one of the most common comorbidities associated with chronic constipation.

If your child is struggling with a crap ton of issues, it might be time for you to find a clue in the poo. First, let’s find out if stool pathogen testing is the right option for your child, you can grab a deep-dive call here.

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