We live in a world with two opposing scientific paradigms. On one hand, scientific research continues to provide breakthroughs in modern medicine, helping to both cure and treat diseases that once had a bleak outlook. The list of diseases we are able to treat today far surpasses our ability at any other point in history.

Because of this, we have made tremendous advancements in understanding the inner workings of the human body. One of the by-products is an extensive knowledge of how bodily systems work together to complete essential functions. This gives us an unparalleled ability to holistically treat different ailments.

On the other hand, the advancements in modern medicine are breeding a culture of pharmaceutical dependency.

We are met with the continued perpetuation that we need to stay dependent on drugs to sustain a healthy life. This messaging—extensively funded by the pharmaceutical companies—reigns free across the nation, leaving little room for the effective holistic treatments to break through the noise. The results create a continuation of an unhealthy cycle. When we seek modern medicine to help cure ailments, often times a dependency forms, which can alter the natural body’s chemical balance. Then we seek medicine to adjust our chemical balance, perpetuating the cycle.

This leaves many individuals caught in the cross hairs of wanting to embrace and take advantage of the medical advancements, but unsure how to avoid the dependency and negative side effects from long-term use.

One of the most prevalent populations stuck in the cross hairs are families with children diagnosed with learning disabilities.

In my work, I see so many children that are over medicated and over diagnosed. Lacking knowledge of a better alternative, parents place their children on mood suppressants, Metadate, Adderall, Ritalin and other drugs in hopes of addressing the wide scope of learning disabilities.

These drugs come with a laundry list of negative side effects, which can range from any of the following:

  • Sleep disturbances or restlessness,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Anxiety and increased heart rate,
  • Irritability,
  • Weight loss or weight gain,
  • Headache or dizziness.

For any parent wanting to equip their child with the tools to succeed in life, it can be a stressful time weighing the different medical treatments against the side effects.

If you are such a parent, I have good news. There is a better and more effective long-term approach.

The Role of the Gut in Learning Disabilities

As mentioned, our comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of the human body has never been more complete. One of the most notable advancements of late is Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s work with the GAPS™ (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet.

GAPS highlights a direct connection between the digestive system and the nervous system, called the gut–brain axis.

This is particularly important for children and adults suffering from learning disabilities because it creates a correlation between having a healthy gut and brain function. What happens in unhealthy guts is that the lining of the digestive track doesn’t stop toxins and waste products from entering the blood system. Once they enter the blood system, all the toxins and waste products are distributed throughout the body and taken to the brain.

When that lining of the digestive track doesn’t properly filter what’s going into the blood system, we call it leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky gut syndrome not only puts toxins into the blood system, it also can limit the absorption of different nutrients and vitamins. All these factors combined lead to many of the learning disability symptoms, including difficulty focusing, behavior issues, and more.

Treating Learning Disabilities with Diet

When approaching learning disabilities with a nutrition-based approach, there are two steps you must do simultaneously at the start. You need to repair the gut and remove the toxins from the diet. Once the digestive lining is repaired, you start integrating nourishing foods into the diet.

GAPS™ is a very healing diet for leaky gut. It works to both repair the gut and remove the toxins. It utilizes certain foods that have the power to restore the gut. These are foods like bone broth and fermented vegetables.

Once the gut is repaired, whole food diets such as GAPS™ replace toxic foods with nourishing components. This gives your child the tools necessary to increase their focus, retain information, and ultimately live a healthier life.

Why Diet Customization is Important

Keep in mind that toxins in the body do not always come from sources we deem “unhealthy.” Many times, they turn out to be in food that we thought was healthy, but your specific chemical makeup doesn’t process them correctly. When digestion is compromised, as in leaky gut for example, even the most healthful food becomes poison to the body.

Much like DNA, the chemical makeup of everyone is different. We are all different.

This impacts how your body uniquely processes different nutrients. Some bodies are able pull nutrients from sweeteners like honey. Others can’t afford to have honey in their diet.

Working with a professional who is well versed in the different learning disabilities and the whole food diets will help you identify the foods that are nourishing to your child’s unique makeup.

Support Through The Process

As a parent, you may be thinking that all of this sounds great, but how do I get my child to start eating fermented food and bone broth?

You’re right. It’s not an easy process. Which is where I come in.

I work with you and your family to make these changes easier. For your child, we take the baby step approach. This means slowly switching out foods and letting them grow accustom to new foods. This helps them not feel deprived while we create a diet that nourishes them body and mind.

I will also provide support to you throughout the process. Changing how you grocery shop and the types of meals you prepare can be overwhelming. We work together to make the transition easier for the whole family.

Contact me for your free 15-minute consultation to see how we can start your family on the path to holistic nourishing health.

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More Resources:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml

http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/2014/04/understanding-leaky-gut-syndrome/

http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/