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Children's Illnesses

Children are a special type of patient for me as a doctor. One thing I notice about kids is that they return to health more quickly than adults. There just seems to be less wrong with children, perhaps because they have not had enough time under stress to develop serious diseases. I am very proud when a child that was chronically ill bounces back to health. I strongly feel that steering a child in the right direction when they are young saves a future adult from a lot of pain and poor health down the road. Here are my top reasons why children are ill and sick today:

Exposure to long term, low grade infections:

*yeasts/fungal problems- a most common infection found today. High amounts of sugar in the diet and high antibiotic use cause this infection to be common. It is not screened for in most laboratory testing when children are ill. Often children with an acute viral or bacterial infection benefit from attention to fungal and yeast problems which may be at the root of a poorly functioning child's immune system.

*Antibiotics do not kill yeasts! In fact, they encourage yeast/fungal overgrowth! Special yeast killing medications and a special diet for 3 weeks are required to eliminate fungal and yeast infections. Sometimes probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, are helpful in correcting recurrent GI problems and infections.

*parasites- occasionally found in the GI tract and can stay for years. Not killed by antibiotics! Exposure to parasites can come from poor hygiene with meats, exposure to raw polluted water, and pets. Parasites are not commonly screened for during a child's illness.

*viruses- not killed by antibiotics. Viral infections are most commonly an acute illness that produce fever and malaise such as with flu and colds. The best defense against viruses is your own immune system. Rather than recommend something to kill viruses, I choose to recommend nutrients that increase the functioning of our immune systems. Only occasionally are viruses at the root of long-term health problems. Usually it is the other way around. Long term health problems lead to viral infections.

*bacteria- bacteria are killed by antibiotics. Bacteria are usually found in acute infections such as ear infections or strep throat. Certain strains of bacteria are becoming increasingly difficult to eliminate as they are becoming more antibiotic resistant. Some strains of bacteria are thought to be behind long term health problems such as ulcers caused by helicobacter-pylori.

*The best defense against recurrent infections is a healthy immune system. Children with healthy immune systems are rarely sick and when they are ill it is for a much shorter time than children with compromised immune systems.

Leaky gut syndrome:

*allows undigested food particles into the blood stream, producing stress on the immune system and eventually allergic and autoimmune reactions or unpleasant side effects occur. Leaky gut syndrome is often caused by long term exposure to intestinal dysbiosis, the inflammation that follows, and infections.

*Leaky gut syndrome often spontaneously heals when infections are removed. Occasionally herbal formulas and certain vitamins, mineral, or amino acids are required to speed healing of the intestinal lining.

Food Allergies:

*With time leaky gut syndrome begins to lead to food allergies and sensitivities. Food sensitivities can change with time but frequently children are allergic to foods that are extremely common in the diet (milk, wheat, corn, peanuts, soy, eggs...) Allergic reactions in children often lead to:

  • lowered immune system leads to being ill frequently
  • eustachian tube swelling and drainage stopping which leads to ear aches or pressure and infections
  • frequent tonsilitis
  • breathing problems such as asthma
  • nose and sinus congestion (high amounts of mucous and drainage)
  • lowered energy
  • headaches
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • stomach pain
  • if food sensitivities affect the brain behavior problems follow such as hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, grumpy, moody, excessive crying
  • skin rashes

Poor digestion:

*Leaky gut syndrome and inflammation in the digestive tract lead to poor digestion and poor absorption of foods. This is a double stress that leads to an increase of toxins being absorbed and a lowered amount of nutrition being absorbed. Often children may benefit from a digestive enzyme for a while to help digest foods into small particles that are easily absorbed.

*With elimination of leaky gut problems, removal of offensive microbes, and nutritional support digestion improves and digestive enzymes are usually not permanently needed.

Nutritional deficiencies:

*Poor diet or poor absorption can lead to nutritional deficiencies of vitamins, mineral, essential fatty acids, and amino acids. Lacking of nutrition may lead to :

  • poor function of the immune systems leading to frequent illness.
  • without proper nutrition digestive enzymes cannot be made and digestion gets worse.
  • lowered energy without the proper nutrition
  • poor wound healing

Exposure to Toxins:

*water supply, air, foods, etc are increasingly tainted with trace amounts of toxins and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum. I strongly suggest that children do not have mercury amalgam or silver fillings placed in their teeth as these can be sources of mercury exposure. It is needless to expose children to mercury toxins as there are many non-toxic filling materials. Sometimes children may benefit from detoxifying with certain specific chelating nutrients that pull out toxins from the body.


