Our expert says:
It is most unfortunate that your son has constipation at such a young age. You need to increase your son's intake of dietary fibre by getting him to eat only unprocessed or wholegrain cereals and bread, e.g. unsifted maize meal, wholewheat bread, and cooked dry beans, peas or lentils (legumes), plus dried fruit at least once a day. Soak the dried fruit (esp prunes) overnight in boiling water, then boil with 1 tablespoon of honey till soft and let him eat 1/2 cup of this boiled fruit and its liquid with his porridge in the morning. Also increase his total intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and encourage him to start going for brisk walks for 30 min a day. Drinking 4 cups of water a day in addition to the other liquids he drinks, also helps with constipation. All these changes will promote regularity. If you find that after 2 weeks he is still constipated, then try giving him Fybogel (buy at chemist), which is not a harsh laxative. Harsh laxatives can damage the movements of the bowels and cause many problems, so avoid them, if at all possible. It this problem persists despite the increased fibre intake and the exercise, the do have your son examined by a gastroenterologist as he may suffer from a physical problem with this bowels.
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