The Risks of Daily Miralax
Pediatricians sometimes recommend that parents give their young children daily doses of the laxative Miralax for constipation problems. There is growing evidence that this is not a good idea and may be connected to serious neurological problems.
There are safer alternatives, many of which are related to dietary changes that can benefit the child in many ways (and maybe the parents too). It’s also best to try and figure out what is at the root of the constipation. It’s a symptom usually, not an actual diagnosis of its own. (sort of like how sciatica is often a symptom, not a diagnosis by itself–something is causing it). It could be a result of something not working well internally, interactions of medications and/or supplements being taken, a psychological response to trauma and more.
Here are some examples of other things to try: (Some of these would need to be combined, some continued daily and some can be occasional.)
Prune juice (kids often like it because it’s sweet)
Milk of Magnesia
Magnesium oxide (5mg/lb of body weight & adjust as necessary in reaction to stool condition. It is less easily absorbed so it loosens stool as it passes through the system)
Epsom Salts & baking soda baths
Exercise & massage (even some gentle belly rubbing clockwise around the belly button)
Cutting out dairy– particularly milk and cheese (a very common problem for digestive systems; and milk, despite what the dairy industry will tell you, is NOT necessary for children or adults and often difficult to digest and process)
Cutting out wheat (which is often hard to digest and process), apple juice & other commercially prepared juices
Adding a daily probiotic, like Culturelle
Seeing a chiropractor that specializes in children
Adding apricots, coconut oil, flaxseed and more water & fiber to the diet
Myofascial release, osteopathic treatment or other physical modalities
Please check out these links and learn more about the potential dangers of daily Miralax use.
“Technically, PEG is an osmotic laxative. Because of this property, it blocks the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Its extended use may result in severe malnutrition-related disorders, particularly in young children and older adults. Autism is one such disorder. It may take only two weeks of an acute iron or iodine deficiency to cause autism in a child younger than two.”
“Miralax, or the generic polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350) laxative, is being prescribed for children at an alarming rate. Toddlers are being prescribed daily doses for months, or even years, at a time. This is really astounding since the directions on the bottle say that the product is intended for adults 17 years and older, and not for more than 7 days.”
I know parents are just doing the best they can, and I’m not blaming them at all. Just please, QUESTION EVERYTHING, even when it comes from your trusted, well-intended doctor.