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Anke Zimmermann: Neonatal vitamin K shots cause behavioral problems that need to be treated with… homeopathic vitamin K!

Anke Zimmermann is a naturopath in Canada who treats autism who’s quackier than the usual naturopath. When last we saw her, she was using homeopathic rabid dog saliva to treat a fear of werewolves. This time around, she presents a “case report” in which she spent two and a half years treating a cranky child with various homeopathic remedies and concluded that her problems were due to the neonatal vitamin K shot. Naturally, that means to her, like any good homeopath, that the correct treatment is vitamin K diluted away to nothing.

Regular readers know that I like to refer to homeopathy as The One Quackery To Rule Them All. True, there are competitors for that most hallowed title of pseudoscience. Reiki and other forms of energy medicine come to mind as being just as ridiculous as, if not more so, than homeopathy in terms of claims and magical thinking, but homeopathy continues to win out because of homeopaths like British Columbia naturopath Anke Zimmermann, DN (ND=”Not-a-Doctor) and the level of bizarreness of the treatments they espouse. I first became aware of Zimmerman when I learned of her claimed use of homeopathic saliva from a rabid dog to cure growling, aggressive behavior, and a fear of werewolves in a four-year-old boy. Amazingly, this isn’t something that Zimmermann had just made up; it’s a real homeopathic remedy, based on the idea that there is such a thing as the “rabies miasm,” which can lead to aggressive behavior. Fortunately, the claimed remedy, Lyssinum, was first made many decades ago, and it’s not even clear that it ever started with actual saliva from a rabid dog. It’s also a 200C dilution, which means that it’s a 10-400 dilution of whatever C. Hering used back in 1833 to make up Lyssinum. Still, even though the actual remedy almost certainly has no rabies virus in it, the very idea is simultaneously extremely silly and extremely appalling.

In any event, it shouldn’t be surprising that Anke Zimmermann is into homeopathy. She is, after all, a naturopath, and you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. Homeopathy is an integral part of naturopathic education and practice. Not all homeopaths are naturopaths, but all naturopaths are homeopaths. They spend a lot of time learning it in naturopathy school, and it’s included on the naturopathic licensing examination, the NPLEX. In any event, Anke Zimmerman is also under investigation by the British Columbia College of Naturopathic Physicians for CEASE therapy for autism, part of which involves using a homeopathic dilution of the MMR vaccine, using “the 30C, 200C, 1M and 10M potencies to clear out the energetic field of the patient from the imprint of toxic substances or diseases.” Just for comparison, a 10M dilution is the same as 10,000C, which means a 10-20,000 dilution. By way of further comparison, Avogadro’s number is approximately 6 x 1023, and the number of atoms in the known universe is estimated to be around 1080. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of chemistry and math can see how utterly ridiculous it is even to think that such a substance, diluted beyond not just Avogadro’s number, but way, way beyond even the estimated number of atoms in the known universe, could have any physiologic effect. Not that that stops homeopaths from invoking bizarre mechanisms to “explain” how homeopathy “works,” but hopefully you can see why it can’t.

It turns out that Anke Zimmermann is at it again. One of the things I used as a basis for discussing how pseudoscientific and full of magical thinking homeopathy is was the initial case report that Zimmermann posted on her website. Somehow, I missed a more recent one, posted in late May, but it’s so ridiculous that I say: Better late than never discussing it. Another reason to discuss the case report is because it demonstrates a technique much like cold reading: Just keep throwing homeopathic treatments at the patient until there appears to be an improvement, and then declare victory. In this case, Anke Zimmermann thinks that the vitamin K shot that newborns receive routinely before leaving the hospital was the cause of the baby’s problems and therefore treated her with—you guessed it!—homeopathic vitamin K. So, without further ado, here a case of chronic insomnia, restlessness, and excessive crying in a baby:

I saw a one-year-old girl I will name Erin on August 12, 2015. The parents were concerned about their daughter’s ongoing sleep issues and general emotional intensity.

“Erin screamed almost continuously for the first three months of her life, a high-pitched, blood-curdling scream, whenever she was not sleeping.”

“She continued to scream very frequently until she was 6-8 months old. Even now she easily reverts back to screaming if upset in any way.”

“She also has intense emotional swings. She can go back and forth on a dime, she gets very wound-up easily. Diaper changes are and have been a total nightmare. She fights us every time and also cries big crocodile tears. She gets very angry from restriction, hates the car seat. She is not very cuddly either.”
“She is very volatile and intense. She gets easily bored and needs constant attention from us. She can’t be still, is always moving, restless. When she nurses she constantly squirms and moves her arms and legs.”

