We offer a comprehensive, wholistic evaluation and physical examination to determine the root cause(s) to your child’s symptoms. Oftentimes we find bowel dysbiosis, chronic viral infections, heavy metal toxicity, and environmental toxicity.
Unfortunately, many children today are affected by chronic health conditions that are sometimes difficult to identify and treat in the typical allopathic model. Often times frustrated parents’ concerns are met with dismissive doctors or endless tests which yield little useful information.
The classic example is chronic constipation which is routinely treated by the first step of Polyethylene glycol, which contains ethylene glycol, a compound also found in automotive antifreeze. This may be given in large quantities to induce a “clean out“ along with instructions for scheduled toilet time to retrain the brain-gut reflex. Often times this is not successful long-term. Additional agents may be added including senna, docusate, or bisacodyl. Sometimes enemas are given, further emotionally traumatizing the child that they are being punished because they do not poop properly. Occasionally diet recommendations are given. But at no point in the process has the cause for the constipation been identified nor remedied. It seems that all causes of constipation are treated the same in the classic allopathic model.
A functional medicine evaluation for chronic constipation tries to identify the cause or causes first. These visits can be quite long as there are many questions that need to be answered. Possible causes could be fear of having a bowel movement in a small child, abuse, yeast overgrowth in the intestines, dysbiosis, mineral deficiencies, environmental toxins retained in the colon wall, Gluten/wheat sensitivity, or poor neurotransmitter function in the nerves around the colon. Testing may include obtaining a specialized tool test such as Genova Diagnostics’ GI Effects or CDSA or Doctor’s Data, Inc. Comprehensive Stool Analysis. Once the cause or causes are identified, they are remedied appropriately, such as using probiotics, avoiding certain foods, or using natural gentle laxatives such as vitamin C or apple cider.
Chronic constipation is one such example where, in my experience, a functional medicine evaluation is much more useful and less time-consuming than the classical allopathic treatments. Other conditions which are well-suited to functional medicine are fatigue, fibromyalgia, POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), PANS/PANDAS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus), ADHD, and Lyme disease. The evaluation of these conditions often includes a functional nutrition assessment (since chronic health conditions are often associated with sub-optimal nutrition) as well as other specialized tests such as saliva cortisol and urine hormone levels.