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Does Your Child Have Daily Brown Bananas…in the Toilet? {GUEST POST}

It’s almost hard to believe (and yet not) how many people, adults and children, are affected by constipation. In fact, I’ve already written about natural constipation remedies for toddlers, and Miralax just isn’t safe (even though it’s the “norm” for constipated little ones)! Find out from our MD guest why magnesium is the best natural remedy for constipation and what form to give children. 

Author, Dr. Wiggy Saunders, MD

feeding kids a snack, magnesium for constipation

When my mom heard on TV that a good, healthy poop is a “brown banana” that’s about 18 inches to 2 feet long, one piece, her eyes were wide like saucers!

Now you can’t believe everything you hear on TV (or read on the Internet, ahem) but that IS a decent indication of good digestion. I’m sure there are other variations on healthy bowel movements, since we are unique human beings after all, but a nice, long brown banana would be good to see a few times a day.

I’m not a doctor nor medically trained, but I’m thrilled to host Dr. Wiggy Saunders, an MD who founded Raise Them Well with his wife Emily. They make natural products to help kids stay healthy and also do a lot of educating for parents. Of course this is not intended to be medical advice and you should check with your own doctor before treating your children. 

Here’s what he has to say about constipation, Miralax, and magnesium:

Doctory Wiggy on constipation and Miralax in kids, Miralax safety

MD Speaks on Problems and Causes of Child Constipation

Constipation causes all sorts of problems.

If your child is having a difficult time with regular bowel movements, you know how much this affects their quality of life. Constipation can cause abdominal pain, bloating, lack of appetite not to mention irritability, behavior changes and even bed-wetting. (RELATED: Successfully Curing an Older Child of Bed-Wetting)

If you’re curious just WHAT it means to be constipated, check these symptoms and compare to what you see in your child.

As an Integrative Medicine physician, my job is to look for the root cause of the problem and a lot of times problems start in the gut. Having a functioning digestive system is key when trying to improve an individual’s overall health. Because without a good gut, the rest of the body will suffer.

With the back up of waste from constipation, a plethora of problems can result. It is the breeding ground for bad bugs (dysbiosis), yeast overgrowth (candida), and recirculates toxins that need to be eliminated from the body. (RELATED: My experience healing a candida rash and How to determine candida symptoms)

One of the first things that we need to do to improve gut function is to get things moving.

childhood constipation, magnesium for constipation

Is Miralax a Safe Constipation Solution for Kids?

Unfortunately, what we are taught in medical school is to use Miralax first, and if that doesn’t work, to refer to a Gastroenterologist. The more I learn about Miralax, the less comfortable I am in giving it to my kids. As Dr. Mercola writes (link removed):

Miralax is advertised as natural. It’s described as a tool to pull water into your colon so your gut can eliminate naturally. But there’s nothing natural about Miralax, as its active ingredient polyethylene glycol is a petroleum derivative. In essence, it’s plastic.

What’s more, Miralax is not approved for use in children. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved it for adult usage and even then only for seven days at a time.

FDA Looking into Miralax More Starting in 2008

In 2008, the FDA tested eight batches of Miralax because “many of the reported adverse events were classic symptoms of ethylene glycol ingestion.” Ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) are ingredients in antifreeze so, in other words, the government tested the laxative after receiving reports of children exhibiting symptoms of antifreeze poisoning following their use.

Miralax is not safe for kids, Miralax safety

In September 2014 the FDA awarded a nearly $325,000 grant to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to study whether PEG 3350 is absorbed by the very young and whether it contributes to the development of psychiatric problems. Among the adverse events reported, many of them are neurological in nature. According to the FDA:

“Neuropsychiatric adverse events [in children using PEG products] may include seizures, tremors, tics, headache, anxiety, lethargy, sedation, aggression, rages, obsessive-compulsive behaviors including repetitive chewing and sucking, paranoia, and mood swings.”

Miralax Risks for Kids in the News

Katie popping in – there are plenty of others talking about the risks of Miralax for kids as well. In 2017 the story broke wide open; Mercola was ahead of the times in 2015. 

Most recommendations for treating constipation begin and end with drinking more fluid, eating more vegetables and whole grains, and possibly enemas and laxatives. (See here, here and here for what common culture says. Even this very helpful post on natural remedies for constipation mostly focuses on foods to avoid and getting more fiber.)

People just aren’t talking about Dr. Wiggy’s solution enough! Read on!

As you can see Miralax is a less than ideal solution. That’s why we made something better.

We are on a mission to improve the health of children and families through toxic free products. We couldn’t find a safe, natural alternative for bowel regularity. So, we did our research and found something that I believe can work even better.

Wish You Knew All the Answers to Keep Your Family Healthy?

How about a crash course?

I’d love to send you a 7-day “Quick Start Guide” email mini-course to give you Health Agency! When something goes wrong in your family, YOU can be the agent of healing and not allllllways have to call a doctor for every little thing.

Imagine this email series as a virtual chat over the backyard fence with your own neighbor, a wise older mom who’s raising 4 kids with intention, trying to avoid unnecessary medication and being kind to the earth.

Looking forward to connecting to help you learn EXACTLY what you need to know to stock your natural remedies “medicine cabinet,” deal with normal childhood ailments, and even the dreaded, “What’s that on my skin?” issue! 🙂

Does Magnesium Help With Constipation?

