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Understanding Your Child's Digestive System

Dr. David Perlmutter, a leading neurologist and the author of several books, recently wrote a book called Brain Maker.

This book is entirely dedicated to the link between the health of the digestive system and the health and function of the brain.

The link between the health of the digestive system and the health of the nervous system is something that is becoming more and more studied throughout the scientific community, and for very good reason. If your child has an unhealthy digestive system, it will negatively affect their nervous system in a big way!

Here are some signs that your child might have a digestive system problem:

C – Section delivery – Typically we receive our microbiome from our mother when we pass through the vaginal canal. C-section deliveries skip this step, so these babies do not inherit the healthy bacteria from mother the same way.

Antibiotic Use – Antibiotics don’t just harm bad bacteria, they also destroy the healthy bacteria that is very important to our system. If the healthy bacteria in our system are destroyed, it often leads to a breakdown of the healthy lining in our small intestines.

Loose stools – A healthy stool should be solid with a rich, brown color. The stool should not be too hard or too soft. Here is a wonderful article by Dr. Joseph Mercola discussing what our stool says about our health.

Stomach Pain – When children have problems with their digestive system, they might complain of ‘tummy aches’. This is typically caused by inflammation in the digestive tract. Stomach pain is not always associated with the food we have just eaten. In fact, it is very common for children to have stomach pain a day or two after eating food that irritated their system. Monitoring your child’s diet and how they react to foods (even days later) is a very important step in the healing process.

Addiction to certain foods – Does your child request the same food over and over? Pizza? Cheese and crackers? Macaroni and cheese? Many children have sensitivities to gluten and grain products, as well as to dairy. What makes this problem worse is that they are often addicted to the very foods that they have sensitivities to, and eating these foods soothes opiate receptors in the brain. If a child is addicted to foods with a high gluten/dairy content, it is a big sign that they need to heal their digestive system.

One of the best ways to learn more about how your child’s digestive system (and how to heal it) is to read a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBridge, M.D. Not only is Dr. Campbell-McBridge the mother of a child with learning disabilities herself, she also holds master’s degrees in neuroscience as well as nutrition. This is a really great resource to read as parents, and I highly recommend adding this book to your library.

All my best,

Dr. Garrett Gripp

P.S. Do you know someone who could benefit from this info? Consider forwarding it to them so they can benefit from it as well!

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