Comment on “Second Thoughts On Pills For Babies Who Spit Up,” reported on Morning Edition for 11/07/11 where I discuss the role that toxins and/or emotional trauma may play in causing the spitting up in babies, and how mind-body medicine techniques help to find the cause and treat it.
NPR reporter Allison Aubrey investigates the dramatic increase in the number of prescriptions being written for medication for babies who are spitting up (a 16-fold increase in proton-pump inhibitor medicines). However, Pediatrician Dr. Eric Hassall says there hasn’t been a 16-fold increase in the number of babies with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder). He found that often a diet change in the mother can dramatically decrease the incidence of spitting up and digestive upset in the babies. Dr. Benjamin Gold cautions that by swinging the pendulum the other way (calling all of these medicines “bad”) is not the solution and calls for better diagnostic tools. Present research says that very few babies suffer from corrosive esophagitis (from acid reflux) which would suggest these medications as a solution.
My Comment Posted at NPR
There are many reasons for why babies spit up, none of which have been addressed in this report:
- The babies may be emotionally upset. They are not completely unaware of what is happening around them. Not being able to understand what they see, hear, smell, feel does not remove them from emotional trauma. They are still getting used to a very unpredictable world around them and even the most minor event can cause enough upset to affect their digestion.
- Toxins in the environment can get into the mother’s breast milk and damage the product, or into the bodies of the babies and directly affect the action of the lower esophageal sphincter, enough to cause spitting up. The baby doesn’t know that spitting up should not happen. A fish doesn’t know it’s in water.
- Most parents have to learn when and how to pick up a baby. You see their mistakes on many America’s Funniest Home Videos and on YouTube all the time. The baby is still learning how to control its lower esophageal sphincter and the parent suddenly causes the baby to increase its abdominal pressure on the stomach. Of course the baby is going to spit up in those cases.
Solutions: see my Blog “Mind-Body Medicine for Babies” at /marthalhyde.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/mind-body-medicine-for-babies/.
More of My Ideas
Toxic Damage and GERD
We need to rethink GERD and its cause. I strongly suspect that, in most people, a toxin is interfering with the action of the lower esophageal sphincter (see the image at Medline Medical Encyclopedia Image), which would normally guard against GERD. Many metals in the air get into our bodies very easily, and they do not have to get there via the lungs or swallowed in our foods. If a virus can get to the heart through the gingiva in the mouth, so can toxins. If toxins can get to the heart, they can travel straight down and follow the adventitia surrounding the esophagus into the sub-serosa surrounding the stomach and from there come into direct contact with the nerves and muscles making up that sphincter. See my Blog post ““Toxins” for more discussion on toxins.
We are seeing toxins get into babies more and more now. I suggest that the following may all be conditions showing toxic damage: SIDS, poor eyesight, hearing loss, extremely sensitive guts, autism, obesity, and now, GERD in some cases (although in this report Dr. Eric Hassall mentions that the number of cases of GERD has not risen with the number of requests for anti-GERD medicine). These toxins cannot be gotten rid of by the liver because many never reach it, either because they do such damage to blood vessels, or cannot cross the epithelium lining the capillary.
Transport of Nutrients
Furthermore, we also have to remember that breasts, like sweat glands, are hypodermal organs (see my post “What is the Hypodermis?“), and so are going to be among the first organs affected by toxins that travel in interstitial fluids. Just saying that the blood carries all of these things only handles one aspect of nutritional support. Once the blood dumps the nutrients out, they have to get to the cells, which requires a great deal of organization in the support system in the hypodermis and connective tissues of the body. Except for fat, these nutrients depend upon simple diffusion to get to the cells and cross the cell membrane. Since diffusion depends upon a concentration or electrical charge gradient to occur, diffusion must be regulated carefully in the body. Fats (lipids), because they are non-polar, must be transported in a different way.
All interstitial fluids (which carry nutrients and waste from metabolizing cells or blood) are eventually continuous, and flood the connective tissue support system, once they leave an organ. So even deep organs share fluids which pass into the hypodermal fluids. For this reason, many mothers with lots of toxins running in the hypodermal fluid channels (not necessarily blood vessels) may have damaged milk glands, producing inferior milk, and fussy babies who spit up a lot may reflect poor nutrition as Dr. Hassall discovered in some mothers who restricted certain proteins from their diets (affecting their breast milk).
Furthermore, some toxins can actually get into the milk, as we know that pesticides from the grains fed to cattle can get into cows’ milk. Formula milk, made from pesticide-contaminated cows, may also be causing problems for babies. How many doctors have ordered a spectral analysis of hypodermal fluid (of mother or infant) or of the mother’s breast milk in cases where parents are complaining of the spitting up by the baby? The babies “know,” (at least unconsciously) that they are not getting what they need, and will reject milk that is not helpful to them.
Re-Thinking Chemistry of the Body
We have to think about the damage caused by inorganic chemicals, not just some organic chemicals, which the liver has evolved to deal with. By thinking inorganically, we can realize how a chemical can damage certain cells and not others. Those making a lot of protein (e.g., fibroblasts in the connective tissue or milk glands) will be more resistant to chemicals that damage or interfere with epithelium or its derivatives, and vice versa.
Furthermore, metal elements like aluminum, excess iron, tin, zinc all are attracted to phosphate which is in ready abundance in the hypodermal fluids. This makes them unlikely to ever reach the liver, and even if they did, the liver would face havoc if it split off the phosphate to combine it with chlorine or bromine so it can be taken to the kidney. Too much phosphate interferes with the liver’s production of hormones and enzymes.
The treatments provided by drugs do nothing to get rid of the toxins or emotional problems that may lie at the root of the cause. As with most prescriptions, they only cover up the symptoms, not cure it. The baby may “outgrow” spitting up but not fully recover and may face a lifetime of digestive or other problems.
What is a mother to do? Ask the baby what is wrong, using mind-body medicine techniques (mindfulness and Muscle Reflex Testing or Applied Kinesiology). It sounds impossible, but we pick up electrical signals in the skin that tell us the state of their bodies. Using muscle reflex testing, we can ask the baby’s brain specific “yes” or “no’ questions (it takes practice and is best done by a trained professional, preferably a physician, who will know better which questions to ask) to find out what is wrong. Each of the conditions that might lead to spitting up (emotional distress, infection, or toxin) can be ruled out with mind-body medicine. Mindfulness teaches us to have very great sensitivity to others, to the point of even anticipating what they are going to say next. It also helps mothers to figure out what is wrong with babies much more quickly than mothers who have not practiced it. After all, she shared her nervous system with that of the developing baby for nine months, and her brain stored that information about the baby, giving her the edge over the father for “reading” her child (giving credence to the notion of “mother’s intuition.”)
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© Copyright 2014 by Martha L. Hyde and https://marthalhyde.wordpress.com.