Children’s Health Issues: Obesity
Childhood obesity has become increasingly prevalent in our nation today. Dysfunction or disease, which obesity has become, starts and ends with stress. Obesity in children stems from structural and chemical stresses, but can be attributed to mental/emotional stress as well.
Kids fall and get knocked around all the time, in fact, it’s estimated that the average child will fall close to 10,000 times before the age of six. This leads to structural stress. The brain controls the whole body and the brain stays healthy by proper sensory input – the way you move is the biggest input contributor. On average we take 6,000 steps a day, so if a muscle or a joint is off just a little bit it can have a negative impact on your child’s brain and body. We often think that bumps and bruises have no impact on our children, but a lot of little things can add up to one big thing. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that we make sure our kids structure is balanced and aligned. The best way to do this is see a chiropractor as they are the specialists in balancing muscles and joints. Proper muscle and joint balance can increase your child’s fat burning potential.
Chemical stress is associated with poor diet. A poor diet stems from less nutrient-dense foods which is caused by but not limited to genetically-modifed foods, steroids, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides; and high fructose corn syrup. Chemical stress is also caused by bad water; the air we breathe; and countless other things. There are a lot of chemical challenges, our children face today. We are burdened by so many toxins that we have toxic overload. And the way the body rids itself of these toxins is through the vitamins, minerals and enzymes we absorb from the foods we eat. Unfortunately, we consume so many toxins through processed foods that our bodies weren’t designed to detoxify this much, causing toxicity. Sherry Rodgers M.D said it best “Never before in the history of man have we been under such tremendous toxic stress with such low nutrient dense foods in our diets”. Most noteworthy is the fact that most toxins are fat-soluble, which means we store toxins in our fat tissue. Our body’s fat capacity is infinite, which causes us to become obese.
The same receptors in your brain are also in your immune system, thus meaning that mental/emotional stress can have a huge impact on the rest of your body. Stress on kids has a negative impact on their bodies, including making them overweight. Some techniques we provide at the Functional Medicine Center to combat this negative response include acupressure while visualizing the negative situation. Acupressure has a positive impact on how the body perceives this stress. Other techniques include visualization and breathing exercises they can do at home to help decrease the negative impact.
All of these stresses have one thing in common; they set into motion a terrible cycle of adrenal stress that puts your child into a “flight or fight” mode. The adrenals have a lot of functions, but one of the important ones is to release cortisol. Cortisol helps regulate your blood sugars and it is anti-inflammatory. When cortisol is released it will increase your blood sugars and in time may lead to metabolic syndrome, the precursor to diabetes and obesity. If constant adrenaline is released from the adrenals due to stress the brain may choose to decrease regulation of the thyroid in an attempt to take pressure off your child’s heart. The thyroid is the major player in the body’s metabolism – the slower the metabolism, the less fat the body burns and the bigger it gets. Too much cortisol after a while will cause your child’s brain to miscommunicate with the body and your child will start to self medicate with sugar, causing obesity. In addition, high adrenaline and cortisol will lead to fatigue and depression which can cause laziness in kids as well as adults.
The gold standard for functionally analyzing the adrenals is a salivary adrenal stress test. There are a lot of techniques that can be done to remove structural, chemical and mental/emotional stress, but there is not much done about repairing the damage these stresses create in the body. This is imperative to fix the problem and get back to a place of health.
At the Functional Medicine CEnter, we look at the individual’s diet and create a new diet specific to their genetic and family makeup. In addition, we support the body’s journey to wellness with specifically designed supplements to rebalance the body and brain coordination and repair any damage that has been caused.