Constipation in children is an issue that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible and that too, diligently. This condition in children entails excretion of hard and dry stools or infrequent stool movement, which may lead to stomach-ache, tightness in stomach, gas problems, nausea, vomiting and abdominal bloating.
Causes of Constipation in Children
A major research agency has reported that the constipation issue accounts for 3% of the visits to general pediatric clinics. Further, 30% of these visits are to pediatric gastroenterologists in the developed nations. The statistical data reports suggest that the occurrence and recurrence of the disease is a major issue among the affluent classes of society (basically the middle & upper-income classes).
According to Ayurveda, there are three basic types of constipation that children or even adults suffer from, based on the Tridoshas and their imbalances (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) :
Constipation due to vata dosha is due to excessive dryness in the body. This is caused by the intake of dry foods, and less intake of ghee, butter, and oils in appropriate quantity, or excessive physical exercise.
Constipation due to imbalance of Pitta Dosha is due to excess heat generation within the body, particularly in the intestines/ colons and the stomach or the liver; perhaps due to the consumption of foods and beverages that are hot in potency, which restrict stool movement and cause constipation.
The third type is due to Kapha Dosha imbalance, in which the major causes of constipation are related to overeating, consumption of stale and cold foods, sloth and lazy lifestyle, inactivity.
This raises a question to the parents; where did we fail or what did we miss out? The answer lies in Ayurveda, which entails our traditional Indian eating habits that have always been well balanced.
In case of constipation due to Vata imbalance, give your children ample amount of ghee, butter and mustard or sesame oil made parathas, which grounds vata and removes excess dryness from the body, and helps in the smooth movement of the stool.
For constipation due to Pitta imbalance, make your child drink ample amount of water, and place restriction on hot potency foods and drinks, these include fast foods & beverages in the market, avoid coffee and chocolate shakes, ‘besan ke ladoos’, excess consumption of yogurt and other fermented items like breads and cakes.
For constipation due to Kapha Dosha imbalance, check your child’s lifestyle. Push him/ her towards a more active lifestyle. Avoid giving him heavy foods, avoid too much use of ghee and oils, give him light foods like barley flour rotis, mung dal, and restrict excess/over eating. Ensure that your chi sports and other activities and restrict excess eating.
In our present times, child gut health is a major concern for parents due to the presence of so many options for junk foods. While it is easy to get foods made from outside, the healthiest foods are those cooked at home. Let’s get rid of our own laziness and make a healthier future for the generations of the days to come.