Are your child’s behaviour issues caused by their nutrition?

The holidays are over and our children are back to school. The last few weeks I have consulted many worried parents who are concerned about their child’s schooling performance. The diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are complex neurological and behavioural disorders which schools are now better equip to assist these children. Special classrooms and dedicated teachers are available in many schools now but diagnosis from a paediatrician must first be made before these services become fully available. Many of these children are put on pharmaceutical medications and there is much controversy and debate over whether all these children need medication or can natural medicine play a part.

Many children with behavioural disorders are actually highly intelligent, however their behavioural issues lead them to problems with authority, teachers and arguments with other children. School grades can fall and this can lead to a lot of stress in the home as parents only hope for the best in their child.

After seeing many parent’s and their children I have come to find that many behavioural issues can be largely influenced by diet and supplementation. We conduct simple finger-prick blood testing in our Sydney and Whitsunday clinics to look for vitamin deficiencies and other health issues that can lead to poor behaviour.

Does your child have a behavioural issue? Before going down the path of medical diagnosis and medication, I encourage you to take these seven easy steps to look for a change in behaviour. Protocols like these are used in our clinics every day and we have evidence from many happy teachers and parents as the results start to show in as little as one week.

-Food Intolerances: Symptoms of food intolerances are not just centred around the gut. Besides tummy pains, constipation or diarrhoea, food intolerances can also cause fatigue, skin issues, asthma and even stuttering. At the clinic we can take a tiny blood sample from the child’s finger or toe and test for 46 different foods. You will be supplied with a report and an opportunity to discuss the results with a qualified nutritionist. We also have meal planning programs available. Simply put, when a child eats a food they are intolerant to, it is very common for their behaviour to suffer.

-Vitamin B12: Symptoms of this deficiency can include low appetite, nervousness, behaviour and energy issues and there may be underlying gut issues. A deficiency of B12 can cause issues with memory which can be a huge problem in the classroom. The brain and nervous system require B12 for adequate function and good bacteria in the gut is needed for absorption to occur. B12 levels can be blood tested at our clinic.

-Iron: Iron deficiency is more prevalent than you may think. Low iron causes issues with behaviour, memory, concentration and may cause dizziness, breathlessness or pica (eating odd items like rocks or dirt). An underlying parasitic bowel infection can also be the cause for iron deficiency so at the clinic we organise for both iron and stool sampling to be conducted. Children with poor immunity must have their iron levels checked as iron is an important component for strong immunity. If your child has not been wormed then this must also be done.

-Folic acid: Folic acid has been scientifically shown to provide great benefits in issues such as headaches, numbness, weakness, epilepsy, behavioural issues and nervous system disorders. there is a lot of talk around folic acid during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects, but we must remember that the brain and nervous system are still growing in childhood so we must prevent deficiency. Testing for Folic acid can be organised at the clinic.

-Omega 3: for many years now we have been testing children for omega 3 levels because of the strong link between good fats and mental health. Without omega 3, all other vitamins may not absorb well, therefore omega 3 is a must for any child with behavioural issues who have shown by blood testing to have a low amount in their system.

-Heavy Metal Testing: Confusion, fatigue, exhaustion and learning difficulties can all be attributed to heavy metal toxicity. Checking the heavy metal content in drinking water has helped us at the clinic discover the source to many health issues. Besides water, children can be exposed to heavy metals from farming pesticides and industrial by-product. We test for heavy metals in the clinic using hair sampling.

-MTHFR and Pyrrole testing: Genetic testing for mutations in genes is becoming more popular as scientists have become aware that some of us are unable to absorb certain vitamins from food. Without those vitamins, behavioural issues can become apparent and supplementation will not work well unless testing is done and the correct supplements are given at the correct dosage for the condition. Testing can be organised through the clinic.

I highly encourage you to talk to one of our Health Care Professionals if you feel there may be a vitamin deficiency, genetic issue or heavy metal toxicity problem.

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