Myra – a pretty little angel enters my clinic with severe bloating and a complaint of stomach ache! When I asked her mom, Anita, here is what she had to say

Anita: I am really worried Doctor, Myra hasn’t passed motions for two days now. It has been a problem with Myra since her birth.

Dr Nidhi: Don’t worry Anita, constipation is a common problem all across the globe and can be a result of your lifestyle choices, medications, food you eat or avoid and also due to certain diseases.

Anita: But I have been very particular about her diet. Even if we eat outside, I make sure she eats healthy. Her older brother does not listen and eats whatever he wants but he never had such a problem. I am scared if Myra’s condition will worsen with time.

Dr Nidhi: As far as her brother is concerned, different bodies react differently to their surroundings. Talking about Myra’s condition I think it is not that bad. Less than three bowel movements per week is characterized as constipation. While sometimes it may be chronic, other times it can occur occasionally. I can understand it’s uncomfortable for her and it has disrupted her play routine. (Myra smiled)

After examining Myra I gave her constitutional homeopathic medicine for getting relief from her symptoms.

Dr Nidhi: Along with this medicine I would also suggest some healthy lifestyle changing tips so that Myra can live a medicine free life!

Anita: That would be great Doctor. Are there any natural remedies we can opt for?

Dr Nidhi: Yes, there are many natural remedies you can try if you don’t want to take over the counter medicines. Main concentration needs to be on drinking more water. Dehydration can make you constipated. Myra should have at-least two liters of water daily.

Anita: She doesn’t drink water, Doctor. Even after a meal she drinks a sip or two and that’s it.

Dr Nidhi: Try to hydrate her body every hour by making her drink one glass of water especially when she is in an air conditioned environment. The next thing you can do is give her lots of dietary fibre.

Consider giving her oats, flax seeds, china seeds, lentils, prunes and raisins for relief.

Anita: She likes raisins. She won’t eat flax seed.

We both looked at Myra as she smiled back at us shyly.

Dr Nidhi: Ok, even soaked raisins overnight work wonders for stomach. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach are great sources of fiber too – give them in form of soup in this winter season to get the optimum result. And also it’s far better than eating broccoli as a vegetable.

 Anita: That could work.

Dr Nidhi: The soups will keep her bowel movements on track. But just in case for occasional constipation problems you can give her warm water with half lemon and one teaspoon honey which can help in putting her system back on track. Lemon acts as a stimulant and flushes out toxins while honey works as a mild laxative.

Anita: That could come to our rescue on our trips and tours.

Dr Nidhi: Along with proper diet she must also exercise. It’s said that movement of the body is necessary for bowel movement. Try taking her for regular walks or outdoor activities to reduce the symptoms of constipation. Pranayama too has a great role in relaxing stomach muscles.

Anita: She hasn’t always been very athletic but I guess I can take her on morning walks with me. It will give me a reason to start walking again.

 Dr Nidhi:  Oils are good laxatives that help in cleaning the intestines and also promote bowel movements. You can give her one tea spoon of castor oil on an empty stomach and wait for 8 hours to see its magic!

I could see Anita’s face contorting; she knew her daughter would not like the smell of castor oil. Hence I gave them an alternative.

Dr Nidhi: If castor oil is unacceptable you can give her warm milk with one tablespoon ghee at bedtime to have a happy morning.

Anita: Thank you Doctor, I know I would have a pretty hard time giving her castor oil. She likes ghee that won’t be a problem for her.

Dr Nidhi: Does she like yogurt?

(Myra Nodded)

Dr Nidhi:  Make a proper balance between Prebiotic and Probiotic. Yogurts are an excellent Probiotic. They are full of good bacteria. Prebiotics are banana , artichokes , garlic , asparagus, barley, apples  etc . Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. You must regularly consume prebiotics and probiotics for good bowel movements.

 Anita: She loves fruits and yogurt so I don’t think we will have problem over there.

Dr Nidhi: These remedies along with medicines would do wonders for her. During constipation please avoid eating cheese, pork, bread, fried food and spicy food as it can further cause trouble for the bowel movements.

Anita: Thank you Doctor. I was worried about her but now with all the things that you have recommended I think she won’t have a problem with her stomach anymore.

Dr Nidhi: Having a healthy gut is the key to build a strong immune system. It also helps you focus on your life without having to worry about the symptoms and pain. If you’re seeking any help with your symptoms, opt for integrated healthcare in Pune for long-term benefits.

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