The Wellness Library

Integrative Pediatric Care at MIMC

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Children

Integrative pediatric care at MIMC

MIMC Cares for Your Whole Family!

Integrative medicine can be a great benefit for not only your own health, but also your child’s health! Here’s how integrative pediatric care makes a difference:

Naturopathic doctors will take a different approach than a standard pediatrician, by taking into account important environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence a child’s health. Integrative medicine considers how all aspects of life can affect health, even for children. This can include their diet, how often they get exercise, sleep habits, emotions, and much more. Integrative medicine looks to identify the root cause of health problems and start from there!

It is not designed to replace conventional care, but rather create a more holistic look on pediatric care and offer more options to parents—it is a collaborative form of healthcare. It helps create a better understanding of your child’s health and health needs, and what treatments may best suit them (which can include a mix of both conventional medicine and naturopathic care).

Integrative pediatric care is not limited to prescribing herbs and nutrients—a typical visit will include reviewing food routine, bowel habits, behavioral patterns, as well as screening for adverse childhood experiences. It usually will include safe therapies that can be integrated into the family’s daily routine and empower a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes testing is recommended, whereas at other times a referral for additional workup may be necessary.

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Common Questions About Integrative Pediatric Care:

It is normal for parents to have questions about integrative medicine and how it can help their child’s health. Some common questions or scenarios we often hear from parents include:

  • “My kid has a rash, and I’m being told to apply a steroid cream…is this a good idea? Why is the rash there in the first place?”
  • “My kiddo is always getting sick…could there be a reason why?”
  • “My kid is complaining of stomachaches…do they have a food sensitivity or allergy? They underwent allergy testing with an allergist and was told no.”
  • “Our pediatrician is telling me that my child has ADHD and is suggesting medication. Is this our only option? Are there any factors that can contribute to ADHD?”

All of these questions (and more) are situations where taking a holistic health approach can be very useful. Integrative pediatric care doesn’t just prescribe a medication to alleviate symptoms—we want to identify possible causes, which can involve investigating a child’s diet, bowel habits, possible allergies, and other important health factors. This overall helps parents better understand how to blend conventional care and naturopathic care for their child. Some common conditions that integrative pediatric care can be useful for include:

  • Gut health such as treatment for constipation or diarrhea
  • Sleep habits or problems such as insomnia
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Food sensitivities
  • Eczema
  • ADHD and other behavioral challenges

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What Your First Visit May Look Like:

When working with MIMC for integrative pediatric care, your first visit can involve the following process:

  1. First, we’ll review questions from parents and caregivers about their child’s needs. We want to make sure parents feel informed about options for managing their child’s symptoms (ranging from conventional to naturopathic).
  2. We will also discuss appropriate referrals when needed, for other specialists and evaluations depending on the situation.
  3. Additionally, we’ll be sure to discuss nutritional needs for each age, with special attention given to the child’s stage of development and individual needs. 
  4. Because we take a holistic approach to care, we’ll help the parents become more familiar with both conventional and naturopathic therapies that are appropriate for their child’s individual needs. 

Ultimately the goal of MIMC’s integrative pediatric care is to help families understand their options, so they can make informed decisions about the health of their child and family. 

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle for children

Dr. Crystalin Montgomery on Integrative Pediatric Care

Working with children is something I’ve always enjoyed–dating back to my former career as a soccer coach at both the youth and collegiate levels. And though the majority of my attention was on developing the skills and tactical knowledge needed to play the game at the highest level, I also found myself in the position of advocating for student-athletes to care for their bodies with proper attention to nutrition, as well as their mental and physical health. 

Fast forward to nearly 20 years later, and I now find myself seeing children and their families, providing important support that doesn’t always get the time or attention needed from standard pediatric visits. I love my pediatrician colleagues for the benefits they provide patients (well-child visits, vaccinations, hearing and vision checks, etc.) and also recognize the challenges of trying to manage both simple and complex health concerns with limited time. 

With integrative pediatric care, we’re able to understand when conventional medicine therapies are necessary, and also understand when natural strategies are appropriate—thereby avoiding unnecessary treatments that may mask underlying factors or issues that are contributing to symptoms. If you are interested in integrative care for you or your child, you can get started today with MIMC!

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