As divine intervention would have it, last night I stumbled upon an article that has the potential to help me understand my four-year old daughter better – an article I wish I’d been able to read when she was a baby.
Here’s our back story: as a baby my daughter was happy, smiling constantly and crying infrequently, although admittedly she was a very light sleeper.
I don’t remember exactly when things changed, but I do remember that by the time she was a year and a half old she was, for lack of better words, troubled. Frequently at night she awoke in uncontrollable screams and angry shrieks that left her dad and I feeling helpless and confused. By day she was hyperactive and very reactive, always quick to lose her temper and shriek in an aggressive and irrational manner that generally could be indicative of explosive or negligent parenting behind the scenes, which was not the case at all.
Well apparently my daughter was born with a Kanmushi, as it is referred to in Chinese medicine, otherwise known as a Sugar Bug, which is indicated by the bright blue vein exposed on the bridge of her nose.
A what?! I know, it’s a first for me too.
At her birth, my very knowledgable lay midwife said that blue spot was probably a bruise from the birth canal and that it would fade and disappear. Obviously I soon realized it wasn’t going away, and I have since always considered it normal. However, two days ago at a check up I found it odd that her doctor asked if it was a bruise; naturopathic doctors are extremely knowledgable and aware of the odds and ends of the human body.
So I say divine intervention because how funny that just two days later while scrolling through The Holistic Squid for some late night reading I see a picture that says, “Is your baby’s blue vein a sugar bug?”
I was so surprised, I felt like the article was written about my daughter!
What exactly is a Sugar Bug?
A blue vein visible on the bridge of a baby’s nose is called a “Sugar Bug”, or Kanmushi. In Chinese medicine it is known that this vein indicates that the child will be very sensitive to sugar. It is considered a “curvy road sign”, that forewarns parents to proceed into the future with caution in order to prevent physical and emotional/behavioral problems from manifesting as the child ages.
What makes the Sugar Bug child different from any other child?
As indicated, the Sugar Bug will be sensitive to sugar, and it is likely highly addictive for him/her, so the parent should avoid giving too many sweet treats, including fruit. Sugar Bugs are deficient in essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins ( as was my daughter, so much so that she has had dental problems ), among other nutrients, and will need a nutrient dense diet and quality probiotic to thrive.
The Sugar Bug has problems sleeping at night, has difficulty with focus, tends toward a trademark “shriek” and screaming, and is prone to being labeled with ADD and ADHD. For emotional health and to avoid behavioral roadblocks, the Sugar Bug will require continuous rhythm, structure and schedule in his/her daily life.
What causes a Sugar Bug?
It is not known exactly what causes a sugar bug, but the author theorizes that in short it stems from a maternal lack of nutrition, balance and good gut flora at the time of Sugar Bug’s birth.
So wow, I feel like I’ve let my daughter down, and in addition I’m frustrated that as a holistic practitioner I’ve never heard of this “Sugar Bug” business!
Truth be told, until this last year or so, I’ve wasted a lot of time being rather unorganized and unscheduled in my parenting, lacking a natural knack for routine myself, and I know it’s affected my daughter. I know we could have avoided a lot of trouble, frustration and worry had I known about the Sugar Bug sooner, or perhaps had I just been a more organized person.
Parenthood guilt never ceases, does it?
There is an upside!
I subsequently searched the internet, finding that apart from motherhood forums and the aforementioned article, nothing is out there on Kanmushi.
The upside is that the advice given for the Sugar Bug is the same exact advice that can benefit EVERY parent and child! Every child deserves as nutrient dense a diet as can be afforded, and as much structure and routine as can be provided.
If you’re reading this and your baby has the telltale blue vein on the bridge of her nose, you have an opportunity to be prepared with understanding for your child during the restless nights and irrational shrieks. Or perhaps you become so prepared and proactive that you avoid these experiences altogether.
My search for information on the Sugar Bug is far from over, so stay tuned. Please comment your experiences if you have a Sugar Bug too!
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