Kid’s Tummies

Tummy trouble in children is becoming more and more prevalent.  In my opinion, this stems nearly 100 percent from their diet, and mom’s diet during pregnancy and nursing.  Imagine having pain, diarrhea fluctuating with constipation, cramping, doubling over on your way to the bathroom several times a day.  Now  imagine you are 4 years old.  These stomach and intestinal problems complicate kids’ lives in so many ways, but these complications are nothing in comparison to what they will deal with as an adult if nothing is done about it.  As the condition progresses, nutrients are not properly absorbed.  For example as a child if the calcium is not properly absorbed due to a damaged GI system, in adulthood, osteoporosis is a detrimental side effect.

Even as adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19, kids are learning to figure out who they are in the midst of hormones, teasing, bullies, and attraction to the opposite sex.  Puberty and adolescence produces growing bodies, changing skin, strange sensations, and confusion.  Throw into the midst of all this stomach pain/cramping and having diarrhea in the school bathroom.  Grades will hardly be a motivation, and it is not surprising that kids with any type of inflammatory bowel condition have more psychological concerns than other teens.

As symptoms get worse, treatment usually involves medications to keep the inflammation under control.  Many of these medications are steroid based causing puffy faces, increased thirst, weight gain, and acne.  Not exacty the look kids today are after.  If the condition goes on too long, surgical procedures may be required for blockages, fistulas, or fissures.  The point here is that most of this can be totally avoided just by paying attention to your kids.  You can avoid this situation by catching it soon enough.  In my opinion, no matter the specific type of GI disturbance, it starts via the same process.  Inflammation.  Where it goes from there is negotiable.  Chrons, Ulcerative Cholitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastric Reflux, Chronic Constipation, etc. are all results of this ongoing inflammation.  The point then, is to handle the problem at the root of the cause.  We know for sure that there are a few things that will cause this inflammation.  Number one is too high an insulin response.  When sugar enters the GI system, it begins the inflammatory and eroding process.  Add to that many of the grains (especially the gluten ones including barley, oats, rye, wheat, and spelt), and additional inflammation occurs.  Now add proteins that are too large to pass through the gut lining properly, namely dairy products such as milk and many cheeses (excluding real butter and eggs), and you begin to have a serious problem on your hands.  If any antibiotics have to be taken during childhood, the gut lining is peeled away even more.  If mom had an issue with any foods (known or unknown) during pregnancy and nursing, these sensitivities are passed on to baby as well.  If your child has some or all of these concerns, it is time to make a change.

To guard against GI disturbances in your child, start by eating a clean diet during pregnancy.  Lots of leafy green veggies, good proteins ahas good fat.  Limit grains, dairy (you’ll get plenty of calcium from the leafy greens), and sugars.  Please breastfeed your baby, and then start them on real foods when they are ready, such as egg yokes, cod liver oil, and avocados.  From there you can add in veggies but continue to limit fruit and grains.  You want your child to develop on foods that truly feed their body, not empty sugar laden calories.  For a great list of these first foods and a timeframe for starting your child go to westonaprice.org and search baby first foods.

If you suspect your child is already dealing with some of these issues, you should start at once by helping them with the 3 R’s.  Remove, Repair, and Replace.  Remove offending foods including grains, sugar (even including fruit for a certain amount of time), dairy, and any caffeine.  If you suspect their gut lining to be quite inflammed already, you may have to refrain from RAW veggies for awhile as they become hard to digest (use steamed instead).  If you are able to completely remove these foods for a period of 90 days, your odds for beating this are greatly increased.  Even a small cheat in many cases will cause the inflammation to start all over again.  The next step (which is done simultanneously with Remove) is to Repair the gut lining.  A high quality aloe starts to smooth the lining and in my opinion is a great start at repairing.  There are many other all natural supplements to help with this, but in an effort to keep it simple I’m choosing my favorite.  Thirdly, and very essential is the Replace process.  The main portion of Replace includes a high quality probiotic.  By replacing the proper bacteria, the lining is able to properly continue the healing process.  The probiotics will typically need to continue for a period of 1-2 years.  This process is also the same one for any adult having GI issues.  Depending on the severity, you may not be able to handle this on your own.  If you believe that is the case for you or your child, don’t wait, talk to your practitioner right away.  There is a way to work this through before it becomes a bigger problem, but procrastination is NOT your friend.  Start the process for your child today.

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