“Erin is a horrible sleeper, very light. She wakes up right away if we step into the room. She often wakes up at night and then has trouble getting back to sleep. She is also restless in her sleep, moving all over her crib.”

“She is also very touchy, if another child touches her on the playground she flips out and yells at the top of her lungs.”

Does this sound familiar? It sounds like colic to me. Colic tends to begin at around two weeks of age, hit a peak intensity around 6 weeks of age, and then decrease until it goes away around 6 months of age. During that six month time period it can cause the parents a great deal of distress, but almost never results in any long-lasting adverse effects for the baby. The cry is often described just that way, a piercing, high-pitched scream. Here, for instance, is a description of colic from a review article:

Physicians and parents use the term colic to describe an infant with excessive crying, irritability, or fussiness. The most commonly accepted definition of colic, which originated in 1954, describes using the “rule of three”: crying for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, and for more than three weeks in an infant that is well-fed and otherwise healthy. This definition has been used repeatedly in clinical studies of colic. The motor behaviors of infants with colic also were first described in 1954. Colicky infants have attacks of screaming in the evening with associated motor behaviors such as flushed face, furrowed brow, and clenched fists. The legs are pulled up to the abdomen, and the infants emit a piercing, high-pitched scream.

Sure, this baby’s clinical course appears to have lasted to a bit older age than a typical case of colic, but there are outliers for everything in medicine. Be that as it may, whatever this baby’s problem was, colic or something else, you can bet that Anke Zimmermann is not going to ascribe it to something as common as colic. Indeed, the word “colic” doesn’t even feature in her “differential diagnosis” (if you can consider anything a homeopath does to be a “differential diagnosis). First, Zimmermann notes that this baby was born ten days overdue after a 40-hour labor, which was induced. She also notes that the mother received intravenous antibiotics for an infection during labor and had taken Clomid to conceive. The baby’s father had had years of antibiotic treatment for recurrent infections. Even more irrelevant, the mother’s paternal grandmother and brother had grown up in a tuberculosis sanitorium. Naturally, given that the parents were bringing this poor child to a naturopath, the baby hadn’t had any vaccines when seen by Zimmermann.

So let’s read Zimmermmann’s “analysis”:

She has a history of very light and restless sleep and was rashy as a baby, especially on her face. She was never vaccinated. There is a family history of tuberculosis, and of Clomid and antibiotic use as well as an induction for labour. We could rule out vaccine injury as she had not been vaccinated.

Imagine my relief that “vaccine injury” could be ruled out. But what else can we say. This:

As the child had difficulties from birth I carefully considered any factors around the pregnancy and birth as well as the family history. I chose the homeopathic remedy Tuberculinum as it fit the restlessness during day and night, the easy boredom, as well as the facial rashes, plus there was a confirmed family history of the disease.

Plan: Tuberculinum 200CH, one dose.

W…T…F…?

Yes, tuberculinum is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a homeopathic dilution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Specifically, if you believe the Materia Medica, it’s a glycerine extract of a pure cultivation of tubercle bacilli (human). Homeopaths claim that it can treat tuberculosis (of course), but it’s rarely used for that much any more, given that tuberculosis is so much less common in developed countries than it used to be. Instead, it’s now used for “respiratory conditions, such as colds, asthma and allergies,” as well as to “control neurotic behavior, soothe irritability and help those with a flustered disposition.” This “natural medicine” source states:

From a homeopathic point of view, Tuberculinum (30C) is best suited to personalities who long for constant stimulation and change, often accompanied by destructive anger, disillusionment, irritability, and a strong sense of discontent.

Science? There is none to support this. If you really want to get an idea of the utterly bonkers nature of homeopathic “thinking” (and, no, diluting homeopathic thinking doesn’t make it stronger), read this entry on Tuberculinum. Supposedly the symptoms associated by this remedy (and, by the Law of Similars, treated by this remedy) include a feeling that there is “something beyond,” a deep sense of unfulfillment, teenagers who won’t do their homework, and, in a young child, irritability to a destructive degree, fussiness, mental retardation (I kid you not), restlessness, fear of strangers, monosyllabic answers, colds, headache, diarrhea, and more. This entry on Zimmerman’s blog claims that tubercuinum is good for developmental delays, restlessness, defiance, destructiveness, bedwetting, head-thumping, and allergies.

