With a depleted immune system and an imbalance in the gut, these children are set up for constant infections (mainly viral), as well as the potential for nutritional deficiencies and food allergies!
Luckily, there is a solution for these constantly sick, immunosuppressed children. They don’t need to spend every month on antibiotics, and always feel “not quite right”. They are actually one of my favourite issues to help parents resolve!
What’s that, you ask? Why is a chiropractor talking about this stuff, and how does chiropractic fit in with it all? We will get to the answer to that question shortly.
But first, let’s go over some virus vs bacteria basics.
So how do I know if my child has a viral or a bacterial infection?
- Viruses cause inflammation throughout the entire body
- Your child may start with a runny nose, which progresses to blocked ears, or a cough, even a wheeze
- The inflammation associated with a virus causes fluid build up throughout the body – their ears will be blocked, their nose will run, their lungs may fill with mucous leading to a productive cough
- They will be lethargic, and tired, with sore muscles
- If you feel your child’s glands in their neck, they will all be enlarged
- A healthy child will recover from most garden-variety viruses in 5-7 days
- Bacterial infections are generally localised to one area of the body
- This means your child may have an isolated chest infection, or a sore throat, without all the whole-body sensations of a virus
- Their glands will be swollen only in the area of the infection – a localised bacterial infection is less likely to cause glands to be swollen everywhere, and muscles to be sore
- In very sick children, bacterial infections are often secondary to a virus that the child’s immune system cannot remove
- It is imperative to ensure your child has a healthy, strong immune system!
What about their snot?
Snot colour is not a good indicator of whether there is a bacterial or viral infection occurring. Just because it has turned green, or yellow, does not mean it is more likely to be a bacterial infection – it purely means that the body is excreting debris and dead cells (including dead viruses and bugs).
But they have a fever…
Viruses cause fevers too! A fever is your body’s way of killing infections – did you know that having a fever actually inhibits viral replication and growth? This is a wonderful tool that the body innately uses! Anything that reduces fever may give you peace of mind that your child is more comfortable, but may be extending the length of time your child is sick, and inhibiting their body from fighting as best as it can.
Why does a chiropractor care about infections?
- German paediatricians found that the upper neck connects to the Eustachian tube and inner ear via small muscles, and that any restriction or misalignment in the neck may lead to a lack of drainage of the fluid and debris caused by infections
- Chiropractic adjustments have been found to stimulate the immune system, and reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels, both of which may allow a faster healing time
- Chiropractors are qualified to give advice, and even supply nutritional supplements, which may assist the body in fighting infections, and boosting the immune system
- The immune system is controlled by the nervous system. Chiropractic supports the nervous system, bringing it into balance, so your child can have their optimal immune response to each infection