Allergies, asthma, chronic sinus infections, ear aches, eczema, and other immune system and food-related conditions are becoming quite prevalent with children today. Due to the fact that 75-80% of our immune system lies in our gut you can believe that many of these issues are associated with mild to severe gastrointestinal dysfunction. As Americans we are told that the only way to fight infection is by the use of antibiotics. What we are not considering, or simply are unaware of, is the damage these drugs have on the immune system. I wish I could tell you this was the only battle you had to consider as parents in helping your child to build a healthy, strong immune system. Unfortunately, times have changed and in todays society children are being bombarded and overloaded with toxic man-made chemicals that forces there under developed immune systems to work harder to remove them. Working overtime cause the immune system to run out of the essential elements (fuel-amino acids and essential fats) it needs to rid the body of these toxins. Toxic overload without regular refueling will cause the immune system and the liver to burn out.
Antibiotics kill good AND bad bacteria in the colon resulting in poor digestion and impaired nutrient absorption. This is important to understand…often parents begin making “healthier” food choices as a means to battle and avoid reoccurrence of these common infections after having treated them with antibiotics. Make no mistake mom and dad, kids with allergies commonly have underlying absorption and digestion issues, highly influenced by the antibiotic itself! Antibiotics impair the mucosa (inner lining of the small intestines) allowing toxins that should normally exit the body to get absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore causing various allergic reactions leading to fluid build-up and a perfect breeding ground for bacterial infections!
As mentioned earlier, our children, and lets not forget about you and me, are being bombarded with man-made toxic chemicals that challenge and compromise our immune system function every day. There are times when antibiotics are going to be necessary but do not be fooled into thinking that this is the only culprit within this growing epidemic of chronic immune system dysfunction. There are several other factors that lead to weakened immune systems including:
• poor diet
• lack of sleep
• food intolerances
• food allergies
• table sugar
• food preservatives
• environmental toxins
The chances of our children being capable of building healthy, strong immune systems depends solely on the us…you and me… mom AND dad!
Even before the moment of gestation our health and lifestyle choices impact every cell of our unborn baby. It is difficult to argue this fact when there is no denying that every cell we are made of is composed, and can only be as good, as what we are ingesting into our bodies. At no other time is quality control more important than during infancy when the body is built, the endocrine system activated, and the brain and nervous system is being formed.
Most mothers take care to eliminate the common caffeine, alcohol and seafood but what about the rest of the American C.R.A.P. (coke/caffeine, refined carbohydrates, aspartame and preservatives) diet?
What are some steps we can take to reverse this and avoid it happening to our child?
Breastfeeding: Begin with yourself! As we know…breastfeeding is, by far, the best nutrient source for your baby! There are several studies, done by formula manufacturers that try to persuade you into thinking that their product is “just as good” as mother’s breast milk. First, you must consider who is doing you studies and what their intentions are, but secondly, you must also consider the reality that most diets of American women are at best, appalling! Mothers…what you are eating, or not eating, affects your child! Mothers need healthy natural fat for the development and integrity of the nervous system, organic fruits and vegetables, healthy range free animal proteins and whole grains. Not highly processed C.R.A.P. foods! http://www.westonaprice.org/children/breastfeed.html
Good nutrition is essential to developing and keeping the immune system healthy and strong. Yes, this also stands for you and I! But, if your child is compromised, it always begins with YOU!
1.Eliminate gluten and dairy: It is important to identify and eliminate foods that create inflammation. Many children suffering from any chronic respiratory or digestive dysfunction, commonly are intolerant to lactose, and wheat flour (gluten). There are several alternatives to wheat but the best route is avoiding any processed foods completely as they all break down into sugars.
2. Eliminate white table sugar: 1 tsp of sugar will suppress the immune system for 3-5 hours…1TSP!!! Let me break it to you…sugar is sugar, is sugar! Sugar has been shown to reduce white blood cell count, an indicator of immune strength. The function of white blood cells is to fight and destroy germs that can cause disease. Sugar is toxic to the body and promotes fungal infections in the gut, ear, nose, and throat. Many chronic earaches and sinus problems are actually fungal infections.
3. Eliminate Trans-fats: If trans-fats (hydrogenated oils found in deep fried foods, margarine and baked goods) are bad for adults, imagine how bad they are for little growing bodies. Trans-fats interfere with enzymatic processes, cause reduced learning ability, disrupt the endocrine system, and contribute to allergies, asthma and many other diseases.
4. Increase essential fatty acids: the good fats are essential to normal immune and nervous system function. Carlsons Cod liver oil is a great way for kids to receive essential fatty acids and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
5. Improve digestion and absorption: By following the above recommendations you will greatly reduce inflammation in the gut, facilitating proper digestion and absorption. Using digestive enzymes and foods like goat yogurts or pro-biotic supplementation will also aid in restoring the mucosa by replenishing the natural balance of friendly flora in the colon.
6. Antibiotics and vaccines: We have discussed the consequences of antibiotics on the immune system but increasing evidence also suggests that injecting a child with nearly three-dozen doses of viral and bacterial vaccines during a time at which the immune system is developing can result in chronic immune system dysfunction.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on how you and your child/children are being impacted by the changes in our food supply. It is time we start taking more responsibility for the choices we make surrounding our health and not leave it in the hands of others whos concerns do not involve your health or the health of the next generation!