By Dr. Jenna Dye,
Naturopathic medicine is a specific type of health care that focuses on whole patient wellness. The role of a naturopathic physician is to diagnose, treat and prevent acute and chronic illness by identifying underlying causes and removing barriers that may be impacting health rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment. This style of medicine can be very beneficial for children. There are many ways naturopathic physicians can support children.
Well Child Exams/Checkups
Well child exams start in infancy to check growth and development. This includes detailed health history review, diet and nutrition evaluation, physical examination, immunization discussions and support, and a growth review. In addition to the basics, we also focus on the naturopathic approach by supporting parents, discussing milestones, and strengthening the immune system.
Skin conditions are common in my practice, especially for children. Eczema is one of the most common skin conditions I see in children and can last throughout adulthood. Typically, this appears once food is introduced. When there is a skin condition, the first place we investigate is the digestive system. We take a full health history, including any antibiotic use and focus on healing the gut. Food sensitivities can also be a cause of skin conditions and we explore those by elimination of highly allergenic foods or food sensitivity testing. Other skin conditions, such as acne in teens, can also be supported in similar ways with an additional focus on hormone balancing.
Gastrointestinal support is a staple for all ages in naturopathic medicine and is an important aspect of pediatric health. Many children struggle with constipation and stomach pain. We investigate the root cause of any digestive upset. We focus on diet and food allergies and/or sensitivities. We support the gastrointestinal tract by balancing gut flora, especially if there has been a long history of antibiotic use.
Children are exposed to illnesses, so proper immune system support is important. We investigate any nutritional deficiencies and ensure proper supplementation if warranted. If illness occurs, we can support the body with many natural remedies such as herbal formulas and supplements that can boost immunity and help fight illness. If stronger intervention is needed, such as antibiotics, we will support any side effects from those medications.
As a naturopathic physician, my job is to treat the whole person and individualize medicine. We can treat a variety of conditions in children. I love to teach children to be proactive about their health starting from a young age. It is very rewarding to see my little patients grow into young adults with immune system support and the knowledge of a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Jenna Dye is a licensed naturopathic physician. Her role is to support the body’s foundation to restore and maintain optimal health. Together with her patients, this is achieved by identifying and removing barriers that may be impacting health while creating a healing environment. For more information, visit drjennadye.com.