Today’s topic is one that’s very close to my heart. I wanted to write & publish an article to give people a detailed insight into how and why we are seeing more chronic illness in children today. I also wanted to offer parents a greater understanding on why their child is being or behaving a certain way, and what can be done about it. Finally i wanted to express my views to future mothers looking to bring a child into the world and start a family; and the ways in which we can mitigate this problem, & give them a better start in life by working with a skilled practitioner that covers the full spectrum, to create an optimal pre natal environment by reducing the toxic burden put on the child, when in utero.

Ideally speaking, when we are born, we begin our lives in what’s referred to as ‘fast oxidation’. What this looks like on a HTMA is the Ca & Mg levels being low in comparison to the Na and K levels.

As a general rule, fast oxidisers are more active individuals. This is why you see kids who are fast oxidisers with an abundance of energy and pop out of bed in morning eager to tackle the day.

Depending on the degree of fast oxidation; common characteristics can range from a high pulse rate with a high degree of nervousness, irritability or excitability; to extreme irritability, inability to relax and often aggressive, volatile behaviour.

Fast oxidisers tend to benefit from dietary fat and calcium rich foods, the kind found in high fat dairy products such as milk & cheese, as well as fattier cuts of meat as it slows the metabolic rate.

Children can remain fast oxidisers for years; even into adulthood. However, as a general rule, as one ages the oxidation rate slows. Ideally speaking we should start our lives in fast oxidation, then move into mixed oxidation as we get to middle age, and the transition into slow into our senior years.

Over the last few decades, a major shift has occurred. Today many infant children switch into other oxidation types within a few years, or even sooner, due to stress, inherited toxicity and nutritional imbalances. The progression is to move from fast oxidation with a normal Na/K ratio of 2.4:1 to fast oxidation with an Na/K ratio less than 2.4:1 often referred to as an “Inversion”

This stage is a stage of adrenal burnout & is usually followed by a shift to slow oxidation. In this case, the Ca and Mg levels rise and the Na and K levels decrease on a HTMA.

The main causes for the premature change in a child’s oxidation type can include deficiencies in specific nutrients, excessive body burden of toxic metals, or stress from any cause. Any or the above is viewed as a perceived stressor & in turn depletes the adrenal and thyroid glands which are primarily responsible for the oxidation rate & energy production.

Today we are seeing newborns & young infants with very slow oxidation rates. Since illnesses & health conditions associated with each oxidation type are different, it is no surprise that children are not only being born into poor health but, end up developing chronic health problems much early on in life.

There are other potential causes for a switch from fast to slow oxidation in children. Temperament can affect the oxidation rate. Fast oxidisers tend to be more aggressive and extroverted; Whereas slow oxidisers have the tendency to be more reserved in nature, and introverted.

What we’re seeing today common on the HTMA’s of children is extremely high readings of toxic metals showing up in the hair. This can be down to several reasons which I’ll talk about below.

In my experience in viewing HTMA’s from children ranging between the ages of 4-10yrs, some are legitimate fast oxidisers. My 2 kids for example are 6 and 4yrs, are both fast oxidisers & very healthy. I have them both on a mineral balancing programme, and run a HTMA on them every 3 months without fail, to ensure I balance their oxidation rate & keep them in that healthy state. The majority of children’s HTMA’s I see now within that age bracket are predominantly slow oxidisers

I’ve worked with a fair amount of teenagers & children of the adults that I treat which reveal severely slow oxidation rates. The majority of teenagers these days are burned out & exhausted, even though the cracks might not necessarily being showing on the surface yet. You only have look at the amount of energy drinks you see them guzzling down that are loaded with high sugar & caffeine; a very powerful artificial stimulant of the adrenal glands; to see that they are reliant on these to get them through the day. Caffeine temporarily raises their sodium levels giving them a temporary boost of energy by whipping their weak glands into submission. By constantly driving sodium so high it depletes the sedating minerals Ca & Mg driving them further into burnout. They rely on this stimulation as their body’s are exhausted underneath.

The most common reported symptoms I see in consultations & in pre consult questionnaires of these youngsters are typically anxiety, racing mind, acne, fatigue, mood issues, depression, apathy, foggy thinking, concentration issues, gut infections or digestive issues, allergies, thinning hair & hair loss, headaches, & dental problems.