So, as bizarre as it sounds, Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann was treating this child according to precepts of homeopathy upon which most homeopaths would agree. So off she went, treating first with 200C Tuberculinum. She thought that did some good, although who knows, given placebo and expectation effects? Her first assessment was, “This report sounded promising but the remedy did not seem to hold that well.” So what did she do? Like any good homeopath, she upped the potency by increasing the dilution to 1M. Everything seemed to go well for a while, but by five weeks into treatment:

Email Sept 23, 5 weeks into treatment:
Has had four episodes of being up again at night last week. Took two hours to get resettled. Lot of screaming when trying to put her down in crib.
Plan: Repeat Tub 1M

October 1, email:
Was awake three hours at night with screaming and up again at 5:30 with screaming
Plan: Repeat Tub 1M

October 4, email:
Had two good nights, now another bad one, screaming from 2-4 am.
Assessment: May need a higher potency but I suspect that something else may be needed.

So the treatment clearly wasn’t working. The baby was still fussy and screaming at night. At this point, given that the baby was well beyond the usual age range for colic, a pediatrician would likely have started a workup to make sure there was nothing medically wrong with the child. Not Anke Zimmermann:

FU consultation Oct 13:
Reviewed history: Mom had antibiotics with delivery. Father had a lot of antibiotics in his life, years of it. She reports that overall Erin is getting happier. She has been fighting them on the change table again a bit. Better able to stay in car seat, before she was crying after 15 minutes.

Assessment: Tuberculinum always helps a bit, but I’m not convinced it’s the only remedy she needs. Overall Erin is continuing to improve, but some of that may also be due to normal development and maturation. I decided however to stick with Tuberculinum and give a 10M.

Plan: Tub 10M

Yes, you got that right! Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann doubled down on the homeopathic tuberculinum, “cranking up” the dose to 10M! There is a hint of self-awareness, there, though. She actually admitted that part of the improvement that she thought she had seen could have been due to normal development and maturation. In actuality, almost certainly all the changes she was observing were due to normal development, given that 30C, 1M, and 10M Tuberculinum is nothing but water. What happened next? Apparently nothing for nine months.

Then:

FU: July 26, 2016, almost a year into treatment:
I had not heard from the family in nine months. Erin is doing great overall but still gets upset easily: “She gets very excited before an event then when it happens she rapidly deflate. Emotions overcome her, she has rapid outbursts of anger.”

Her mother took Clomid to conceive and I decided to try a course of Clomid in homeopathic form to see if it would address the underlying and still continuing emotional volatility.

Plan: Clomid 30CH twice a week for two weeks, then Clomid 200CH twice a week for another two weeks

Yeah, because if Clomid caused the girl’s emotional problems, then Clomid diluted to nothingness would cure them, right? Of course, by this stage the child was probably nearing “terrible twos,” given that she was first seen in August 2015 at what I estimate to be close to a year old. All I could think at this point was: No one’s ever heard of a toddler who’s emotionally labile and throws temper tantrums, right?. At least Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann apparently hasn’t. At this point, I was wondering: Where was the person or health care professional who can counsel the mother that her child is behaving like a normal baby entering toddlerhood? Remember, this sounds as though it were the mother’s first child, and that she had had difficulty conceiving.

Not surprisingly, the Clomid didn’t work, although Zimmermann interpreted the patient’s difficulty sleeping and other aspects of her course as being due to Clomid bringing up some “blocked emotions.” So she gave Ignatia 200CH. Now here was a homeopathic remedy that I hadn’t heard of before. Apparently, Ignatia comes from the St Ignatius bean, which is the seed of Ignatia amaris, a climbing shrub native to China, the Philippines and Indonesia. Apparently Hahnemann himself “discovered” it and “proved” it in a homeopathic proving. Basically, it’s supposed to treat anxiety and prolonged grief. Did it work? What do you think.

But then, in a bolt out of the blue, Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann had an insight! it was based on the mother’s observation:

Her mother contacted me because I had posted a report about a baby having a reaction to a vit K shot on my facebook page. She said it sounded like Elise! They had forgotten to tell me that she had received a vitamin K shot at birth. I also had not thought about asking or even considering that a vitamin K shot could cause any problems up until that time.

Plan: Vit K clearing protocol as in CEASE therapy, 2 pellets twice a week with each potency of 30 CH, 200CH, 1M and 10M.

And what was the result? Whatever happened, you just know that an naturopath like Anke Zimmermann would attribute it to a “healing reaction.” I’m going to quote rather extensively, because I want you to see how utterly bonkers this whole “case report” has become:

“On Thursday we gave Erin her last dose of the vit K clearing (10M). That night she was restless beyond words. She often crawls on the wall with her legs while we read to her and moves in her sleep, but this was crazy. She also woke at 2 and 3:30 am to pee and we could hear her singing at various times throughout the night. Last night was even more insane. She woke after an hour and stayed up until 1:30 am. I stayed with her and she tossed and turned and moved her legs ALL night.”

