Constipation is one of the most common ailments experienced by individuals, both young and old. The excessive retention of stool can be extremely uncomfortable, and a wide variety of remedies deal with the discomfort of poor elimination.
Many people consume more fiber or prunes, drink more water, or take a laxative such as magnesium to improve their daily stool elimination. But what they have not been told by their physicians is that constipation is a neurological problem.
The autonomic nervous system is a major part of the central nervous system that regulates our hormones, immune system, emotions, blood pressure, and organs, including the intestinal tract.
The autonomics can be injured with trauma to the head, emotional trauma, or inflammatory damage from the immune system.
The symptoms that occur from the autonomic damage may be either low blood pressure and oxygen delivery to the brain (headaches, neck tightness, poor concentration/focus, or fatigue) or a slowing of the intestine conveyor belt (i.e., intestinal tract).
When the intestinal tract slows, each segment of the intestine will develop particular symptoms. If the stomach does not push its contents forward efficiently, a person can experience heartburn, reflux, nausea, and bloating. Slow motility of the small intestine results in cramping and is referred to as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) if excessive.
Constipation is the direct result of the inadequacy of the nervous system to create the proper muscular contractions to propel the contents forward. In other words, constipation is, first and foremost, the result of the brain not working properly.
Symptom surveys performed after concussion injuries in soldiers and athletes reveal that anywhere from 50-70% experience some level of constipation within the first week after their injury (and heartburn occurs in about 30%).
Although changes in diet and the use of OTC laxative agents can be useful when the constipation is uncomfortable, you can also work on improving autonomic nervous system function with high doses of fish oil, olive oil (certified by the COOC), and the use of a prebiotic plant fiber called inulin to help balance your intestinal bacteria and lower inflammation.
With time, those dietary additions stand a good chance of putting your constipation into remission.
We are new to this Protocol..I read the book and we are planning to purchase the supplements..i have a doubt about the different mgs mentioned in the dosage chart..As mentioned in the chart, the appropriate one for 7-10 year old is 1000-1500 mg but the one I see on iherb is of 2840 mg..so trying to understand what’s the difference..I request u to pl guide me is this the correct one for my 9year old son..
Doctor my question is about inulin my daughter has seizures and bad constipation ,we do the fish oil the olive oil but inulin make her seizures worse what can we do ?
This is too complicated to discuss via the blog.
Hello Dr Nemecheck. My son (diagnosed with ASD and ADD)turning 7 year old this september is doing the protocol for 27 days.Ive noticed his weight is dropping and starts to vomit(2x) on the 27th day.
I am worried .Should I temporarily stop his intake of Fish oil(2.5ml), Inulin (1/8) and EVOO (7.5ml)?
Thank you for the reply
If a child is vomiting from a virus, tainted food or anything, it is ok to stop the protocol for a few days until the are doing better again.
Dr. Nemecheck, How are you? Hope all is well. Question: Can a concussion from a car accident, down the line, cause Aneurysms, imbalances in the nervous systems? etc?
I am uncertain if it can be responsible for future aneurysms but certainly can led to chronic autonomic dysfunction.
Hello Dr.Nemechek, my son 3,5yrs old has a fish and seafood intolerance. In this case, do we need to consider taking vegan Algae Omega 3 DHA (from the same recommended brand NN)? My son recently had a problem with increased burping as we used fish oil Omega 3 NN. for 7 months. We stopped everything for 2 weeks, burping is almost entirely gone and he feels really great and has a lot of gains in these two weeks and in the same period we got a result for his food sensitivity. And now we want to continue (start over) with… Read more »
Stick with the regular fish oil. The burping is a sign of autonomic dysfunction and possible bacterial overgrowth as compared to food intolerance.
