What is Pediatric Integrative Medicine?

Pediatricians treat children from birth to the age of 18. They focus on the physical, mental, and social health of their patients and offer a range of services, including preventative health care and the treatment of chronic diseases. In addition, the pediatrician serves as an advocate for the child. Parents often start with a general pediatrician only to find they need a doctor who can provide more specialized care. What type of care might call for seeing a specialized pediatrician?

General Pediatric Services

A general pediatrician monitors a child’s growth and development. They track the child’s medical history over time to identify potential problems and provide early intervention. In addition, they provide children with vaccines and answer any questions parents have about this type of preventative care. Furthermore, the doctor screens children for specific medical conditions, such as lead poisoning, that could affect the child’s development.

Pediatricians also address safety topics with parents. For example, they talk to parents about the importance of seatbelts and bicycle helmet use. They work with parents when the child has a school or learning-related issue. They also cover topics related to drug and alcohol use and mental health as the child gets older.

Children with a chronic conditions, such as asthma or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, will also see a pediatrician. The same holds for children with heart issues or cancer. The parent may also opt to work with a doctor offering pediatric integrative medicine. To learn more about this type of care, click here.

Defining Pediatric Integrative Medicine

Source: integrativepediatrics.com

Pediatric integrative medicine moves beyond conventional medical care and focuses on using modern approaches to treat complex and chronic cases. Pediatricians practicing this type of medicine combine conventional and complementary treatments to offer a holistic, patient-focused approach to health care.

The pediatrician examines all aspects of a patient’s life to treat the entire person. This includes their mental, emotional, and functional health and wellness. However, the doctor also considers their social, community, and spiritual health and wellness. They look at the big picture rather than one or two symptoms.

The doctor works as part of a team. They coordinate care with various providers and institutions to ensure every aspect of the child’s health is considered.

Conditions that Benefit from an Integrative Approach

Doctors may use an integrative approach when a child has been diagnosed with ADHD or depression. It also benefits those who struggle with stress or excessive worry diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. A child who is overweight or underweight may benefit from pediatric integrative medicine, and the same holds for those who struggle with sleep issues.

Other conditions that might lead a doctor to use pediatric integrative medicine include gastroesophageal reflux, allergic rhinitis, autism, and asthma. Parents should speak to their child’s pediatrician if they feel complementary treatments might benefit the child, along with conventional medicine. Many doctors will try new methods if the parent requests they do so. However, some parents find they benefit from taking their child to a pediatrician who treats all patients using this comprehensive approach.

Working with the Pediatrician

When a pediatrician meets with a new patient, they request a complete medical history. They want to know what medications the child currently takes, any medications they have been on previously, and any allergies to drugs. They need to gather information about the child’s overall health to ensure nothing is overlooked as they move forward with treating the child.

They will also ask that the parent share information about previous tests and procedures the child has undergone. They may use this information to learn what tests and procedures are needed or to compare the current results of these tests to previous results. In addition, the doctor may order lab work.

Parents need to work with the pediatrician to create a plan that provides the highest level of care. The pediatrician will need information on the child’s diet to ensure the child’s nutritional needs are being met with the foods they eat. They ask for information on the child’s sleep patterns and any sleep disturbances the parents have noted. Share information about the child’s physical activity and their social interactions.

The pediatrician will also ask about sources of stress. When does the child become agitated or angry? This will help identify triggers and the child’s response to them. In addition, the doctor will want to know about any supplements or herbal remedies the parents use with the child. Finally, the doctor will talk with the parent about the child and whether they have had any prior experience with integrative medicine and the results.

Creating the Care Plan

Once all necessary information has been gathered, the pediatrician sits down with the parents to create a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan may include nutrition and sleep therapies to ensure the child is getting what they need in these areas for optimal health. The pediatrician will help the parents find a way to ensure the child gets adequate physical exercise.

The doctor also looks at ways to help the child strengthen their mind-body connection. They may recommend changes to the child’s physical environment or suggest therapy to improve the child’s relationships with others. Osteopathic or chiropractic manipulations may be recommended or the doctor might suggest the child take part in yoga or tai chi. The plan is personalized to meet the specific needs of the child.

Source: healthservicesntx.org

Why Pediatric Integrative Medicine?

More parents are looking for a doctor who provides pediatric integrative medicine. They do so for a variety of reasons. For example, a parent whose child suffers from a chronic illness may wish to try complementary treatments to help their child manage the condition. Certain parents begin exploring this treatment option because they don’t like the side effects that come with medications their child currently takes.

A parent may currently benefit from complementary or alternative treatments and want their child to see the same benefits. At times, parents want to provide more preventative health options for their children. Regardless of why a parent chooses to explore this option, doctors practicing pediatric integrative medicine are ready to help.

Parents must advocate on behalf of their children. If current treatment options aren’t helping or the parents would like more to be done, pediatric integrative medicine is an option to consider. Learn more today to see if it may be right for your child.