“What do I do if I suspect I have an affected child?”
Step One: It Starts with Diet
We recommend that the first place you start is by changing your child’s diet.
Consider having a food allergy and/or sensitivity test done if the results from an elimination diet are not conclusive.
Many conventionally trained physicians do not yet accept food sensitivities as clinically meaningful or relevant to health and wellness.
Conversely, most holistic practitioners know that food sensitivities are often directly related to any number of chronic symptoms, including:
- Mood disorders
- Behavior disorders
- Developmental delays
- Learning disabilities
Countless parents have found that removing problematic foods (not necessarily forever!) from their children’s diets can profoundly impact the intensity and frequency of symptoms.
Most parents are not even aware that their children have these hidden food sensitivities—they are a hugely under-recognized problem.
For more information, see Doris Rapp, MD’s book Is This Your Child?
Step Two: Find a Practitioner
Epidemic Answers is committed to helping parents and caregivers find practitioners who understand that wellness is achieved by addressing root causes, not by treating the skin, respiratory, cognitive and digestive signs that something is wrong.
Before selecting a practitioner, it is important to understand that nutrition is foundational for any child.
We believe that very little healing can occur if the body does not have proper nutritional support.
Be sure to ask your selected practitioner how you can best support the individual nutritional needs of your child.
Our Practitioner Directory is comprised of some of the best caring healers in the world.
All of the practitioners in the database have been screened by Epidemic Answers and have been recommended by families of affected children or those in the field whom we trust.
The Directory has two types of entries:
Generalists are doctors and other health care practitioners who practice “integrative,” “functional,” or “holistic” medicine.
We STRONGLY urge you to start with one of these, even though your child may not be talking, be poorly coordinated, or have learning challenges.
Because the body’s number one priority is staying well, your child’s language, motor, vision, attention and cognitive difficulties could very well have biological causes.
And, even though your pediatrician is a trained doctor, he or she may not practice in this way.
Find a practitioner who can help find the root cause of your child’s symptoms.
You will want to consider working with a healthcare practitioner who is experienced at uncovering the root causes of various chronic symptoms.
Typically, this is an integrative or holistic physician, an integrative dietician, a naturopath, chiropractor, homeopath, or other providers trained in holistic or integrative medicine.
To find a practitioner in your area, click here.
Specialists are individuals who hold licenses, certification or are registered in a variety of fields.
While these specialists practice in one or a couple of fields, we have listed them because they understand the importance of treating foundational health issues.
Some even have training in physiology and nutrition, in addition to their specialty.
There are many specialists who might be able to help your child’s symptoms improve such as:
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapists
- Occupational therapists
We have done our best to include practitioners in every state, so that you can find someone who is geographically nearby.
Please note that if we don’t have someone listed in your area, we are continually adding more practitioners, so be sure to check back occasionally.
So… you decide.
Go with your gut instincts.
Parents know what is best for their children.
Step Three: Get to the Root of Your Child’s Symptoms
Work with your holistic practitioner to get to the root of your child’s symptom(s).
Often times, practitioners will find that affected children have:
- Intestinal dysbiosis, an imbalance in intestinal bacteria and microbes (not enough good germs and too many bad germs)
- Nutritional deficiencies (such as low magnesium, iron, zinc, or essential fatty acids), even if they have a good diet
- Evidence of oxidative stress (too many free radicals causing damage to cells and tissues)
- Structural, sensory or other physiological abnormalities
Chronic health conditions may be due in large part to external factors including environmental and other everyday exposures rather than genes.
Take the CHIRP™ Survey
To help your practitioner get to your child’s root causes, consider taking our Documenting Hope Project’s CHIRP™ (Child Health Inventory for Resilience and Prevention) study.
This detailed questionnaire looks at many aspects of your child’s health history in order to assess potential root causes of your child’s symptoms.
While the study is time-consuming and involved, there are two major outcomes of it:
- You will receive a detailed report that you can take to your child’s healthcare practitioner so that they can provide actionable advice for your child.
- The de-identified data will be be used to better understand the root causes of our children’s chronic health conditions and what can be done to help them heal. We’ll be revealing some of the key findings afterwards, so be sure to complete your survey and have your story documented!
Our study is limited at this time to U.S. children between the ages of one and 15.
Step Four: Start at Home
Start your healing and recovery journey at home. What can you do today?
“Green” Your Child’s Environment
Evaluate your child’s toxic exposures, including:
- Household cleaners
- Personal-care products
- Flame-resistant pajamas
- Pesticides on produce
Choose more natural alternatives—organic produce, natural personal care products and household cleaners. For more information, see our page on greening your home.
Implement a Healing Diet
Minimize processed foods, sugary foods and opt for whole foods that are nutrient-dense and free of toxins (additives, colorings, preservatives, genetically-modified ingredients).
Avoid Medications Like Antibiotics Unless Absolutely Necessary
Consult with your holistic healthcare practitioner to determine the best way to manage acute illnesses for your child.
Chronic illness indicates that something (usually many things) are out of balance in the body.
Although each person is individual and will have individual needs, there are some universal healing basics that need to be addressed before individualized and specific therapies will be effective.
Learn about some basic diet and lifestyle changes that can have a huge impact on your child’s health.
Is your child affected? Learn the soft signs here.