I advised that is was likely an aggravation and to give her Epsom salt baths 3 times a day and Melatonin if needed.

Mom gave the bath and Erin fell asleep after “CRAZILY” moving her legs and entire body for at least half an hour. Then woke up again after a few hours. The next two night were better.

Sept 5 email:
Up again every few hours, all are getting exhausted.

Sept 6 email:
Up from 9-12:30 again. But excellent energy during the day, “like that lethargy that used to exist disappeared and she was running and jumping and doing great all day.”

Assessment: I never knew that she was lethargic until now. Good response, but aggravation.

Plan: Support detoxification, milk thistle and dandelion extract, 10 drops in water every 3-4 hours.
Support nervous system with Passionflower or Avena sativa 15 drops 30 min before bed.

Because of course she needed “detoxification.” Naturopaths always think their patients need “detoxification,” even when they can’t identify any of the “toxins.”

Onward:

Sept 7 email:
Mom emailed at 3:30 am describing more of the same troubles.
Assessment: 10M has caused aggravation but the child’s system is stuck there. Use plussing of 10M in water to move her through this.
Plan: Give the 10M plussed in water, 1 tsp every hour for the entire day, shake before each dose.

Sept 8 email:
“She slept! If one single vit K shot did this to her, I truly can’t imagine what a full set of vaccines might have done!”

Sept 17 email:
Things are much better. Still much better energy, sleeping better.

FU Sep 28:
Sleep is off again. But has completely lost her lethargy, has tons of energy and is now interested in cycling!
Plan: Repeat vit K clearing but go slow, 30CH once a week for 2 weeks. Continue milk thistle and dandelion at 10 drops twice a day.

October 3:
Had 30CH Vit K 2 days ago.
“Big emotional melt-down at noon with high-pitched screaming! Just like when she was a baby! We were pretty shocked, hadn’t heard that sound in so long.”
But slept a solid 12 hours for the first time since starting the clearing.
Plan: Continue clearing, on the right track finally.

So wait? Zimmermann was “on the right track” because the child started screaming again the way she did when she was a baby? Of course, in alternative medicine, getting worse is frequently represented as a “healing crisis,” just the way that Zimmermann represented the child’s behavior here.

Let’s step back a minute. Zimmermann’s treatment had taken two and a half years, from August 2015 to April 2018. During that time, the child had aged from under one year old to over three and a half years old. She had gone through the “terrible twos.” In other words, in the life of a child that young, two and a half years is a hell of a long time, nearly three quarters of the child’s entire lifetime thus far! There is nothing I saw in this case report that couldn’t be explained by normal childhood development, although if the pediatricians or other child care professionals who read this blog disagree I’m happy to reconsider if you’ll tell me where I went wrong. Just remember that nowhere throughout this course did the child get anything more than basically water mixed into sugar pills and allowed to dry, because that’s what homeopathic remedies greater than 12C “potency” are, and even those less than 12C are unlikely to have much active ingredient.

None of this stopped Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann from bragging about her clinical acumen:

The child had obviously been negatively affected by the vitamin K shot given to her at birth, as the remedy so elegantly identified. It was fortunate that she did not receive any regular vaccines or medications, so we were able to isolate her problem directly to this shot.

This led her to conclude:

After this case, I can say that we should all suspect vitamin K shot injuries in children with irritability and restlessness as well as insomnia. Considering the epidemic of ADHD and other neurological issues in children I can’t help but think that many of those cases may have been impacted by vitamin K shots. Of course the many vaccines and even ultrasound and other modern medical practices can and do also irritate and impact the developing nervous system.

Great. Now, in addition to claiming “vaccine injury” as a cause of all sorts of symptoms (including autism), now Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann has had the “revelation” that neonatal vitamin K shots cause all manner of emotional symptoms in babies and toddlers. Note the difference in thinking, though, between doctors and naturopaths. Based on one case over two-and-a-half years in which symptoms of irritability waxed and waned and most likely ultimately resolved through development and maturation, Zimmermann concludes that she’s not just going to discourage vaccinations any more but neonatal vitamin K shots. But don’t worry about brain hemorrhages! She has a solution! You can use oral vitamin K as a supplement! Of course, oral vitamin K does decrease the risk of early and late vitamin K-dependent bleeding, but it doesn’t eliminate the risk, particularly of late bleeding. When the shot is used, the risk of late vitamin K-dependent bleeding is near zero. The shot is preferred because it works a lot better in preventing bleeding in the brain than administering three doses of oral vitamin K. It’s just that simple, and the vitamin K shot is incredibly safe as well. Also, why, if the neonatal vitamin K injection really did cause this child’s symptoms, would Zimmermann think that oral vitamin K wouldn’t? I know, I know. It’s the evil needle.

