Kids

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My Growing Concerns About Increasing Childhood Symptoms

I am unpleasantly surprised by how frequently I see children who are suffering from some fairly serious symptoms.  Parents often view these symptoms as “normal”, “common” or “something they’ll grow out of”.   The symptoms I’m speaking of are important harbingers of potentially serious medications in your child’s future.

Don’t get me wrong, I not blaming the parents for not fully understanding what they see in their children.  Why should they sense something is wrong when their own pediatrician and family practitioner (along with their nurse practitioners) don’t recognize the problems themselves.

What kind of problems am I speaking of?

Symptoms such as heartburn, urinary frequency (often the cause of frequent bladder infections), headaches, poor concentration and sleepiness after sitting in class, nearly blacking out on occasional after simply standing up as well as abdominal cramping and intermittent diarrhea.  These are not normal problems associated with youth.  They were extremely rare 1-2 decades ago and now I’m seeing them almost daily.  They are not something kids will grow out of.

These are all signs that the autonomic nervous system is not working properly.

What’s Causing These Problems?

The short answer is that the excessive carbohydrates in diet, especially processed carbohydrates (anything that is not unprocessed fruits or vegetables).   The high amounts of processed carbohydrates is causing their autonomic nervous system (the portion of the brain that controls organ function) to not operate correctly.

Abdominal pain, heart burn and diarrhea or constipation is caused from poor forward motility of the intestinal track.

Headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, poor concentration and emotion instability is being caused from poor blood flow to the brain.  A common symptom in adults with a condition known as orthostatic hypotension.

Frequent or urgent urination (day or night), lower abdominal cramping and recurrent bladder infections are being caused from poor coordination of bladder muscles leading to inefficient emptying of the bladder.

What Can You Do About this For Your Child?

The simple rule is reduce their carbohydrate intake.

Eliminate all sodas, sweetened teas, sport drinks and juice.  These all contain excessive amounts of sugar that is harming your child’s neurological system.   If your child doesn’t drink much of these items, then cut back on the bread and crackers, pasta, processed breakfast cereals and potatoes (fries, chips, tater tots).

A reduction in carbohydrates will often result in a rapid normalization of your child’s neurological function and will cause many of their symptoms to stop completely within a few weeks.

What Does It Mean If My Child’s Problems Improve By Reducing Carbohydrates?

We don’t have studies to prove this yet but I believe these problems may indicate your child is sensitive to the toxic effects of carbohydrates in general and that they have an increased risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease in early adulthood.

Today, I commonly see young adults (25-35 years old) who already have high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea or who have already had a heart attack.  Remember, all of these conditions is caused by insulin resistance and insulin resistance is being driven by excessive carbohydrate intake.

So getting your child to tune into these symptoms and to understand that the carbohydrates they eat are causing them may just lead your child onto a path of more healthy eating and less chance of developing these more serious problems.

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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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