Due to my professional background, sometimes interesting things regarding the health of infants and children pass over my desk. Today I have chosen a few of these items to share with you!
I am over halfway through the book “What Babies and Children Really Need” by Sally Goodard Blythe in order to write a review for Donna Simmons over at Christopherus (so look for a review soon!). In it was a very interesting quote about zinc, and I thought I would share it with you all:
“Boys need five times the amount of zinc in utero that girls need (for formation of testes), so commonly it is the boys who are grossly deficient. This may result in poor growth and general development both before and after birth, colic and diarrhoea, poor sucking, late teething and other milestones and generally retarded development both physically and mentally. Hyperactivity, dyslexia, and behavioural problems will mar the school career and general growth and puberty may be delayed and/or incomplete.”
This passage went on to say that many children diagnosed with ADHD have low zinc levels. For girls, signs of zinc deficiency show up around age 9, when the ovaries begin to function in preparation for puberty years later. Low zinc status may also linked to anorexia.
Very interesting stuff!
On to other health notes:
The second piece of information that passed my desk regarding children’s health was one regarding encopresis. For those of you who have never heard of this debilitating condition, encopresis is an elimination disorder that affects up to 3 percent of children ages 4 and over and is found more commonly in boys. It is essentially fecal incontinence over constipation. The onset is usually due to chronic constipation which causes a stretching of the colon-rectum area, which leads to decreased sensitivity. This results in the child not being able to feel the need to go to the bathroom and the softer stool starts leaking around the blockage of constipation. This causes emotional distress for the older child who understands these “accidents” are happening, and really affects quality of life.
Traditional approaches such as stool softener and laxatives, regulation of fiber, scheduled toileting all seem to fail in treating this condition.
Now a program at Saint Louis University Hospital is having some success with children ages 7 and up who have this condition in as little as 12 to 15 weeks with pelvic floor training.
This could be just the breakthrough parents of children with encopresis are waiting for!
(Addendum: A lovely mother emailed me with some more resources for parents whose children are dealing with encopresis. She writes there is an active forum on Yahoo Groups for parents of children with encopresis. There are over 400 members currently. It’s a great place for people to feel that they are not alone and share advice. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/encopresis_kids/
She also writes she has found one program to be quite helpful for parents who have tried everything (including treatment centers). The name of the program is Soiling Solutions. Here is the website: http://www.soilingsolutions.com/
This is a home-based treatment with an active parent forum that includes a GI doctor, a behavioral psychologist (founder of SS), a social worker, and many parents in the trenches of helping their children.
The other program you might want to refer folks to is the U Can Poop Too program. www.ucanpooptoo.com/ This is a study out of a university. Forget which one. The site is down temporarily today. Parents can participate in the study and get help for free. This is an online program —
LATEST UPDATE 7/13/10 - This came to me from one of the investigators of this study: “The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the intervention was developed at the University of Virginia. The purpose of this study is to determine whether an Internet-delivered intervention can help treat encopresis. Thus, all families with access to the Internet could potentially be eligible to participate as there is no face-to-face involvement.
The link you have on your site is correct:
But unfortunately, on the day of the posting we had severe weather that put our servers down for about 36 hours. The good news is that all is back up and running smoothly.”
Thank you so much for this update!! Hope this is helpful to some families!)
Thank you to my readers, who are the experts! :) Many blessings!
Here is an one mother’s story regarding vaccinations from the Christopherus website: http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/early-years-nurturing-young-children-at-home/the-waldorf-baby/thinking-about-vaccination.html
Here is a book regarding an anthroposophical view of vaccinations and you can read part of it on Google Reader: http://books.google.com/books?id=-6NngjSbHIkC&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=vaccination+anthroposophical&source=bl&ots=EuuA2U9SQ6&sig=fCrJ9_DfL2xo747KbkE3NM8gF0A&hl=en&ei=8zM4SoTCIIzElAf3yu3pDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=vaccination%20anthroposophical&f=false
The other two books I like on the subject include “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision For Your Child” by Dr. Robert Sears and Aviva Jill Romm’s book, “Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How To Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits and Alternatives.”
FLOWER ESSENCES and ANTHROPOSOPHIC MEDICINE
Here is a link for you:
VITAMIN D AND BREASTFEEDING
Vitamin D deficiency is turning out to be HUGE here in the United States, and is of great concern for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Here is a good summary of information from La Leche League: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVIss1-2009p2.html