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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Taddiken

Gut Problems and Behavior in Kids

With your kids spending less time at school or playing with friends—and more time at home—are you struggling with behavioral problems?

I’m not promising resolution of all of your challenges at home with this single post, but there’s something I want you to consider.

A recent study out of UC Davis Health found that some problem behaviors in preschool-aged children (including sleep problems and bodily harm) are linked with common GI symptoms—like stomach pain, gas, bloating, or constipation.


So gut problems might be creating behavioral problems in kids?

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Loads of evidence have been suggesting a link between gut health and emotional health for years. We call it the gut-brain-axis or sometimes even refer to the intestinal tract as “the second brain.”

  • The vagus nerve communicates between the brain and the gut, like a 2-way street

  • Microbes in the gut release compounds that activate the vagus nerve

  • Microbes in the gut influence everything from inflammation to mood

There can be a LOT of different explanations for why children act up. But let’s not forget that one of the reasons may be entirely out of their control—and might begin in the gut. Here are some ways you can support healthier gut and digestive function for your kids:

  • Load up on fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods that feed the good bacteria in the gut

  • Eat fermented foods, like yogurt, or supplement a probiotic

  • Drink plenty of water to support regular and healthy bowel function

Most of all—hang in there! You and your kids will get through these challenging times. We’re here to help you come out the other side stronger. Call our office so we can give you the personalized attention and recommendations you deserve!

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