Naturopathic Medicine for Children and Newborns

Naturopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine focuses on preventing illness and achieving optimum health. Naturopathic physicians are trained and skilled in diagnosing and treating disease. Naturopathic pediatric care includes helping parents navigate through the important decisions and issues concerning giving their children the healthiest possible start in life, providing complete baby wellness and child care, and treating a myriad of childhood ailments and chronic conditions.

Hawaii’s naturopathic doctors are licensed as primary care physicians, along with MDs and DOs. We perform physical exams, order labs, perform diagnostic tests, and diagnose and treat illness. We are licensed to prescribe certain drugs, such as antibiotics and hormones, when appropriate. Though in my 30 years of professional patient care, I have not typically needed to prescribe pharmaceutical medicines as I have a full dispensary of biologically suitable natural remedies and medicines.  Most naturopathic doctors have a healthy respect for conventional medicine and have regular referral relationships with MDs who are open to naturopathic treatment.

Where naturopathic physicians shine is in our treatment of the whole person, not just the symptoms. For example, it is not uncommon to have a parent bring a child to the office who has had recurrent ear infections. The child usually has received antibiotics multiple times and parents were told that their child may be a candidate for a tympanostomy (having tubes put into her eardrums). In some cases, the child already has tubes, but is continuing to get ear infections. While her medical doctor has been diligent in treating the child’s infections, there may never have been a discussion with the parents about what might be causing the recurrent ear infections and what steps can be taken to correct those causes. Tolle causum is something naturopathic doctors are instructed in school—this is Latin for “find the cause.” Identifying and treating the underlying causes of illness – this is one of the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine.

Naturopathic treatment frequently involves dietary changes, and making sure that your child is getting more (or less) of certain foods. This type of treatment can show dramatic results, but it generally doesn’t happen overnight. What do you do in the interim to bring your child (and yourself) some relief? Before the advent of antibiotics and modern drugs, physicians relied upon medicines derived from plant and animal sources to help their patients regain their health. Poultices, homeopathic medicine and steams using medicinal herbs were used to speed recovery from colds and flu. These treatments may not seem to be as sophisticated as modern medicines, but with the dangers surrounding antibiotic overuse and the side effects produced by many medications, these treatments are gaining new respect. Let’s explore and learn what you and your children need to be the healthiest kids in their classrooms and throughout the year.

Naturopathic treatment frequently involves dietary changes, and making sure that your child is getting more (or less) of certain foods. This type of treatment can show dramatic results, but it generally doesn’t happen overnight. What do you do in the interim to bring your child (and yourself) some relief? Before the advent of antibiotics and modern drugs, physicians relied upon medicines derived from plant and animal sources to help their patients regain their health. Poultices and steams using medicinal herbs were used to speed recovery from colds and flu. These treatments may not seem to be as sophisticated as modern medicines, but with the dangers surrounding antibiotic overuse and the side effects produced by many medications, these treatments are gaining new respect. Naturopathic physicians have large dispensaries of treatments that can help alleviate symptoms when antibiotics or other drugs are not really the answer.

 

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