A traditional solution to treating any kind of condition that affects the immune system is usually drug medications to attenuate symptoms instead of teaching a patient how to support the immune system.
However, this approach is just a band-aid effect that usually is quick and temporary.
Treating the underlying causes is much more difficult and time consuming, but in the long run the results are solutions rather than just the “quick fix”.
Whether your child has eczema or autism spectrum disorder, the way to treat and support the immune system is to address the underlying causes of your child’s issues.
Every child deserves a healthy lifestyle that includes enough sleep, structure, organization and consistency in their daily living which is important when doing a protocol where the focus is on healing the immune system.
Here are some of the areas to consider that support your child’s immune system:
It is very important your child is not eating toxic chemical preservatives, dyes, genetically modified foods (GMOs), transfatty acids, and fast foods because the toxins in these “foods” will negatively affect your child’s immune system and brain (see the Feingold Diet).
Many parents have found that by eliminating gluten and casein from their child’s diet may make significant improvement.
Some children do not seemingly make great gains with a GF/CF diet, but eliminating gluten and casein always helps heal the gastrointestinal tract that usually overburdens the immune system.
There are many diets that may work better for your child such as removing carbohydrates entirely, so see Healing the Gut for further information.
It is also important to include fermented foods such as miso soup, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha in your child’s diet because they help heal the microbiome and increase good microorganism and healthy gut flora, which supports the immune system.
Healthy fats are also very important for the brain and the immune system, so make sure your child eats a variety everyday such as eggs, cold press olive oil, coconut products, fatty fish, avocados, turkey bacon, kefir yogurt, and nuts and seeds.
The immune system of our children today is continually being bombarded by our very toxic environment and all the choices we make without paying attention to labels and toxins, especially in our homes.
It is important to change your family’s current lifestyle by implementing as many of the following as possible:
- Less noise
- Improved lighting
- Better air quality
- Pure filtered water
- Non-toxic cleaning fluids
- Organic foods
- Cotton clothing
- Non-toxic hygiene and personal-care products
- No microwave usage
- Avoiding aluminum cookware and products
- Avoiding non-stick cookware
- No tobacco exposure
- No chemical pesticides
- No plastic containers
- Being aware of geopathic stress
- Eliminating toxic building materials
- Removing rugs and carpets
- Eliminating all electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), including WiFi
See Lifestyle Basics.
Eliminate Food Sensitivities and Intolerances
Allergies, food sensitivities and food intolerances overburden the immune system and may cause the child to have reactions to many common foods in their daily diet and to environmental antigens.
Eliminating potential allergens will help the immune system heal and stop the child from experiencing some sort of physical or neurological reactions.
Have your child tested at one of the many laboratories specific for IgE, IgG,and IgA – see Allergy and Sensitivity Testing.
Detoxify the Gut
Our children often times have yeast overgrowth, Candida, fungus, parasites, bacteria, viruses, mycotoxins, and many other pathogens that may be found in their gastrointestinal tract.
A dietary change and lifestyle changes will definitely help, but specific supplements to heal and detox the gastrointestinal tract such as transfer factors, probiotics, prebiotics, butyrate, herbs, and products to heal the gut and eliminate the pathogens can all be helpful.
Long-term usage of antibiotics just further inflames the gut by destroying the healthy microflora that protects against bad bacteria.
In the long run, microbial pathogens will eventually come back with a vengeance if not the gut is not properly healed.
We highly recommend having an Organic Acid Test including the Microbial Test run by Great Plains Laboratories which gives parents the results of the different toxic microbes your child may have.
Great Plains Labs also provides supplemental and nutritional recommendations for each of the out-of-range levels.
An individual nutritional supplementation protocol, depending on the child’s nutritional deficiencies, is necessary to support the immune system.
Maintenance protocols should include:
- Probiotics to heal the gastrointestinal tract
- Vitamin D3 to support the immune system
- Zinc for the immune, gastrointestinal and hormonal systems
- Vitamin C for infection
- Essential fatty acids, a nutritional necessity
Have your child’s doctor test for nutritional deficiencies.
Detoxification of Heavy Metals
A detoxification protocol should only be considered after your child has done the following action items:
- Eaten healthy (preferably organic) foods on a consistent basis
- Eliminated food sensitivities and intolerances
- Thoroughly cleaned up the gastrointestinal tract
- Taken supplements to support the immune system on an ongoing basis
Homeopathic detoxification products and homotoxicology help open up detox organs and prepare them before detoxification with
- Herbal detox products
- Detox supplements such as N-acetyl-cysteine or glutathione
- Liquids such as zeolith
- Transdermal detoxification creams
- Other energy-medicine frequencies
All of these may be effective in eliminating toxic heavy metals to help support the immune system.
The methylation process is very important for detoxification and always should be supported.
98% of children with autism have defects in the methylation process such as the MTHFR genetic mutation, which may have an effect on many neurological functions and also the body’s ability to detoxify.
Such defects in the methylation process may affect speech, language, auditory processing, reading comprehension, focus and concentration and socialization.
Methylation is critical to the production of glutathione, which is the master antioxidant that excretes environmental toxins and pathogens out of the body.
Having normal glutathione levels enables the body to excrete the environmental toxins efficiently.
Supporting methylation with supplements or transdermal creams is paramount to healing the immune system. See Methylation and Detoxification.
Sensory and Structural Therapies
Sensory therapies all help calm down the nervous system, which supports the immune system.
Improvements can vary with each child and affect many areas of the immune system.
Physical and structural work on the body is another way of calming down the nervous system, improving muscle tone and changing the way the body responds to stimuli which all can support the immune system.
Some of these therapies are:
- Vision therapy
- Occupational therapy with sensory integration
- Craniosacral therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Reflex integration
- Chiropractic neurology
- Auditory sound integration/sound stimulation
- Brain Gym
When there’s an imbalance in the hormones, the immune system is always dramatically affected.
Many children today have high anxiety and stress due to today’s lifestyle, and the result is chronic adrenal fatigue which only further increases fear and anxiety and reduces coping abilities.
It’s important to test hormones to check for imbalances and to address high or low levels of thyroid, pituitary, catecholamines, pineal, hypothalamus, growth hormone, and testosterone just to name a few.
Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Infections
Chronic inflammation and infection play a huge role in children with autism and other chronic disorders.
This may be the result of the malfunctioning or over-reactive immune system or the body’s inability to fight off pathogens.
Diet, lifestyle, heavy-metal intoxication, microbial pathogens and long-term stress all contribute to inflammation and infection.
Seizures are also an indication of inflammation in the brain, and some factors that contribute to them are:
- Glucose levels dropping in the brain
- Imbalances in sodium and potassium levels
- High testosterone
- Low levels of fats in the brain
Reducing inflammation and chronic infection will help and support and heal the immune system.