Anne Darcy Naturopath 04/04/16
The role of preventative healthcare is becoming more apparent and it benefits us to understand what keeps a child healthy. We must be determined to understand and encourage health maintenance habits.
There is an increase in ear infections, tonsillitis, obesity, migraines, eczema, asthma, autism, ADHD, depression and anxiety in children. Some of these conditions are treated with prescription medications that may result in changes in body chemistry.
When antibiotics, steroids or the contraceptive pill are given by mouth, they disturb the beneficial bowel bacteria and may result in an overgrowth of the fungus, Candida albicans. The child or teenager can present with diarrhea, cravings for sugar, mood swings and anxiety, as well as thrush, skin rashes or nappy rash.
Children with colic, bloating, poor appetite, constipation or diarrhea, may suffer from inadequate digestion of food in the stomach. The undigested food ferments, causing an overproduction of wind, with excessive bloating and burping. This in turn reduces the appetite as the child feels too full to finish the meal.
The poorly digested food enters the gut, causing food intolerances or allergies to develop. The immune system reacts by releasing histamine and other immune chemicals. The skin feels itchy and the child scratches, mostly behind the knees, front of elbows and around the neck. This occurs in atopic or allergic eczema.
Certain foods cause reactions more than others. Wheat, milk, eggs and citrus are the big offenders. Inflammation of the lungs can also occur due to atopic or allergic reactions and asthmatic symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath can occur. Identification and elimination of the offending food is essential for treatment. There is also a need to rebuild a healthy immune defense in the child.
There is much research being done on mucosal immunity. The mucous linings in the body contain the immune defense and it is here the inflammatory chemicals are released in response to outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungus entering and causing a response from the immune system.
This is known as the Mucosal Associated Lymphoid Tissue or MALT.
Lymphoid tissue is immune or glandular tissue. It is found in the gut where it is called GALT, or Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue. This is the area responsible for the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine, throughout the body. Histamine is responsible for the sensation of itch under the skin. There is also Nasal (NALT), Respiratory (RALT) and Genito-Urinary (GUALT) Lymphoid Tissue. Some or all of these areas may be active at the same time, resulting in illness in various areas of the body.
I see children with overlapping conditions such as stomach upset and abdominal pain, gut dysfunction with colic, constipation and diarrhoea, along-side respiratory problems such as chest, ear and throat infections, with an overproduction of mucous.
Once the mucosal immunity has been activated, inflammation can occur any where in the body.
Digestive enzymes will help the child digest food better. These can be given in supplement form or by eating fresh fruit like kiwis, paw-paw and pineapple before eating a meal.
Probiotics are important as they replace deficient bowel bacteria and encourage a healthy gut and immune function.
Certain herbs are available that boost the immune system such as Olive Leaf and Echinacea.
Candida can be eradicated by using certain nutrients or herbs. Grapefruit seed extract is available in liquid form. The mineral Zinc is important to immune function and is found in pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Healthy children will have a healthy weight, healthy gut, healthy immune system and a healthy brain. This is not too much to expect.
If this high standard of health is not the case for your child –
Contact us at 062 63436 and “Let’s restore health naturally”.