Always seek primary medical advice first, however if you’ve found your child has had chronic diarrhea, not only are electrolytes and probiotics important, but there may be a key mineral missing in their systems associated with this problem.

Now of course this doesn’t sound like the kind of topic every parent has an in-depth conversation with their kids about, but it’s important to start talking about “Poo!” so you have a good understanding of what is going on in their little systems. Because the digestive system is responsible for many health conditions and systems functions in the body, when there are signs of concern in the stool, it allows for practitioner evaluation of associated possible deficiencies or other causes.

Your GP is still your first go-to for peace of mind and if relevant, accurate diagnosis. From there if you wanted additional investigations it could include complete digestive stool analysis tests. At home, some signs to look out for are things such as undigested food or constant complaining of bloating or cramping.

If we have eradicated more serious conditions as well as bacterial or viral infections, a possible nutrient deficiency associated with diarrhea is zinc. When there is not enough zinc, this could affect the intestinal lining and the way that normal stool is usually being formed. One study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal found that zinc supplementation reduced the duration and frequency of chronic diarrhea in children.

Supplementation may not always be necessary, so it is good to be aware of zinc foods to include in your child’s weekly meal plans and lunch box snacks.

Some high zinc foods include:

  • Oysters (if you can get them to try any!)
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Turkey
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Cashew nuts
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas

(A. Kouris 2012)

It’s common for kids to be low in zinc, as it is needed for not only digestive functions but many other functions in the body such as brain, bone mineralization, immune system, wound healing, maintaining healthy skin and overall growth. It’s great to provide your child with a variety of zinc foods, whether animal or plant based.

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Article contributed by L.B.

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If your child is constantly complaining that they have cramps, bloating or you’ve noticed they do have chronic diarrhea, please feel free to make an enquiry for further investigations at Zen Childe.