Sometimes I get emails like this one that just rip my heart out:
“I am contacting you as desperately looking for answers for our 6 month old Grandson. He has been unable to poo since birth, he has to be assisted and this is despite regular diarrhea, he also has a prolapse outside of his anus and this is often ulcerated or with fissures…I’d also like to know if your ‘FissureHeal’ would be suitable for a baby and if available in the UK please? He also has allergy to milk proteins and is unable to tolerate MOST foods! He cannot even have pureed carrot or any veg, fruit as it seems to almost ‘ferment’ inside of him (you can feels thousands of tiny bubbles within his tummy area after eating any), this is followed by explosive diarrhea, but however extreme he cannot even pass this unaided.
He has seen a surgeon who ruled out Hirschsprung’s disease, because he said that although it could cause lack of motility through the bowel, it wouldn’t react to foods in the way his bowel does. He has ribbon like poos at times, indicative of Crohn’s disease, but wheat is one of the only foods he can tolerate, other than rice milk, special formula milk and baby rice… but before long his body will need more extensive foods than this in order for him to thrive, so we are getting really worried for him. No one seems to know what is wrong, but he has been on continual painkillers for most of his life and he is in continual pain because of his anal prolapse, fissures, bleeding etc, it looks so raw and painful bless him.
If you have time to read this, I’d be SO grateful, the whole family are helping his parents research his problems and any advice would be wonderful, I realise how busy you are and I wouldn’t ask if he weren’t so helpless and if we didn’t feel so lost in how to help him. I would also like to say that you have helped me via your videos on some problems I had, so many, many thanks and I hope you can offer some help.”
So although I cannot give anyone personal health advice, I can offer my thoughts and also say what I would do if this were MY baby…
As this baby is only 6 months and eating wheat, rice milk, formula and ‘baby rice’ I’m going to assume he was not breastfed, or perhaps only for a short time. I also don’t know if this baby had a vaginal birth. But either way, it’s probably safe to say he does not have a good, beneficial gut flora from Day 1. It’s likely his mother’s gut flora is not good either.
So in addition to starting out without protective, good bacteria, he has been on painkillers – which cause ulceration and damage gut flora and often cause constipation or spastic bowel (alternating between diarrhea and constipation).
Grains (rice, wheat) are also compounding the problem and the sugars are feeding the bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth in his GI tract. So although they are the only things he can tolerate at this point, they are not going to help him heal and are actually part of the damaging feedback loop he’s in.
If this was my baby, I would do ALL of the following things:
1. Find a breastmilk donor who does not consume cow dairy (I would advertise on Craigslist and visit the mother in her home with my intuition switched on) and take him back to being exclusively breastfed.
2. I would mix Natren’s Life Start goat-milk based (or Vegan if needed) probiotic into every bottle of breastmilk.
3. If I couldn’t find a breastmilk supply, I would find a pasture-fed raw goat milk supply or pasture-fed raw camel milk supply and add the probiotics to that. Again, I would feed ONLY raw goat or camel milk and probiotics until his gut was healed, bowel movements were normal and prolapse healed.
4. At the same time, I would give daily Probiotic Retention Enemas using Life Start via a baby enema bulb. I would do this VERY gently, using lots of vitamin E oil to lubricate and using the tip of the bulb to gently push the rectum back inside.
5. I would perform Colonic Massage on him multiple times a day. Making sure to touch his belly very gently and ask for permission first. Here’s a how-to video, or you can get my Baby Fart Aerobics DVD (for colicky babies) where I demo on my 8-week-old daughter Zara:
In Baby Fart Aerobics I talk about how taking a baby in the bath and doing colonic massage there is a great way to encourage a bowel movement in a very relaxed, easy way. This baby’s cells, tissues, muscles likely need a re-education on how a bowel movement can be peaceful and relaxing. I would make the water as hot as is comfortable for him. Maybe he needs this done once or twice a day as part of the healing for the prolapse.
Due to the prolapse, I would not sit him upright to poo. I would ensure he was leaning back with legs stretched out in front. Or on his back with legs raised up so his knees were close to, or higher than his hips. Or lying on his left side, gently raising the right knee up to his belly, etc. I would find the ways to allow the bowel/rectum to relax, yet allow the puborectalis muscle to let go so the rectum can straighten. I would watch my constipation videos for ideas!
6. I would slather his prolapsed tissue with pure comfrey salve and clean him only with warm water and tissues – no baby wipes of any kind! No talc powder, no Vaseline, or anything else that is not herbal and 100% natural. I would make a ‘baby powder’ out of equal parts slippery elm and marshmallow root and sprinkle that over his bum after every diaper change. I did this with my other babies and just put it in an old talc bottle I emptied out. OR find a 100% natural diaper cream that contains these herbs (and/or calendula).
7. I would, simultaneously, and with great compassion for myself, take a look at the family dynamic surrounding my baby’s illness. I would realize that children are our greatest spiritual teachers and that I must discern the greater meaning/teaching here in order to facilitate my baby’s healing. I would look at unhealed wounds or patterns from my own childhood.
8. I would take him for Craniosacral Therapy (Upledger Level 2 or higher) or an Osteopath trained in advanced craniosacral. And I would also seek out a spiritual or energy healer that resonated with me – both for him and myself.
9. After 6 months of this insane pressure and struggle, I would ask for help and support so that I could do something, at least once per week, to nurture MYSELF. Whatever makes me feel nurtured, or free, or loved. Maybe that’s a massage, or an art group, or book club, or 2-3 hours to be alone in my house (my helper takes the baby out) and relax in a bubble bath and then read in bed, etc. If I can arrange to get a nap or rest, or walk in fresh air (without baby) every day, that is ideal.
When children or adults go on an elemental diet – we are essentially taking ourselves back to breastmilk. This provides bowel rest and also the nutrients needed to heal the gut. If this baby can return to an exclusively breastfed (or raw goat, or raw camel milk) diet, that just may be the quickest pathway to healing the gut. Then the probiotics get that good, protective flora going so normal bowel movements are possible. Meanwhile the family is looking at energetic (Reiki, pranic healing, EFT etc) or spiritual healing for both the baby and the parents so that this dis-ease can be healed at it roots and doesn’t have to manifest again, in another form!
Note: I also have an article for Toddler bowel issues (diarrhea or constipation) in case you’re reading this and you have an older child with these problems.