The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on February 19, 2020, documenting the resolution of failure to thrive in a baby who has suffered birth trauma. The term “failure to thrive” (FTT) is when the weight or rate of weight gain of an infant or child is significantly below what would be considered normal for others of the same age or sex.
There are considered to be two types of FTT. The first type of FFT is nonorganic growth failure (NOFTT). This is when there is failure to thrive due to environmental issues such as neglect or poverty. The second type of FTT is organic growth failure (OFTT) This is when digestive issues may be the underlying reason causing the child to either not absorb food properly or not take in enough calories from their food to support their health.
The study reports that up to 5 percent of all infants in the United States are affected by a form of FFT prior to the age of 6 months. The percentage of FTT is higher in premature babies and those born into poverty. They note that approximately 5 to 10 percent of primary care pediatric physician visits and 3 to 5 percent of all pediatric hospital admissions are due to FTT.
According to the history of this case, a mother of a two-month-old infant brought her son into the chiropractor’s office in the hope of getting her son some help. The case history described the mother as “desperate and distraught”, and seeking chiropractic as a last resort after all else had failed. Previous medical care included several emergency room visits when the infant had stop breathing, as well as a gastrointestinal physician, and three pediatricians.
The infant’s situation was that he was not gaining weight and had actually lost one pound since birth. He had profuse vomiting, often out of the nose, constipation, and irritability He would only sleep for 20 minutes at a time and would often stop breathing. He would often choke during feedings and was suffering with acid reflux. The infant’s hearing was noticeably deficient, and he was not responding to the sight or noise of others. He was obviously in distress as he was consistently in a balled position with his toes curled, knees up, fists clenched, and arms tightly locked to his body.
A chiropractic examination determined that areas of vertebral subluxation were present. Chiropractic care was started for the infant at the rate of twice per day for the first two weeks. Specific form of age and size appropriate adjustments were given to the boy.
Following the first adjustment, the mother reported that her son took his first nap ever which lasted five hours. Upon returning the same day for the second adjustment, the boy’s mother was crying tears of joy. After the second adjustment on the first day, the infant immediately had a large bowel movement that overflowed his diaper. After two weeks of only chiropractic care, the infant boy had recovered from all his symptoms except the breathing issues and his vomiting. It was later determined that the boy was allergic to certain foods. Once his diet was adjusted for this issue, the boy eventually recovered from all his symptoms.
In their conclusion the study authors wrote, “The current case study adds support to the utilization of chiropractic care in cases of children diagnosed with FTT when psychosocial and organic causes (chronic diseases, genetic disorders, pulmonary diseases, etc.) have been ruled out.”