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The skin is a vital organ system that protects the body from everyday bacteria we are exposed to along with the biggest organ for detoxification. Issues such as acne, eczema, dry skin, chronic impetigo, warts, molluscum and several other skin issues should not be just thought of as isolated skin issues. These findings can be suggestive of imbalances of the immune system, possible reactions of the body to environmental allergens or toxins or could actually be a inherited genetic condition that may need to be biopsied and identified.
Our practice will use a common sense approach and as many of our patients have heard us say… “get to the root issue or at least turn over more rocks to uncover a clue to the skin findings. ” Some skin problems are a direct result of inherited skin conditions such as lichen planus, epidermolysis bullosa, or other rare disorders. Of issue to us at Shine and our integrative methods is for a child to have a diagnosis of eczema, especially eczema, and be given steroids, immunologics, or other prescriptions without addressing core issues.
The core issues must be addressed or the diagnosis is not a real one but one made on convenience. Our practice will not be premised on convenience.
First, the majority of issues that are dealt with by most of my GI colleagues are issues that the general pediatrician needs to be handling. Whether it be time constraints (i.e. having to see more than 30 patients a day), lack of knowledge, or shear just not concerned about looking at the child in-depth, these children have GI issues that are not being integratively assessed. We are not speaking about untested or sketchy testing or treatments. We are looking at real phenomenon such as inflammatory markers in the GI tract, pH imbalances, lack of beneficial bacterial flora, fungal burden, undiagnosed parasite or chronic bacterial infections that do not cause blood in the stool or watery diarrhea but just chronic bowel changes.
The child who does not have normal stool consistency or frequency must have those issues looked into further. On rare instances, our practice is unable to determine these issues and a referral must be made to possibly uncover a deeper issue and truly respect the value of time in our specialist. Our practice will not waste the time of our pediatric specialist for mundane or non-surgical issues. We will refer patients to a specialist once we have exhausted out capabilities to solve the issue.
So much of pediatric medicine revolves around breathing issues. Breathing is the first thing that transitions us from being in the womb to being an independent being. Breathing machines, allergy medications, inhalers, pulmonology offices full of consults for simple breathing issues instead of the really rare issues such as hemochromatosis, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, ciliary diskinesia, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, congenital lung disorders, chronically ventilated patients are issues that we as general pediatricians must handle and take ownership. Our approach to breathing issues is to aggressively understand why does this patient have this chronic issue.
There are times when a child will have an infection that causes them to wheeze but we do not take the approach that wheezing with every upper respiratory infection is just the way it is going to be and “your child has asthma”. It is this recurrent breathing issue that raises a red flag to order labs, assess nutrition with a fine comb, and understand how environment and biomedical makeup link to the disease state. And our approach will be to improve nutrient intake to improve lung function while treating the current symptoms.
We strongly agree that the relationship between the adrenal glands, thyroid, the immune system, and neurological system are interconnected. To state that your child has an isolated immune system problem and then conclude that he or she does not have one because of negative blood work does a disservice.
It is very possible that immune dysfunction is a result of adrenal stress or thyroid issues or possibly poor nutritional bio markers or lack of oxidative stress repair.
Dr Naidoo has a heart for children with so-called disorders of the mind. The mind is the most critical component to our ability to perceive the world around us. When looking at a specific situation, have two individuals with one having a very intact central nervous system and one patient requiring psychotropic medications possibly under poor control or under the influence of multiple medications or even possible that the patient has some other disease process that is affecting the mind, these two minds will perceive the situation completely different.
Take for instance a mother who has three children, no support system, working full time, constantly missing work due to a sick child or possibly a spouse unable to help due to whatever the reason and compare her perception to a mother with three children with numerous support systems in place, maybe she is able to devote more time to caring for her kids, possibly her spouse is able to assist more and share the role. A child with a runny nose and mild fever is perceived as being much more ill to the first mother vs the second mother.
The American Academy of Environmental medicine is a phenomenal medical organization which respects that our environment does create disease. Not yet a member of this organization, Dr Naidoo and NP Potter strongly believe that this approach is valid and in specific situations we have to exhaustively look at and determine if this is the problem. Our practice is continuing to move into the realm of understanding the complexities of phase I and phase II detoxification and how this is relevant to our children.
As we expose them to more medical interventions, the biochemical pathways must be understood. Lack of this understanding manifests itself to into simplistic statements or responses such as ” the science says” or “evidence based medicine says” or the AAP says or the CDC says. It gets old to hear these responses from medical professionals. Parents want answers to their children’s health and we are seeing parents who want answers to their health. We see the positive responses to manipulating the biochemistry and giving the body what it lacks or slowing down what is in excess.
The human body is amazing in its resiliency to maintain homeostasis but at times, the load of toxins with a fragile biochemical makeup provides the terrain for a bad outcome. And with this being said, patience and understanding of these clinical cues and historical note taking with continued reflection on these past encounters provides optimal therapeutic decisions. This is where SHINE needs to and wants to operate. It is not easy and at times, complex, slow, and maybe without an answer. But we believe our practice will offer every opportunity to get well before referrals are made to specialist.
Children who require surgical intervention or have rare disorders or who have been exhaustively assessed by our staff and still without solutions or an answer will be seen by specialist. As a parent, you will always have the opportunity to have your child seen by a specialist if you become frustrated or do not see the results that you wish. We will do everything that we can to facilitate the referral and provide the appropriate notes to the specialist.