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What is it about Juvenile Jaundice and Heliotherapy?


Juvenile jaundice is fairly common in newborns.  This is usually temporary and usually harmless.  


The issue arises after there is a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is naturally produced by the breaking down of red blood cells.  Everyone has low levels of bilirubin in their bloodstream. However in this form of jaundice, bilirubin begins to build up and is deposited within layer of fat tissues under the skin. The red/orange color of this deposit causes the infant’s skin and whites of his eyes to look yellow.


While this is normally a harmless and temporary issue, at times it can be serious.  That is when the bilirubin levels have gotten extremely high.  I am not intending anything I say here to be taken as diagnosis or medical advice.  It FYI from my research and call it my personal opinion.


The first treatment usually suggested is frequently feeding the baby.  It seem that increasing the hydration of the child tends to flush out the problem which normally only lasts 1 to 2 weeks anyway.  Some say these feeds should be scheduled every 2 to 3 hours.  Some of the extra feeding may be with watered down formula.  This protocol is for hydration in the extra feeding to flush out the excess bilirubin.


Phototherapy with or without a biliblanket (a medical device blanket that bathes the child in a particular light wave)
light therapy

is the most common form of treatment for jaundice. This treatment is used for a few days until the liver is mature enough to handle the bilirubin on its own.  


When the researchers are talking about phototherapy they are in the end talking about heliotherapy.  The sun has full spectrum light.  Those waves are included with many other good and healthful waves.  It seems that they are avoiding the natural sun like the plague.  


No one it talking about taking your child out in the sun and baking him like a sizzling roast.  

But look at is happening now.  It is the opposite extreme.  We keep the infant completely covered and shaded from any sunlight.  The sky would fall if the baby was exposed to direct sunlight.


I was watching a new mother getting out of her car to go into the grocery.  She, before she took the child out of the inside the car shade, completely covered the baby in a blanket.  It was like she was protecting the child from the rattlesnake strike of the sun.  


[I know the mother was lovingly intended.  Just saying.]    It would have taken her less that thirty seconds to be inside the store.  God forbid that the infant’s hands and face be in the sunlight for thirty seconds.   This is media driven hysteria.  


The sunlight is natural in our world.  We are through the generations adapted to live in a world that has sunlight.  While it is not there for us to abuse, it is there for us to use.  


Light treatment uses light to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. The skin  and blood absorb the correct light waves. When this has happened, they change bilirubin into products, which the baby can process and pass out of his system.


As used in hospitals for over 30 years, phototherapy treatments provide light shining directly on an undressed, but diapered, baby.  Their eyes are protected from the light with patches.  


Short periods of exposure to direct full spectrum sunlight by the child can be used to do a similar treatment.  This is heliotherapy.


I found this quote from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, 20894 USA.  


This is the conclusion of the question is sun therapy a good substitute for artificial phototherapy for juvenile jaundice.  



Data revealed that sunlight is almost 6.5 times more effective than a phototherapy unit when operating at the ward geometry after taking isomerization efficiency and area of exposure into consideration. Moreover, sunlight is still more effective during the winter season, when its intensity is lower. Thus, sunlight may be considered an alternative phototherapy source for the treatment of neonatal jaundice, particularly in areas where conventional phototherapy units are unavailable.”


That is an amazing quote.  But it raises a question for me …


If sunlight [heliotherapy, sun therapy] is 6.5 times more effective, why do they say that is true “PARTICULARLY in areas where conventional phototherapy units are unavailable”?  Why is heliotherapy even considered an alternative?  If it is 6.5 times more effective, and they know it is, It would appear that sunlight would be the first choice and the “conventional” choice should be the alternative to the better natural option.  


Man’s ego tends to make him think that he can do it better than nature.  And he often overlooks healing in the light of day.




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