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Autism Treatment – Slippery Elm & Constipation

Posted on 03 January 2010 by admin

I have talked a lot about constipation. Constipation is a big problem in our society, not only in kids but in adults. Ideally we should be having a bowel movement for every meal that we eat in a day. Now that seems like a lot so what I try to shoot for with my patients is at least, minimally to have two bowel movements a day. If we can get one bowel movement in a day with most people we are doing pretty good. Now with kids on the spectrum it does get a bit challenging.

I have talked before in previous videos about some issues related to constipation with kids on the spectrum. Lets talk real quickly about the child who has a difficult time passing stool but has the urge to go. If they have the urge to go but they just have a difficulty time passing it, there could be problem with the stool being too hard. So one thing you may do is just increase the fluid intake of your child. That will help to get more fluid in the digestive tract, help soften the stool and sometimes that can help. Fiber supplements whether it is Tru Fiber or other types of fiber supplements that are gluten free, they can help to add bulk to the poop and that can also then help with the ease of passing. In those cases if you are going to use fiber supplements you certainly are going to want to increase their fluid intake.

One herbal remedy that can be helpful is something called Slippery Elm. Slippery elm is an herb and it does essentially what its name implies. It makes things slippery so basically it helps to make the poop slippery. What it does is it helps to increase the mucous production inside the digestive tract and makes the lining of the gut more slippery but it also makes the fecal matter more slippery so it is easier to pass. Slippery elm is generally available at most health food stores. You can either get slippery elm as a bulk powder or in capsules that can be opened up with juice or mixed with food if your child has a difficult time with taste. Slippery elm is a very safe herb to take, I have taken it myself, I have many, many patients take it, adults, teenagers, children and it can be very effective. There is no specific dose for slippery elm based on weight or age.

So in most cases with a slippery elm capsule start with one capsule, maybe two, it might take 3. Sometimes I have had some kids who are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 years old who need sometimes to take anywhere between 3 and 6 slippery elm capsules a day to make their poop just slippery enough so it is easier to pass. So if there is an issue with your child as far as constipation goes where they have the urgency to go but are having a really difficult time really moving their stool, make sure they are keeping their fluids up but slippery elm could be an option as well to help things move a little easier.

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