As a mother, you want your child to be as healthy as possible. One important factor to consider when it comes to healing your child is inflammation. But what exactly is inflammation and why is it important for mothers to understand it?
Inflammation is the body's natural response to certain irritants, such as germs or environmental toxins. In other words, everything that enters the body and is recognized as an invader by the “health police”, as I like to refer to the immune system when explaining things to my 5 year old son.
When the body experiences an irritant, it triggers an immune response that leads to inflammation. This can include localized swelling, redness, heat, and pain - like when a cut in the skin becomes infected.
While short-term inflammation can be beneficial, helping the body to fight off infections and heal from injuries, chronic inflammation that spreads throughout your child’s body is harmful.
If you don't want to have a lifetime of compromise for your child, you have to address the inflammation in their body. Most of the problems that kids have, such as recurring infections, asthma, allergies, skin problems, behavioral issues, and emotional problems, are derived from inflammation.
When your child is sick, they have an inflammation cascade going on - there is a fire inside of them. The goal is to stop throwing gasoline on the fire and the question is where is the gasoline coming from to fuel the inflammation.
It’s the environment where the toxins are coming from - germs, food, environmental allergens, environmental toxins and stress.
What happens if too many toxins accumulate in your child's body?
The immune system gets activated, causing more and more inflammation. This inflammation pulls on the chain, which breaks at the weakest link - a genetic weakness - causing conditions such as ADHD, autism, asthma, or emotional volatility. It just depends on where the weak link is.
Because of that, chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health problems in children, including:
- anxiety and depression
- asthma and allergies
- autoimmune illnesses
- chronic constipation
- developmental delay
- failure to thrive
- focus problems
- food allergies and sensitivities
- gastrointestinal disorders
- gluten intolerance
- recurrent headaches
- recurrent infections
- respiratory issues
- sensory disorders
- and sleep disturbances
What triggers inflammation?
There are many potential triggers for chronic inflammation, including a poor diet, exposure to toxins and pollutants, and chronic stress.
A diet high in sugar, artificial colors, and processed foods can contribute greatly to inflammation, while a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, and good quality protein can help reduce it.
Environmental toxins, such as air pollution and certain household chemicals, can also contribute to chronic inflammation. As well as chronic stress, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental, can also lead to inflammation.
What to do next if you suspect inflammation is causing your child’s health problems?
As a mother, there are several things you can do to help prevent or reduce chronic inflammation in your child.
One important step is to make changes to your child's diet. This can include cutting out sugar, artificial colors, and processed foods, and increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, and good quality protein that your child consumes.
You can also try eliminating potential allergens, such as dairy or gluten, to see if this has a positive impact on your child's health.
When working with kids I have experienced that changing a child's diet often is the most effective way to lower inflammatory levels in the body.
In many cases it is either the the only lever we can move or the easiest one to move.
And while that is true, changing your child’s diet still can be a tremendous amount of work but I promise you, it is worth the effort in the end.
In addition to dietary changes, you can help reduce chronic inflammation by minimizing your child's exposure to toxins.
This can include using natural cleaning products, choosing organic produce when possible, and ensuring that your child has access to clean, filtered water.
You can also help reduce inflammation by ensuring that your child gets enough physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of outdoor play per day.
And finally, helping your child manage stress can also be beneficial in reducing inflammation.
This can include techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
You’ll be amazed at how well little humans are able to participate in those techniques.
3 Guidelines to navigate your child’s inflammatory health problem as an empowered mom
- Understanding the triggers of inflammation will help you to find the root cause of your child’s ailments more easily.
- By breaking down the main triggers of inflammation you can gain control of your child's health.
- Decreasing systemic inflammation is the first step in healing your child.
By understanding the role that inflammation plays in children's health and taking steps to prevent or reduce chronic inflammation, you can help your child heal from the inside out, maintain good health and avoid life threatening health problems that can eventually be caused by inflammation.
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It's important to remember that inflammation is just one factor that can affect a child's health. If you have concerns about your child's health, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help identify the cause of your child's health problems and recommend appropriate treatment options.