Monday, October 26, 2015

Pectus Excavatum Symptoms In Infants

What are the symptoms for Pectus Excavatum in infants?

As any mother or father concerned with the health of their child, with any kind of deformity or lack thereof, there are underlying questions and anxieties that may come around, especially for someone's first baby; Pregnancy itself is a worry. There's nothing to worry so heavily about your infant. Overall, the condition is not fatal, I haven't seen many studies regarding a correlation of death and this chest deformity. On the flipside, if you have an animal who suffers with the same deformity, say Pectus Excavatum in dogs and cats, the chances of it being fatal are greatly increased. I'd be more worried of my dog than my child with Pectus Excavatum.

Pectus Excavatum Symptoms In Infants

For infants, their growth will likely not be stunted in anyway, however there may be some worries psychologically/emotionally as your child grows older. You might also notice that your child is less energetic or is easily fatigued. I'll gladly share with you some tips from my perspective of having this chest deformity at the end! :)

Cosmetic Symptoms

  • What's blatantly noticeable as a symptom of Pectus Excavatum is the undeveloped costal cartilage, what generally people call a 'Hole In Chest' or the Funnel Chest. This is a cosmetic abnormality that often has health symptoms. The costal cartilage are not able to fully develop or they grow abnormally, and it leaves your child's sternum sunken. Rarely, it will occur on one side of the chest.
  • Rib Flare is the protrusion of the ribs farther out than the chest and this is most commonly found not in infants, and is in common with women who are pregnant. As the fatness of your child's chubby cheeks go away, rib flare begins to form as their metabolism rises. You'll likely see stretch marks, or slight bruising of the pectorals, lower back and/or abdominals/obliques (to note, many teens have stretch marks when they hit puberty). Exercising may cause more temporary marks as well.
  • 'Stand up straight'! Classic words from my pops; I thought I was walking fine. :p You can consider slouching a natural state for most people already, however this is very unhealthy for everyone as a whole.

Health Symptoms

  • Fatigue or shortness of breath seems to be universal with this condition. Sports and general cardio will likely be a strain, but doable!
  • As your child ages and becomes more active, chest pains may become seldom occurrences depending on the severity of the chest.
  • The psychology field has grown and expanded and as new studies come out about how heavily our childhood affects our personalities, something to consider in the long term, we can only be so anxious. Anxiety, specifically social anxiety of revealing the chest does occur in some individuals.
  • Few have a naturally quicker heart rate, however during times of workouts, fatigue kicks in. The heart has to work harder to push the same amount of blood than an average person would.

Pectus Excavatum Parenting Suggestions

I am no parent, although I would love to be one someday, but me and my father were diagnosed with Pectus Excavatum. Quite interesting, my father kept a positive outlook in things and he let me play soccer for a few seasons (it ended for unrelated reasons). My experiences are my own so hopefully I can make some positive suggestions on parenting.

  • Be positive and encouraging... this should be self explanatory with any child. Don't belittle your creative child, instead give em a cookie when they do things you like (Operant Conditioning approved!), but most of all care for their wishes and dreams.
  • With your positive flow climbing, encourage fitness and exercising, of course mixing stretches! Kids naturally have high energy, so what happened to you?
  • Healthy eating is a must, and if you really want to quell off rib flare, there's nothing better than gaining a few pounds. Naturally, your child's metabolism will be very high and a stressed heart doesn't help.
  • Braces and posture correctives are very useful!
Now for whatever reason if you cannot afford surgery, be sure to contact a doctor for check ups and any recommendations for pain if there is any. Researches are working on better health equipment and as Pectus Excavatum awareness grows we can help solve more health mysteries. With your help you can share this to your friends, and feel free to comment below about your experiences!