The childhood years involve a lot of growth and development which can be affected by many factors such as poor dietary choices, erratic sleep, stress, recurrent antibiotic use, food sensitivities, gut issues, and possible environmental toxins. At Healing Family Functional Medicine, Seema Patel, MD, MPH, IFMCP, specializes in helping your child optimize their health using a holistic functional medicine approach, which involves nutritional counseling, lifestyle modifications, gut microbiome testing, food sensitivity testing, vitamin and mineral testing, and other in depth evaluations if needed. Her goal is to help your child enjoy every stage of their childhood. Call the Pepper Pike, Ohio office to book a consultation or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is pediatric care?

The pediatric care services available at Healing Family Functional Medicine aim to optimize and protect your child’s health and well-being.  From in-utero life until 18 years of age, children go through many different stages of growth and development that can impact their adult life.

Dr. Patel offers a range of pediatric care services that focus on optimizing your child’s physical, mental and emotional health.  She provides a deep dive into factors affecting your child’s health including:

  • Gut Microbiome testing
  • Nutrient testing
  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Heavy Metal testing
  • Environmental toxin testing including mold toxins

Through her pediatric visits, Dr. Patel ensures your child has what they need to thrive physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

When should I consider a pediatric care consultation?

Dr. Patel cares for children of all ages through 18 years, so you can schedule a pediatric care consultation at Healing Family Functional Medicine as soon as your child is born.  She is one of the few qualified physicians in the area to provide functional medicine care to children.

Dr. Patel uses functional medicine strategies to consider all factors that influence your child’s well-being.  She assesses aspects like their gut health, food sensitivities and food allergies, vitamin testing, as well as the impact of nutrition, lifestyle and stress.  She cares for children struggling with but not limited to:

  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Environmental and food allergies
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Recurrent infections: ear, throat, sinus, pneumonia, bronchitis, viral infections
  • Obesity
  • ADHD
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Failure to thrive or low weight
  • Learning difficulty
  • Neurological disorders

What happens during a pediatric care visit?

Ahead of your pediatric care visit at Healing Family Functional Medicine, you will complete forms that detail your child’s journey, developmental history, family history, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental exposure.

This information helps Dr. Patel customize a program specific to your child’s needs.  She also offers group care visits to care for your whole family at the same time.  The family care approach is something Dr. Patel emphasizes because what’s manifesting in your child often is coming from the parents.

Dr. Patel does a thorough evaluation of your child’s journey and will order extensive lab work and other diagnostic studies to help understand what is the root cause (s) of your child’s problem.  Dr. Patel provides education on how to improve health using nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity as well as how to clean up the environment surrounding the child.

Why are children at greater risk for environmental toxins?

There are many different environmental toxins that affect children, including heavy metals, mold toxins, pesticides and insecticides, common household cleaners, food colors and preservatives, to industrial pollutants. Children are at greater risk for environmental toxins for many reasons:

  • Children are more likely to put their fingers in their mouth.
  • Children are less likely to breakdown toxicants due to their age and developing systems.
  • Children’s immune and neurological systems are more likely to be disrupted by toxicants.
  • Children have a greater exposure through food and air due to their intake by weight compared to adults.
  • Children are less likely to eat nutritious foods that can help detoxify their bodies
  • Children are more vulnerable due to their smaller size.

With increasing rates of ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, autoimmune diseases, and obesity affecting children, research is evaluating the “epigenetics” (change in gene expression by the environment) as a potential issue.  Environmental toxins are considered possible contributors.  Dr. Patel will discuss how you can improve your child’s lifestyle, nutrition, stress and environment to optimize their health and lower their toxic burden.  Call Healing Family Functional Medicine to schedule your pediatric appointment or book online today.

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