I write about this all the time – that is why you are here I imagine, am I right? Today I am just going to break right to the chase of things when it comes to immune response, repetitive fevers, and really anything inflammation-related.
Your Child’s Food is THE REASON They Have an Immune Problem
This is, by far, hands down, the number one problem to start with. This is where the problem begins before it even enters the body. If you disagree or are really not sure about this, I encourage you to keep an open mind here and really think about your habits and what your child eats daily. I am also not going to get into the specifics of a detailed diet here but rather explain to you why this is NUMBER ONE before what happens next that causes this reaction.
Food is the ONLY WAY we get nutrition in our body. If you do not eat what happens to you? This means it is essential for FUNCTION in our body as well. If you don’t eat – you have a breakdown in function correct? What do you think happens to you if you eat poorly or “foods” that have no nutritional value to your body? It’s the same thing as not eating at all. So right here, EATING nutrient-dense foods is THE WAY to provide the body with the proper tools to balance ALL the body systems.
Certain foods are more irritating to the body than others, and naturally, cause reactions in ALL humans that can lead to detriment if eaten and over-eaten. Wheat, gluten, and grains (that includes corn, oats, and more) are INCLUDED in this. EVERY human gets a rise in zonulin in the body when eating these. This natural response and increase is also the same thing that leads to a breakdown in the small intestine barrier wall – leading to leaking of the gut which causes IMMUNE RESPONSE. If you only consumed this at times or on occasion you MIGHT be OK especially if you don’t have additional sensitivities beyond that (but MANY people do because these are GMO and highly contaminated). But if you eat these items on a DAILY basis you have a constantly higher level of zonulin which constantly works at breaking down that barrier.
You need certain nutrients to support all the cells in the immune system. You cannot get these without nutrient-dense WHOLE foods. Packaged foods, even if they have “clean” ingredients typically have at least 50%-75% less nutritional value than their whole food counterpart. That means that pouch of apples, kale, and strawberries your kid sucks down in the car as only about 5%-15% of the ACTUAL nutrients those ACTUAL whole foods have. Meaning your child is nutritionally starving. Your body CAN NOT MAKE the proper components it needs to run cellular function on less nutrition. Not possible. Sometimes there is an issue because even whole food is intolerable for some, so we have to find an alternative food or we have to supplement to keep this balance up. That is personal for each individual.
What does this mean then about the number one thing – FOOD?
It means that unless you fix the food, nothing else will change. Eliminating ONE food group or ONE food is NOT how this works. In addition, I have seen quite the opposite SO MUCH RESTRICTION it would not ever be possible to have all the systems working. So restricting loads of things forever isn’t the answer either. HOWEVER, certain things will never be able to be part of a healthy diet for body function so yes some things called “food” today will be gone for good – because frankly – they aren’t food to begin with. Whole nutrient-dense foods, on the other hand, can be restricted based on testing or based on reactions and then healing takes place and then reintroductions can happen successfully (often takes at least 3-6 months or more to complete this process). If you continue to put in “food” that has no value, excessively restrict whole foods, or put in known irritants or anti-nutrient foods, you will never see a change in your child’s habits or immunity.
The Digestive System Breakdown is the Second Reason Your Child has this
Since most diets are not rich in nutrient-dense foods and are filled with packaged and processed foods (filled with inflammatory chemicals, additives, and no nutritional value) you get a digestive system breakdown. Remember the digestive system is the place where your child’s body is RAW and OPEN to the food going in.
If your child has taken medications like acid blockers, proton pump inhibitors or other similar upper GI meds they have an imbalance. The medication itself leads to that and in addition the use of that medication was a sign that your child has an imbalance to begin with. The only thing those meds do is relieve a symptom of the UNDERLYING problem – and nobody ever addressed WHAT that underlying issue was. It can be many things, of which is just not enough nutrition to make the things you need in the stomach to keep it functioning well without issues. It can also be microbes, which can be tested for (in my practice) with a GI Map test.
If your child has taken a lot of NSAIDs or acetaminophen to control fevers, your child has a digestive imbalance and accessory organ bog down. These things create issues in the small intestine, and in addition, are toxic to the liver and cause a detox bog down.
Even if your child has NEVER taken any of these items in their life, if they are having repetitive fevers or other immune system problems, including inflammation, their digestive system is out of balance. Even if you don’t think so or they aren’t describing problems.
How can that be?
Roughly 80% of the immune system is INSIDE the layers of the digestive tract. Therefore, we KNOW FOR SURE that your child has an imbalance there if they have inflammation or immune system issues. (That includes repetitive fevers).
It will have started in the upper GI (for various reasons) which caused an issue with the small intestine (and possibly accessory organs). The small intestine is a place that is easily damaged if food has not been properly handled by the stomach prior to releasing into the small intestine. This can happen for a number of reasons as well. In addition, when the layers in the small intestine are broken down immune cells can’t thrive properly, and the junctions/barrier opens and then the immune system responds systemically because food particles and microbes have escaped and are tagged as foreign causing an immune system response (aka fever).
Until you address and provide the proper nutrition and supplements to help the body heal this and get a proper microbe balance back, your child will never get better.
How about other causes?
There are other things that can be the root causes of all these symptoms above, but these are NOT common. They are also HIGHLY bio-individual and would take multiple tests and intakes to determine what those are. And yes I have seen them, but it’s not the main cause of all the kids I see in my practice.
What does this mean for your child then and fixing their fevers and immunity?
Nutrition – You must get rid of those packaged foods. Then you need to determine which whole foods might be an issue for your child. (This is what I do in my practice). You need to cook and eat your meals at home 90%+ of the time. And those meals can’t contain the most contaminated foods that are out there. It needs to be directed at lowering inflammation. But this also cannot be so restrictive that you create a circle of malnourishment. In my practice, there is also an option of MRT Food Sensitivity testing (only for those who have a need, and some restrictions do apply).
Fix Digestion – this is not easy to do without a professional because you really do need intricate knowledge of how digestion works, the locations of breakdown, what causes that, and also in some cases, testing. My practice is able to provide a GI map test. This identifies each part of the digestive system’s function, and in addition, it identifies the real values of microbes present. These microbes play good and bad roles in the tract causing a positive or negative response. This is important as it lends to fixing the ROOT CAUSE of your child’s immune system problem. In my practice, we work on fixing nutrition, lifestyle habits, and using supplements to fortify the digestive system first. If we see signs that more is needed we talk about testing and then determine the next steps based on the results. Most of the time we are able to work food and supplements to help your child’s body heal and get the results you want – which is a PROPER immune response and no more repetitive fevers.
I recently had a fever client tell me that this (nutritional therapy and approach) was the ONLY thing helping their child not have repetitive fever cycles, and in addition, the ONLY person helping them really look at fixing the entire problem from gut to nutrition and beyond. What they had seen was that most people were NOT changing food habits first and foremost. So if you have done “gluten and dairy-free” and didn’t see a response there is a real reason why. It’s not just about gluten, or just about dairy. It’s far beyond that. If you have restricted further and still didn’t see a result – there is a really good reason for that too because restricting just causes a lack of nutrients if you don’t know how to reintroduce foods after a process of letting the body heal.
I encourage you to consider these two things and take a call with me. It’s free to talk about what I do, how it might work for your family, and what results from you can expect from this process. Think about all the individual pieces you have tried that didn’t work – makes sense right? Let’s talk.