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Kid’s Health

Published by Dr. Meghan Haggarty

Digestion, Eczema and Psoriasis

Healthy gastrointestinal function is central to a child’s overall well-being. Effective processing and delivery of nutrients makes a critical difference in our long-term health. The naturopaths at the Nardella clinic in Calgary believe it is very important to ensure proper gastrointestinal function at an early age.

Digestive disturbances and skin conditions are a problem for many children. Naturopathic testing to identify the underlying cause of these conditions typically includes:

  • Stool analysis to check for imbalances between healthy and abnormal bacteria, yeast or parasites
  • Food and environmental allergy testing
  • Evaluation of nutrition including fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

Diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal issues is a hallmark of our naturopathic clinical expertise. We can help to determine the following:

  • The underlying cause of gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation
  • Gut dysbiosis and inflammation causing digestive deficiencies which can lead to chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Bacterial and yeast overgrowth
  • Chronic digestive dysfunction that may develop into leaky gut, food allergies, toxic stress and systemic autoimmune reactions including allergies, asthma and behavioral problems
  • High toxic burden levels
  • The presence of parasites

Dietary changes, naturopathic supplementation and correction of dysbiosis using herbs and select medications are used to correct these imbalances. Correcting digestive problems in children has a positive impact on both digestion and the skin, as the skin is a reflection of what is happening internally. Ensuring toxins are properly removed from the body and nutrients required for healthy skin can be absorbed, eczema and psoriasis can be effectively treated.

Through the elimination of allergens, fortifying the digestive system with naturopathic treatments and topical skin treatments the clinic has had significant success in reversing eczema and psoriasis. Mild to severe cases have been treated. Taking control of these conditions also has long-term positive health benefits for children. Eczema and psoriasis are usually conditions manifested after a child has some form of systemic inflammation. Restoring the body with naturopathic therapies to a more normal status is an important part of preventing other chronic conditions from potentially occurring later in life.

Immune Support

Cold’s and flu’s are a normal part of every childhood and naturopathic medicine has excellent tools for supporting children’s immune systems. Many naturopathic treatments at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary are available to strengthen a child’s immune system to minimize the frequency of them getting ill. This is accomplished using botanical medicines, vitamin and mineral support and optimizing gastrointestinal health.

Research has shown that a “healthy gut” helps to provide a child with a healthy immune system.  Diet optimization and probiotics can be beneficial in supporting healthy gut flora.

There are also many naturopathic options to help a child when they are ill by boosting the immune response, and helping to manage symptoms. Certain infections may require the use of pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics.

Case Studies

3 Year Old Girl with Eczema

A mother and father brought in their 3 year old daughter for a naturopathic consultation concerned about severe eczema. The child had a rash on her face, trunk, arms and legs that appeared very sore. The parents were unable to identify any potential causes of the skin condition. The naturopath used food allergy testing to identify foods that were causing both an immediate and delayed reaction affecting the girl’s immune system. The foods were causing inflammation in her digestive system that was affecting how nutrients were absorbed and toxins removed from the body. Since the body wasn’t getting the good things in and the bad things out it was showing these internal signs on the outside, through her skin. These foods were removed from her diet to decrease the load on her immune system and improve the function of the digestive tract. A child’s multivitamin and mineral blend was given to her by the naturopathic doctor to ensure she was getting adequate amounts of the nutrients required for healthy skin and immune function. Since the digestive tract was inflamed the naturopath selected nutrients in an easy to absorb, hypoallergenic powder. Supplements including fish oils, anti-inflammatory herbs and probiotics were also used to heal the digestive tract and make it less sensitive to foods. The naturopathic program resulted in resolution of the eczema and the parents also noticed that their daughter was sleeping better and her mood and energy had also improved.

Therapies Used to Support Kid’s Health

  • Pharmacological, Herbal and Nutrient Therapy
  • Detoxification Therapy
  • Nutrition Optimization