Friday, March 18, 2011


The following is written by Dr. Sue McCreadie, MD of NourishMD; she's a board certified pediatrician specializing in holistic medicine practicing in Ann Arbor, MI.

Allergy season is upon us, so my next few blog posts will focus on how you can help your child re-balance his immune system.  

I work with a lot of children who live with allergies: food allergies, asthma, eczema and hay fever to name a few.  Since the majority of the immune system lives in the gut, I always focus on re-balancing these children's digestive systems as well.

This is a difficult connection for some to make: what do allergies have to do with digestive health (or lack there of).  The basic connection is this: around 70% of your child's immune system is in her digestive tract!  That's pretty amazing don't you think?  Who knew?!?  Not me, until a few years back.  Initially when working with children suffering from allergies, I would just focus on re-balancing their immune systems.  Never realizing that the quickest way there, was through their gut.  Now I know better, thank goodness!

The easiest way I know to get a snap shot of a person's digestive health is through a test called the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis.  I currently use a lab called Genova Diagnostics to do this test, and you can find a practitioner in your area to order this test for your child as well.  This test evaluates how well your child digests and absorbs food.  It also evaluates your child's bacterial balance, if he has enough beneficial bacteria (to support a healthy immune system) and/or if he has non-beneficial bacteria, yeast or parasites upsetting his bacterial balance.  The beauty of this test is that it also measures two markers of inflammation.  This is most enlightening.  It allows a peek into a child's body to see how much, if any, inflammation is occurring.  This is key since inflammation is at the root of most chronic disease, and must be reduced and eliminated to experience REAL health.

If your child is suffering from allergies of any kind, please find a practitioner in your area and have his stool analyzed.  Sounds gross I know, but digestive imbalance is a problem vital to uncover if your goal is a healthy immune system.

~ Dr. Sue

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