BABIES

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BABY ALLERGIES
There are 3 common alergic conditions babies suffer from:


COLICS

is defined as a condition in which a baby cries and screams uncontrollably for long periods; it usually starts in the first month of life and generally suddenly stops at 2-3 months but can continue up for to 12 months. These increased bouts of crying are usaully worse late afternoon and evenings, and after feeding. There are often signs of abdominal bloating, the baby may have its knees pulled towards the chest and clenched fists. 
Paediatricians often talk about the “Rule of Threes”: crying for more than 3 hours a day, at least 3 times a week, in a 3 month period.
Colic is not usually something to be concerned about in relation to the baby’s health as long as he/she is feeding and otherwise behaving normally (it is of course essential to confirm that colic is indeed the cause of the bouts of crying and a differential diagnosis made). It has been found that the occurrence of colic is the same in breast-fed and bottle fed babies. 

Causes
-increased sensitivity of some babies making them more prone to feeling discomfort or pain in the digestive tract,
-newborns will tend to find digestion difficult at first as their systems have not been used to working (the stomach and intestinal muscles which cause peristalsis, the waves of muscular contractions which help food down the tract, will have little strength), 
-the digestive tract is normally full of beneficial bacterial flora which help break food down; newborns have yet to develop this and this could be quite slow to build up in some babies making digestion more difficult, 
-lactating mothers may pass irritating substances through to the baby in milk,
-some babies may inadvertantly swallow too much air when feeding causing excessive wind,
-lactose intollerance, 
-allergies
Orthodox Treatment
The National Health website suggests a combination of the following: 
-cuddling, 
-ensuring that the baby is kept in an upright position during feeding, 
-mother should eliminate or reduce the intake of caffeine containing drinks, 
-always burp a baby after feeding, 
-gentle movement often helps babies relax and sleep, so a walk in the pram or a car ride might do the trick,
-calm, soothing bacground music or sounds like a washing machine can help,
-Simeticome drops which help break down intestinal gas,
-avoiding cow’s milk, 
-Lactase drops for babies with a suspected lactose intollerance, 
-Dicycloverine for stomach cramps (can have side effects). 

Homeopathy and Colics
We have often found that colics are caused by sensitivities to food substances, and by careful testing we can often isolate the offending substances. The Vega test is also useful in finding out whether there are malfunctions in the digestive tract, which can be cured with homeopathic remedies. The latter are generally extremely effective and gentle causing no side effects.

ASTHMA AND BABIES

There are many natural therapies which can help the reduce the occurrence and severity of asthma attacks; to date there is no known cure, as it appears to be an underlying genetic disorder. Because of this it is imperitive to use conventional medicine when necessary; using alternative approaches to relieve the condition and reduce the need for medication.
Definition
an involuntary narrowing of the bronchi( airways that lead to the lungs) in an individual whose body over-reacts to certain irritants. Basically the involuntary muscles around the bronchi contract, the lining of the tubes becomes inflamed and excessive mucus develops , thus narrowing the airways making breathing difficult.
Diagnosis
It is often difficult to determine whether a baby has the condition as it similar to other conditions such as bronchiolitis. What to look for:
– persistent wheezing (especially after exposure to specific allergens such hairspray, or maybe smoke from a fire or cigarettes). 
– chest tightness,
– shortness of breath and faster rate of breathing,
– persistent coughespecially at night.
Causes
Asthma appears to be essentially a hereditary disease, which is aggrevated in certain circumstances. There is more and more evidence to support this: 2 studies reported in the New England Journal of Medicine support this. 
The first was by the Center for Applied Genomics at the Children”s Hospital of Philadelphia, in which 5,000 children were studied and the result was that there were genetic variants on chromosome 1 associated with the increased risk of developing the disease. 
The second trial by the Gabriel Consortium found another series of genetic variants in other chromosomes in particular chromosome 17 associated with a higher incidence of asthma. 
It has been found that a large number of babies come down with viral respiratory infections (usually the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, or parainfluenzavirus) causing wheezing, which commonly leads on to chronic asthma. 
Air quality may have an important role to play either as a causative or aggrevating factor: gases such as sulfuric acid, cigarette smoke (especially through the effects on the unborn baby from a smoking expectant mother). 
It is interesting to note that asthma is much more common in the industrialised world than in many developing countries. This may be due to the fact babies are more exposed to infections in the developing world which stimulates the immune system to increase defenses against diseases like asthma.
Aggravating Factors: A sudy published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that babies and children living in habitations with cockroaches were more susceptible to developing asthma. 
A similar study in the European Respiratory Journal found that exposure to damp, mouldy surroundings was another cause for higher levels of asthma. Research by Professor Michael Bracken from Yale School of Public Health connected increased rates of the condition in infants who were given antibiotics in the first 6 months of life. 
Babies brought up in a dusty environment, and in close contact with animal fur are also more likely to devlop/aggrevate the condition.

Homeopathy and Asthma
Although there is a possible genetic link, there are many prediposing factors in individual case. The Vegatest is a very subtle method of examination, and we can frequently pick up deep seated functional problems and specific food/environmental substances which can trigger attacks. Babies can get great benefits from avoiding allergens and having treament with homeopathic remedies, which are very effective and gentle on the system.


ECZEMA

Diagnosis
Also known as atopic dermatitis, it is basically dry, itchy, red skin often with cracks, oozing and signs of blood from scratching. It can affect different parts of the body: skull (cradle cap), over the skin in contact with a nappy (nappy rash), over the torso, hands and legs.

Some general tips: Cotton clothing is useful as it is likely to irritate the skin. At night it can be useful to put cotton mits on to stop scratching and wounding the skin. 
There are special pyjamas that can be bought which cover the feet and hands. Wet bandaging applied to affected areas can help reduce irritation and the urge to scratch. 
There was an interesting study reported in Pediatrics Journal in May 2009 which concluded that bathing eczema sufferers in diluted bleach was remarkably beneficial. The leader of the study, Professor Amy Paller from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine), suggests using 2 teaspoons per 4 litres of water. 
It is important to keep your baby’s skin moisturised. 
Try not to let the baby get either too hot or too cold.
Causes
It appears to run in families, and is aggravated by a wide variety of things as seen below.
Aggravating Factors:
Each baby’s condition is unique, and it is therefore important to spot anything that may aggrevate the condition. This may be particular foods( especially dairy products, nuts, wheat and food additives etc), soaps, washing powders, detergents, types of cloth, even certain types of cream and medications. Look out for reactions to animal fur, pollen, house dust mite (dustmite powder may be useful), mould, and dust.

Homeopathy and Eczema.
As with other conditions, we use the Vega test to analyse the function of the whole body and determine which substances are causing the skin eruptions. Then with a combination of natural remedies and lists of allergens to avoid, the skin can usually be successfully treated.