They say getting sick is part of growing up, do you agree?
At some point in their young lives, our kids may catch a cold, develop a rash, or have an upset stomach. But what if these ailments become so frequent, that your child begins to miss out on school, play dates with his friends, or worse, is no longer able to do the activities he loved doing at all?
As parents, it hurts to see our children restrained by an illness that repeatedly affects their wellbeing. That is also why we drag them from one doctor's appointment to the next desperately seeking answers. Only to find out later that the treatment options available are simply to get rid of the symptoms, but won’t do anything to avoid another episode - on the contrary.
This is a common scenario among parents with children suffering from chronic health problems. Many of them simply give up and continue to rely on medications to keep their children functioning, but is that really what you want for your child?
What if there is a reason behind your child’s health problem that is waiting to be unveiled? What if by discovering the root cause, you can finally do something to make her feel better?
You see other children playing happily outdoors while your child is stuck in bed - again. Believe me, I get it. It’s totally normal for you to be worried.
The question is, do you want to do something about it? Are you ready to take an important step towards your child’s true healing? Then join me in finding out the reason why your kid is constantly sick in the first place.
Chronic illness in children today
In my own childhood, around 40 years ago, conditions like asthma, ADHD, autism, food sensitivities, eczema, and allergies were rare. Today, 1 out of 3 kids or even more suffer from these health issues. Chances are, your kid is one of them!
These conditions that last for several months or even a lifetime, are called chronic illnesses. Millions of children suffer from frequent illness and inflammatory conditions which can already affect their daily activities and quality of life.
Even with the improvements in science and modern technology, kids are getting sicker than ever. According to my colleague Robin Ray Green, by the age of 16, around 54% of children are estimated to be diagnosed with some form of childhood chronic illness.Why is that so?
Constitution in TCM- How resistant is your child?
To have a much clearer, holistic understanding of what causes these chronic health problems, it is essential to determine the child’s body type. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is called the ti-zhi, or constitution. “Ti-” refers to the body while “–zhi” means quality or substance.
TCM believes that each individual has a unique body constitution that makes up his or her physical and psychological functions. In other words, your child’s constitution can affect the way she feels, behaves, and most importantly, how she responds to illness causing factors.
So what influences your child’s body constitution?
A child’s body constitution is determined by the balance of the life energy called “Qi” that surges within his body. Qi is a vital force that is available all throughout our lives and it comes from two sources. The two sources of Qi are:
From the word itself, prenatal means before birth. Prenatal Qi refers to the constitution or the genes that a child inherited from her parents.
Postnatal Qi refers to everything that the child acquires after birth. This includes the food they eat and the air they breathe all throughout their lives.
Both sources, the prenatal and postnatal Qi are important factors affecting your child’s health. Many children actually inherit a certain health problem from a parent or grandparent- for example, allergies or sensitive skin.
However, what’s more important is that their bodies are able to produce sufficient Qi from the food and air they consume. Which means a big part of their constitution can be influenced by lifestyle choices!
What causes your child’s illness according to TCM
TCM proposes that the disruption of the physiologic balance is the starting point of all diseases in the body. This imbalance can be due to internal, external, and neutral causes.
External causes originate outside the body. Some examples are pathogenic microbes or pollutants that can make your child get sick.
Internal causes come from the inner body and are caused by our child’s emotions. An example would be stress which can also affect your child’s overall health.
Neutral causes are those that result from a lack of restraint in daily life and these include poor dietary habits.
In my many years of experience, for young children, dietary habits almost always play a role in the origin of their health problems. Here are the main reasons why a poor diet can be the culprit behind chronic illness in children:
Children have an immature digestive system.
According to TCM, children are born with an immature digestive system which usually doesn’t achieve full maturity until the age of 7. This makes their gut very vulnerable to indigestion and infections.
A lot of children consume unhealthy foods.
Today, most families indulge in a diet rich in processed foods to make up for the fast-paced, modern-day living. Processed foods contain additives, preservatives, and chemical ingredients. Thus, it robs the body of nutrients instead of providing it with the nutrients (Qi) the body actually needs. This unhealthy dietary practice can impact the gut which we know is essential to having a healthy, well-functioning immune system.
Your child’s current diet may not be ideal for his body.
A lot of families are already going green and healthy when it comes to their diet. However, even if you consider your diet healthy, it is highly possible that it doesn’t fit the required nutrients for your child’s optimum health.
Healthy foods may all appear similar to our eyes, but they actually differ when it comes to their nutritional content. Most food items that we give our children today are low in nutrients, high in calories, and also very difficult to digest.
In other words, wrong food choices can make it harder for your kid’s digestive tract to extract the nutrients it needs for optimal development. Moreover, it can further delay the development of your child’s digestive system, making it weak. Over time, the loss of essential Qi in the form of nutrients can weaken the whole body and make it susceptible to illnesses.
How can this Affect Overall Health
Due to these reasons, children are quite different from us adults. Their bodies are simply not as functional as that of an adult because many of their body organs and systems are not yet fully developed and mature.
In addition, because children grow so quickly, they need a lot more Qi than we do. The organs that are supposed to provide this Qi, namely the gut and the lungs, are also weak and are, therefore, constantly in a state of deficiency. This is why children are also more susceptible to disease than healthy adults.
How to Help a Child with Chronic Illness
Working with children in my daily practice, I have witnessed first-hand that changing their diet can bring a major impact on their overall health. However, in many cases, the diet itself isn’t just enough to fully heal a child’s ailments.
Oftentimes, treating the obvious symptoms that your child's health problems are presenting with, doesn’t work.
Many of the common health problems in children have a complex underlying mechanism which I like to refer to as the “root cause”. In many cases, those complex mechanisms involve the digestive tract - the gut.
Hence, addressing the root cause is the first and most essential step in helping your child with chronic illness. It is the key to the healing results you want your child to have, healing that truly comes from the inside.
So now it’s time to reflect, why is your kid constantly sick? By reading the article, you may now have some idea about what causes your child’s repeated illness.
But now the more important question is, what can you do for your sick child?
As a parent myself, I understand how hard it is to simply do nothing when the solution is right at your fingertips. That is why I created a framework easy to follow for every parent, to learn more about their child’s body and its underlying imbalances.
So if you feel like you need to act now to make your child feel better, go ahead and take my free Pediatric Body Balance Assessment. After taking the quiz, I’ll send you a pdf guide to offer you more clarity. Most importantly, I’ll share 3 simple actions you can take to start rebalancing your child’s body today and help her heal, right now.
Being a parent of a child who constantly gets sick isn’t easy. But with the right help, I believe you are strong enough to help your child overcome his health problems, really soon.
Let's do this together! ?