Colic, Eczema and Food Intolerances: Top 3 Baby Woes

baby with colic

Colic, eczema and food intolerances are common conditions, even in babies who are otherwise healthy.  Even if you do everything “right”, toxins in our environment and food can cause these and other baby woes.

Many parents do not realize that small symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, skin rashes, and excessive spitting up can (and should) be treated while they are mild.  Early treatment prevents symptoms from worsening and making babies miserable.  We all know that happy, comfortable babies sleep more—a godsend for exhausted parents. 

Colic, Eczema and Food Intolerances:  Conventional Versus Natural Treatment

Many babies suffer from colic.  It is often a sign of reflux (spitting up) or occurs with reflux.  We believe this is directly connected to the gut (which houses our immune system).  Also, when the muscles of the head and neck are tight or unbalanced, they cause the baby pain and put pressure on the cranial nerves.  You can see why this would worsen the situation!

Conventionally, colic is treated with a soothing mechanism (such as bouncing or making swooshing noises to mimic the sounds in the womb), stimulation for distraction (light, sound, calming scents), and sometimes a sedative.  Sedation can affect brain chemistry and nerve cells, interfering with the natural and optimal function of a baby’s nervous system.  Needless to say, there are natural ways to treat colic.  As integrative pediatricians, we find that adjusting a mother’s diet when breast feeding, switching baby formula, and using gentle manipulative therapies, such as craniosacral therapy or our chiropractor, helps tremendously.

Reflux is treated conventionally with frequent feeding in smaller amounts, elevating the head of the baby, keeping the baby upright after feeding, and burping often.  These mechanical treatments help, but sometimes only minimally.  They also keep parents from hours of needed rest.  They have to wake more often to feed their baby, or to soothe a fussy, crying baby who has already eaten.  If the cause is a food intolerance, the reflux can continue for months.  We have found that sometimes treatment can be as simple as using the right probiotic, healthy bacteria that heals the gut.  This is one example of an easy, effective approach to addressing the root cause.

Eczema is another early sign that inflammation in the form of histamine is entering the baby through the gut, skin, or both.  If mild, it is often seen as a problem occurring from an outside exposure to the skin.  Lotions, washes, detergents, and other substances can be especially irritating to a baby’s skin.  Eczema can also be caused by food intolerances.  Even though the cause is internal, the typical treatment is a steroid ointment.  The problem with this approach—whether it is a chemical irritating the skin or a food allergy—is that it recurs if the offending agent is not discovered and eliminated.  Also, ongoing use of steroids can lead to internal absorption, thinning skin, and secondary infections.

Our pediatricians treat eczema by determining food intolerances, looking for vitamin deficiencies such as zinc and biotin, and analyzing chemical exposures.  Interesting fact:  zinc deficiency causes the same kind of rash as eczema!  This is why a holistic approach works so well—investigating the root cause uncovers more possibilities and leads to a more accurate treatment.

Overall, if your baby has a food intolerance, it can lead to one or all three of the baby woes described above.  That is why we test and eliminate foods that often cause the symptoms of inflammation and disease.  If food intolerances are not treated as a baby, they can lead to other inflammatory illnesses such as allergies, asthma, autism, anxiety and other disorders. 

Natural Treatment for Colic, Eczema and Food Intolerances

As holistic pediatricians, we focus on the root cause of each symptom when it first appears, so that families can avoid long-term baby woes like colic, eczema and reflux.  We look at each baby as an individual and take an extensive history to find this root cause.  We then treat the cause immediately.  Each case can unfold quite differently for these illnesses.  This is why parents can contact us as frequently as needed to answer their questions.  Their child can be seen the same day they are worried.  We also have phone and video consult options.  Contact us here to make an appointment or to find out more about our integrative pediatric center.  

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