Childhood Disorders

 

Throughout my life I have had young children around me, either younger cousins, children I would nanny and now my brother and sister both have children of their own. I have seen how the whole family is affected when the child is sick. The mother and father get much less sleep, everyone is exhausted and worried. When the sickness is chronic strain is put on all the relationships as well as the parents health.

When a child gets well through naturopathic care the whole family blossoms, that may sound a bit farfetched but what I have seen is relationships with in the family strengthen, the dietary support and education passes through the family and the everyone wins.

Through the victorious use of sanitation (vaccination and antibiotics) polio, diphtheria and mumps have been mostly eliminated. Conversely, we have seen a rapid increase in conditions such as asthma, autism, crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, allergies, obesity and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Refer to Diagram 1 below.

Statistics show that ADHD affects 1o% of school aged children and 1 in 91 are diagnosed with autism today. At the same time, 25% of children in Australia and New Zealand are overweight or obese, and the incidence of atopic conditions such as asthma and eczema has increased five-fold over the last 40 years. It is now seen that 10% of children suffer from constipation with only 3% of parents actually seek advice from a health care practitioner.

Childhood and adult allergic reactions both effect the immune system similarly, for more information please refer to the allergy page on this site.

The childrens allergy consultations include a nutritional assessment as well as kinesiology allergy testing and desensitisation with NAT. Often children have between 2 and 5 consultations which reduces their allergic reactions and they clearly become well balanced, happy and healthy.

If a child has more severe allergies then more desensitisation treatments are needed.

GBI Axis

Throughout my experience I have found that the combination of addressing the naturopathic principles in analyzing pathology test results, nutritional status as well as their gut, brain and immune system (GBI axis) gets me a thorough understanding of what is causing the condition /imbalance in the first place.

Central to the wholistic management of most childhood disorders is an understanding of the Gut-Brain-Immune (GBI) axis. The GBI axis connects the gut (including the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys), the immune system (including both innate and non-specific immunity and adaptive / specific branches of immunity) and the brain (including all component of the central nervous system). These three systems together form a complex, inter-related communications network that facilitates our interaction with our environment and regulates our response to external stimuli. Disease can occur form one or more of the GTI components being dysfunctional.

 

Vitamin deficiencies

Many medications are being quickly prescribed to help your childs cognition, concentration, allergies and digestive issues. These medications can be extremely supportive for the wellbeing of your child. The medications may also harm the liver, kidneys and or stomach. Naturopathic medicines are supportive for the whole body and work on balancing the natural biochemical processes.

One example is simply put where a vitamin D deficiency can promote symptoms such as depression, fatigue, bloating, recurrent colds and flus as well as ADHD. Imagine, instead of a child being prescribed Ritalin they enforced some dietary changes and supplementation? They would feel happier, calmer with a higher chance of excelling at school without the horrible side effects that medications can cause.

It is useful to analyse pathology results as this can give me the answers in finding the cure for your child. I’m often surprised to find many pathology tests are not conducted. When these are lacking I will either prescribe the appropriate tests or write a letter to your general practitioner informing them of what is needed.

I can help you with education about your choices around immune support, vaccinations as well as supportive measures to ensure reduced side effects from any medications your child may be prescribed.

In the meantime here are some general tips to increase the overall health of your child:

  • Ensure your child eats plenty of vegetables and fruit every day
  • Ensure your child eats protein-rich foods in each meal or snack
  • Ensure your child drinks plenty of water daily
  • Reduce sugary foods and sweets, as these can suppress optimal immune function
  • Avoid or severely limit processed foods, additives and artificial flavors
  • Ensure your child has adequate sleep and rest
  • Encourage regular exercise

Teenage health

Teenagers often suffer from hormonal imbalances, changes in body shape as they grow and skin concerns. Some teenagers are unfortunate to suffer from allergies, glandular fever, anorexia and bulimia as well as teens who are struggling emotionally at school / home. I understands what adolescents’ experience and through my studies and experience I have found many nutritional and herbal solutions for these conditions and often the replenishment of certain supplements as well as the support from herbal medicine your teen will be feeling on top of the world again.


Diagram 1

Bach J.F. The effect of infections on susceptibility to autoimmune and allergic diseases. N E J Med, Sep 19 2002; 347(12):911-20.

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