Is your little one inconsolable after eating? Arch their back, projectile vomit or scream when laid on their back? You may be joining the majority as statistics suggest 50 percent of infants are diagnosed with acid reflux in the first few months of life! That’s a staggering number and one that will continue to grow if gut health is not improved in our society. (more info)
What causes infant reflux?
GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, is diagnosed when the contents of the stomach or stomach acid flow back into the esophagus causing irritation. Infants are more susceptible to reflux due to the immaturity of the sphincter muscle which separates the stomach from the esophagus and when undeveloped can open regularly. Although a contributing factor, we have found the cause of infant reflux to go much further and much deeper.
The health of your infant is partly due to the health of its parents and environment. Do you or your spouse have digestive issues (acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, IBS, leaky gut etc.)? Is your diet one of processed, cooked foods where all produce and meats are conventionally grown and raised? If so, your gut could potentially be completely out of balance, contributing to these issues you and your little deal with. Are you aware that ALL conventional meats and dairy products come from animals that have been given mega dosages of antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified food? Conventional fruits and vegetables are heavily sprayed with pesticides which you in turn consume. Pesticides and GMO foods have been engineered in such a way that insects are repelled by them but if they do consume them, their stomachs explode causing eminent death. These toxic chemicals have been found in 93% of pregnant women tested, 80% of the umbilical blood in their babies and 67% of non-pregnant women. (more info) This factor alone causes some major upsets to our gut health but the imbalances go even further.
The root of so many gut issues today is the inability to digest foods properly. We call this an enzyme deficiency and we have seen this deficiency being passed down to the offspring. Any time a food whether healthy or not is cooked beyond 118 degrees, the enzymes also known as the life force of that food are completely killed. Those enzymes are what help and assist our body in breaking down food much like an over-ripe banana turns to mush if left outside. Heat activates the enzymes and they literally start to digest that raw food. So what do you think happens when we consume cooked foods every day, every week and every year? We get pancreatic exhaustion, slow digestion and metabolism, proliferation of yeasts and bacteria that are caused by the putrefying food in the gut, food intolerance and all the host of digestion illnesses. Nursing mothers take note: if you cannot digest the food you consume, then your baby will have a hard time as well!
What you eat prior to your pregnancy makes a huge difference in your gut health and in turn your babies gut health when they are born. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist and neurosurgeon stated,
“As far as science knows, the baby inside the mother’s womb during nine months of gestation is sterile. The baby’s gut is sterile. The baby acquires its gut flora at the time of birth, when the baby goes through the birth canal of the mother. So whatever lives in mom’s birth canal, in mom’s vagina, becomes the baby’s gut flora. So what lives in mom’s vagina? It’s a very richly populated area of a woman’s body. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal. Fathers are not exempt because fathers also have gut flora, and that gut flora populates their groin and they share their groin flora with the mother on a regular basis.
… I always collect health history from the mother, the father, and preferably even grandparents of the child. I find that we have a growing and a deepening epidemic of abnormalities in the gut flora, which began since Second World War when antibiotics were discovered. Every course of broad spectrum antibiotics wipes out the beneficial species of microbes in the gut, which leaves the pathogens in there uncontrolled.” (more info)
Remember the antibiotics given to conventional meats? You could be unknowingly depleting your good bacteria with every bite of meat whether you take an antibiotic for sickness or not! Just like Dr. Campbell-McBride said above, antibiotics kill both bad and good bacteria and if the good bacteria is not replenished continually, the shift of our internal ecosystem goes south quickly and swiftly. Did you happen to be diagnosed with Strep B while pregnant? The antibiotic given to you during labor will most definitely affect your gut flora and a small study has shown that those antibiotics do reduce the beneficial bacteria levels in babies after birth. (more info) What this means for your little one is a higher potential to be one of the 50% suffering from infant reflux.
