By Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND
Failure to Thrive
Angelica, a 5-month old baby girl, was first seen in my office on January 27, 2016. The chief concern was failure to thrive.
The pregnancy was normal and healthy. Angelica was born at home without any medical interventions and with the help of a doula. She nursed and slept well from birth. But then things changed:
“Angelica has not gained any weight in the last month at all,” her mother told me. “She has not grown in length nor has her head circumference changed. This started after her second round of vaccines a month ago. She does not look right either. We're very concerned about her."
“She also has a terrible time sleeping, which also changed after her vaccines.”
She had received her first round of vaccines when she was two months old. Immediately afterwards her sleep deteriorated.
“Before the vaccination she slept for 4-5 hours at a time”, her mother reported. “Then it changed to only 1-2 hours at a time for the next few weeks. It has gotten even worse since her second round of vaccines a month ago, now she sometimes only sleeps for 30 minutes. I am absolutely exhausted.”
“Her bowels are not working properly any more either. She had 1 Tbs of oat cereal a day from January 12-15 and then she stopped having any bowel movements altogether. We have to give her glycerin suppositories or she will not have any movements at all. We stopped giving her solids on January 16 but her bowels have not recovered. She is also often fussy, arches her back and cries a lot.”
The baby looked unwell and undernourished with sunken eyes and a lack of facial expression.
This baby clearly had an adverse reaction to her vaccines. She developed a change in her sleep pattern immediately after her first round of vaccines. Her sleep got even worse after the second round.
In addition she has not grown or gained any weight at all since her second vaccination and her bowels have become so constipated that she cannot have a bowel movement without a suppository.
She had been given the usual two-months shots, including Infanrix-Hexa (DTaP/IPV/Hib/Hep-B), plus the meningococcal and pneuomococcal vaccines and Rotarix.
Part of the problem with the current vaccine schedule is that multiple vaccines are given at the same time, making it difficult to identify which ones caused a reaction.
I had seem a similar case before and decided to start with the meningococcal vaccine in homeopathic potency 30CH every other day for one week. Giving a homeopathic remedy made from a substance that caused an adverse reaction can often help to reverse that reaction. I also recommended castor oil packs on the abdomen once a day for 10 minutes.
One Week Later
“We noticed a change right away after the first dose of the remedy. The same evening she could suddenly sit up in her high chair. Before she drooped sideways on it. Now she can sit quite well.”
“And her sleep has improved. The same night that she had the remedy she slept for 4-5 hours straight. Overall, she now sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time, much better than the 30-60 minutes she could only sleep before. Her naps are better too, she will sleep for a solid hour now.”
“Yesterday she had two bowel movements on her own for the first time, without the suppositories.”
“She now has laughing fits, she did not laugh like that before. Several people have commented on how relaxed she is.”
“A few days ago I took her for a walk in her little Ergo carrier and suddenly she leaned back and stared at me with a big smile on her face. Then she put her head on my chest and went right to sleep. Before she would be arching her back and scream and stretch out her legs struggling to go to sleep. I was just floored.”
What The Doctor Said
“I took Angelica back to my doctor who gave the vaccines and the doctor told me that Angelica was ‘a bad baby’. She told me to put her into a room for 12 hours and let her scream to teach her a lesson. She said the longer I could stay away from that room the better. And this doctor just had a baby herself!”
“These past few weeks were the worst time of my life. I was crying a lot with all this stress and the sleep deprivation.”
Assessment and Plan
There has been a great improvement after a few doses of Meningococcal-C 30CH.
I decided to give Men-C vaccine in 200CH, 2 pellets every other day. This decision was partially based on applied kinesiology testing.
Two Weeks into Treatment
“Angelica has gained a whole pound of weight, 1 cm in head circumference and 1 cm in length.”
“We are blown away, she is a totally different baby. She is doing all kinds of things on her own, sitting up all by herself. She pulls herself up to standing. There was instant progress right after her first dose of the Men-C 200CH.”
“She is talking much more and blowing bubbles with her lips. She is way more interactive and she even feels warmer. She is so much stronger, it is unreal and she is very interested in doing things. She is also much more settled and her eyes look brighter.”
