Kids & Constipation – Simon Altman BHSc (acu)

One of the most common issues faced by children relate to their digestive health.  Often it is common problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, stomach pain or vomiting.  Children generally fall into a few specific types when their digestive health is compromised.  The most common two are what we would refer to as an ‘excess’ pattern or a ‘deficient’ pattern.


The ‘excess’ child generally experiences problems because of situations that push the child into a state of excess.  This can include overfeeding, unsuitable foods, irregular eating or too many cold/raw/indigestible foods.  The external factors become too much for the child’s system and adds the already excessive condition.


The ‘deficient’ child generally has signs of weakness, this could be due to a poor diet of too many cold/raw/indigestible foods over a specific time, reoccurring illnesses, difficult births or simply a constitutional weakness.  The deficient child’s system is run down and needs to be boosted to return into a state of equilibrium.


Diet can solve a lot of problems children have with their digestion.  For the ‘excess’ child you can make simple changes in their diet to ensure the problem does not return.  This could be simply avoiding cold or raw foods until their digestion stabilises and eating at regular times without snacking.  Think about what is pushing the problem over the top and adding too much to the child’s system to cause the digestive symptoms.Kids & Constipation - Simon Altman BHSc (acu) 3


For the ‘deficient’ child it is important to feed them easily digested food and to avoid cow’s milk and peanuts.   Regular feeding with enough of a gap to allow the food to be digested and processed within the body is important.  This avoids overloading the child’s system causing more deficiency and possibly leading to the food accumulating and temporarily turning into an ‘excess’ state. Home treatments are especially important in the ‘deficient’ child to keep boosting the child’s system with the inclusion or regular therapies such as moxibustion or massage on important digestive acupuncture points.


Commonly ‘deficient’ type children can be constipated and go much longer without passing a stool compared to the ‘excess’ children, whilst ‘excess’ children may be constipated for a day or so ‘deficient’ children can sometimes hold on for up to a week. For both patterns, a regular diet is important whilst avoiding overloading the system with too much foods or eating irregularly throughout the day.   It is also important to make sure that the child is having enough fluids throughout the day especially in hot weather.


The main points that may help with both an ‘excess’ and ‘deficient’ child are:

  • Regular feeding (no snacking).
  • Avoid overfeeding.
  • Give easily digestible foods.
  • Regular stomach massage in a clockwise direction.
  • Add natural foods that allow the bowels to move such as prune juice or fig syrup.

Simon is available for treatment on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Please call us on: ph 5973 6886 to make your appointment.