Guide To Hypotonia in Children: Symptoms, Treatments and More

hypotonia in children - how to treat and test for it + symptoms.If your child suffers from hypotonia, please know that this condition is a symptom rather than a root cause. Consultations with qualified medical professionals can help you reverse your child’s body composition, and there are steps you can do to keep them healthy.

Keep reading for more information, and if you would like to schedule a consultation with a naturopathic functional medicine practitioner in Singapore, please get in touch. Dr. Radhika Kamat would be happy to speak with you.

What is Hypotonia?

Hypotonia, commonly referred to as low muscle tone, is a medical condition characterized by reduced muscle strength. It is not a specific disease, but rather a potential indicator of an underlying neurological, muscular, or genetic disorder. People with hypotonia exhibit a decreased resistance to passive movement, often described as a feeling of ‘floppiness’ when lifted. In a study published in the ‘Journal of Child Neurology,’ hypotonia was noted for its broad range of associations, from benign congenital conditions to more serious neuromuscular diseases. Accurate diagnosis is essential to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Hypotonia in Children?

Hypotonia manifests as reduced muscle strength and can vary in severity, existing on a spectrum from mild to severe. Children with this condition often display several common characteristics. They may fatigue quickly due to their low muscle strength and often have poor posture. Their increased flexibility can make them more susceptible to injuries. Additionally, these children may lack proper body awareness feedback, leading to a preference for sedentary activities and avoiding foods that require more chewing effort, like chewy textures. These symptoms, combined with poor reflexes, delayed speech, and a general ‘floppy’ appearance, make daily activities and development more challenging.

What are the Root Causes of Hypotonia in Children?

While therapies such as orthotics can be immensely helpful in managing symptoms, they often do not address the underlying biochemical issues. Failing to identify and treat these root causes can lead to incomplete development and health outcomes for the child.

Common Treatable Causes

One frequently observed underlying issue in children with hypotonia is mitochondrial dysfunction. This condition can lead to easy fatiguing and low muscle tone. Deficiencies in carnitine, creatine, and B vitamins are common among children with mitochondrial issues. Additionally, it is important to rule out low thyroid function, as this can also contribute to hypotonia.

The Gut-Muscle Connection

The relationship between the gut and muscle tone is a critical aspect of understanding and treating hypotonia. Mitochondria, which are vital for energy production in cells, are significantly influenced by gut health. Impaired mitochondrial function can lead to digestive issues such as constipation, creating a vicious cycle that exacerbates hypotonia. Furthermore, conditions like Candida or bacterial overgrowth in the gut can release toxins, impairing behavior and further affecting muscle tone. These gut imbalances can also hinder the absorption of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, which are primarily absorbed in the small bowel. It’s important to speak with a gastrointestinal doctor in Singapore if you live on the island and have a child suffering from hypotonia.

Diagnostic Testing

To effectively address hypotonia, it’s essential to undergo comprehensive testing that can identify underlying causes. Parents should ensure that their healthcare provider is knowledgeable in functional testing and can offer thorough support. Starting points for testing include:

  • Organic Acid Test: This test can provide a snapshot of metabolic processes and mitochondrial function.
  • Thyroid Function Tests: Including Free T3, Free T4, TSH, and Reverse T3.
  • Serum Homocysteine: Elevated levels can indicate B vitamin deficiencies.
  • Serum Creatinine: To assess kidney function and muscle health.
  • Blood Amino Acids: To check for amino acid imbalances.

Depending on the child’s history and symptoms, further testing for heavy metals, stool analysis, ferritin levels, and a complete blood count may be necessary. The results from these tests will guide appropriate treatment strategies.

How Can You Treat Hypotonia in Kids?

Once the underlying causes are identified, treatment can include supplementation to address deficiencies and support mitochondrial function. For instance, supplementing with carnitine and creatine can enhance muscle strength and energy levels. Managing gut health through diet, probiotics, and treatments for bacterial or fungal overgrowth is also crucial.

Behavioral issues and muscle tone can see significant improvements with the right nutritional support and gut health management. Ensuring adequate B vitamin intake, either through diet or supplementation, can have a profound impact on a child’s development and overall health.

Seeking Professional Help

If your child exhibits signs of low muscle tone, seeking support from a licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in developmental disorders is a valuable step. These professionals can offer a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating hypotonia, considering the child’s individual needs and health profile.

Professionals like naturopathic doctors, who specialize in treating developmental disorders, can work alongside your general practitioner or specialist. This collaborative approach ensures your child receives holistic care that addresses all aspects of their health.

My medical practice helps children with a wide variety of issues. I’m a leading hormone doctor in Singapore, and I help families dealing with eczema and many, many other health concerns as well. Please get in touch – I’d love to help you find a path towards better health.

Sources For Further Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.