How your baby was born tells a lot about their gut and the impact of their microbiome as they age. Infants that are born vaginally begin accumulating beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia coli (commonly abbreviated to E. coli) and Enterococcus in the birth canal with the very process of birth. These bacteria form the foundations of a healthy digestive flora and originate from healthy maternal vaginal and fecal flora. Babies born via C-section on the other hand, receive a different mix of bacteria at birth. This comes from the maternity hospital itself, notably from nursing staff and equipment and includes Clostridium and Streptococcus. Recent studies have shown that C-section babies have a 20% greater risk of developing asthma and a 40% greater risk of immune defects. (more info) An interesting link is being found with acid reflux and those who suffer from asthma and respiratory illnesses. Regardless of how you birthed your precious little one into the world, there are natural remedies to address the root cause of reflux for you and your infant.
Many babies that are suffering from reflux also have what is called MSPI (Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance), which is the inability to break down the proteins in milk and soy, or a lactose intolerance, which is the inability to break down the sugars in milk. If a baby has either one of those, the problem can be greatly reduced by the breastfeeding mom cutting out all dairy (and soy for MSPI). But often it is found that there are more foods causing problems too and the mom has to start cutting out other foods by doing a lot of trial and error. Many moms get weary and stressed with this kind of diet and so they feel the need to switch to formula. For babies with a lactose intolerance, they can only tolerate a lactose free formula with soy. And for babies with MSPI, they have to have a formula with either the proteins extensively broken down (like Alimentum or Nutramigen) or completely broken down into amino acids (like Elacare or Neocate). Sadly by the time babies are switched to one of these formulas or the nursing mom has cut out all the foods that bother the baby, there will most likely be undigested food built up in the baby’s digestive system, and their probiotics will be depleted or very low due to all the digestive stress. These are the cases where we have seen life changing results with our natural remedy!
What can help my infant?
The typical mainstream medical advice is to prescribe an antacid, histamine-2 blocker or proton-pump inhibitor which neutralizes the stomach acid that is causing the irritation. These are simply symptom maskers and never address the root issues of a gut imbalance. In fact, these medications have never been studied on infants to see if there are any long term effects! We do know that antacids reduce the acidic environment of the stomach and can actually make the body more susceptible to gut infections- the exact opposite of what you want for someone especially an infant with an immature, developing microbiome. I’m sure many are unaware that the FDA announced that prescription antacids could promote infection of Clostridium difficile bacteria. (more info)
Are you ready for a natural solution that improves gut health for both you and your baby? You can join the countless mothers we talk to on a daily basis that have seen huge improvements with their little ones. Our Digestive Health has been a lifesaver for both young and old with any digestion upsets especially acid reflux.
Katie told us, “I started my son on Digestive Health mid-July and he has been off of his Prevacid since then! I have also been taking it twice a day and it is helping a ton with my heartburn as well!” (read full story)
Martha has an incredible story of how her children overcame their extreme cases of reflux. Her testimonial has reached thousands and through it, we have been able to help thousands more. (read full story)
Digestive Health is a unique combination of pH stabilized probiotics, prebiotics and broad spectrum digestive enzymes. Our formulation is unlike any other and that is truly why we have so many reporting that their symptoms are gone whereas, they never had been relieved by using standard probiotics. Our uniqueness is twofold with the first being the stabilization of our probiotic strains which in layman’s terms means, they remain active and alive throughout the entire GI tract and can withstand the heat and acidity of the stomach. Secondly, our broad spectrum digestive enzymes coupled with specific co-factors needed for complete digestion allows for maximum utilization of the foods consumed. Not only is the GI tract repaired and imbalances subsided but the enzymes also work to correct impaired digestion. The prebiotics provide food for the colonization and growth of the probiotics which also protect the gut wall from further insults.
Research is just starting to begin to understand the role probiotics play in the gut microbes of infants.
In the new study, Dr. Flavia Indrio, of the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy, and colleagues randomly assigned 554 infants born at full term to receive either daily drops of Lactobacillus reuteri mixed with oil, or just an oil mixture (the placebo). Neither the parents nor the doctors knew which treatment children received. After three months, the average duration of inconsolable crying per day was 38 minutes for those infants who received probiotics versus 71 minutes for those who received the placebo; the average number of regurgitations per day was 2.9 for those who received probiotics versus 4.6 for those who received the placebo; and the average number of bowel movements for those that received probiotics was 4.2 versus 3.6 for those that received the placebo.
