I review medical histories before I meet a new patient because I like to hit the ground running. I also think if a patient takes the time to fill out a form, then I should give it my full attention.

OldYoungThis week I read the history of a typical middle age man. He complained of stomach aches, crushing headaches, food intolerance, reflux, eczema, feels sleepy or irritable during the day, and has trouble focusing on tasks if he sits still for very long.

He has to go to the bathroom all the time, and he often has GI trouble like diarrhea and constipation.

Every old guy has these problems because they are normal with aging, right? No, none of that is normal.

My heart sank when I looked at this man’s birthday and realized he was not 60, he was only 6 years old.

It was another miserable child, one of many that I see every single day. His parents were exhausted and worried because their other kids have started developing the same types of problems.

Our kids today have been scoped, scanned, medicated, and yet they are getting sicker. One of my biggest challenges is to turn their life around and give them a chance to become healthy adults someday.

The odds are alarming that 1/3 of them will develop diabetes or fatty liver disease, and our fears are growing that they will not enjoy a normal life span. Trendy solutions like gluten-free, probiotics, and antacids may work for a while but I do not think they solve the problem forever.

I believe our children’s intestinal tracts have been thrown off course by some combination of high carbohydrate foods, sugary drinks, a broken metabolism, and multiple rounds of medications.

The reality is that we demand and receive drugs at the first sign of a cough, sore throat, or “just in case”. No one ever wants a sick kid on a weekend, or when it is not a convenient time, so we give them preventative medicine “just in case”.

We mistakenly think we can fix this damage by throwing vitamins at poor nutrition, or that taking long term drugs is inevitable or acceptable. I think we would be much wiser to get these kids back on track, fix the imbalance in their intestinal tracts, and teach them how to be healthy for life.

We understand some of the biggest contributors to the health crisis, and the truth is we just don’t want to change. It is not exciting to get your nutrition from healthy food, and it is not fun to decrease carbohydrate and sugar intake to levels that I think might be safe.

We need to pay attention to each drug that we take, both over the counter and prescription. Everyone should understand the reason why no one should take antibiotics for an illness that is just a virus.

If your child has a bacterial illness that is not life threatening, ask your doctor how long you can wait before administering drugs that might negatively affect your child’s intestinal bacteria. This is critical because our intestinal tracks talk to our brains and organ systems, and when our bacteria are off balance they can wreck our health.

If your children are already showing signs of illness and distress, you need to search for comprehensive medical solutions that restores their health without endless prescriptions and shots.

I believe your kids, 60 years from now, will be grateful that you did.

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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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