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Health Scientist / Homeopath
BHSc, Adv. Dip HSc (Hom), FIIAH
Although Pooh Bear was sometimes in trouble, this blog doesn’t have anything to do with Pooh Bear, from Winnie the Pooh, a fictional character created by A.A. Milne and later adapted by Walt Disney. Poo is a nicer word for faeces.
Of all the traditional Health Sciences, Homeopathy probably could be said to have a slight fixation on poo. But the science investigates many different aspects of a person’s health. If you pick up a homeopathic Materia Medica like Boericke, you will read a lot of information about poo and many other subjects.
The problem with poo, is also not just confined to poo, because when you are talking about something that comes out at one end, you must also consider what is being put in at the other end and how it is affecting the person ingesting it. This can be different for breast fed or bottle fed or weaned infants as well as children consuming a regular diet. In the case of breast fed infants, there can also be associations with the milk production itself.
There are also things like some developmental milestones that can impact the situation, for example it is a well published phenomenon that some children who are teething for example, may also have changes in their stool during the teething process.
Similarly, there are many other things that are published in homeopathic literature that can impact on the formation of stools. A variety of emotional aspects have also been observed, which may sound strange to some people, but then perhaps they have never experienced nervous diarrhoea or constipation. In some cases where the passing of a hard stool can be an uncomfortable process for a child, fear also plays an important role that can contribute further to the problem.
There are many different characteristics associated with digestive and stool disturbances and that are linked to different homeopathic preparations. A commonly observed behaviour of infants when they have digestive disturbances like acute colic, is when the child brings their legs up towards their abdomen as tight as they can. This is similar behaviour to an adult bending double with stomach ache. Bending double is a commonly observed behaviour in adults associated with some types of acute indigestion.
An adult may tell you they have indigestion or stomach ache but a baby will not be able to, but may be crying or irritable. Along with the crying or irritability there may also be changes to the passing of stools. Crying and irritability are common with acute indigestion and also with many other problems, but the bringing of the legs up to the abdomen in infants or bending double in adults, when they are obviously out of sorts is a strong indication of an acute digestive disturbance. In homeopathy, these types of characteristic signs have been been observed and recorded to respond to a particular homeopathic preparation. These observations repeated over many years by many people are termed traditional evidence in the Australian regulatory environment.
Looking at and studying faeces is not really something most people would really want to do, but in Homeopathy there has been a lot of this type of observing. Texts list many different characteristic stool changes that have also been clinically observed and recorded and that are linked to specific homeopathic preparations. So for example stools that resemble sheep droppings associated with constipation would be a different homeopathic preparation to stools associated with constipation that look like clay.
So, when it comes to digestive disturbances in infants and young children, who are unable to tell you about the problem, a practitioner will look for some characteristic signs that may point them in the direction of a particular homeopathic preparation for which these characteristic signs have been published and used clinically and traditionally.
Some practitioners thought it would be a good idea to publish some of this information in lay-mans language and easier to use books so that parents could utilise this knowledge and apply some basic first aid as they needed. There are also colleges that offer all sorts of training, from short first aid courses in the home to extensive degrees and some parents use these resources. And because the preparations are low risk, it makes sense for them. But of course some situations require the expertise of an appropriate health professional, particularly if the infant is not responding. Many abdominal complaints may be more serious problems than colic or reflux.
Poo troubles don’t just affect infants and young children either, people of all ages can be troubled with stool problems at some stage in their lives. In this blog, we are just focusing on Infants and young children, because the subject of poo is a large and sometimes difficult subject, just like poo can be sometimes.
Trouble with POO - Blog
Some may be saying “what tha!” a blog about faeces? Why? I don’t want to read about faeces. Well for some parents poo can be a common and on-going problem for them and their infants and young children. We’re not talking about toilet training either, this Blog is discussing what is commonly known as ‘passing a stool’ stool being faeces.