This week I am blogging slightly from the heart, and then where my heart enters practitioner mode – so I hope this hits home for you.
My son started life hard. He was only 8 months old when he experienced his first PFAPA episode. The second one was the one that I knew for certain something was very wrong, just a confirmation for what I saw the first episode. I knew the symptoms were very autoimmune-like – and of course as we know auto-inflammatory disorders are very similar. (I would even argue the same as they both are chronic if the underlying mechanisms are not altered).
My husband and I had very little time to “enjoy” being parents. The stories my friends would tell sounded like a dream – one that would never be ours. He never slept well, had all types of digestive issues (now seen but just ignored as normal baby stuff back then), and then episodes came every 17 days. And it took about 7 days between to recover from an episode. We had 10 days, if we were lucky, of “normal” kid. This struggle is WHY I am a practitioner now for this condition and others like it. Nobody should live like that – kids or their parents. Nor should any adult suffering from autoimmunity or auto inflammation have to continue to live so poorly and die prematurely – especially when there is a SOLUTION.
That solution is a HUGE shift from what we know as parents and people. The reason that ourselves or our kids have these conditions is due to THIS VERY MISMATCH. Our genes are NOT able to deal with the environmental exposures (which include our “food” supply) and we trigger this response that is basically “friendly fire” on our own bodies. This is now being seen in what is being labelled as “post covid” syndrome. Or “long covid.” (This is also fixable – doing it successfully – give me a shout if this is you). Post covid IS autoimmunity folks. (I have a book on autoimmunity as well – grab it off the site if you need somewhere to start).
Of course I give you VERY detailed steps and information in my PFAPA/PFS book to help you get started – but here is the solution – realign the genes again. It sounds enormous and believe me the task is HUGE – but IT WORKS and can be done.
1- Real food – stop eating things that come in boxes and bags, and have a long list of ingredients that you cannot pronounce. This alone may STOP what is going on for you. It might not be enough for many – but it is truly the START of making change. Yes this is enormous when you first start, but after two or three weeks you are off and running and you do not even realize it anymore.
2- Choose organic and amazing quality FARM meats (or wild caught seafood). Our vegetables and fruits are degraded from even just the 1960s! Choosing organic gets you the most bang for your buck in nutrients, and it keeps the environmental chemicals reduced in your gut and life. Choosing properly raised animals from local farms does the same thing. You get better fats, less chemicals and better protein from these animals because they were not fed modified foods or altered diets.
3- Supplement – and this is where you need a practitioner. You can ask your doctor, or a nutritional therapy practitioner like myself for help with this. These should be target at your specific imbalances (or your child’s) and the amount and types all vary depending on your particular condition, size, age etc. And yes you CAN do something wrong if you don’t choose properly. Herbs and supplements can be detrimental if not used the proper way. Sometimes in my practice we use more up front (almost always) and then we step down when we see the success of the changes in diet and supplement. Sometimes there are just some supplements and our conditions and bodies that need to be taken for life. As I mentioned – our food isn’t what it used to be many years ago, BUT our bodies and genetics ARE!
4- Get help with your stress and mental health, and expect co-existing conditions. This last one is really why I started this post today. You will see co-existing conditions with your child’s PFAPA or PFS. I haven’t met a little one yet that doesn’t have another condition of some sort. These range from ADHD/ADD, to asthma, to other mental health struggles. When you have dialed in nutrition, and you are supplementing and the coexisting condition still exists it is time to look specifically at that condition as well, and make tweaks, or seek additional supports – like family therapy. We have a family therapist. One person cannot do it all alone – believe me I tried for so long! Providing skills through therapy is amazing and it is the RIGHT thing to do – not because something is wrong but because you are succeeding as a parent! Look for therapist who believes in skills and non drug approaches. Holistic in nature. If you are in NYS I can give you a referral. Outside of NY it becomes more challenging with licensing for therapists.
So folks, your life CAN be different, it DOES NOT need to be so hard. There IS a solution out there that is better for your family. Employ all the help you can and make the change! After 10 years in this – I can tell you there are better ways than suffering through it and grasping at straws all the time! And mostly – hang in there – you can get through this.