Our child had been sick for months, the slightest virus was a trial of strength, allergies amplified existent developmental challenges, and going outside was a dream from six months prior. We began to realize that each successive allergy and illness was sweeping away weeks of hard-earned progress. Could the functional medicine approach help our child?
Let us call the child Sam. Four years post-adoption and along with our little one we had been meeting challenge after challenge: attachment issues, behavioural issues, language issues, developmental issues, physical coordination issues, spiritual issues, and the list goes on. Due to poor nutrition and various other environmental factors during “Sam’s” early life, she suffered significant impairments. A particular challenge of the last two years has been her immune system dysregulation.
You see, on the one hand, her immune system was under-responsive to infectious challenges and, on the other hand, it was over-responsive to environmental allergens. Either way, whatever progress our child was able to eke out was promptly erased by the immune system’s inability to keep a state of equilibrium. To worsen matters, the least virus or allergy brought on a mental haze, erasing progress and setting back development by months. Sometimes, “Sam” just sat on the bed like one lost in another world; exploration became sitting and make- believe became staring. When an illness ended, allergies began. She bounced back and forth between the two like a pickleball between paddles.
In this case, a two-pronged treatment approach worked best for our child. While we addressed the major symptoms in the short term, we began addressing the core issue – her misguided immune system. Utilizing nutraceuticals, targeted vitamin, and probiotic therapy, we began to put a halt to the swirling mess of immune dysfunction in our child’s life.
Despite the initially meager results, we persisted, and over the first few months of therapy, we noted a decrease in the need for symptomatic relief due to treating the underlying immune issues. Eventually, we noticed that the illnesses were less frequent. Then, we noted that when sickness did hit, it lasted days instead of weeks. Plus, the mind-altering fog was light to non-existent during the time of illness. Thankfully, developmental milestones were not being lost with each episode, and the all-important outside play becomes an option even during “allergy” season. Immunity patterns were changing and changing for the better.
Today, “Sam” continues to make slow but steady progress. Because her immune system works for her instead of against her, we now know that her body will make a reasonable effort to maintain a healthy equilibrium, and therefore mental and physical development cannot only be achieved but retained. Due to a wise application of functional medicine methods, “Sam” can now live an abundant life without constantly struggling through massive setbacks.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.