The statistics are startling. By 2004, approximately 10 million children had been diagnosed with asthma with another 9 million being diagnosed with allergies. The childhood obesity rate has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Stomach pain is now the most common reason for a pediatric office visit. Spending on psychotropic drugs for the treatment of depression and psychosis in children has increased 49% recently. And lastly, autism is currently the fastest growing developmental disability, with a current growth rate of 10-17% annually. This means austism affects 1 in 150 children.
What’s going on? The reasons behind these escalating children’s health issues are numerous and specific to the individual children. Because of that, deciding how to evaluate and treat a child can be confusing.
In my years of practice, the number of pediatric patients I treat continues to rise. For that reason, I’d like to offer some thoughts on how I evaluate and treat children. As with any patient I see in the office, it’s important to look at the whole child, not just the symptoms. Only through addressing the root causes of a child’s illness will allow the body to heal itself.
Some tools I use in the office include:
- Youth Health History Questionnaire: this form seeks to illustrate specific foundational issues a child is experiencing.
- Symptom Survey: this form is a detailed examination of symptoms as they relate to various body systems such as blood sugar handling, digestion, and hormone dysfunction.
- 7 Day Food Diary: this form helps identify excess of deficiencies of certain foods plus issues associated with hydration and meal/snack timing.
- Iodine Patch test: this test is an inexpensive and simple tool to evaluate the iodine status of a child
- Saliva testing: these non-invasive tests help to identify imbalances in a child’s stress hormones but also common food allergies. Saliva is a more affordable option than blood testing as well as no blood draw.
- Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis: this test evaluates the functions and relationships of 11 different minerals that are necessary for basic body functions. This test also evaluates for heavy metal toxicities.
I have found these tests to yield the best, most comprehensive information on how to address a child’s health issues. Please contact the office if you’d like more information.