I frequently refer to homeopathy as The One Quackery To Rule Them All and naturopaths, who abbreviate their degree as “ND,” as “Not-a Doctor.” If you want to know why, all you have to do is to read how Not-a-Doctor Zimmermann uses two and a half years of diddling with various nonsensical homeopathic remedies to treat a cranky child as a rationale to conclude that the neonatal vitamin K shot is potentially dangerous. That sort of thinking will kill children eventually every bit as much as antivaccine thinking. Naturopaths are quacks.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

65 replies on “Anke Zimmermann: Neonatal vitamin K shots cause behavioral problems that need to be treated with… homeopathic vitamin K!”

best suited to personalities who long for constant stimulation and change, often accompanied by destructive anger, disillusionment, irritability, and a strong sense of discontent.

Whenever I read I read an homeopathy book, I am often quite disturbed by the numer of “mental symptoms” homeopaths claim to treat.
There is a debate around psychiatry and how much some normal human behaviors are pathologized or not in psychotropes prescription, if this is too much normative, with sound and less sound arguments. But these homeopathic indications seem even more normative than that, as if any and all human behaviors can be the object of a treatment…

They are not really symptoms of mental illness, but symptoms of slight anxiety, restlessness or sadness that all normal people have. As such, they are typically transient and regress to the mean quickly. Ideal symptoms for homeopathy to treat as they will go away normally.

Homeopathy doesn’t want to be claiming to treat proper diseases that have measurable effects, because it is completely useless at treating such things. Although there are homeopaths who make such claims – including those who wanted to treat ebola. There is no accounting for stupidity, when coupled with Dunning-Kruger.

Notice also the language homeoquacks use: some of it appears vaguely 19th century, and some of it appears to go out of its way to avoid the language used by (real) doctors to describe (real) diseases and treatments.

“This report sounded promising but the remedy did not seem to hold that well.”

“Did not seem to hold.” Oy. “Dr. Quack, there’s a call for you: Remedy holding on Line Two!”

As Orac says, they dare not speak of real diseases because that would expose their “remedies” as so much BS. True.

I think there’s also something else at work here: some of them, perhaps many, most, or all, are aware, consciously or otherwise, that if they use (real) medical language, they will be exposing themselves to various legal and regulatory actions along the lines of practicing medicine without a license. If enough of them do that, all of them will be “at risk.”

I’m of slightly divided mind about this: should we just outright ban this [email protected]?

On one hand, obviously yes: it’s harmful if for no other reason than it keeps people away from real doctors. Even if one wants to argue (as I have in the past) that consenting adults are welcome to Darwinize themselves slowly with quackery (and I’m starting to change my mind about that): parents have no right to do that to their kids, period. It’s child endangerment.

On the other hand, banning it might push it underground. Then you end up with a whole outlaw subculture, diminished respect for the law generally, and the susceptibility to further outlaw ideology and its concomitant anti-science BS that always follows from that. We see what that caused during pot prohibition and thankfully we’re getting over it as we legalize pot, so stirring up a new batch of it would be a major step backward.

Ultimately the cure for this particular social disease is improved science education and health education in secondary schools, and improved universal health coverage. If anyone anywhere can see a real doctor any time without having to jump through any sort of hoops, the demand for quackadoodle BS will diminish to the point where homeopaths and their fellow-travelers will be put on the endangered species list, where they belong.

Let’s just call it what it is: BULLSHIT.

Because you are right; there is no debate about serious mental health issues, we should not trivialize them, and comparing homeopathy with astrology does just that given the number of suckers when it comes to astrology.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to trivialize serious mental health issues. I realize now that “debate” wasn’t appropriate, especially since quite a few people on this subject are mental health deniers.

Not to mention the enormous expense these first-time parents have had. Anke Zimmermann, in common with ALL naturopaths and ALL homeopaths, has the bare-faced gall to continue to charge full-freight to the vulnerable, desperate and impressionable (i.e. new parents). Had the poor child died, I am absolutely sure that Anke Zimmermann ND (i.e. Not-a-Doctor!) would have successfully scrambled to explain and justify her deliberate, active and horrid neglect in this case.

