Keeping your family healthy is no easy task. It gets even more difficult when they go back to school and come into contact with a slew of germs from other kids. Add to that the product recalls of many popular children’s over-the-counter medications and it just gets more challenging. The good news is there are several options available to help your family stay healthy that do not involve pharmaceutical drugs.
Nutraceuticals, including vitamins, minerals, herbs and supplements, are a great way to keep your immune system working well. Data suggests that different vitamins and herbs can be used to treat a number of ailments. In fact, my husband and I have a neurologist who often recommends vitamins and herbs before using drug therapy. Her reasoning is with vitamins you are less likely to get the negative effects often associated with pharmaceutical medications. To help with my migraines, she recommended a regimen of B-Complex, Magnesium and Feverfew. While these therapies had minimal effect on my headaches, my husband did experience some relief from his headaches as a result. The American Headache Society has published information on the use of nutraceuticals for headaches and the rationale on why they work. More information about the different vitamins found throughout your body and how they work to improve other areas of your health can be found on the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website.
Homeopathic medications have found a place in our home, as well. I cannot stress enough how much my family loves the Homeostasis Labs products. As I write this, we are all currently using the Cough & Cold formulas. My kids started to get runny noses a couple days ago and my husband and I woke up with sore throats today. As soon as I notice cold symptoms we start taking our homeopathic medicine. It has been several months since any of us has had a cold. We actually refer to them as our “Magic Pills.” Following our success with the Cough & Cold formula, my husband has also been using the Allergy formula as well as the Sleep formula. They are helping him so much that he’s asked me to order him more of each from Drugstore.com. In addition to how well these remedies work for my family, I also like that they must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States and that they are regulated in the same way as over-the-counter drugs.
One of my friends swears by her family chiropractor. He specializes in pediatric chiropractic care, but she and her husband also see him for regular adjustments. Since they began to see their chiropractor earlier this year, her daughter’s asthma has improved, her own headaches and vertigo have improved and the entire family seems to be enjoying better general health. My friend is not alone—approximately 27 million Americans visit chiropractors each year. According to the World Chiropractic Alliance, the way chiropractic medicine works is that chiropractors find vertebrae that are out of alignment, called subluxations, and then use spinal adjustments to correct these subluxations. This allows nerve energy to return to its normal flow, thereby aiding in the healing process.
While my family and I do seek out homeopathic regimens when possible, I still continue to take my children to their pediatrician for regular check-ups and when they have an illness. My daughter suffered from frequent ear infections, which required the use of antibiotics. Even the pediatrician saw the benefit of other therapies when she would recommend the use of a probiotic to help my daughter’s immature immune system deal with the negative effects of antibiotics. We use Vidazorb’s Belly Boost with wonderful results—it helps prevent stomach upset and yeast infections, so I dread giving her antibiotics a little less.
I believe there is a place for many types of therapies to promote good health. The problem I run into is that many physicians have little, if any, training in alternatives to Western Medicine. This is where I am fortunate with my neurologist, because she has taken the time to learn about other therapies. When I show things to my pediatrician, I just get a blank look in return. This makes it even more important to stay diligent as a parent when doing research. The National Institutes of Health have a wonderful section on their website under the heading, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) which offers everything from how to select a Complementary and Alternative Medicine provider to valuable information on how different herbs and other therapies work to improve health.
Remember, you are the number one healthcare advocate for yourself and your children. As such, I try to stay open-minded about all of the alternatives available and have been very happy with the results—a healthier and happier family.