I feel like we are full of new announcements lately. The newest is that we’ve added another extension of care! We now offer appointments for the children! But before we that, let’s make sure we cover our bases.
Is naturopathic medicine right for my child?
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, 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 in standard pediatric well-child 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.
RELATED: Tips for Picky Eaters
With naturopathic medicine, 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.
Common questions or concerns I hear about 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? (we can help with that!)
- My kiddo is always getting sick…could there be a reason why? (answer: “it depends,” that’s what we investigate)
- My kid is complaining of stomach aches…do they have a food sensitivity or allergy? They underwent allergy testing with an allergist and was told “no.” (Answer: the immune system is complex and in some cases delayed-onset reactions can happen when exposed to foods)
- 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? (Answer is yes…and these should certainly be investigated).
Naturopathic care for children is not limited to prescribing herbs and nutrients–in fact, a typical visit will include reviewing food routine, bowel habits, behavioral patterns, as well as screening for adverse childhood experiences. Sometimes testing is recommended, whereas other times I make a referral for additional workup. A typical visit will include safe therapies that can be integrated into the family’s daily routine.
Most importantly, visits allow time to:
- Review questions from parents and caregivers about their child’s needs and feel informed about options for managing symptoms (ranging from conventional to naturopathic)
- Discuss appropriate referrals, when needed, for other specialists and evaluations
- Discuss nutritional needs for each age, with special attention given to the child’s stage of development and individual needs.
- Become familiar with both conventional and naturopathic therapies that are appropriate for their child.
Ultimately my goal is to help families understand their options, so they can make informed decisions about the health of their child and family.