We talk about poop a lot here at Tree of Life Chiropractic. Not because it’s such a hot topic of conversation for elementary boys, but more so because digestion has such an important role in our children's health and development. Recent research shows that approximately 25-30% of children experience constipation, and this has a serious impact on their overall well-being. If your child has struggled with chronic constipation, you know the repercussions on their lives are significant, affecting their immune system, sleep, energy levels and emotional regulation. As a parent, you may have exhausted various remedies such as diet changes, prune juice, probiotics and even miralax. But, like many health professionals in the United States, you may have missed one very important piece to the digestion and constipation puzzle. Below I’ll show you how chronic constipation is often not a genetic or nutritional imbalance, but primarily a neurological imbalance.
By the time many parents come to our office, they have already explored diet modifications, probiotics, supplements, etc. with little success reaching their goals of achieving relief for their kiddo. Clinically, chronic constipation is often “neurogenic,” indicating an overactive sympathetic nervous system and dysregulated digestive muscles.
This neurological imbalance is termed subluxation and dysautonomia. Subluxation and dysautonomia then triggers a fight or flight response, diverting energy away from the digestive tract. When your child is in this protective and stressed-out state, it greatly impacts the function of the gut and digestive system, mainly by “conserving energy” for skeletal muscles (for fight or flight) and taking it away from the muscles of the digestive tract. This is also why so many of our kiddos who start chiropractic care for conditions like autism, ADHD, sensory struggles, and anxiety also struggle with chronic constipation. This really shows us how important the nervous system is when it comes to digestion and function.
Neurologically-focused chiropractic care, particularly focusing on your child's vagus nerve and parasympathetic system, can provide a drug free solution to restoring balance and alleviating chronic constipation. By measuring and looking into the nervous system, we can focus our adjustments on stimulating and activating the parasympathetic nervous system and vagus nerve, which in turn stimulates and activates digestive motility and relaxation for your child.
If you or your child struggle with chronic constipation or any other health issues that you may think are affected by an imbalance in your nervous system, we would love to be a part of your health journey and see if chiropractic can help you and your family live healthier and more vibrant lives.