Lemon water for children with constipation
My son is 2.5 yrs old and since last 1 year he is having severe constipation. I tried many medications and home remedies but nothing worked really well.
Last week I read about warm lemon water drink benefits. So I started giving the same to my son first thing in the morning. To our surprise, his bowel movements are much much better now. :-)
However I am worried about how long can I give lemon water to him? And is it good to give him lemon water regularly? Also can it cause weight loss too? Please advise.
I am glad to hear the lemon water has helped with your son’s constipation!
Since I am not a medical doctor and know nothing about your son’s health history, I cannot give any advice. This website is simply for educational purposes.
I believe I have answered your first two questions already on this page Lemon Water for Young Children, so you might want to read my comments there first.
In short, I do not recommend giving lemon water to young children on a daily basis. It can be very helpful for a few days for various purposes, such as constipation, colds, congestion, and so forth.
Could daily drinking of lemon water cause a young child to lose weight? Possibly yes.
Dehydration is Often Underlying Cause of Constipation
The real issue here is to address the underlying causes of constipation, which are almost always related to insufficient amounts of fluid and fiber in the diet.
Dehydration is a primary factor because the colon is one of the first places the body pulls water in order to provide fluids for other critical functions in the body.
Without enough water, wastes move through the large intestines much more slowly. In fact, sometimes they don’t move at all. Thus, constipation is almost always one of the primary symptoms of chronic dehydration.
Your child should be drinking about half his or her body weight in ounces of water. For example, if he weighs 50 pounds, he would drink about 25 ounces of water (or three 8-ounce glasses).
I have found that children are more inclined to drink water if the water is readily available to them throughout the day. Also allowing your child to pick out his favorite water bottle can also help. (Look for one that is either stainless steel or BPA free plastic.)
Drinking plain filtered water is the best option. However, if a child will not drink enough plain water, then I would recommend adding a small amount of organic juice with just a pinch of unrefined, natural salt, such as Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt.
These natural salts contain over 80 trace minerals and will help to hydrate the body. The sweetness of the juice will help to mask any salty taste.
You can read more about the importance of water and natural unrefined salt here.
In essence, this type of beverage (with water, salt and juice) is a homemade electrolyte drink.
The electrolyte drink does not replace the need for plain water, but it may help to get fluids down him. It will also provide trace minerals which may help alleviate the constipation as long as he is also eating high-fiber, fresh foods as explained below.
Other Potential Causes of Constipation
Not enough fiber. Another common cause of dehydration may be dietary (too much meat and dairy) and not enough of the fiber found in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based protein.
Fiber that is soluble in water helps soften the stools. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stools, which also helps to stimulate bowel contractions.
Mineral deficiency. A mineral deficiency (especially magnesium) or trace mineral imbalance can also be a factor with constipation. This is where adding a small amount of unrefined, natural salt to your meals can be beneficial AND avoiding processed foods that include high amounts of refined salt.
Magnesium is found in most foods, including meat and dairy. Other rich sources include apples, avocadoes, bananas, brown rice, dulse, figs, green leafy vegetables, kelp, beans, millet, nuts, salmon, seeds, tofu, and whole grains.
Bacteria. An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestines can also cause various gastrointestinal issues, including constipation. There are many potential reasons for this overgrowth, including ingesting food that is contaminated, getting the flu or other bacterial or viral illness, or having poorly digested food that that turns toxic in the body.
Thus, it is generally recognized as safe and often recommended to give young children a good quality probiotic supplement for digestive issues as well as to boost immunity.
Probiotics are the good bacteria normally found in foods and in the human body. Probiotic supplements are safe to take on a daily basis, but I would recommend giving them to young children only as needed to restore health.
Probiotics for young children come in powder form, which is easy to add to food or beverages, as well as in chewable tablets or gummies. (I don’t recommend most gummies since they tend to have the highest sugar content.) Some of the best brands of children’s probiotics I recommend are Garden of Life Raw Kids (powder), Nature’s Way Primadophilus for Kids (chewables), and Renew Life Buddy Bear probiotic (chewable).
You can review some of these children's probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.
Inadequate exercise, stress and medications. Getting inadequate exercise, having chronic or acute stress, as well as taking certain medications, can cause constipation. However, these are usually not common factors for children under the age of 5.