“She has regular bowel movements twice a week on her own now. She is no longer getting worked up before bowel movements and no longer has gas.”
“Her sleep is still better, she sleeps 2-3 hours at a time.”
This was a wonderful improvement after only two weeks of treatment. The baby was growing again and appeared to be thriving. She was looking better, but still had dark circles under her eyes in my opinion.
Plan: Meningococcal-C 1M twice a week for one week.
Three Weeks into Treatment, Feb 17, 2016
Angelica is about the same as last week. The sleep has not improved further. She is fussier with her bowel movements again. She is almost crawling now. She is laughing a lot and gets really excited to see her Dad.
At this point I decided to switch her to the pneumococcal vaccine remedy, 30CH 2 pellets every other day. I also gave Saccharum 6D 2 pellets daily to further support her digestive system.
I also sent mother and baby to a colleague for some food sensitivity testing.
Four Weeks into Treatment, Feb 24, 2016
Angelica’s sleep has improved further now, she is now sleeping 3-4 hours at a time. She has also gained another 8 ounces and now weighs 13 lbs and 15 oz. She definitely looks fuller and more fleshed out.
Her mother reports that she is not getting upset about everything any more. She is not arching her back or stretching her legs any more, before she did this all the time.
Assessment: Her sleep is improving further, I think the change of remedy may have helped.
Plan: Pneumococcal-C 200CH 2 pellets twice a week for one week, than Pneumococcal-C 1M twice a week for two weeks.
Six Weeks Into Treatment , March 9, 2016
“Angelica continues to develop and get stronger. She is almost crawling. She sleeps up to 4.5 hours at a time now, but wakes more often still between 2-6 am.”
“Her bowels are totally fine now. She is eating solids without any problems.”
She weighs 14 lbs, 6 oz.
Plan: Pneumococcal-C 1M for another week, then 10 M for a week.
Ten Weeks Into Treatment, April 6, 2016
Angelica is doing well. She is 7.5 months old and she is crawling now. Her sleep is about the same as before.
At this point I gave her Infanrix-Hexa 200CH 2 pellets twice a week for three weeks followed by a one week break. I have learned that vaccine-injured children have often been affected by multiple vaccines but that it is important to start with the vaccine that affected them the most. As this one is cleared other layers will show up.
14 Weeks Into Treatment, May 11, 2016
Angelica weighs 17 lbs now. She sleeps an average of 4 hours at a time with some stretches of 6-8 hours. For the past two days she has been falling asleep wherever she is.
She loves to eat and loves to feed herself. People constantly comment on how happy and alert she is. Mother is following the Weston Price program now for diet, makes bone broth and feeds liver and egg yolks.
Assessment: Continued improvement, sleep is getting better.
Plan: Continue Infanrix-Hexa 1M for two weeks, then 10M for two weeks.
18 Weeks Into Treatment, June 15, 2016
Angelica is nearly nine months old. She has become very moody now. She wails loudly when her mother puts her into her chair. She also wails in a distressed way if her mother goes out and does not pick her up right away when she returns. She is very restless as well as very determined and persistent according to her mother. She is an expert crawler now.
She might be teething, her two top front teeth are erupting right now.
I can see that she is restless in the office. She is moving around a lot. She has a big frown on her face and looks very different from previous visits. I also notice that her head has grown disproportionately.
Emergence of Inherited Predispositions/Miasm
In my opinion Angelica is now expressing inherited predispositions. The vaccine layer has likely been cleared and deeper aspects of her health are emerging. Her head has grown disproportionately, she has become very stubborn and restless, as well as moody.
In my experience children who develop reactions to vaccine often have tubercular tendencies. This seems to make them more susceptible to having adverse vaccine reactions. The tubercular tendency is frequently expressed with disproportionately large heads, hair growing down the back of the neck as well as sometimes on the tip of the ears and on the shoulders, a low hairline, general hairyness, restlessness, dissatisfaction and obstinacy.
These children often are very restless in their sleep, moving all over the place, may grind their teeth and may be bed wetters. They also often develop allergies and respiratory problems.
