Recently, I have had many pediatric patients who are already on a long list of meds. In reviewing the meds and their side effects (that the parents didn’t know about), there is an obvious growing trend of more meds causing more problems that are not linked back to the meds, so the child is then given even more meds.
Is your child caught in this dangerous medicine cabinet loop?
What meds are kids on? Antibiotics. Acid blockers. Antihistamines. HPV vaccines. To name a few.
- These may be okay for a short term while the root cause of why they are ill is figured out. But kids are being left on these meds indefinitely and these many meds actually worsen the original issue, cause new issues, or create rebound when trying to stop taking them.
- Kids around the world are in a pharmaceutical soup. For example, from birth onward, kids are getting lots of antibiotics.
- A study out of Sweden’s version of Harvard, The Karolinska Institute, showed that out of 4000 hospitalizations, 25% of premature children received antibiotics, and 40% of women giving birth by Caesarean section got antibiotics. Even though early use of antibiotics is being linked to inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis and juvenile arthritis, within a number of years after these exposures.
- One French study showed that young kids in the ER, averaging close to 3 years of age, go on antibiotics. But further scrutiny showed that 76% of these prescriptions should not have been given in the first place. 72% of these antibiotics were too broad spectrum and harsh, damaging the critical gut microbiome (good bugs inside the gut that promote healthy immunity and prevent allergies).
- Kids come in on acid blockers. Children have gut pain or a severe bout that lands them in the ER. No organic issue is seen on imaging, so they are given the M&Ms of gut medicine, acid blockers. The Department of Pediatrics at Ohio State University College of Medicine looked at neonatal intensive care unit infants admitted to 43 children’s hospitals, tracking who got what meds over 7 years. Of the 122,002 infants looked at, 53% of the infants received acid-blocking meds. The majority of treated infants remained treated at discharge, despite limited evidence and increasing safety concerns.
And this is all done even though more studies are linking acid blockers to increased risk of allergies.
- Medication overuse in children is well discussed in the medical literature, for psychological issues to headaches and migraines. Even though, by the way, so many meds are used in psychiatry that there is a 35% increase in the number of people disabled by psychiatric illnesses! More meds, less results, sicker folks.
- The American College of Pediatricians (The College) wrote in their blog about concerns with the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine. It’s now been linked to causing menopause in 30 year olds! This is called premature ovarian failure (POF), also known as premature menopause. It’s a rare but very serious condition! There have been two case report series (3 cases each) published since 2013 in which adolescent girls who had already been menstruating went into menopause! This laboratory documented menopause occurred within weeks to several years of receiving Gardasil (4-strain human papillomavirus vaccine – HPV4). This also means that many cases are occurring but probably have yet to be linked back to the vaccine! I also have “numerous” young women that report recurring serious seizure conditions and other neurologic issues after taking this vaccine.
- Children are given antibiotics without adequate guidelines to rebuild their gut microbiome.
- Many times the medications used to treat illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease, are now being found to make the illnesses even worse. No gut rebuilding or dietary guidelines are being suggested.
- It’s meds and more meds, often without lifestyle guidance. In fact, children and families are often told that food and lifestyle have nothing to do with allergies, gut issues, or inflammatory diseases so they must take meds as their only answer.
Parents are part of this issue. It is a two-way street. Too many parents are more comfortable giving their children drugs, or having them endure procedures, and are yet more fearful of nutrients, herbs, and dietary changes. Or too fatigued to try to make their kids change their diets.
The result? Sicker kids.
Example 1. Say your child has serious allergies to oak and is sneezing along with having watery, red eyes. They are given one allergy med. That isn’t strong enough, so they are now given two allergies meds. Their allergy symptoms calm down. But now they develop headaches. No one links the two together. Then his gut hurts much of the time. Maybe he ends up in the ER and has CT scans, lots of radiation, and they find nothing, but no one linked the gut pain to the allergy meds. He has a long history of constipation and anemia, but no one asks about his diet. So he is put on iron sulfate—a gut irritating and further constipating form of iron. He feels worse and ends up in the ER yet again. This time he is given acid blockers, like PPIs, which block the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is Nature’s antihistamine, gut sweeper and pain reliever. So now he gets worse constipation, worse allergies, and more headaches. And, severe fatigue. Why? Magnesium is a critical co-factor to help our body’s make energy.
You love him. You worry. He’s pale and tired and in pain. You wonder why the meds aren’t working. After all, meds are medicine. Right?
Example 2. Multiple millions use antihistamines. Especially kids. Most contemporary humans have come to regard them as safe. But they are not to be taken lightly!
