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Children's Health

Some of the factors that profoundly impact health begin at an early age, such as the habits we develop, the food we eat, and the environment we grow up in. Parents can include a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) on their child’s health care team to ensure that health promotion and wellness are part of their child’s road map to a successful future.

ND’s can provide routine examinations, which are comprehensive examinations and possibly other testing to assess a child’s growth and development milestones.

Many children suffer from allergies, which can cause many problems including skin rashes, intestinal problems, asthma, fatigue, and possibly behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Evaluation of potential environmental as well as food allergies can often help other conditions.

A comprehensive treatment approach utilizing therapies such as diet, nutritional supplements, plant medicines, and homeopathy can often dramatically improve these problems.

Eczema is a very common condition of children, and one that can be addressed very successfully with naturopathic medicine. Very often, food sensitivities are a major contributing factor in eczema.

An ND will carefully evaluate a child for food sensitivities, and if any are detected, place the child on a restricted diet to eliminate the offending foods. Appropriate substitute foods will be recommended to assure adequate nutrition for the child. Nutritional supplementation may be recommended to support skin health, such as zinc, essential fatty acids, and B vitamins.

Other supplements may be recommended to reduce inflammation, such as turmeric, quercetin, vitamin C, and others. Finally, topical creams or ointments may be suggested to reduce itching and promote skin healing.

Ear Infections
Earaches are a very common condition in children. Most earaches are caused by viruses. Some earaches are caused by bacteria. Sometimes, fluid can accumulate in the ear without any infection. Fluid build-up in the ear can predispose a child to ear infection. Untreated ear infections can become chronic problems and even result in hearing loss.

An ND will likely approach the problem of recurrent ear infections in a child by trying to identify the cause of the fluid build-up. This could be due to diet, food sensitivities, or environmental factors such as smoke, pets, mold, dust, etc. Removing the contributing factors alone may take care of the problem.

In a child with an acute earache, the ND will likely prescribe nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic medicine to stimulate an immune response, reduce fluid build-up, reduce pain, and provide anti-microbial activity.

Colds and Flu
Colds and flu are also very common in kids. Typically these conditions are self-limited and will resolve on their own with or without treatment; however, naturopathic therapies may help resolve the symptoms more quickly. These conditions are caused by viruses, and antibiotics are of no use in treating them.

An ND will likely treat colds and flu by providing herbs and vitamins that stimulate an immune response to accelerate the body’s healing time. Commonly used products are echinacea, goldenseal, licorice, elderberry, vitamin C, and zinc. Homeopathy is a safe and easy treatment for children with colds.

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