While some may view childhood allergies as one of those parts of growing up, or even just a fact of life, it is important to treat these seriously. The presence of allergies during childhood is increasingly seen as an indicator of possible health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension and COPD in later life. It’s important to deal with allergies naturally however, children’s bodies are particularly sensitive to toxins and there ability to detoxify is nowhere near as well developed as adults.
But just how widespread are childhood allergies?
New research shows that one in every four children will be diagnosed with some form of common allergy, be it: asthma, other respiratory condition, eczema or hives. Allergies are impacting such large numbers of our children, that many schools have banned foods including peanuts and shellfish in school. Now while, I’m sure most children aren’t concerned about the lack of lobster for lunch, peanut butter sandwiches, at least when I went to school, were one of the major food groups.
Naturopathic medicine offers a number of effective ways to prevent childhood allergies, without exposing growing bodies to damaging steroidal based products and pharmaceutical medications. These are a selection of the top three strategies we use for childhood allergies in our clinic.
How Bugs Help to Prevent Allergies?
A young child’s first dose of probiotic organisms, is often during the birthing process itself, or shortly after when fed on natural breast milk. The organisms are in particularly high concentrations in the bowel and colon and one of the common symptoms of problems with these organisms are allergies. We routinely test children for bacterial overgrowth in the colon and intestine and find that when allergies, eczema or asthma are involved there are high levels of bad bacteria and low levels, or no, good bacteria.
For children, we recommend the use of a high quality probiotic supplement. There are many preparations that are specifically formulated for children. In some cases though, the overgrowth of bad bacteria may have reached the point where even supplemental good bacteria cannot fix the imbalance. In these cases herbal formulations may be necessary to kill off excess levels of bad bacteria. It is important to consult with our Naturopath at this stage, as some herbs may have adverse reactions on younger bodies.
How to Use Fish Oil To Reduce Allergies?
The importance of Omega 3 essential fatty acids is often spoken about during pregnancy, but did you know their importance doesn’t end at birth? Omega 3 essential fatty acids are just as important in preventing many of the allergy symptoms encountered in early childhood.
In many cases, allergies can be the result of an imbalance in the ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids in your child’s diet. By correcting this imbalance many allergy symptoms can be reduced or eliminated.
Why Supplementation is Important?
While one of the easiest way to rectify this imbalance is through the use of a diet high in sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, such as oily fish, it is important to realise that children are more vulnerable to the heavy metal and petrochemical toxicity of seafood. Supplementation with a high quality, purified, fish oil supplement can help to provide the additional intake Omega 3 fatty acids, without the contaminants.
These are also available as chewable lollies that help to make them more palatable to younger taste-buds.
The Glutathione Connection to Allergies
You may not have heard of glutathione before. Often referred to as the bodies super antioxidant, this nutrient is produced in many of our bodies cells to help detoxify and remove foreign chemicals and substances.
We have found boosting glutathione intake, either supplementally or from the diet to be an effective way of helping younger bodies to detoxify and reduce allergies. Glutathione is naturally occurring in many fruits and is in particularly high concentrations in tomatoes. It is important to note that cooking destroys all glutathione present in food, making a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables an important part of preserving your child’s health.
Would You Like to Know More?
Talk to Passion4Health’s Naturopathic Team today for more information on natural methods of preventing and reducing allergies.