By Dr. Jenna Dye, Naturopathic Physician
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 type of medicine can be very beneficial for children. Pediatric health care is a big part of my practice and children respond very well to integrative medicine. Here are a few ways a naturopathic physician can help support your child.
Well Child Exams/Checkups: Well child exams start at 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 supporting the immune system naturally.
Skin Conditions: Skin conditions are very 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, one of the first places we investigate is the digestive system. We focus on healing the gut by balancing the gut flora. 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, can also be supported in similar ways with additional focus on hormone balancing and diet changes.
Digestion: Gastrointestinal support is staple for all ages in naturopathic medicine; however, it can be an important part of pediatric support. Many children struggle with constipation, stomach pain and diarrhea. We investigate the root cause of any digestive upset. We focus on diet as food allergies and sensitivities can play an important role is constipation or stomach pain. We support the GI tract by balancing gut flora, especially if there has been a long history of antibiotic use.
Immune Support: The goal of naturopathic medicine is to support the body and maintain optimal health. Children are exposed to many illnesses, so proper immune support is important. We investigate any nutritional deficiencies and ensure proper supplementation if warranted. If illness occurs, we can support with many natural remedies like herbal formulas and supplements that can boost the immunity and help fight illness. If stronger intervention is needed, such as antibiotics, we can 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 in addition to those listed above in this article. 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 top knowledge of health and 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.