Integrative Approaches to Treating Autumn Paediatric Concerns


The Fall season in North America typically marks a transition from a relaxed summer vacation to a higher-pressure, higher-stress routine for families. Part of this transition usually includes children going back to school, which is when practitioners start to see more cases of colds & flu, stress/anxiety, and learning challenges.

Today, we’re going to focus on two of the more common concerns our pediatric patients experience as they transition into a new season and how we can best support them with the tools available on Fullscript.

Concentration/Focus

In a recent systematic review, researchers found that an omega 3/6 intervention resulted in “favourable benefits on ADHD symptoms including improvements in hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention, visual learning, word reading, and working/short-term memory”. 1

Furthermore, research has also shown that “Nutritional insufficiencies of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) may have adverse effects on brain development and neurodevelopmental outcomes”. 2

To maintain a healthy diet and sufficient omega 3 levels, The Dieticians of Canada recommend  “at least 2 servings of fish per week which provides about 0.3-0.45 grams of EPA and DHA per day”. 3

In some cases, children may not choose to consume fish or other omega 3 sources, or may simply be deficient relative to overall needs, in which case supplementation may be warranted.

To find a wide variety of omega 3 supplements in your Fullscript catalog, including some vegan options, click the following links (note that you can now share catalog page links!):

OMEGA, FISH, EPA, DHA

Cold & Flu Treatment

In most parts of North America, as children return to school and enter an incubator for common viral infections, the infamous cold season begins. Coupled with the change in season and shift in daily temperatures, all of our immune systems undergo stress in trying to stave off common illnesses.

When treating viral infections from an integrative perspective, the aim is typically threefold:

  1. Support the immune system in doing what it does best;
  2. Provide antimicrobial interventions that decrease infectious load;
  3. Mitigate symptoms to improve patient comfort.

Preparations of warm fluids containing soothing herbal ingredients such as Ulmus fulva (slippery elm) and Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) 4 or a food-based broth like chicken bone stock are effective for soothing inflammatory symptoms like sore throat or bronchitis. 5

Natural health products with promising clinical evidence for reducing duration of or treating viral infections include Echinacea purpurea 10, Andrographis paniculara 6, Sambucus nigra 7, and Zinc. 8 Some probiotic preparations also demonstrate immune-boosting properties. 9

Other natural health products that lack rigorous scientific evidence for effectiveness in mitigating symptoms, but show promise include Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil (which includes omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin A), Panax notoginseng (North American ginseng) and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng).

There are many more nutrients and herbs that have traditional medical foundation and are commonly used in the Traditional Chinese medicine or Traditional European herbal medicine systems, but they are too numerous to list here.

To search for cold and flu busting natural health products in your Fullscript catalog, try using these links:

COLD, IMMUNE, ECHINA, ANDRO, ZINC

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Posted by Dr. Alex Keller, ND