Cow's Milk As a Cause of Constipation in Children

Sixty-nine children (mean age, 5 years; range, 6 months to 14 years) with chronic constipation removed cow's milk from their diet for 3 weeks. Twenty-seven of them had no constipation after 1 to 5 days, then a return of constipation within 2 to 5 days after reintroduction of 500 ml per day of cow's milk, and then again no constipation after milk was again withdrawn.

Another 8 children had a slow improvement over a period of 1 to 3 weeks during cow's milk avoidance, and did not get worse when 500 ml pes day of cow's milk was reintroduced for 3 weeks.

So, a total of 51% of the children showed a positive response to cow's milk avoidance. There was no difference between responders and non responders with respect to serum IgE antibodies to cow's milk proteins, which suggests that milk-induced constipation is not mediated by IgE.

Goat's milk is a good alternative to cow's milk.

Alan Gaby also suggests considering Probiotic Therapy
In another study he tells us that 44 infants at least 6 months of age (mean, 8 months) with functional chronic constipation were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938) at a dose of 108 colony-forming units once a day or placebo for 8 weeks.

The frequency of bowel movements was significantly higher in the active-treatment group than in the placebo group at week 2 (p < 0.05), week 4 (p < 0.01), and week 8 (p < 0.03). No adverse effects were reported.

6 May 2011