Also be careful of blood food sensitivity testing – it is highly inaccurate especially in anyone suspected of SIBO
Hello again Dr. Nemecheck, I left a message on your blogsite about 3 months ago, unable to locate it. Just updating you. My daughter is diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation called Wiedemann Steiner syndrome. Most of the children with this condition suffer from chronic constipation, and some, so extremely severe resulting in surgery’s. My daughter is 4 and has it on this level. We have been on protocol for 3 months, and while I have seen major changes in her awareness, affection, and active behavior, im aware the constipation is going totake time to resolve ,and I am prepared… Read more »
None at this point but good luck with the surgery.
My son is 12 years old ADHD. Been on concerta since April. We started oils only in May. My main concern he had a seizure last week Friday. How can i help him?
Fish oil and olive oil will not trigger a seizure.
These will lower inflammation and often reduce seizures especially if combined with inulin or rifaximin to balance the gut.
Hi Dr Nemechek, thank you for sharing your protocol. My son is 4.5 years and has been in this protocol for 10months. He had steady gains in receptive language and is slowly picking up on his expressive language. His awareness has also improved. A few areas that are still lagging are his constipation, hyperactivity, aggression and tantrum. His bowel movement is every 5 days or so. I also feed him magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) but it doesn’t help much. Is constipation a sign that he’s not recovering well? His stomach is usually bloated in the evening. His aggression has improved… Read more »
Don’t worry too much about the constipation. As long as the neurodevelopmental issues are recovering, the constipation and bloating (both are the result of autonomic dysfunction) will eventually recovery as well.
My 19 y.o. ASD/OCD gastroparetic son had a colonoscopy this week that showed some areas of very wide colon and other areas that were quite narrowed. The terms “tortuous” and “atonic” were used to describe it. The doctor said without manometry or a special tracking device he would swallow that would essentially be “read” at 24 different points in it’s journey, it can’t be determined if this is a muscular or nerve issue with the colon. In my mind I was wondering if this is the kind of thing the Protocol can help recover. Does the vagus nerve also control… Read more »
This is almost always neurological and gastroparesis and other motility issues with the gut tend to recover nicely with the protocol.
Recovery of the gut is steady but slower than most teenagers and adults have the patience for (maybe a year for near normal recovery) and generally require VNS.
But a great deal of symptoms improve occurs without the VNS. I wouldn’t wait for the VNS in order to start.
Thank you! We will see you July 29th! Can’t wait. We are up for whatever degree of patience is needed to recover him. God bless!
Hello doctor I truly appreciate your research and many thanks for your help. My son was born by c section,and developed sepsis during his hospital stay and was given lot of antibiotics and was in Iccu for 15 days.so he was constipated through out .He had a pervasive developmental disorder and moderate asd.Now he is 11year old.Before I came aware of your research I was giving him fish oil and on probiotics.Now he is highly verbal but now his issues are his emotional dysregulation and impulsive in school.After reading your book I stoped all the probiotics and started with 1/4… Read more »
It might be the inulin isn’t working at all.
Rifaximin might be the next step. Please discuss this with your physician.
My son is 6.5 y.o Non verbal ASD with Constipation , severe sleep disturbances and few words(he can repeat after me) . He is fully into protocol since 1 Jan 2019. I started with 1tsp inulin, 4 Nordic fishes and 1 – 2 tablespoon EVOO in food (all recommended brands.) He was more obedient (compliance) before NP. And right after a week in protocol, he became bit of rebel which I thought could be awakening. After a month I up the inulin by 1/4 tsp as we did not see any gains. Immediately after rise in inulin, his sleeps issues… Read more »
Lots of improvement so far.
Sit tight a little longer.
Our 19 y.o. ASD/OCD son just finished round # 3 Rifaxamin for SIBO after being hospitalized for self injury after 6 days of constipation. Even one day of constipation can lead to head self-injuring in the past. Six was unreal. He was confused beyond all imagining. Prior to this, we had a fine tuned regimen of morning colace and an evening Mag Citrate pill but he seems to have become resistant to that. We have been using a half bottle of liquid mag citrate which even that has stopped working. His new psychiatrist in conjunction with an integrative physician recommended… Read more »
I’m sorry but with such a complicated case I recommend you consult the gastroenterologist.
