By Wiggy Saunders MD
Constipation causes all sorts of problems.
If your child is having a difficult time going #2 regularly you can understand how much this affects their quality of life. It can cause abdominal pain, bloating, lack of appetite not to mention irritability, behavior changes and even bed-wetting.
As an Integrative Medicine physician, my job is to look for the root cause of the problem and a lot of times problems start in the gut. Having a functioning digestive system is key when trying to improve an individual’s overall health. Because without a good gut, the rest of the body will suffer.
With the back up of waste from constipation a plethora of problems can result. It is the breeding ground for bad bugs (dysbiosis), yeast overgrowth (candida), and recirculates toxins that need to be eliminated from the body.
One of the first things that we need to do to improve gut function is to get things moving.
It is estimated that up to 30% of children suffer from some degree of constipation. 5% of all visits to Pediatricians are for constipation as are 25% of visits to Peds GI doctors.
Constipation in children is a major problem. It is estimated that up to 30% of children suffer from some degree of constipation. 5% of all visits to Pediatricians are for constipation as are 25% of visits to Peds GI doctors.
Unfortunately, what we are taught in medical school is to use Miralax first and if that doesn’t work to refer to a Gastroenterologist. The more that I learn about Miralax, the less comfortable I am in giving it to my kids. As Dr. Mercola writes:
Miralax is advertised as natural. It's described as a tool to pull water into your colon so your gut can eliminate naturally. But there's nothing natural about Miralax, as its active ingredient polyethylene glycol is a petroleum derivative. In essence, it's plastic.
What's more, Miralax is not approved for use in children. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved it for adult usage and even then only for seven days at a time.
With scrutiny increasing, and a new study into their side effects underway, it's time to think twice before turning to laxatives for constipation.
FDA Study Detected Antifreeze Chemicals in Laxatives
In 2008, the FDA tested eight batches of Miralax because "many of the reported adverse events were classic symptoms of ethylene glycol ingestion." Ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) are ingredients in antifreeze so, in other words, the government tested the laxative after receiving reports of children exhibiting symptoms of antifreeze poisoning following their use.
The study "confirmed the presence of small amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol in all lots tested," with the FDA describing them as impurities resulting from the manufacturing process. Those results were not released and only came to light after being "buried in the agency's brief to researchers, issued last year ." Yet, in 2009 the FDA's drug safety oversight board raised several concerns about the use of these laxatives in children.
They noted that children may be more susceptible to variations in PEG product quality and effects of large doses of PEG given for weeks or longer is not known. They also stated that "it is unknown if prolonged duration in solution would change the chemical properties of PEG-3350," or, in other words, what might happen when the substances are ingested and/or metabolized.
In addition to finding EG and DEG in the products, PEG may be breaking down into EG and DEG in your body (polyethylene glycol is a chain of EG molecules).
Following thousands of complaints from parents, many of them in discussion groups online, the Empire State Consumer Project petitioned the FDA to investigate the safety of PEG 3350 in 2012. Part of the petition called for the FDA to add a boxed warning about children on PEG 3350 laxatives, which the FDA has not acted on.
However, in September 2014 the FDA awarded a nearly $325,000 grant to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to study whether PEG 3350 is absorbed by the very young and whether it contributes to the development of psychiatric problems. Among the adverse events reported, many of them are neurological in nature. According to the FDA:
"Neuropsychiatric adverse events [in children using PEG products] may include seizures, tremors, tics, headache, anxiety, lethargy, sedation, aggression, rages, obsessive-compulsive behaviors including repetitive chewing and sucking, paranoia, and mood swings."
As you can see Miralax is a less than ideal solution. That’s why we made something better.
We are on a mission to improve the health of children and families through toxic free products. We couldn’t find a safe, natural alternative for bowel regularity. So, we did our research and found something that I believe can work even better.
How Magnesium can help
It all started when we came across a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology that was evaluating the safety of Magnesium Oxide in kids with constipation. There were several things in this article that made me think that we were on to something:
Our goal was to develop a Magnesium powdered drink that is safe, effective, and great-tasting. The first two are relatively easy, we knew based on the study and additional research that using Magnesium Oxide as the active ingredient would be both safe and effective. The most challenging part was making it taste great so that kids would love drinking it.
I wouldn't recommend taking or drinking Magnesium Oxide by itself as it tastes like a mix between chalk and baking powder. Needless to say, your kids aren't going drink straight magnesium oxide powder.
We tested sample after sample to find the right combination of texture, flavor, and sweetness using only natural ingredients.
It took us close to a year in development, but we feel that the final product is going to be a game changer for kids’ digestion.
Mag-Go uses Magnesium Oxide in the studied dose (600mg) and is enhanced with Vitamin C, stevia, and natural flavors so that your kids will actually want to drink it.
We have been using it consistently on our older son and it works wonders! Our beta testers have also been using it on their kids and the feedback has been extremely positive. Here are a couple examples:
"Both of my boys LOVE the taste. My 4 year old has trouble "going" while we are away from home and I am so glad I have a natural option to give him that he enjoys too!"
"My little guy has had trouble with regular bowel movements and Mag-Go works! Not only is it effective, he loves drinking it as it tastes like berry Kool-Aid, but without the junk".
- Constipation is a major problem affecting so many kids
- Miralax is less than ideal and could be linked with many problems
- Mag-Go is backed by research, safe and effective, and tastes great.
I hope that this article sheds some light on making potty time easier the natural way. Enjoy your Mag-Go!