The exact reason for the beneficial effect of probiotics in infants is not known, but gut microbes are known to play a role in food absorption, movement of the gut and many other functions, Dr. Muinos said. (read more)
It’s not new to us though! Our formulation team has studied this for a number of years and that is why we include not only Lactobacillus reuteri but also stabilized forms of countless others. Each of the species included in our blend provide specific health benefits as demonstrated in published clinical trials.
- Bifidobacterium infantis also called B. lactis, gets its name because it is the dominant bacteria in the intestine of healthy breast-fed babies. Most authorities attribute much of the superior disease resistance of breast-fed babies to this species.
- Bifidobacterium longum is among the probiotics that have been shown to improve immune responses in animals and humans. Increases in lymphocyte production, interleukin 1, 2 and 6, tumor necrosis factor, prostaglandin E1 production, serum total protein, albumin, globulin and gamma interferon have all been observed when this species is used as a supplement.
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus is used to ferment natural yogurt and augments acidophilus in a protective colonization of the intestines. Populations that consume large quantities of yogurt report increased longevity and health and prolonged functioning.
- Bifidobacterium bifidum is backed by extensive literature describing its many benefits.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus is included in this blend as Dr. Khem Shahani’s patented DDS-1 strain. This special strain of L. acidophilus can survive in temperatures that destroy many other strains and it is resistant to the high concentrations of bile salts secreted by the gall bladder.
- Lactobacillus brevis has been shown to produce a number of compounds (including Lactobacillin and Lactobrevin) that are active against a wide variety of pathogenic organisms.
- Lactobacillus casei complements the growth of L. acidophilus, is a producer of the enzyme amylase (a carbohydrate digesting enzyme) and has been researched for its potential to improve digestion, and reduce lactose intolerance and constipation.
- Lactobacillus lactis has been shown to stimulate the lactoperoxide thocyanate system in the intestine, which reduces the ability of E. coli to survive.
- Lactobacillus plantarum constantly wages warfare with the “bad” bacteria and has the distinctive feature of synthesizing L-lysine, which strongly supports the immune system.
- Lactobacillus reuteri has been extensively researched by one of the world’s top authorities, Dr. Marvin Spec. demonstrating that this species is a powerful producer of natural antiobiotics.
- L. rhamnosus has the ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and has been researched for its potential benefits to the genitourinary tract.
- Lactobacillus salivarius has been shown to help in almost all chronic conditions related to the bowel and is especially effective in producing digestive enzymes in the intestines.
- Streptococcus thermophilus produces lactase and is very efficient in breaking down milk products.
Like mentioned above, we didn’t stop at just probiotics. Our prebiotic and herbal blend consists of inulin fiber and stabilized glutamine, an amino acid that is essential for healthy intestinal cells and has been researched for its potential in reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. Beet root, chamomile, ginger and peppermint, our herbal blend, are used in a small quantity but have soothing effects on the GI tract and anti-inflammatory properties. These specific herbs are also commonly used in Gripe Water as a natural remedy to help soothe upset tummies. Our Digestive Health combines all of them in a highly beneficial and extremely effective natural remedy for reflux at an exceptional price! To gain a full understanding of its effectiveness, watch our Pudding Demonstration!
Matias was saved from needing a feeding tube. At the age of 2 years old, he was labeled “failure to thrive” and had food aversions along with GERD and protein allergies. His mother was in tears when she discovered our product. “It’s like magic! A week later and he is almost back on track. So all my efforts are working but the Digestive Health is the key to the puzzle. I cannot thank you enough for introducing them to us. Regular medicine has done so little for him. You want to hear my magic formula: Digestive Health + Feeding Therapy + Natural Diet.” (read full story)
How do I administer?