Mr. Nemechek, My son who is now 10 has been on your protocol for about a year now. I’ve read your book and have him on the full dose of inulin, fish oil and EVOO with all the recommended brands. I have seen some change since he initially began but since he is very high functioning I’m guessing it will take longer to see real changes. My issue is with his weight gain. His weight is less than 5% of his age range. Do I continue to wait to see if this changes or is there anything I can do… Read more »
I would discuss possibly treating his bacterial overgrowth with rifaximin with his pediatrician.
Sounds like the inulin is not effective for him and the persistent SIBO is causing malabsorption and stunting his growth
Hello! My son almost 5 had severe constipation and was hospitalized. We found out the cause was Sibo. So he took 2 rounds of antibiotics( Flagyl) and during this time I read your book and started him on Inulin and EVOO. I haven’t started the fish oil mainly because of his food sensitivities allergies. We have been doing inulin about 1/4 tsp 2-3 times a day and EVOO 1/4 tsp twice a day and he only eats potatoes so I make them with EVOO. His bowl movements are fine now and my question is about his bursts of laughter that… Read more »
Reading my protocol will help you understand what is happening.
You can purchase a copy at https://autonomicrecovery.shop
My now 21 year old daughter suffered 4 concussions over 2 years and was nearly bedridden for close to a year with severe migraines and many other symptoms. She was eventually healed when we stumbled upon Matrix Repatterning Therapy and in 9 appointments she was packing for college. She is well enough to be in school full time but still has residual symptoms. Constipation/ loose stool, acne (especially on her back), depression, anxiety, food intolerance, chronic sinusitis. She had her tonsils removed 6 weeks ago. She’s working on her BSN RN and lives in a sorority so stress is part… Read more »
I would read the protocol before starting this. It explains everything you need to know.
You can get a copy at https://autonoicrecovery.shop
Hello dr Nemecheck i had a baby month ago and am breastfeeding he is not passing a stool everyday and seems Constipated how much inulin can i give him directly he is turning two months old . i am also taking 1/2 teaspoon i am trying to get my dr to write me script for Rifaximin how much should i have her write a script for 10 days ? 14? course
Thank you Dr Nemecheck
My toddler is on your protocol asd dx hoping to see some great changes soon
I cannot give specific dosage information such as this without you being a patient.
My book discusses this and maybe your pediatrician can give additional advise.
Hello doctor my son is 6 years old with asd and adhd diagnoses ..he is taking the ADHD medicine (clonedine) every morning.. we are starting your protocol soon but wondering if we should stop the clonidine or not. Thank you so much.
I recommend continuing the clonidine as recommended by the prescribing physician.
Eventually your son won’t need it any longer.
My 9yrs old son has struggled with constipation ever since he was a baby. He does not have ASD and he is a bright very sociable boy who performs very well academically but has fluctuating concentration and processing speed issues. I have read your book and found he fits to all of what you described leading to accumulative brain injury. He was born prematurely, i had antibiotics during delivery, he had respiratory distress and stayed in NICU for 10 days, received antibiotics there then was seldom treated with antibiotics during his early childhood till 7 years old. He also fell… Read more »
Start the inulin. His constipation might actually improve. If not, just use some magnesium until his constipation resolves.
Hi Doctor! I am constipated ever since, i don’t poop well, I am currently breastfeeding (g6pd baby) Can i take inulin?? does it have any effect on breastmilk and on her?? Hoping for your help.. Thank You from Philippines.
Yes, inulin is safe during breast-feeding
My daughter had a hypoxic brain injury at birth resulting in athetoid cerebral palsy (injury to basal ganglia). She has been constipated since infancy due to feeding difficulties (as in many kids with CP) and GI suspects she now has megacolon.. We got her up to full doses on the protocol this week. Haven’t been seeing any big changes. She does not have any behavioral issues. Do you think the protocol will be helpful for either her brain injury or the constipation eventually? When might we expect to see some changes?
I think there is a good chance you will see some specific things improve.
Remeber, you’ve only just started and constipation is an autonomic disorder and often doesn’t significantly improve right away.