One of the most common conditions pediatric chiropractors address in infants is constipation. While the American Academy of Family Practice acknowledges that constipation in infants is fairly common, only 50-70% of these children demonstrate long-term improvement under medical care. It is not uncommon for parents to bring children into my office who have not had a bowel movement for > 7 days, and often longer than 10 days. Problematically, it seems that the standard of care in the pediatrics world is to allow children to “grow out of it,” while supplementing with laxatives and glycerin enemas. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these cases express constipation as a symptom of underlying structural and neurological problem.
Herein lies the problem with the conventional wisdom: when a baby – who is generally born with a leaky gut – is given medication that wipes out her normal biome, her immune development will be hampered. Couple this problem with oft-concomitant birth trauma (which occurs in some form in nearly all modern hospital births), hyper/hypochloridria, Th2-dominance, heavy-metal exposure, viral infection, etc and we have a perfect storm. Fixing symptoms of discomfort at the expense of overall neural and immune competence, particularly in the first several months of life, is risky and usually yields lifelong side-effects.
As common as these symptoms are in an infant, they are not ok. When Cassidey first presented to my office, she was this kiddo: constipated, bloated, colicky, uncomfortable. In examination, several markers of spinal trauma were noted that frequently contribute to these symptoms, manifesting typically as asymmetrical primitive reflexes, however, because these markers were likely present in-utero and became structural habits as Cassidey began pushing up from her tummy and crawling, it took some time to undo them. Since stabilizing her early on, Cassidey has had no difficulty passing bowel movements whatsoever, is no longer gassy and has met her neurological benchmarks.
Dr Daniel Bronstein is the clinic director of Beacon Chiropractic in Grover Beach CA and specializes in the chiropractic care of children and pregnant mommas. He is Webster Technique Certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and devotes the core of practice to helping children and families live healthy lives.
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