It is obvious that our kids are growing up in a very different world to the one we grew up in, one where they face very different health challenges. As parents we are bombarded with alarming statistics about the increase in childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes; the growing prevalence of allergies, asthma and eczema; and the increasing risk of learning and behaviour disorders. Diagnoses of ADHD, ODD and autism are escalating.
Everything starts in the gut
Our gut wall is our first membrane of defence against the world. After food is broken down in our digestive tract, the good stuff is meant to be absorbed across the gut wall into our bloodstream and the non-useful stuff is meant to be excreted. If the gut wall has become damaged, too porous or “leaky”, it lets molecules which are larger than ideal into the bloodstream. This then causes a reaction from our immune cells.
As a result we are likely to develop skin symptoms like rashes and eczema. If these are suppressed with cortisone creams, the problem often moves to the respiratory system, and sinusitis, ear-aches and/or asthma may develop. So rashes and eczema may clear up only to be replaced with respiratory problems. If we are then treated with a lot of antibiotics the gut wall gets further damaged. We synthesise a lot of our immune cells along the gut wall so the more it becomes damaged the more our immune system suffers.
Damaged gut mucosa can also negatively affect our moods because many of our calming neurotransmitters are synthesised on the gut wall. In children this is likely to manifest in some of the following ways. They may seem to always have a runny nose, look grey under the eyes, and have a pasty complexion. They may be prone to skin or respiratory problems, seem to get whatever bug is going around, may suffer from constipation or diarrhoea, may crave sugar, and be generally irritable, revved up, and difficult to deal with. At school they may be inattentive and/or disruptive.
There is an increasing rise in the number of children who are overweight and at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, once only ever found in adults. For the first time in history the health risks confronted by the the younger generation may mean that their life expectancy will be less than that of their parents. We owe them a better chance in life.
Why is this happening?
Many of us have trouble digesting two of the staples of our Western diet – cow’s milk and wheat. In kids, particularly if they are weaned early and start eating these before their little digestive tracts can process them properly, they may develop a damaged gut wall and all the problems that flow from this. So, for children manifesting some of the symptoms of “leaky gut”, it helps to avoid these foods as much as possible and replace them with other grains and milks.
Also, our Western diet is swamped with refined processed foods that dissolve instantly in the gut, enter the bloodstream in a rush and elevate our blood sugar (so we are climbing the walls!). Then, once it is absorbed by our cells, we have a blood sugar low and feel lethargic and tired.
Compared to a generation ago, the biggest change in our diet today is the increased consumption of liquid sugars – soft drink, mix-up cordials, and fruit juice. This increased sugar in our diet is a major cause of the problems with weight gain.
How do we fix these problems?
Diet and lifestyle are critically important. Food is the first medicine. You will be supported to incorporate whatever changes are necessary.
A number of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements can also support. By taking a detailed history, looking at blood-type, studying your child’s iris, and possibly using Hemaview (live blood analysis), we will be able to devise an optimal dietary program and appropriate supplements and/or medicines for your child.
For additional information on children’s health see the following link:
Nathan is much easier to live with since putting him on Cath’s medicines and changing his diet. He is much calmer and happier in himself. And so is the whole family! His teacher says he has been a much better boy in class.