For a mother, having a sick child and not knowing how to help them is one of the worst feelings in the world.
If you’re in this situation, you have my every sympathy. I’ve been there too. Soon after his birth, my baby boy developed a range of worrying symptoms. He had trouble breathing, and doctors placed him into the intensive care unit for the first week of his life.
Without answers from the medical community, I had to rely on my own research. I discovered that issues with calcium balance and low levels of an enzyme called Ca2+ATPase (Calcium ATPase) were the contributing reasons for my son’s health problems. Perhaps you should consider if Ca2+ATPase may be at the center of your child’s health issue.
So how do you know if calcium dysregulation is causing your child’s symptoms? The truth is that you can’t say for sure. There is no test available for Ca2+ATPase levels or other markers of calcium regulation. However, that’s something I’m working to change!
But what I can tell you is that specific health and behavior issues could indicate that low Ca2+ATPase might be a possibility. Here are the top three symptoms to look out for:
1. Neuromuscular issues
If a child has neuromuscular issues, it means that communication between the nerves and muscles does not happen as it should. Over time, this can cause muscle wastage.
Your child may show one or more of the following signs:
- Ptosis (droopy eyelids)
- Feeding or swallowing difficulties
- Low muscle tone
- Unable to keep up with other kids
- Difficulty wearing heavy shoes or bulky winter coats
- Easily fatigued
- Lacking in energy
With my son, low muscle tone was one of the first telltale signs that something was wrong. He was always droopy. I couldn’t be sure because, of course, babies are babies. So it was difficult to tell if something was wrong. However, as he grew, he couldn’t hold himself upright.
If your child is easily tired or droopy, they may have neuromuscular issues.
2. Mood and behavior issues
One of the joys of having children is listening to their laughter and seeing them happy and joyous. Having unhealthy kids is incredibly worrying, especially when a child is quiet and anxious or has unexpected overreactions for no real reason.
Some changes to your child’s emotional state may not immediately concern you, especially if they are subtle or not apparent all the time. However, if a child is unusually emotional, anxious, or clingy, then take note as they may have a problem with their neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, that control many bodily processes, including behavior. Levels of Ca2+ATPase and intracellular calcium in neuron cells determine the release of these neurotransmitters. When calcium is unbalanced, this can lead to changes in a child’s behavior.
These are the signs you should look out for:
- Temper tantrums that become larger than your child
- Zoned out, glassy-eyed
- Anxious or feels that everything is a big deal
- Lack of engagement in social situations
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism or teasing
- Lack of joy
- Poor self-esteem
I remember my son’s mood changing, in ways only a mother can see. Your child may cry excessively or not sleep well; the symptoms may not be overwhelmingly obvious. They may be subtle, easy to miss, and they may represent a bigger problem.
3. Allergic reactions and inflammatory responses
Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself. It starts as a localized reaction to infection, irritation, or injury. The body tries to get rid of whatever caused the problem so it can heal. The result is redness, warmth, swelling, and pain, known as inflammation.
The foreign substance can be an allergen (an allergic trigger), chemical, or in the case of an autoimmune disease, the body itself. An allergic reaction is a form of inflammation.
A quick burst of inflammation, such as for a day or so, is typical. However, when the foreign invader persists, the result is ongoing chronic inflammation, that can trigger chronic diseases in childhood.
The body’s immune response could cause these symptoms:
- Food reactions despite a negative food allergy test
- Overly reactive immune response, i.e. a mosquito bite causes considerable redness and swelling
- Itchy skin, dry, flaky scalp
- Skin reactions like redness, streaks, or hives with minimal heat or irritation
- Swollen hands and feet
- Allergic reaction to chemical exposure, such as indoor pool, air fresheners, or exercise mats
Inflammation serves a purpose. But if the immune system is overactive, it can cause symptoms. Reduced Ca2+ATPase makes the body more prone to inflammation, because calcium dysregulation in mast cells triggers the release of inflammatory substances.
The first step toward balancing your child’s calcium regulation is recognizing the symptoms and understanding that collectively, they could signify an issue with calcium regulation. Thankfully, as I have learned through my research, you can restore the levels of Ca2+ATPase by making changes to their diet and lifestyle and promoting healthy habits for kids.