“There is a hint of self-awareness, there, though” –glad I wasn’t drinking anything as I read that. Any self awareness was at a homeopathic dilution given Zimmerman neglected to get a full “toxinz” history at the beginning which should have included whether the infant got the evil vitamin K shot

When I hear of a toddler/child tossing with lots of leg motion during sleep, the possibility of restless leg syndrome (RLS) comes to mind with consideration for testing iron and ferritin levels with consideration for starting oral iron therapy if iron or serum ferritin levels are low.

The image Orac used at the beginning of this post shows a single-dose ampoule of Vitamin K1 for neonates.

Each 0.5 ml single-dose ampoule contains 1 mg of Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) and 4.5 mg of the preservative benzyl alcohol.

It is known that benzyl alcohol is toxic to neonates, it is associated with the gasping syndrome.

The preservative exceeds the active ingredient (i.e., Vitamin K1) by a weight ratio of 4.5/1.

In simplification:

In medical science, more of a bad thing can be a good thing knowing the poison is in the dose;

In homeopathy, less is always a good thing; and

In parenthood, giving your baby ONLY plenty of good things matters.

Thus, uncertainty and disagreement is inevitable.

“It is known that benzyl alcohol is toxic to neonates, it is associated with the gasping syndrome.

At what dosage and citation needed.

What’s worse Shay Simmons, the suspected manufacturing date 11/04 and expiration date 9/14 indicates ~ 10 year shelf-life.

If this is true, the manufacturer may be loading up the toxic preservative to increase shelf-life and profitability.

MJD: Answer the questoin. At what dosage is benzyl alcohol toxic to neonates, where is your citation, and where is your citation that it is toxic at all.

Understand this: you have ZERO credibility here. Even if you say the sky is blue, people are going to open their windows to check.

9 mg is MUCH less than that.

And that is 9 mg per ml – the neonatal dose is just half a millilitre.
0.9% benzyl alcohol is common as a preservative in things like sterile water or sodium chloride for injection in multidose vials. These are both used for diluents for lots of things, often in moderate volume. The trend has been to single dose vials without preservative – use 5 ml and discard the remaining 5, 15 or 25 ml. The K1 sheets are very clear that diluent without preservative should be used if required for any reason for neonatal doses.

MJD also can’t tell the difference between a label revision data and a lot number/expiry date.

You’d think that someone who has authored so many books would have picked up notions like that from the difference between copyright date and the many many batch printing dates of his numerous and popular works.

If you look at the sheets for K1 for injection, neonatal issues with benzyl alcohol are specifically mentioned as is the fact that there is no evidence that the amount in the neonatal dose is a problem.

If MJD missed this, he’s something something than I thought he was. If he didn’t, he’s just being disingenuous again.

Enlighten MJD and calculate the shelf-life for the discussed neonatal vitamin K1 injection.

Entertain me, please.

I’m not here to entertain you, Shay Simmons.

Down a shot of benzyl alcohol and see if you have the capacity to search for answers yourself.

For a change, I’m not going to put you down (deserved though it is), or correct you.
Instead, I will ask you to please stop double line spacing. It is hard enough too read you without endless scrolling.
Also, please learn to use capitalization and punctuation correctly.

Old Rockin’ Dave asks,

I will ask you to please stop double line spacing.

MJD says,

No, unless Orac threatens to ban MJD for double line spacing.

The needs of the many far outweigh the needs of the one.

Orac says,

OK, knock off the excessive double spacing.

MJD says,

Affirmative. @Old Rockin’ Dave. Please accept my apology for not considering your needs. Furthermore, I’ll make every effort to improve my capitalization and punctuation. If there are any other constructive criticisms for MJD please advise, but, at the same time don’t hesitate to send MJD good thoughts occasionally.

The preservative exceeds the active ingredient (i.e., Vitamin K1) by a weight ratio of 4.5/1.

I suppose hilarious stupidity is better than obnoxious stupidity. It needs more words.

“I’m not here to entertain you, Shay Simmons.”

Not asking for entertainment – where’s your answer?

This case is completely off-the-wall. But if there’s a place where sham medicine is less harmful, it’s here, because I don’t think real medicine has good answers. Maybe the family would be sent to a sleep trainer.

That’s not to say that fleecing this family while waiting for the child to outgrow the issues was a good thing, or that there isn’t a real risk someone who is this caught up in woo won’t miss a real medical issue. But I kind of hope she limits her ill-founded efforts to these kind of situations where there isn’t a dangerous medical problem.

