Treatments for Constipation

By Dr. Sidney Baker
Posted April 25, 2012

How to Treat Constipation? Some Treatment Options.


Answered:  April 25, 2012 by Dr. Sidney Baker

Water, fiber, magnesium citrate.

Q: Water?

A: Yes, it is easy to overlook especially in children who lack normal thirst, which can be a vexing problem in which will power, sensory issues, and pain may mix.  The goal is to  assure adequate intake of water.   Even if factors other than an insufficient water intake are at work you still must first address unmet needs for water. The negative effect of sugars – even ‘natural’ ones – in juices should be weighed carefully in the choice of beverages for children.

  • A 10 kg (22 lbs) child requires 1000 mL (33 oz.) of water.
  • A 15 kg (33 lbs) child requires 1250 mL (42 oz.) of water.
  • A 20 kg (44 lbs) child requires 1500 mL (50 oz.) of water.
  • A 25 kg (55 lbs) child requires 1600 mL (53.oz.) of water.
  • A 30 kg (66 lbs) child requires 1700 mL (57 oz.) of water.
  • A 35 kg (77 lbs) child requires 1800 mL (60 oz.) of water.
  • A 40 kg (88 lbs) child requires 1900 mL (63 oz.) of water.

Q: Fiber?

A: Considering that fruits and vegetables are just what many children with sensory issues will not eat, concessions must be made on this point. A fine-textured nearly tasteless brand (Yerba Prima) of psillium husk powder ( ) of in doses as low as ½ to 1 teaspoon may – provided adequate water intake – be all that is needed to provide temporary repairs to a child’s menu.

Q: Magnesium?

A: Of all of the remedies for constipation magnesium citrate tops the list. At doses of a few hundred milligrams it is a nutrient for which many people have, for various reasons, unmet needs. At doses of a few grams it is a laxative when given by mouth. It comes as a flavored drink, a powder, or capsules. Depending on body weight one might start with a dose between 25 and 250 mg given any time of day but preferably in the evening and increase daily to the point of “bowel tolerance” by coming close to producing diarrhea and then backing off to assure at least two soft BM’s per day. Follow the links for more thoughts about magnesium and other remedies for constipation.