Our experience has shown that every infant and “system” is different depending on their severity so we usually recommend following a slow introduction but know that you can increase the dosages as you see fit. Digestive Health is entirely plant based so therefore your body responds to it like it would food.
For breastfeeding mom’s, we recommend you start taking the product first. Take 1 capsule daily with a meal and slowly increase to taking 1 capsule with each meal (3 daily). The probiotics will be passed on to your baby through your milk and help to build their probiotic count. Also, the enzymes will enable the proteins in your milk to be broken down similar to the MSPI formulas but in a much more complete way. Therefore, your baby will be able to digest and process your milk without issues. Starting slowly with taking Digestive Health allows your body to adjust so increase as you see improvements. Both you and your baby receive the benefits this way!
For formula fed babies, you can open up the capsule and pour ¼ to ½ of the contents into the bottle and mix well. The powder may clog the nipple so if this happens, try the syringe method. Again, start slowly with just ¼ a day and work up as needed. If your child is not seeing positive results with a small amount, then increase the dosage and spread them throughout the day/feedings.
Syringe method– open a capsule and pour ¼ to ½ of the contents into a baby syringe and mix with a tad of breastmilk, water or formula. Follow the slow introduction and increase as needed.
Older children– you can open the capsule and mix into baby food, pudding, applesauce, smoothies etc. The food will liquefy quickly as the enzymes work very effectively so mix into a small amount of food and consume right away. The powder does not have an adverse taste and many children do not mind chewing on the capsule which is very effect for sore throats whether young or old!
Here’s a good rule to follow for children:
0-3 months: start with ¼ of a capsule
3-12 months: start with ½ of a capsule
1 year and beyond: start with 1 capsule
Increase the daily amount every 3 days until you find what dosage works best. We cannot advise you to stop taking any medication you or your child may be on. You may continue the medication or wean off (which is your decision) while taking Digestive Health. We do advise that you do not take any medications with our product as it will deliver the drug faster so wait at least an hour before or after to administer.
Important– Consistency is the key! To achieve long lasting results, it is so important to remain consistent and be diligent with administering the Digestive Health on a regular basis. Keep the bottle where you nurse or mix a bottle so it’s easier to remember!
Also, I must stress the gradual, slow introduction method. If you or your little one starts seeing results with 1 capsule, do not think, “I’ll do 3 at time then”. This will likely cause the body to go into detox mode too quickly. The best way is to slowly administer the Digestive Health throughout the day with low dosages and gradually work up to what fits best. Children should not take more than 1 capsule at a time and adults no more than 2 at a time.
Priya’s daughter, a twin, was 19 months old diagnosed with acid reflux and took 2 hours to bottle feed. “We started noticing the change after the first week. She didn’t throw up after that at all and her reflux was GONE!! Now she takes 3 capsules a day and is 100% reflux free and is gaining weight. I just wish I knew of this when my babies were around 3-4 months old!” (read full story)
What I can expect?
Since every child and every case is different, it can be hard to gauge an exact time-frame for when one might see improvements. For some it is immediate but for others it takes 3 days to a week for noticeable changes. Some experience a setback before symptoms are relieved and this is known as the Herxheimer Reaction.
The Herxheimer Reaction is a short-term (from days to a few weeks) detoxification reaction in the body. As the body detoxifies, it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea or other symptoms. This is a normal — and even healthy — reaction that indicates that parasites, fungus, viruses, bacteria or other pathogens are being effectively killed off. The biggest problem with the Herxheimer reaction is that people stop taking the supplement or medication that is causing the reaction, and thus discontinue the very treatment that is helping to make them better. Although the experience may not make you feel particularly good, the Herxheimer Reaction is actually a sign that healing is taking place. Children could experience a diaper rash but that will subside.
