Get to the Root Cause of Common Childhood Illnesses

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I can't see bugs but I know they're doing this damage. It's the same with parents who know something they don't understand is behind their child's recurring ear infections

I am dealing with a bug issue in my kitchen right now (I am sure they are not only in my kitchen, but saying they are only in my kitchen at least makes me feel better).

Yesterday I noticed there was a crack along the bottom of the caulking where the bead board and countertop meet, along with tiny holes.

I thought to myself, “I have a feeling these ‘physical findings’ might be a sign of what is going on behind the wall, but I am just not sure. I need a ‘bug doctor’—an expert in this field—to give me some advice on what to do, because I have a strong suspicion, these are signs of a much bigger issue going on behind the wall.”

Treating the same illness repeatedly

Then it struck me. This is how parents of the children I see in my integrative pediatric practice must feel when they keep treating their child for the same illnesses over and over again.

The doctor keeps increasing the dosage of the child’s meds or begins sending her to a specialist for more testing or even surgery while parents know that there is something deeper going on behind the scenes.

The parents know there is a root cause to their child’s symptoms, but they aren’t quite sure how to figure it out or who can help them do so.

Another prescription?

I can’t tell you how many moms have shared with me that they did not want to go back to their child’s doctor for a certain recurring ailment because they knew the only recommendations would be more laxatives, or a stronger steroid or antibiotic, or a more potent antacid.

This is an extremely vulnerable place for parents: they don’t know what they don’t know, but have some inclination that something is happening below the surface and at the same time, they don’t want to do more harm to their child by not following the advice of the doctor!

Just as a “bug doctor” can diagnose an infestation from clues like the size of the holes in my kitchen caulking, I know what I’m looking for in most sick kids: inflammation.

Parents bring their children in because they want a permanent cure for ear infections, constipation and asthma, while I know that inflammation is a common cause for all these ailments.

Inflammation causes many childhood illnesses

I often tell families that I can see inflammation from a mile away in a child. They have dark puffy circles under their eyes, bumps on their cheeks and the back of their arms, and sometimes acne or eczema.  Their belly looks bloated most of the time and they move sluggishly. Maybe they are mouth breathers or have a reddish hue to their cheeks.

When I see kids, I walk their families through all the obvious areas of inflammation we can see or uncover in a child using a thorough medical history and physical exam.

The next step is to help parents understand what are the things causing those signs. I break it down like this, there are three things that cause inflammation/illness in kids:

  1. Food
  2. Environmental allergies
  3. Stress

I could talk about each of these categories for several hours—and I do in my course Mini Med Modules for Moms (and Dads) but I’ve kept it simple in this blog post.

Getting to the root cause of illness

Parents crave the information to help them understand their child’s health at a much deeper level. They no longer accept as “normal” that a four-month-old baby should be placed on an antacid;  that a three-year old girl would be going on her second year of taking a daily laxative; and that a seven-year old boy with down syndrome would be getting his sixth set of ear tubes.

That’s why I designed Mini Med Modules for Moms (and Dads), which will help you learn how to read the signs, assess the signals, and uncover the root causes of the most common chronic health conditions, including: eczema, acid reflux, recurrent ear infections, stomach pain, constipation, and more. The program will help you create a personal health roadmap to success.

Click here to learn more about Mini Med Modules for Moms (and Dads)


It takes a great deal to design a program that shares the knowledge of what inflammation looks like in kids and how to take the steps necessary to decrease it. I designed mine using knowledge, research, and clinical experience from the best of traditional and integrative medicine.

Since most pediatricians are not trained in nutrition, the only option is to treat kids symptomatically. This is what I did when I was fresh out of residency, too, and why I feel a big responsibility to get this information out to as many families as possible. Here’s what one mom said about the program:

“The mini med school had a great impact on my family’s life.  My middle son is no longer taking Miralax and is doing well off of it.  We were able to add in some new foods as well as supplements that made a difference for our entire family of five.

In addition, the class helped me to reframe the way I think about each of my kids and refocus on what I want for my family. My middle child is always the “sick child” or “child that needs extra help.”  I have been working this past week to think of him in new ways, focusing on his positive attributes.  Thanks for that!  That will make more of a difference than any supplement out there!

While getting off over the counter medication is great, I think changing my way of thinking has been of even greater benefit to our family.  I would recommend Dr. Kilbane’s class to any family and hope to take another class from her as soon as possible“.  -SQ

Click here to learn more about Mini Med Modules for Moms (and Dads)