*Natasha, a 15 year old teenager, was complaining of constant headaches in her right temple and a sudden drop in energy. These headaches and low energy had been constant for about 3 months. She had been to numerous doctors and various blood tests, MRI's, and urinalysis testing with no real idea coming forth as to why she had these headaches. Upon screening for various problems yeast overgrowth was indicated, low adrenal function, as well as allergies to peanuts and milk. 3 weeks later with nutritional support for adrenal function, an avoidance of milk and peanuts, and an herbal formula for killing yeast she returned for a follow up visit with no headaches and high energy. Although Natasha had been to many doctors none had done any allergy testing or screened for yeast infections.

*Julie, a 4 year old girl, was brought to my office for complaints of not sleeping well. She would need to get up nightly and be uncomfortable, moody, and fearful and need attention from her parents. Upon screening for various possible problems, a fungal/yeast infection was indicated, a need for a multi-vitamin, and an allergy to milk. A return visit 3 weeks later and Julie's mom told me she had completely slept through the night for all but 3 nights instead of waking every single night. She also was much calmer and had less behavior problems.

*John, a 10 year old boy was brought to me complaining of problems sleeping. He had so much nasal congestion and mucous that he felt like he was drowning when he lay down to sleep. He could only really sleep on a lot of pillows propped up so he could breathe. My initial screening of him showed an indication of a milk sensitivity and peanut sensitivity. Weak adrenal function seemed indicated so I recommended a nutritional formula to help adrenal function. I recommended that he avoid all milk products, peanuts, and take the nutritional medicine for adrenal function. Upon returning 3 weeks later his parents happily reported that he was sleeping lying down with almost no nasal congestion and his energy was better. I recommended that for maintenance he take a little vitamin C daily.

*Karen, a 14 year old teenage girl, was brought into my office by her worried mom. Her mom told me the story of Karen's extreme lack of energy over the last several weeks and many migraine headaches. Her mom felt like her daughter was dying since her drop in energy and feeling so bad. It was so bad she felt her daughter might have some type of hidden cancer. She was missing school because of this. Other doctors had been consulted but no real ideas were forthcoming as to what were the reasons behind Karen's lack of energy and headaches. Upon screening for allergies, Karen showed a sensitivity to milk and peanuts. A low adrenal function was indicated and also a need for some help with digestion. I recommended that Karen avoid all milk products completely, avoid peanuts, take a nutritional support formula for adrenal function, and take some digestive enzymes with meals. I gave Karen some chiropractic adjustments and also performed some simple acupressure techniques to calm down her body's reaction to certain foods. A return visit brought back a very pleased teenager and a very relieved mom. Karen reported that she had not had a single headache since visiting my office! Her energy was back up to normal teenage levels. I complimented her and told her that her good results were mostly due to her good compliance with avoiding milk and peanuts. She also reported that she was not having any asthmatic attacks. I was surprised at this because she had not mentioned asthma as a problem in our initial visit. I believe that she just thought asthma was just a chronic condition and these acute problems only needed to be taken care of. But it was pleasant to see that a chronic and unmentioned condition was improving with simple dietary changes and nutritional help. On follow up visits for preventative care Karen has mentioned that when she cheats and has milk her asthma seems to flare up. Karen benefits from a quality multi-vitamin for maintenance. Karen had been to numerous doctors but none hd done any allergy testing or screened for hypo-adrenal function.

*Leslie, a very petite and frail 5 year old girl, was brought to my office by her mom and dad. Leslie had several problems with her health including low energy, underweight, very frail, and unending ear infections. She had had ear tube surgery to help her ears drain better. She was constantly in and out of the hospitals for ear complaints and constantly taking antibiotics. Upon screening Leslie for possible problems I found a milk allergy indicated and a low adrenal function. I recommended she immediately be taken off all milk products and to take an adrenal support formula. A follow up visit in 3 weeks showed that Leslie was gaining weight, had more energy, had no ear problems, and just seemed to be more vibrant. Leslie's parents were extremely happy because she had not had any real help from other doctors. Even the ear tubes seemed to be ineffective. Since our initial visit Leslie has not had to visit her other doctors for ear infections. She has good energy and is growing like a normal child. Her mother notices that if she does have milk she becomes grumpy and tired. Leslie's mom notices that her only real health problems such as a cough or tiredness always follow milk consumption. She has requested that I write a letter to her school giving her special permission to not drink milk because it is school policy that all children drink milk. Leslie's parents have two benefits from this approach to caring for her. One, her health is up and she is thriving. Two, the cost of her health care has dropped way down. She is rarely sick anymore and definitely not in the hospitals. Although Leslie had been to dozens of doctors and even had surgery on her ears, none had screened her for possible allergic reactions to foods which is such an important part of a child's return to health. Leslie's parents tell everyone about their success story and recommend my care for other children. However, many people are not used to thinking of a chiropractor as a person to turn to when you have a sick child. That is slowly changing, though, one success at a time.

If I can be of any assistance with your child's health or you have questions for me, please do not hesitate to call me!