Plan: Tuberculinum 1M one dose in the office and Chamomilla 30CH for teething as needed.
Great Restlessness, Father Grinding Teeth
A week later the mother reports: “I’ve noticed the slightest change. She snuggles in now, before she was always on the move. She gets really upset any time I lie her down to change her clothes or diapers. She tries to get away. She is frowning and she growls!”
“She moves a lot in her sleep, she is all over the place. The minute I put her down she flips up and screams.”
I observe that she is throwing herself back, arching her back, which is what she was doing before the first vaccine remedy. She looks very determined and kind of defiant.
Head circumference is now 44.5 cm.
Her mother reports that her father grinds his teeth terribly and was a bed wetter, further clues towards a tubercular history.
Plan: I gave Baccilinum-H, 200CH one dose. I am rather concerned about this new development and am trying to get it under control as soon as possible.
July 20, 2016, Rapidly growing head
Her head has grown another half inch since last week. Her frowning has let up a bit and she is not growling as much. The diaper changes have been a lot better. Her father is blown away by the change. She is much happier again and not as defiant any more.
She is sleeping well and eating everything.
Assessment: She is improving again with Baccilinum. We may need to repeat the Meningoccal-C course again as she was arching her back again a bit.
Plan: Baccilinum 1M one dose and Meningococcal-C 200CH twice a week for one week, then IM twice a week for one week and 10M the same way.
Follow-up September 20, 2016
Angelica is 13 months old now and walking. Her head still looks too big for my liking. She is attending daycare now. Two days ago she developed diarrhea and got a bright red diaper rash on her whole bottom. She is very uncomfortable with it. She has been more selective and picky about her food in the last two weeks, a big change. She was eating everything before.
I discussed the daycare with her mother, wondering if they were maybe using chemicals there for cleaning which may be impacting her.
Assessment: Her head still looks too big. Her eating has changed, she is picky now. She developed a serious diaper rash. The applied kinesiology testing pointed to the Infanrix Hexa vaccine again.
Plan: Baccilinum-H 200CH one dose. Infanrix-Hexa clearing again, every potency for one week. Reduce fruit in diet.
Follow-up December 20, 2016, Emergence of Night Terrors
I contacted the mother to see how Angelica was doing. She reported that Angelica had developed night-terrors now. She would be up at night crying and pointing to a corner of the room. She was also restless again and bad-tempered.
At this point I gave a dose of Stramonium. Her father had been seriously traumatized as a child and also had night terrors. Her mother had a long history of fear of the dark and being alone. Angelica is improving again with this new remedy.
This case is very interesting as the child developed sleep problems right after her first round of vaccines, which were further exacerbated by the second round.
In addition she developed severe constipation after the second shot and stopped gaining weight and growing. Essentially she developed failure to thrive. She also become very fussy, arched her back and stretched her legs a lot.
She improved immediately after the first dose of the homeopathic remedy made from the meningococcal-c vaccine. She could suddenly sit up in her high chair and also slept for 5 hours straight the first night after the remedy.
Overall her sleep improved and she became much brighter. She continued to make progress with the other doses of the homeopathic vaccine remedies. The homeopathic treatment was both diagnostic as well as curative in this case.
By nine months old the problems which started with the vaccines had pretty much cleared up but then she was developing a new set of concerning symptoms, including the enlarged head, restlessness and defiance.
As mentioned above, these were most likely her inherited predispositions showing themselves which is why she probably developed a vaccine reaction in the first place.
She responded well to Tuberculinum and Baccilinum, both remedies made from tuberculosis.
Following this another layer emerged which may be related to the parents' adverse emotional experiences in their lives before conceiving their child.
It is much less common for girls to develop adverse vaccine reactions, including developmental disorders, but this child was and is definitely at risk. I think if she had received another vaccine she might have died, she was not growing any more, not digesting or eliminating and not sleeping.
She continues to be under my occasional care. It is now January 2018 and she is a very healthy, happy and inquisitive toddler who is highly intelligent and thriving in all areas.
Anke Zimmermann, Naturopathic Physician, Victoria, BC.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a homeopath with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education only. They are not intended as medical advise.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
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