A classic tell tale sign of burnout in a teenager, or any age for that matter is when they are still tired after sleeping 8-10 hours, and do not feel like getting up in the morning. They also tend to be apathetic towards having any interest in engaging in any kind of activity, and often show general symptoms of fatigue.

Probably THE most important stage where a child’s health gets shaped is with the health of the mother. In my opinion, prenatal care must seriously be considered before a future mother becomes pregnant.

The first 2-3 months of pregnancy are referred to as the “critical stage”. During this period, all the organs and tissues of the foetus are formed. If prenatal care is not started within the first month, you’ve missed the boat. The nutrient levels in the body are a huge part in the healthy development of the baby.

I never make a statement without adding some context, so let me set the scene…

During our lives we all get exposed to an uncountable amount of stressful events. These can be physical, emotional, or chemical in nature. It can even manifest as a perceived stress. Each time this happens it creates what i refer to as “Stress Chemistry” in the body. This is a neatly packaged term I use to describe the biochemical shifts that have to take place for the body to prepare itself to deal with the event, and adapt to survive. Over time this depletes the body of its vital life sustaining nutrients that are required to maintain good levels of health. When preferred nutrients aren’t available whether that be a true deficiency or what i coin as being “metabolically inactive”; the body must then replace that weak link with a compound that can enter the cell without the need for the sodium/potassium pump mechanism which in a lot of cases is impaired. And what is that compound… Yep, you guessed it; a heavy metal!

These heavy metals pass through the cell membrane without any assistance required by Na & K, and occupy the preferred mineral binding sites that are deficient. They operate at a fraction of the efficiency; sometimes only up to 1/3; and most biochemical enzymatic reactions often aren’t able to go through to completion which forces the body to make more adaptive compensations.

The body is always trying to maintain homeostatic balance at all times. This is a term to describe attempting to maintain a dynamic balance of unstable biochemical elements within the body, to keep the it as close to health as possible with the resources it has, under the current circumstances.

When it comes to the removal of these metals, the body has to be in an optimal metabolic environment to fully let go of metals that have accumulated.

When a mother to be is carrying her unborn child, they are usually eating and abundance of extra calories and nutrients to provide the baby with the raw materials to grow and develop. During this time, the body feels like it has and excess of fuel onboard, which in turn raises the metabolic rate. In doing so it tends to signal the release of a large amount of the mother’s accumulated toxic burden directly into the placenta. It becomes a dumping ground as the body innately knows that this tissue will be leaving the body eventually.

The unborn child then becomes a toxic sponge and takes on the toxic load of the mother. These toxins poison and overstimulate the unborn child’s tiny underdeveloped organs which is why kids today are being born burned out & with health issues from birth. The big issue when they are born burned out & come into the world, is that they don’t have the adaptive energy or metabolic capacity to release any of these metals which is where the shit storm starts to really manifest. This is why children are born into chronic health conditions and suffer with illness and dysfunction from such a young age, before their life had truly started.

Even a deficiency of just one important mineral in a child, such as zinc that gets displaced by a heavy metal can result in a laundry list of issues and inability develop & thrive as one should. Nutrient deficiencies at the growth and development stage are a major cause of learning difficulties as well as numerous health problems.

Other things that have detrimental knock on effect that either come from the mother, or an exposure to the child is antibiotics, Infections and one is the biggest ones of all…VACCINATIONS. It’s known that these are loaded with compounds that are highly toxic to the body, including heavy metals.

I keep saying this but nothing ever happens in isolation. Most nutritional imbalances are multiple in nature and in my experience you can bet the house that where there is one deficiency, or “metabolic inactivity” there is at least 5 others nutrient deficiencies; often more.
Fortunately, with the right intervention, the internal environment & heath issues can be prevented, favourably improved or corrected, prior to birth or before puberty so that growth and optimal development can occur as it should.

In summary…

Prevention is always better than cure; or symptom management.

This is why It’s highly beneficial to seek a skilled individual to assist in fully assessing the body; before getting pregnant; by running a selection of specific comprehensive functional lab tests and a HTMA. Once fully analysed it is then we can implement a biochemically individual nutritional & detoxification strategy to create the best environment we can for that future baby to grow and develop healthily, and assist in preventing future health issues. That being said, it’s never to late to start to move away from illness & disease, and move closer towards health. Even teenagers and children that have been born into toxicity can make great progress and respond really well on an intelligently designed programme, so don’t write the kids, or yourself off just yet.