Of course, she can still do harm, for example, by discouraging vaccines and now vitamin K.

What I find odd is that she is calling this a win, when it took years for resolution. Even if you believe in the quackery involved, it’s not much of an endorsement of it.

Doritmi: I have to differ with you there. I’d say this case is particularly dangerous because the PT is a kid who is clearly in major distress (high-pitched screaming for hours), which should always be cause to see a real doctor.

If we don’t have a decent scientific understanding of colic yet, then it should be made a major research topic, because whatever-it-is appears to be agonizing for infants, and a cause of enormous stress for their parents. The fact that infants can’t verbalize or fight back, and parents can ignore their screams of pain, is not an excuse.

About fleecing: the problem is, it’s well known that people value things they pay for, and the more they pay, the more they value those things, all of this by way of rationalizations and justifications. So the parents pay a quack serious dough for multiple consultations and power-placebos, and they justify the payment by believing that the quack did something that helped their kid.

That in turn becomes a “testimonial” in the parents’ social network: a carrier of the homeoquackery meme-virus. It might even lead to direct referrals of other parents to the same quack, when the referral that’s really needed is of the quack to the nearest District Attorney.

What we really need to do is make the whole thing go away, and the best “remedy” (ahem!) is better science & health education.

Another example of alt-medicine being so detached from reality that anything becomes a “plausible” culprit of what ails the patient. I hope the poor child had proper healthcare but somehow I doubt it since this naturopathic wonder didn’t mention it as a cause of the child’s difficulty. Also another example of blaming what “defiled” the child’s “purity”. Pity anyone takes these quacks seriously.

When I first started reading, I thought some of the symptoms matched those of a great grandchild. She was eventually diagnosed and treated for GERD. Fortunately, she was not taken to a Not a Doctor. She’s fine now, BTW, and an enchanting child.

It’s fairly common, and usually self-resolving. The cardiac sphincter between the esophagus and stomach is immature and weak in newborns. It strengthens on its own quickly in most cases. Occasionally medication is required on a short term basis.

I’m thrilled for you 😀 It must be awesome!

One thing I’ve noticed about homeopaths (actually, belay that; all sCAMsters) is their lack of understanding of the phrase; ‘Regression to the Mean’.

Orac slipped up by showing us a photo of the injectable vitamin K package, revealing to all the Toxins contained therein (phytonadione, benzyl alcohol, polyoxyethylated fatty acid derivative, hydrochloric acid (ACIDS injected into your fragile newborn’s bloodstream!). No wonder the MMs* at NN warn about “The poisoning and destruction of the infants immune system” due to vitamin K injection.

Anke screwed up by not insisting on a forceful detox regimen. Shamefully, coffee enemas were not employed.

*Malevolent Morons.

Great question 🙂

The fetus gets its nutritional needs from the mother via the placenta. The GI tract is sterile at birth. Through breast feeding, and other oral mechanisms, the newborn acquires bacterial for this gut that becomes part of the normal digestive process. The newborn also begins eating. Through a combination of food sources and by products of the bacterial, we acquire the ability to produce and process Vit K.

The process takes about 7-8 days. The rabbi’s knew what they were doing when they decided to wait to perform a bris in newborn males until the 8th day.

Vitamin K starts the coagulation cascade. It activates our ability to clot, thus preventing hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.

4.4 to 10.5 per 100,000 births is the estimated rate when no Vit K is administered.

With oral Vit K, the rate drops to 1.4 to 6.4, but it must be given in 3 doses.

With a single injection, the rate becomes 0 to 0.62 per 100,000 births in a single injection at birth.

It’s really a no brainer to give the shot.

In 2013, six newborns at the same hospital in Tennessee developed HDN, four with brain bleeds. None had gotten Vit K at birth; the parents had declined it as part of the birth plan.

Refusing Vit K at birth is playing Russian roulette with your baby’s brain.

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-for-the-vitamin-k-shot-in-newborns/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11220402/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3021393/

Because evolution doesn’t need kids to be born with enough Vitamin K for all of them to survive. Just enough to propagate the species. The miscarriage rate is high, the neonatal death rate is high in the absence of modern obstetrics, etc. We have a higher bar for the survival of children than evolution does.

A. Anecdotes are not science. B. Homeopathy and naturopathy are not science.

Just more quackery folks, nothing to see here.

Looking at all the “diagnoses” Ms. Zimmermann produced for this one case, including psychological, I am amazed. Is there nothing these knowledgeable and skilled practitioners cannot do, no condition which they cannot cure? Look on their mighty works and despair that none shall surpass them.