“It took only a couple days and I noticed less crying. And tears of relief rolled down my face when she actually opened her little mouth to WANT more! The acid reflux symptoms are gone, and the sour poops. It is truly amazing!” – Lorrianne’s daughter Mandy developed anorexia and a fear of eating at the age of 1 years old due to continuous rounds of antibiotics, acid reflux medication, thrush and ulcers. (read her full story)
Micaela’s son dealt with silent reflux and at 2 ½ months old tried our Digestive Health after being on multiple reflux medications. (read her full story) “I denied the referral to the GI and order the Probiotics/Enzymes, I remember I started him on a Thursday and Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the worst days for my Leo but I had also read the side effects and detoxification process so I waited and on Monday we had a loving, happy little guy. I was still skeptical that he was going to regress but no. Every day is better and better, he now started to giggle and laugh and he started sleeping throughout the night. It has been a month from his recovery and I think it’s all thanks to the probiotics. He does not need cereal on his bottle anymore.”
Other helpful resources
We do not claim that our Digestive Health is a cure all but instead, a vehicle that allows for gut imbalances to be improved and digestion to be repaired so the body can begin to heal itself. There are other modalities that can help the body with this process and have been shown to improve reflux conditions.
Undigested food causes an acidic condition in the body. Research from back in the 30’s shows disease thrives in an acidic environment and the more alkalizing foods and beverages we consume, the better we can combat the tissues of the body becoming susceptible to acidity. Our bodies are the most alkaline at birth and will become more acidic due to what we consume, our stress levels and our environment throughout our lives. We can slow that aging or “rusting” from occurring with consuming more alkaline foods and alkaline water.
Little ones suffering from reflux can benefit from alkaline water too! Even though they aren’t consuming pop, did you know Pedialyte is also highly acidic and typically given when the immune system is at its most vulnerable state? Give alkaline water a try! You’ll be surprised with the results both you and your little one will feel. Learn more about the beverages you’re consuming and how they are affecting your health.
Let’s face it- birth can be traumatic especially if it’s a difficult vaginal birth. The amount of pressure a doctor or instrument can put on an infant’s head as its being born can create some misalignment in the spine. These may be very slight but correcting them can make a huge impact for that infant’s sleeping, eating, digestion and so on. Chiropractors are trained to look at specific misalignment’s in the spine that affect the nervous system function. Seeking a chiropractor during pregnancy can be very beneficial during pregnancy, labor and delivery and beyond like described here.
My personal chiropractor, who utilizes the Gonstead technique, has seen multiple infants who suffered from reflux and has noted misalignment’s in the CN1(atlas) and CN10 (cranial nerve). A subluxation in CN10 can contribute to acid reflux which controls the vagus nerve. This very important nerve carries incoming information from the nervous system to the brain, providing information about what the body is doing, and it also transmits outgoing information which governs a range of reflex responses. Keeping the digestive system working smoothly is one of the important jobs of the vagus nerve. Chiropractic adjustments can make a huge improvement for your little one with reflux or without just like mentioned here.
My son has happily been getting adjustments since the age of 2 weeks old!
Just like how probiotics feed the good bacteria and keep everything in check, fermented foods are chalk full of the good guys and also provide nourishing benefits to the gut. They come in many different forms such as fermented vegetables (more info) like sauerkraut or kimchi but also drinks like kombucha or water kefir, a lightly effervescent fermented beverage made from live cultures. Adding these to your diet especially for nursing mothers can alkalize along with boosting enzymes and probiotics in the gut. Probiotics are depleted by carbonated drinks, stress, coffee and conventional meats so increasing the good guys from any and all sources are always a good thing!
Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice in which extremely dilute amounts of certain natural substances are used to treat various ailments. Homeopathic remedies can help with the symptoms with no side effects but they are not a replacement for enzymes and probiotics. They do not build the immune function like probiotics will do nor do they build enzymatic function for digestion of foods like plant based, broad spectrum enzymes will do. However, they are great to have in your natural medicine cabinet for quick symptom relievers.
I hope you found this article informative and educational. Our goal is to shed some light as to why infant reflux has become an epidemic and provide a natural, safe and effective solution for you and your little one! Being a mother is hard enough (as I know, here’s my Journey to Motherhood) so let us help you be the best you can be!
From one mom to another,