Dairy Causes Some Kids to Have Constipation

It's the picture of Italian ice-cream in a sho...

It’s the picture of Italian ice-cream in a shop of Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight I found a site by Dr. John Briffa with a fairly recent post on cow’s milk and pediatric constipation:  Could dairy products be the cause of some children’s constipation?

I nearly wanted to explode “YES!” because I just can’t get this information out there loud enough!  Dairy causes constipation in (some) kids.  We saw this one year ago in my (then 6-year-old) daughter when we completely removed dairy several times and added it back in several times.  And what do you suppose happens to those constipated kids if dairy is never removed?  Well, maybe they turn into adults like me with severe, severe constipation.  I am not sure why (or if) dairy causes the initial constipation yet, but I do know that lifelong gut immotility has led me to have some issues with bloating, probably SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth)–which makes sense because I was not getting the sweeping motion forward to keep the bacteria from creeping upwards.  I also have lots of food sensitivities (non-IgE) that I can’t help but wonder if they didn’t form through the years with the continued insult on the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.

It may be encouraging to know that my 7-year-old daughter was exceptionally sensitive to ALL dairy one year ago.   Even as a solely nursing infant, she would have longer than normal periods of no bowel movements, and I speculate it was due to my dairy intake.  She can now tolerate an occasional ice cream cone with no stalls in peristalsis.  We overhauled our diet in a big way, taking out “bads” and putting in “goods”, and maybe, just maybe, she can continue her dairy dalliances at times with exceptional nutrition otherwise.

The research article that Dr. Briffa was referring to was “The Role of Cow’s Milk Allergy in Pediatric Chronic Constipation: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”

For those who are following along regarding my GI progress, I am currently “taking my diet down” to I guess what would be considered Autoimmune Paleo, although I still adhere to GAPS.  I’ll let you know how it goes for my gut.  I’ve done it for four days now, and the last two days I’ve skipped my magnesium with success.  I believe any endeavor must have a goal.  By “taking my diet down,” I’m hoping to see improved bowel movements with either less magnesium or preferably none at all, less bloating, no irritable bowel symptoms, and no headaches.  I’m putting diet to the test.  We’ll see how much that honey, almond flour, egg, and fruit actually affect things here.

Other constipation related posts:

Slow and Steady Constipation Improvement (April 17, 2013)

Cow’s Milk and Refractory Constipation ((January 2, 2013)

A Doctor Visits the Doctor (December 5, 2012)

Whats’ Working (A Constipation Post) (November 3, 2012)

Is it Eggs (October 21, 2012)

Jordan and Steve (A Constipation Post) (October 17, 2012)

Bowels of Steel (October 8, 2012)

8 thoughts on “Dairy Causes Some Kids to Have Constipation

  1. William Neville

    Only A1 milk causes constipation. A2 milk does not cause constipation.

    A breakdown product of A1 millk is BCM-7. This has an opiate like structure. It therefore causes constipation and abdominal bloating. A2 milk has been available in a few UK supermarkets since October 2012. Changing to A2 mild relieves constipation. A1 milk also causes type 1 diabetes, heart disease and a host of other problems as described in these 2 books:

    1. Don’t drink A1 Milk by Brent Bateman
    2.The Devil in the Milk by Keith Woodford

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I have read a tiny bit about this. How does goat’s milk fit in with A1 and A2? Isn’t it all A2? We couldn’t tolerate the goat’s milk, either. What do you think? Thank you so much for commenting on my site so others can have information to learn about! It was by reading comments on other sites a year ago that I even came to contemplate any sort of dietary change! Thank you.

  2. Pingback: How To Handle Constipation For Good | Weight Loss And Skin Care

  3. Pingback: Slow and Steady Constipation Improvement | The HSD

  4. Jo TB

    I like Dr Briffa, his articles are always very informative. I have been reading his blog on and off for about 6 years now. I should do it more often.

    His first report struck a chord with me.
    It is well known that increasing dietary fiber increases fecal bulk and volume. Therefore in patients where there is already difficulty in expelling large fecal boluses through the anal sphincter, it is illogical to actually expect that bigger or more feces will ameliorate this problem. More and bulkier fecal matter can only aggravate the difficulty by making the stools even bigger and bulkier.


    I think that is what happened to me when I added the chia and flax seeds to my yoghurt. It worked as a fiber and made my feces bulk up. Which is why Psyllium husks never worked for me in the past, only made things worse.

    I started eating “brown” bread, thinking it was wholemeal bread, early on. In fact, I later learned that it was just white flour with malt extract added to give the bread that dark color. I had also experimented with baking my own bread using ancient flours like Kamut and spelt. But that didn’t help either as there was too much grain fiber present.

    To Dr Briffa’s report on milk:
    I started drinking lots of milk in my 20’s and continued to do so until my late 50’s. I have thought how has the quality of milk changed in that time. I had never heard of homogenising, until I started reading on the internet that milk wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: “the healthy white motor” I date from the pre-supermarket era!! Just after the war we only had white bread (all the fiber removed!!). I can’t remember if I was constipated as a child. We were still living in the dark ages with a dunny in the back yard (which was removed once a week by the council, boy I never envied that man’s job) and I can remember not wanting to go to the toilet in the dark.

    After I thought dairy was the problem and decided to cut it out of my diet I was tested for lactose allergy, but, of course, it came back negative.

    I have to get out of my head that fiber does not come from grains, but from vegetables and fruit.
    As you can see I have done a lot of thinking over the past decade. It’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded with all the heavy traffic going on!! 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hmmm…(in a sage, wise, psychiatric kind of voice)…I believe that your issues stem from fecal withholding from fear of–THE DUNNY!

      No. I’m joking. Hope you don’t mind. I just hate it when people suggest that problems like mine (ours) come from fecal withholding.

      I don’t know the answer on fiber. I know that I have tried it at extremes both ways for myself, with many different products. Neither approach worked or any food matter. I liked what you said the other day when you said something like, “I just focused on trying to take care of my flora.” That’s where I’m trying to sit back and stay for the time being. Just making sure I’m getting “good” things in and taking “bad” things out to take care of my flora.

      Dairy definitely was a problem for my middle child, but with GAPS diet she can now eat about anything and be regular. Was it the dairy or bad flora/bowel inflammation? I think probably more the latter.

      Nope. Fiber doesn’t have to come from those grains, does it!? That green plantain smoothie you make, well, that resistant starch acts just a lot like “fiber” down there!

      Good luck. We’ll keep thinking! I mean, we still have our colons (our second brains 🙂 ) so we still can! Just keep me posted on that plantain, yogurt, RS smoothie!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes, I have. I have read both ways. Conventional science says there’s no concern. Respected alternative advocates say there is. I, in this case, err on the side of alternative–although we do NOT drink raw milk. However, we have issues with dairy and we keep it generally to homemade yogurt and cheese (not homemade–I’m not there yet!) on occasion. Just seems like years after they “disprove” an alternative idea, it comes back and we find out there really is an issue. Sorry, no good article. 😦


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.