*Apologies to Percy Shelley

Rather than being awesome, the approach to diagnosis is more akin to an child playing darts than anything else.

Panacea, it is awesome, and I again have a visitor who loves my collection (it’s a collection, not an obsession) of stuffies, as much as I do. Thank you.

“She slept! If one single vit K shot did this to her, I truly can’t imagine what a full set of vaccines might have done!”

Protected her from disease without affecting her colic?

C+ for effort, Aarno Syvänen. Can you please provide a link with substance. Thanks!

NOAEL stands for No Observed Adverse Effect Level, which is quite substantial. You could use editor to find benzyl alcohol data.

This child sounds a lot like my son. After ruling out anything wrong with the pediatrician and child development clinic( no GERD,no delays), it was simply something he had to grow out of. Things improved dramatically around 3, and after some minor behavior issues in kindergarten, his emotions and body are all caught up with each other (well, as much as they can for a 14 year old). During this time, I was diagnosed with adult ADHD which I had never considered that I had. I suspect he may also have this too, but we are so far able to manage his with behavior modification. It’s no wonder I had such a hard time adjusting to his mood swings, and now with hindsight, I can understand why things could be so overwhelming for him.Ruling out medical reasons,maybe one or both parents are having trouble coping with the intensity of the kiddo’s temperament and their own? I don’t blame the parents in this scenario at all though. When parents at playgroups talk crap behind your back because YOUR kid won’t stop screaming, and you can’t sleep, and you can’t get a sitter to even get sleep or a date, you’ll take any advice that sounds like it’s actually doing something.

You know one of the things I was thinking when I read the whole “case history” was that the mother really didn’t seem like she wanted to be bothered with the downsides of raising an infant and toddler . . . that she was unhappy with the reality of the child she got and not the child she fantasized about when she was trying to get pregnant.

Maybe I do her an injustice. But I doubt it. I imagine a real pediatrician would have told her things she didn’t want to hear, which is why she went to a naturopath in the first place.

If you look through her case studies, lots of “imperfect” young children. The oddest is one where a baby with supposed failure to thrive was supposedly declared a “bad baby” by the pediatrician, and the mother told to leave the baby alone to cry it out. I’m going to call BS on that one.

I wasn’t going to get into posting about personal experience, but I could have written your comment, except for the part about not blaming the parents. I never went down the path of woo, though I toyed with it a couple of times. The social isolation I experienced with my child was compounded by rejecting the oft recommended woo–in addition to the assumption that I was a lousy parent who could not “control” my child.

Sadly, failure to control the child is a feature of both woo and modern medicine whenever a provider gets stumped.

I hesitated to make that comment, but after three years of nonsense, I had to wonder if that wasn’t part of the problem.

I can’t take the ND’s position seriously unless they start calling it vitamin Kill. Anything less makes them a pharma-shill apologist.

At least vitamin K injections don’t contain “genetically modified DNA from other humans”*, which NN warns us is one of the 9 “shocking” vaccine ingredients in 2018.

*probably it does, but the CDC and Paul Offit are covering it up. 🙁

In other news, it has been revealed that Art Bell died of a prescription drug overdose, which should send NN and Health Nut News into an unparalleled tizzy.

My poor long-suffering sister is a pediatrician who has seen, if not it all, then all that she cares to.

She’s long banned parents who will not vaccinate from her practice. Now she’s started to see parents who try to refuse the vitamin K for their newborns. The only thing that works for her is to walk away, or at least say that she will. It has to be, either get the shot or find another doctor, starting now.

It does work for her, though.

Zimmermann either doesn’t understand the BC legislation that applies to naturopathy or thinks it doesn’t apply to her.

OK, naturopaths in BC have a very restricted list of Rx medcines they can prescribe. They can “prescribe” OTC products in the same way as any other member of the public. What’s not generally understood is that if a homeopathic or herbal product isn’t registered with Health Canada, it has default status of Rx. And no homeopathic preparations of Clomid are registered. Nor are any vaccine derived products. Apparently, naturopaths are permitted to compound their own concoctions but they are legal limitations on what ingredients they can use. Clomid is not on the list of Rx products naturopaths can prescribe so even if Zimmermann did compound the thing – htf did she get hold of the Clomid?

Publishing details of illegal prescribing isn’t very clever. It’s admissible evidence.

A similar situation exists in US states even where naturopathy is recognised. If a product is NOT in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoiea of the United States, it’s considered Rx.

In both Canada and the US there is illegal trade to/by naturopaths and homeopaths. Some of them even sell the products online.

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