Chronic illness is a condition that lasts for more than three months and affects daily life. It is estimated that 40% of children in America have a chronic illness, and the number is rising.
Some of the prevalent childhood diseases include asthma, food allergies, and behavioral problems. Chronically ill children’s parents know how difficult it is to meet all their child’s medical needs. This includes managing the disease daily and responding to emergencies.
Pediatric functional medicine practitioners can assist parents in addressing their child’s unique needs. Read on as we explore what functional medicine is and how it can help children.
What Are the Most Common Childhood Diseases?
There are six illnesses common among children. Here are the most common childhood diseases:
- Food Allergies
The leading illness in children is asthma. It is often the reason for school absences due to sickness. Low-income, minority, and inner-city children are more likely to suffer from this health condition.
Certain triggers can cause a child’s asthma to worsen. These include tobacco smoke and air pollution. However, the health condition can be manageable with proper care and routine doctor visits.
About 244,000 children have diabetes in the U.S., and type 1 is the most common. If your child has diabetes, it’s essential to inform their school so they can help manage the condition. Staff can remind the child to take medications, find nutritious foods, check their blood sugar levels, and keep them active.
The same goes for food allergies. School staff can ensure a child’s safety by monitoring what they eat while there. Often they will create food kits for children who have food allergies to peanuts, dairy, and wheat.
If your child has epilepsy, every school system has a seizure action plan on the steps and information on what to do during a seizure. The guide includes information on first aid, contacts, and medications. If your child has an episode at school, the staff will contact you and the health care provider to ensure their well-being.
The last two common childhood diseases, obesity and cavities, are often preventable. However, these conditions continue to rise among children.
Ensuring your child eats nutritious foods, gets enough rest, and stays active can prevent obesity. Also, remember to practice good oral hygiene with your child and make regular dental visits to protect their oral health.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is the approach to center medical care based on the individual needs of a patient. The process explores the condition’s root cause and doesn’t focus solely on treating the symptoms.
Doctors talk to their patients about their condition and review medical history to find the root cause of the illness. Physicians in natural medicine know that no one plan works for every patient.
They create individualized health plans to optimize a patient’s health based on the information. The functional approach also explores options for alternative medicine.
Some of these options may be acupuncture, chiropractic care, or changing one’s diet. Also, a doctor may suggest you explore aromatherapy to help with behavioral issues.
The Benefits of Functional Medicine for Childhood Diseases
Parents know their children best. Many find traditional medical approaches may not meet their child’s needs. If you find yourself in this situation, functional medicine can be a better option.
Below are some of the other benefits of pediatric functional medicine:
- Ability to explore eastern medicines
- Parents can receive more help in improving their child’s health
- Treat patients using a multidisciplinary approach
- Uses science-based methodology
Dealing with a chronic illness can affect a person’s mental health, especially that of a child. Your child may not be able to express their problems fully.
Counseling may be needed to help them discuss their feelings more. If your child struggles opening up to you, tell your health provider so they can explore options with you.
How Does Pediatric Functional Medicine Fully Address Your Child’s Needs?
Functional medicine aims to provide quality medical care based on the best practices available. Practitioners analyze and make protocols to help parents guide their children to optimum health.
A family medicine physician may recommend only medications to improve health. A pediatric functional physician works in different areas of health for improvement.
This includes looking at factors harming physical, mental, and emotional health. Also, pediatric functional medicine not only helps the child but the parent also.
Many parents find that traditional healthcare does not provide enough guidance in understanding their child’s health conditions. Holistic health practitioners can provide parents with resources for their child’s condition.
What can you expect from your child’s first appointment?
Initial evaluations involve discussing the child’s health and medical history. A practitioner will assess three areas of one’s life that may have contributed to the disease. These three areas include lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, and genetic issues.
Also, laboratory tests will be conducted for specific health conditions. Once done, the physician can address these conditions to improve your child’s health.
A physician may prescribe diet and exercise changes to treat and prevent illnesses. A variety of holistic treatments may be recommended to promote healing and wellness.
Discover More on How Natural Medicine Can Help With Pediatric Diseases
There is much wisdom within the world of functional medicine. Traditional medicine may not be enough to treat common childhood diseases. However, a functional approach and traditional care can achieve a child’s optimal health.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to see how we can help with your child’s chronic illness.