PLN Parenting 101: Allergies in Kids-Prevention and Treatment
Disclosure: This post was written by a trained naturopath but you should always talk to your own doctor before enlisting any medical advice.
What Can I Do To Prevent or to Help Treat my Child’s Allergies?
There are many factors to look at when treating a child with allergies and/or food sensitivities. It is important to seek advice from a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed medical profession when addressing treatment with your child. The following are steps that I take with my patients to help them heal themselves & resolve their allergy symptoms:
Identify the Sensitivity
Eliminate common offenders from diet, for example: eggs, dairy & gluten.
Try rotating out foods from your child’s diet, which you suspect may be causing an issue for them. Watch for symptoms to improve, worsen or stay the same.
Heal the Gut – Heal the Immune System: Foundational Supplements
Probiotics: Help to promote proper intestinal environment, which works to improve systemic immunity. Providing the body with healthy bacteria aids the body’s ability to digest foods proper directly affecting the immune system & allergies. For example, research has shown that taking a probiotic supplement (containing lactobacillus), reduces the risk of eczema in high-risk
children during first 4 years of life.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D acts as a potent regulator of the immune system. Vitamin D has been show to modulate the immune system by affecting T cell activation. Additionally, living in a northern climate (like Canada) makes you and your child more susceptible to a vitamin D deficiency.
Fish oil: Omega 3 fatty acids are used to form healthy membrane & form crucial communication cells such as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins regulate inflammation, swelling & of course mediate allergic responses. It is essential to use a high quality brand that is free from heavy metals such as mercury.
Remove Toxic Burden
To decrease overall inflammation & physiological burden for your child, consider reducing toxic load by consuming organic foods, avoiding processed & sugar-loaded foods, decrease exposure to environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke & by spending more time in nature.
Aid the Immune System When Needed
There are a variety of tools & supplements available to help with allergic symptoms, some are listed below:
Herbs (Nettle, Astragalus, Codonopsis): These herbs work as immune modulators to skew the immune system away from allergy reactions
Quercitin: This bioflavinoid helps to stabilize mast cells which contain histamine which is the compound responsible allergic symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes etc.
Address Contributing Factors Such as Stressors
Intuitively, we know stress is not good for our health. In particular, stress can wreak havoc on the gut, which is where over 70% of our immune system is located! When a child is experiencing stressors from home or school, this will result in a decrease of IgA which plays a crucial role in gut lining – when the gut lining is affected, there is an increase in the absorption of allergens into the blood stream.