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Keeping Up Kids’ Immunity Naturally

beth September 17, 2012



Keeping Up Kids

 

Image by Vince Alongi

By Dr. Tyson, Contributing Writer

It”s that time again…Back to School.  This is the time of year when children tend to get sick more often, which can be a real drag for both the child and the parents.  If you listen to the conventional advice of your pediatrician or TV doctor, you will probably be told to make sure that your kids wash their hands frequently & are up to date on their vaccinations, as if that were the best or only way to prevent sickness.  From years of clinical practice & taking care of thousands of children from all walks of life, I know this is absolutely not true.  In order for a child”s immune system to be strong enough to fend off any & all germs, a number of factors are important including diet, exercise, sleep habits, stress levels and nervous system function.

Diet

Of primary importance is your child”s diet. The foods he or she eats will heavily influence whether or not they get ill and, if they do, the severity and length of their symptoms. Diets high in sugar, particularly refined sugars like those found in candy, soda, juices and even some breads, can significantly depress a child”s immune function.  A famous study out of Loma Linda University demonstrated that sugar intake depressed the ability of the body”s neutrophils (aka white blood cells) to respond to germs.  These sugars also feed the pathogenic bacteria in the gut.  If a child”s gut flora is out of balance, you can bet that they will get sick far more often.  This can be addressed by eliminating processed sugars and restoring healthy gut bacteria through fermented foods like sauerkraut & kefir or taking a good probiotic supplement.  Good hydration from a clean source of water online casino canada is also essential. Viruses, for instance, are hydrophobic.  They hate water.  The more water a child drinks, the quicker the virus is eliminated.  Water also help to increase circulation & allow the immune cells to reach the invaders more quickly.   Vitamin C from a WHOLE FOOD source like acerola cherries (not a synthetic version like that found in Emergen-C) is very effective at preventing & mitigating illness.  If children get a bacterial infection such as whooping cough, Lipospheric vitamin C works far better than antibiotics in most cases.

Exercise

Unfortunately, too many microgaming casinos of today”s youth spend way too much time in front of their TVs, computer screens, or smart phones and not enough time in the great outdoors. Regular exercise is vital to the immune system.  It increases blood flow helping to circulate the body”s immune cells who are constantly on the look-out for invading bacteria, viruses, parasites & fungi.  It also enhances lymphatic flow.  One of the lymphatic system”s primary roles is to rid the body of invading organisms & toxins.  Additionally, playing or exercising in the sun will also optimize a child”s vitamin D status which is essential for a strong, robust immune system.  I believe that low vitamin D status during the fall and winter months is one of the major reasons we see such an increase in the number colds and flus.

Stress & Sleep

Never minimize the importance of sleep & stress on a child”s immune function.  The amount of stress that our children are under today, in order to get good grades or make the team  so that they can get into a good college or “go pro”,  is tremendous.  Add to that, the stress of just being a kid and dealing with bullying, acne, puberty, etc. and you are setting the stage for illness.  Be sure to talk to your kids on a daily basis and address any issues immediately.  We have a rule in our home…everyone eats at the dinner table and no phones, computers or TVs are allowed.   Also, I recommend a set bed time.  In general, the younger the child, the more sleep they need.  Having electronic devices of any kind in their bedroom, including night lights, can disrupt normal sleep patterns which will increase their body”s level of stress.

Nervous System

As a chiropractor, I know that the most overlooked aspect of immunity is the function of the nervous system.  Few people ever relate chronic or recurrent infections to their spine.  Let me be clear…your central nervous system (brain & spinal cord) controls every function in your body including the immune system.  Interference in the nerve supply can and will increase susceptibility to infections.  Ear infections are an excellent example.  Countless parents, who are fed up with the recurrent ear infections & endless rounds of antibiotics, seek out chiropractic care as a natural & safe alternative.  It works!

Remember, it”s okay for kids to get sick once in a while.  In fact, it”s absolutely essential for their bodies to fight off germs in order to train and strengthen their immune systems.  When their  immunity is strong, they will get sick much less often & be able to quickly and easily recover when they are ill.

If you live in the Carlsbad, CA area & would like more info about how chiropractic care can help strengthen your child”s immune system, I can be contacted through my website www.ElevationFamilyChiropractic.com.

What other things do you do to keep your child”s immune system strong?

 

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13 Comments

  1. What would you recommend as a good probiotic for kids, that isn’t too expensive? I have 5 kids so we would go through it pretty quick 😉 But I would love to be giving them something!

    Reply

    • Great question Jen. Probably the best & most cost effective probiotic would be making your own fermented/cultured foods like sauerkraut or kefir. It’s really not difficult to make & it’s very inexpensive particularly fermented veggies. It might take some creativity to get your kids to eat them at first but it’s well worth the effort.

      Reply

  2. @ Jen- we make kombucha. J’s easy to make and can be bubbly like pop… my kids love it! It’s a treat to them (and healthy;)

    Reply

  3. I have a question about vitamin D. We live in Maine and currently the flu is circulating. I have been giving my daughters (5 and 20 months) a 400 iu vit. D drop, in addition to having them outside in the sun as much as possible. I’m actually on a theraputic dose of vit. D for a short time (6000 iu/day/6 weeks) and it seems to have made a huge difference in my immunity/health/energy. Is 400 iu’s for children the maximum I can/should give them? We just don’t get great sunlight up here and I’m eager to protect them naturally as opposed to getting the flu shot — which our pediatrician is pushing.

    Reply

    • If I lived in in the Northeast, I would have no problem giving my infant girl 2000 IUs per day in the winter. Fermented cod liver oil is my favorite form of supplemental vit D.

      Reply

      • Excellent to know! I’ve heard that Green Pastures fermented cod liver/butter oil blend is the best but I’m reluctant to shell out the money for it if my girls wouldn’t take it, however this winter might be the time to try!

        What’s your take on Vit. D causing kidney stones at higher doses? (This is the main reason our ped won’t recommend a higher dose to me.)

        Reply

        • Im assuming his fear is that excessive vit D will cause excessive calcium absorption resulting in excessive calcium being excreted through the kidney resulting in kidney stones. I think this fear is unfounded particularly if intake is through a whole food source, the child is well hydrated & not eating an overly acidic diet. It is not a bad idea, however, to get their vit D levels tested to have a baseline to work from. It involves a simple finger prick.

          Reply

  4. Im assuming his fear is that excessive vit D will cause excessive calcium absorption resulting in excessive calcium being excreted through the kidney resulting in kidney stones. I think this fear is unfounded particularly if intake is through a whole food source, the child is well hydrated & not eating an overly acidic diet. It is not a bad idea, however, to get their vit D levels tested to have a baseline to work from. It involves a simple finger prick.

    Reply

  5. […] just as exposed to germs – which is beneficial in building up an immune system. The key is helping that immune system to stay strong […]

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  6. […] your immune system as well. Here are past articles that teach you more about the immune system, Keeping Up Kids’ Immunities Naturally, Herbs to Boost Your Immune System, Six Foods that Improve Your Immune System , Herbal Cold […]

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  7. […] Keeping Up Kids’ Immunity Naturally : Modern Alternative Health […]

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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