Tag Archive | "constipation"

Pros and Cons of Vegetarianism in Children

Children see their parents as their perfect examples. What parents do, kids will follow. This includes what they are eating. If their parents are vegetarians, then it is given that their children will adopt that kind of diet especially when the reason of their being vegan is due to their faith and cultural practices.

Eating pure fruits, vegetables, and other foods coming from plants surely has benefits. But it also has it bad side as well. We all know that children are still developing and they need all the nutrients to keep them healthy.

If you are a parent who is trying to ponder on feeding your child pure vegetarian diet, here are some of the information that will help you come up with a decision.

Pros of Vegetarianism in Children:

  • Vegetables are rich in vitamins like A, C, and E. All these vitamins are needed by your children’s developing bodies. Vitamin A helps prevent vision problems and healthy skin, Vitamin C boosts the immune system specially needed by the child since his immune system is still not fully developed, and Vitamin E which helps promote good skin and healthy cardiovascular health.
  • Fruits and vegetables contain phtyochemicals that help get rid of the unwanted chemicals of the body. When your child grows up without the harmful toxins on her body, you have the confidence that he will be healthier and have lesser chances of acquiring conditions such as cancer.
  • Foods coming from plants do not contain bad cholesterol which makes your child at lesser risk to become obese. Obesity in children is not a good thing because it can make your child prone to have conditions like hypertension and diabetes at an early age.

Cons of Vegetarianism in Children:

  • Although fruits and vegetables are very nutritious, still it lacks other important nutrients that your child’s young body needs. Vegetarians lack Vitamin B 12 which is needed for red blood cells production. The vitamin is abundantly found on meat sources.
  • Iron is much needed by the body and it can be found best on meat sources like liver and other organ meats. Deficiency of iron in the body makes your prone to have anemia.
  • Protein is needed by your child for proper body development. It can be found abundantly on meat sources as well.
  • Your child will also be prone to have bouts of constipation when following a strict vegetarian diet because the intestinal tract also needs fats and oil to eliminate body waste effectively.

If you are considering to following a strict vegetarian diet for your child to follow, make sure to see her pediatrician first as they know what is best for your child’s health.

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Hemorrhoids in Children

Hemorrhoids are one of the conditions that most of us don’t wish to have. The pain it gives can be very agonizing that it can greatly affect one’s activities of daily living. The symptoms that hemorrhoids give us adults are really occurrences that we never long to have because of the hassles it gives even though it is not a serious threat to the health as compared to other diseases.

While hemorrhoids commonly affect older persons especially those who are pregnant, obese and are frequently sitting down, we often think that children are not affected with the condition. But in reality, hemorrhoids can be a condition that can happen to children too especially when they are constipated because of low fiber intake and have too much straining because of hardened stools.

Children suffering with hemorrhoids may also experience the symptoms just like what adults feel like pain upon defecation, rectal bleeding, and inflammation of the anus. While managing the symptoms of hemorrhoids in adults is not much of a problem as there are many treatment modalities available, it may be different in children. Adult medications for hemorrhoids are just too harsh for children to use. Considering surgery or hemorrhoidectomy is not advised too because the process can be too hard for a child to handle.

The best ways to treat hemorrhoids in children is to use the natural approach. These methods do not pose any side effects that can harm their young bodies. Here are some of the ways on how to naturally treat hemorrhoids in children:

  • Make sure that what your child is eating are foods that are rich in fiber. Giving them meats and other protein rich foods will just aggravate the condition and make the hemorrhoids of your children worse. In order to prevent your child from having hemorrhoids and much more if they already have the condition is by serving them foods with high fiber like fruits and vegetables.
  • Water is very important in preventing most diseases from affecting your children just like constipation. See to it that your child drinks six to eight glasses of water every day to soften stools making it easier to pass out.
  • Encourage your child to be active. When your child is a couch potato and has little or no time to play or exercise then he is prone to have hemorrhoids. Simple exercises or even have active play can help facilitate proper bowel movement.
  • When your child has swelling on his anal region, try to use cold compress. This will help ease the swelling and lessen the feeling of pain that your child may be feeling.

When your child’s hemorrhoids are getting worse despite doing these interventions, see your doctor at once. This may signal that your child has other serious conditions that need more advanced medical attention.

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Coping with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

When a child is put under a lot of stress or is put in a situation where he feels nervous or embarrassed he can develop a condition that causes severe diarrhea called Irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes called as “spastic colon” or “nervous stomach”, this disorder causes gas, cramps, bloating and alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhea. It is not regarded as a serious health threat but it is very uncomfortable to have the disease.

Stress, physical trauma and some infections can trigger the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. The specific cause of the disorder is still unknown but research shows a linkage in a child’s genes. Studies shows that children with IBS are prone to physical discomfort and pain. Triggers are often found in foods containing milk, caffeine, chocolate and spicy foods.

What are the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome?

  • Pain and discomfort that can be relieved by bowel movement
  • Pain and discomfort in experiencing constipation as stools become hard
  • Cramps brought by excessive diarrhea

Diagnosing IBS is based on symptoms experienced for a period of three months as there is no diagnostic test for IBS. Medical history will often reveal a family member experiencing the same disorder. Most of the time physical check up to the doctor can be embarrassing as doctors often asks a lot of embarrassing questions. Make your child at ease by being with him all the time and reassuring him that the doctor normally ask this questions.

Treating irritable bowel syndrome is based on managing the disorder as there is no cure for it. Treatment is geared towards reducing the symptoms.

  • Avoid eating large meals instead practice small frequent feedings. Avoid triggers like spicy and greasy foods. Stay away from caffeine and chocolates.
  • If your child is experiencing a lot of stress and you feel this is causing the disorder it may be good to talk with your child and listen to what is going on with him. Offer help on how to ease pressure from school, friends and everyday stresses that contributes to the development of the disorder.
  • Engage your child into regular exercise. Constant physical activity promotes healthy bowel movement and is also considered as a form of relaxation or stress release. If you suspect that your child is having an emotional crisis and might be depressed take him to a psychiatrist for further evaluation.
  • Upon doctor’s physical examination the child may be prescribed with medications that can help ease out the discomfort of IBS. Laxatives may be advised for episodes of constipation and muscle relaxants for intense motility and cramps. Consult with your doctor before taking any over the counter preparations.
  • Teach your child relaxing activities such as painting, music therapy, hypnosis, meditation and breathing exercises to help cope with the stress of irritable bowel syndrome.

IBS is not a serious health condition but it can greatly affect a child’s way of life. Maintaining an open communication with your child helps in managing the disorder and coping with it making it possible for your child to still experience an active and normal lifestyle.

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