Three Medical Issues In Young Children That May Be Improved By Digestion Supplements

You don't want to give your young child any more medications than you absolutely have to. But there are some great reasons why your infants and toddlers can benefit from a healthy digestive supplement, and not just because they might be having a little gas or an upset tummy. Here are three issues that might be affecting your kids; digestive enzymes or supplements might help clear them up or give you some improvement.

1. Reflux.

Doctors are prescribing reflux medications for infants seven times more often then they were before 1999, according to one pediatric researcher. These medications are supposed to help babies who spit up and have associated pain, but the drugs aren't actually studied in young children. 

Instead of using a prescription drug, a digestive supplement may help. Some doctors believe that babies suffering from reflux may have sensitivities to cow's milk, so if they are getting a formula that is milk-based or if their nursing mom is consuming dairy products, they can experience more spitting up and acid reflux. A digestive enzyme can help them to process the cow's milk better and increase important gut bacteria.

2. Eczema.

Researchers are finding a connection between the lack of diverse gut flora and allergic conditions, including the skin condition eczema that produces a irritating, itchy rash.

One specific study looked at babies between 1 week old and 1 year old. Those with higher microbial diversity just 7 days after birth had a lower incidence of eczema at their first birthday. Even if your child was born without much gut flora diversity, a digestive supplement as a toddler or young child can help increase that, and may be one part of getting eczema or another allergic condition under control.

3. Constipation.

Young children may not be willing or able to eliminate feces as regularly as older children and adults, but the longer they go without eliminating, the more uncomfortable they feel. Some children who are older may begin to regress from potty training and fear using the toilet at all. Rather than give a harsh, chemical laxative, using a digestion supplement may help the gut repair itself and be able to eliminate more regularly. 

In addition, there are also some connections between children with autism and nutrition. An analysis of studies done on kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shows that digestive issues are a co-existing issue in most, if not all, kids. Some initial research finding that healthy digestive supplements are helping children diagnosed with autism to display fewer symptoms may increase doctors' understanding the link between autism and the gut.

If you have questions about your child's digestive health, see your pediatrician or naturopathic physician for more information.