It all started when we came across a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology that was evaluating the safety of Magnesium Oxide in kids with constipation. There were several things in this article that made me think that we were on to something:

magnesium best option for constipation, magnesium for constipation

How Magnesium can Help Constipation in Kids

Our goal was to develop a Magnesium powdered drink that is safe, effective, and great-tasting. The first two are relatively easy: we knew based on the study and additional research that using Magnesium Oxide as the active ingredient would be both safe and effective. The most challenging part was making it taste great so that kids would love drinking it.

I wouldn’t recommend taking or drinking Magnesium Oxide by itself as it tastes like a mix between chalk and baking powder. Needless to say, your kids aren’t going drink straight magnesium oxide powder, no matter how constipated they are.

We tested sample after sample to find the right combination of texture, flavor, and sweetness using only natural ingredients.

It took us close to a year in development, but we feel that the final product is going to be a game changer for kids’ digestion.

Mag-Go magnesium drink for kids, magnesium for constipation

Natural Laxatives for Kids

Mag-Go includes:

  • Magnesium Oxide in the studied dose (600mg)
  • Vitamin C
  • stevia
  • natural flavors (so that your kids will actually want to drink it)

Beta testers find that it works wonders!

RELATED: Should you try aloe vera for constipation? Here’s how it worked for me.

“Both of my boys LOVE the taste. My 4 year old has trouble “going” while we are away from home and I am so glad I have a natural option to give him that he enjoys too!”

“My little guy has had trouble with regular bowel movements and Mag-Go works! Not only is it effective, he loves drinking it as it tastes like berry Kool-Aid, but without the junk.”

Adapted with permission from Dr. Wiggy Saunders; originally published in its full form hereImages used with permission from Raise them Well. 

Get Mag-Go for 15% Off!

Try it for yourself – get Mag-Go here with the coupon KSMAGGO for 15% off (one time use per family). The discount code is entered after you click “checkout” and go to the second page of the shopping cart. 

If you get two containers or add something else to your order (we like their hand sanitizer and Vitamin D drops – with K, very important!) you can use the free shipping over $35!

For kids who have trouble with regular bowel movements, I know this product will be a God-send. Add it to a few other natural methods for constipation and you’ll have smooth sailing! 😉

And besides that, studies continue to show that most Americans are deficient in magnesium anyway, so this is a supplement that will have positive ramifications beyond just potty time!

Do your kids take a magnesium supplement? Do you?

Author bio: Wiggy Saunders, M.D., is an Integrative Medicine Physician in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who specializes in hypothyroidism and other complex medical conditions. He is board certified in Family Medicine and practices Integrative Medicine. He has helped thousands of patients regain health through an integrative, holistic approach. Dr. Wiggy has been featured on The Doctors, The Huffington Post, WXII News 12 and more. He’s the co-founder of Raise Them Well along with Robinhood Integrative Health, his clinic, serving over 14,000 patients. He is also on the advisory board for the National Fibromyalgia Association.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

12 thoughts on “Does Your Child Have Daily Brown Bananas…in the Toilet? {GUEST POST}”

  1. I’ve been reading about how magnesium oxide can lower stomach acid when mixed with water. How long can one take your product before lowering ones stomach acid?

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hi Julie, your best bet is probably to ask directly on the Raise Them Well website. I don’t know that they check here for questions.

  2. My just turned Two year old has always had severe constipation issues and the doctor just prescribed Miralax (as much as needed). I see this product is recommended for age four and up- what is recommended for age 2?

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Natasha, you can find recommendations specific to toddlers here: https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/natural-alternatives-constipation-toddlers/

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. 🙁

        1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

          Hi B! The product is recommended for ages 4 and up. You could check directly with the company since they also say 1 scoop per 40 lbs of body weight and your daughter is pretty close to that. You could also check the other natural constipation remedies for toddlers here: https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/natural-alternatives-constipation-toddlers/

  3. Can u use this for a cleanout and can use this for maintenance? He is 5 years old weighs 35 pounds I can just put this in his juice in the morning and how much will it last all day how long will this make him go? My son poops are long and solf I give him a pre and probiotic all in one it helps him go if his poops like that I read something it’s normal so it means he dont need a cleanout thanks…

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hi Christine, I believe you can use it daily for maintenance, or a higher dose for a “clean out” if needed for a procedure such as a colonoscopy. If you have specific questions about how to take the supplement you can ask the manufacturer and they can give better recommendations.

  4. This was very helpful. There was a reason I put the Miraalax back on the shelf. Thank you! My son has to have a colonoscopy and miralax is what he needs to clean out. For now I’m going to do the magnesium citrate. He has regular bowel movements but this is just a one time thing.

    Thank you
    Thank you ?

  5. Is magnesium oxide and Magnesium hydroxide the same thing I found another product that is in a chewable tablet form and wanted to know
    If this would be safe as well my child really only likes to drink water but loves anything chewable.

    1. Carolyn @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hi Evelyn, My understanding is that magnesium oxide and magnesium hydroxide are pretty interchangeable when used to alleviate constipation. If you’re unsure, you can do more research on the chewable product you’ve found or ask the manufacturer if you have specific questions about it!

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