An article came out in April 2016 called Adverse drug reactions of systemic antihistamines in children in the Netherlands. The authors discuss the multiple millions of children who are on various meds containing various antihistamines for: allergic rhinitis (runny nose), allergic conjunctivitis (red eyes), chronic spontaneous urticaria (rashes) and atopic eczema (inflammatory skin condition).
These meds are linked by these researchers to one case of death, one case of cardiac abnormal rhythm, three cases of convulsion, many cases of skin reactions like boil-type eruptions, headaches, fatigue, as well as aggressive and abnormal behaviors that do not seem to make sense in light of that child’s life. Did you read that? Behavior changes and poor response to stress and aggression!
The gut gets affected, too. The stomach needs histamine to make stomach acid. If you block histamine, you block some of your digestive enzyme power. Thus, antihistamines, in some, cause stomachaches. But if you are then treated with acid blockers, now you have even less ability to digest your food. And more possibility to become more allergic to it. This is one reason food allergies are on the rise as the meds we are taking our assaulting our guts, especially the guts of our kids.
Antihistamines are in some over-the-counter cough meds, in meds like Benadryl and Zyrtec. Some of these same drugs were on a list published by the Indiana University School of Medicine that showed that these could cause cognitive issues and block normal brain metabolism!
Your child has a newer body. They have smaller livers and other organs of detoxification. It is not appropriate to give them on-going daily meds in many instances. But where has common sense gone? If they have been on medications for a while, continue to use them while you get the help of smart practitioners to figure out why they were ill in the first place and heal them. Evaluate their diet and digestion, which research is emphasizing is the mother of our health. Then get them off the meds as fast as you can.
We have become comfortable with drugging our kids. Who does this? Drugged parents. Parents who are also on acid blockers and daily steroid nasal sprays and steroid creams and NSAIDs and more. Otherwise how can you do this without sensibly trying to figure out why they are ill, in pain, constipated, and fatigued in the first place?
Do they start the morning with waffles and sugary drinks or processed protein bars high in sugar? Pop tarts? Sugar cereal?
Allergies are also clearly on the rise secondary to food additives, food dyes, and processed food with low nutrient intracellular levels. But do docs ever first suggest cleaning up the diet and avoiding junk food to try to get rid of the symptom instead of using a medication? Most likely not.
Magnesium is nature’s antihistamine. It is needed as a cofactor to control the production of histamine. If one is not eating enough green veggies or doing a good job of digesting them, you get magnesium deficiency. If one is stressed 24/7, you become magnesium deficient. And now we see, that many drugs rinse magnesium out of the body.
This worsens many symptoms.
There’s a huge list of meds that rinse magnesium out of the body. And what is at the top? Antihistamines.
One reason that antihistamines cause headaches, especially in children, is that it makes your kids deficient in magnesium. A common symptom magnesium deficiency? Headaches. Gut aches. Muscle pains.
But will your doctor suggest you try magnesium supplements and eating more greens first? Before meds? Probably not.
List of common meds that rinse magnesium out of the body (so if you need to be on these, supplement with some magnesium):
- Allergy meds (antihistamines, such as astemizole and terfenadine, anti-asthmatics, adrenaln and aminophylline)
- Heart disease meds (diuretics, thiazides, osmotic agents, antiarrhythmic drugs, quinidine, Sotalol, Aamiodarone, Bretylium, Digoxin and Strophanthin, Adrenalin and drugs that mimic its activity, such as isoproterenol, furosemide, ethacrynic acid)
- Psych meds (Pimozide, thioridazine, trifluoperazine)
- Antibiotics (Carbenicillin, Ticarcillin, Amphotericin B, Aminoglycoside group of antibiotics, Gentamicin, Tobramycin)
- Acid blockers
- Immunosuppressants (Humira, Cisplatin, Cyclosporine, Pentamidine)
Magnesium deficiency can cause histamine intolerance and make you hypersensitive to naturally occurring histamines in foods.
Magnesium deficiency causes unwellness, more allergies, and even puts the heart muscle at risk. The heart has the highest amount of magnesium in the entire body. Too little magnesium and we can have irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and other cardiac issues.
Magnesium deficiency is also linked to anxiety, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, migraines, and much more.
When you child is chronically ill, allergic, in pain, fatigued, constipated and more, ponder before you give them a pill to pop:
- What are they eating?
- What meds are they taking?
- How much are they sedentary versus how much are they moving?
- How is their gut health and digestion?
Let your kids see you choose wisdom rather than medicine made entirely of pharmaceuticals.
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Effects of over-the-counter analgesic use on reproductive hormones and ovulation in healthy, premenopausal women. Adverse drug reactions of systemic antihistamines in children in the Netherlands. Arch Dis Child. 2016 Apr 18. pii: archdischild-2015-310315. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2015-310315.