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Natural Healthcare for Children

Written by Maggie Wilborn

FNP-C, RN

 

School is out!!!  Did this past school year present the seemingly “never-ending” colds, coughs, and stomach bugs? Maybe this summer you’re thinking about how to build a more robust immune system for your children in preparation for the next school year? Summer presents a perfect time for doing just that!  

As a parent, you want to give your child the best possible start in life. Key to building a robust immune system is maintaining a healthy gut microbiome!  Research has revealed over 80% of our immune system is in our guts, and our microbiome (collection of parasite, bacteria’s, yeasts, and fungi) play such a critical role in digestion, immune function, mood regulation, and help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. In contrast, an unhealthy gut microbiome has been linked to a range of health problems, including digestive issues, allergies, and even neurological disorders by disruption in the gut-brain axis1

The gut microbiome begins to form in the womb, and is shaped by a variety of factors, including the mother's diet, lifestyle, and use of antibiotics prior to and during pregnancy. In the first few years of life, the gut microbiome continues to develop and is heavily influenced by diet, exposure to microbes, and other environmental factors. This early period in a child’s life is immensely crucial for establishing a healthy gut microbiome, as it sets the stage for the lifelong health of the individual. 

 

What can you do to support a healthy gut microbiome for your child?

 

Here are some tips: 

#1:  Focus on a varied diet: The human body always receives nutrients best through what we eat versus through any supplement, so a diverse range of foods helps to promote a diverse gut microbiome is particularly important. 

#2: Aim to daily introduce probiotic and prebiotic foods like raw and naturally fermented foods2. This summer, let yourself and your kids get into that homemade kombucha, sourdough, kefir, yogurts that you’ve been wanting to do! (If you need a scoby or sourdough starter, Maggie’s got some to share!)

 Check out this Prenatal nutrition site: 

Weston A Price Foundation: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers/#gsc.tab=0 

 

#3: Avoid unnecessary antibiotics: Antibiotics can disrupt the gut microbiome, so try to avoid unnecessary use of these drugs, especially if pregnant. Did you know statistically by the age of 20, a child has had 17 courses of antibiotics?! Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, but unfortunately, they don’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria and will wipe out the good. If your child does need antibiotics, talk to your provider about strategies to support the gut microbiome like alternating probiotic supplements during and after antibiotic treatment for your child.

 

#4: Breastfeed if possible: Breast milk is rich in prebiotics and other compounds that help to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Did you know that certain breast milk sugars that are undigested by your baby are specifically MADE for feeding microbes in the gut and help establish robust microbial flora in your baby’s gut?!! If breastfeeding is not possible, talk to your healthcare provider about the best options for your child. 

 

#5: Strictly limit and/or (cut out all together) processed sugar, foods, and toxins: These types of foods and toxins can promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, so it's best to limit them as much as possible.5 Here at RHM we like to say, “If you’re not detoxing, then you are toxic”. Detox is a lifestyle! We live in a culture and world riddled with toxins more than words can say, so it is so important to be mindful of:

  • Eating whole organically sourced foods
  • Watch your nutrition labels for ONLY pronounceable and short, minimal list of ingredients.
  • Filter your water sources
  • Make your food at home (all your efforts will be greatly rewarded!)
  • Chat with us about daily detox strategies for you and your family!

#6: Encourage outdoor play and exposure to microbes: Exposure to a range of microbes can help to support a diverse gut microbiome, so encourage your child to spend time outside, play in the dirt, and interact with pets and other animals. Squeaky clean is NOT always a good thing, especially for children! 

 

How can RHM help your family? We are eager to help! Our Lord created our guts to be a healing powerhouse for the body, and it’s our approach to support that amazing design for your family. We work with families to develop personalized plans that promote good gut health from pregnancy through childhood and beyond. 

 

                                        What are some of the tools we use?

 

Gut healing protocols focusing on the gut microbiome, we believe that we can help to support lifelong health and wellness for our patients. 

For illness, we have a wide array of herbal antibiotics and homeopathic options for treatment. Here are a few of our favorites: 

 

  • Colloidal silver 
  • Dosed Vitamin C to tolerance
  • Phytocidal
  • Monolaurin
  • Oil of Oregano
  • Echinacea 
  • Deseret Biologicals 
  • Cell Core

Applied Nutritional Analysis to individualize what treatment option is best for the patient based on their body stimulus to a product.

 

Functional Lab Testing discovering specific gut imbalances or other root cause testing that provides us with needed insight to facilitate a personalized plan of care from a functional medicine approach Removing, Replacing, Reinoculating, and Repairing!

 

AAET - Advanced Allergy Elimination Technique reveals trigger foods and environmental sensitivities that may be causing inflammation and imbalances.

 

Bio light Laser technologies can help desensitize the body to that which it is reacting to. 

 

 

What about children with special needs?

 

Many of us can vividly remember when we were awaiting the birth of our child and we were going to become a Mom, or Dad, Aunt, Uncle or possibly gain a new brother or sister. We may have had all sorts of hopes and dreams for who this child would become one day. Infancy and then childhood should be a time where we can observe the amazing growth and development of this wonderful gift from God. 

 

For many families this may not be the case. 

 

A child may be born with an obvious genetic defect, or a child may fail to reach their developmental milestones. For others, a child may thrive, but later lose their ability to speak or connect with others. The child may require repeated medical appointments, therapies and/or surgeries. This can result in a family having to face the reality that their child’s needs may be quite complex, and their journey is very different than they had hoped or imagined.

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, aged 3 through 17 years have one or more developmental disabilities. These included autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, blindness, and cerebral palsy, among others. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and can alter the family well-being. Having a child with this level of needs affects families in so many ways. With the right support, these families thrive and fulfill their goals and can bring so much joy to their families despite their limitations and special needs.

 

Real Health Medical has many options to support and treat children with complex health needs. 

 

Here are several of the ways that these conditions can be addressed:

  • Comprehensive testing to evaluate the gut microbiome.
  • Dietary evaluations and recommendations based off testing.
  • Evaluation and treatment of metabolic and overall endocrine function
  • Correction of nutritional deficiencies
  • Assessment and treatment of mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Assessment and treatment of heavy metals and potential vaccine injuries
  • Decrease the toxic load and improve the detoxification pathways.

 

Additional therapeutic options that are available through Real Health Medical include:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen chamber
  • IV therapies to include nutraceuticals. 
  • Bioenergetic testing and treatment. 

 

Navigating treatment for a child with complex health needs can be both challenging and confusing. Our goal at Real Health Medical is to help provide a comprehensive approach to provide hope, clear up confusion, and bring healing to each child we encounter. 

 

                                                                                        Call 678.990.5401 to learn more about our Pediatric Care options.

 

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