Normal Vs Common: Colic and Reflux
The most “common” pediatric symptoms and conditions that come into our offices are Colic and Gastric Reflux. Parents often state that their child has not slept well for many nights, has been crying non-stop, has had abnormal bowel movements, and “spits up” several times a day. Not only is this effecting the health of the child, but also the parents, because let’s face it…we need our sleep too!
The first concept we focus on in our office is to change the perspective in which we view these symptoms and to shy away from blaming them on a medically diagnosed condition such as Colic or Gastric Reflux. Both of these conditions however “common” are definitely not normal. Although, many times parents are told by their pediatric or family physician that this is normal and that the child will grow out of it and subsequently even prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms.
It is very important to understand as a parent what the difference is between “common” and “normal.” What is often considered to be common is certainly not normal, and I began to realize this when observing our son Maximus grow into his body and experience this new life. My wife and I would frequently interact with other parents and discuss some of the challenges and even triumphs they have been experiencing in their children. To the triumphs we could relate, but we found it hard to relate to parents who were all experiencing certain challenges with their child, particularly with Coilc and Gastric Reflux.
The more we began to talk with different families, the more we began to see just how common this was in almost every child, except our own. We began to wonder why it was that Colic and Reflux was so prevalent and even more so, why none of the parents were getting any relief of symptoms through the advice given by the pediatrician. At the end of most of our conversations, we always ask the question “when was the last time you had your child’s spine examined by your family chiropractor?” To my surprise, most parents had said that they do not have a family chiropractor and even more commonly that they see no need for chiropractic care for their children.
Certainly as a family chiropractor myself I felt the need to implore my own experiences in addition to the scientific data which supports our care in children. Now from my perspective, it was normal to have a child examined by a chiropractor since I had done so to my own son since his birth. Again, the difference between common and normal became the underlying factor which dictated the decision making of parents. So here I am, to explain in plain English and bold text, it is NOT NORMAL for your child to have Colic and Reflux, and even more importantly it should be NORMAL for you to take your child to a chiropractor if and when they do experience unusual symptoms.
Pediatric chiropractic is centered on three elements of philosophy, science, and art. Its philosophy is centered around spinal health and its relationship to the neurologic system as it relates to the expression of natural healing and full body coordination. Its science which is taught in accredited schools around the world proves this philosophy through various physical examinations, diagnostic, and laboratory studies. Once chiropractic science has been properly utilized to determine the specific nature and health of the spine, the physician will offer an artistic correction to the spine. This correction, when done appropriately at the right place and right time, will free neurological disturbances in the central nerve system and create a more positive environment for the child to heal normally.
Chiropractic tends to shy away from the diagnosis of such conditions as Colic and Reflux because such labeling only describes the symptomatology rather than the true cause of symptoms. It then becomes the responsibility of the chiropractor to do very little adjusting once a correction is made to allow the healing process to ensue.
So what exactly causes Colic and Gastric Reflux?
Neurologic Interferences occur when a spinal bone or cranial bone is misaligned. When this happens a nerve begins to underperform. This in effect will cause the sphincters in the stomach and intestines to work improperly, decrease the peristaltic movement in the GI tract, and even lead to gas buildup or constipation. When the sphincters are not getting the appropriate nerve signals to provide accurate tension of the muscle, the child will “spit up” if the sphincter is too relaxed or become bloated and constipated if the sphincters are too tense. Sphincters are like doors in our GI system that move food through different portions of the digestive system. Peristalsis is the wavelike flow of its contents which pushes it all through. If the doors are not opening and closing correctly, the movement of food is disrupted and can cause the child a lot of cramping and even sharp knifelike pain. Unfortunately for us as parents, words aren’t part of the program at birth so their only means of communication is through crying. Restore the nerve supply to NORMAL and the child’s body goes back to NORMAL, and subsequently sleep will become very COMMONLY NORMAL for everyone to enjoy.
Breast Milk is the natural and yes, normal food for your child. That’s how nature intended it to be. Not only is breast milk rich in nutrients, enzymes, and probiotics not found in formulas, it provides a calming experience for both you and your child. In fact, a study in 2005 by the University of Oregon found that breastfeeding reduced the prevalence of colic and postpartum depression by over 50% in just 6 weeks. Ensuring the child’s gut has the proper nutrition will reduce the presence of gas buildup and constipation which also slows digestion.
Environmental exposures to toxic chemicals, medications, and not enough oxygen or sunlight also play a role in the child’s health. It is important to keep in mind that crying, spitting up, and abnormal bowel movements are not always symptoms of Colic or Reflux. Spitting up and bloating of gas also can be a normal response by the body to an abnormal chemical or food that is being introduced into the body through soaps, topical creams, toys, baby foods, and even breast milk. In addition, adequate sunlight and oxygen promote normal calibration of the child’s sleep cycles. Depriving them of nature can often times be the sole reason for their disrupted sleep patterns and physical health.
No matter the health condition, it is important to realize and understand the role of chiropractic care in the health of the entire family. Our neurology coordinates the function of absolutely every system in the body and is vitally important to our natural expression of life. Transcendence Family Institute has and will continue to provide empowering advice and care to families with hopes of transforming modern concepts of health into vitalistic concepts. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our family chiropractors, please contact us today. You can also follow this link below which will navigate you to the world’s largest collection of pediatric chiropractic research and articles.
Resources and References:
Exploring the Influence of Psychological Factors on Breastfeeding Duration, Phase 1: Perceptions of Mothers and Clinicians