Thursday, May 23, 2013

How I Make Giant Kids

How I Make Giant Kids

 

Through the years I have given talks where one or both of my kids have come with me.  Without fail parents come up to me and ask me about my kids.  The most frequent question is “how did your kids get so big”.  This is especially true of those people that know my boy’s mom.  She is not much more than five feet tall.  Neither of us have much height in our immediate family.

 

I am writing this will the full awareness that people are just nice in general and tend to say nice things about people’s kids.  But having seen many kids throughout the years I am seeing trends in my practice that I believe are showing up in my own kids.  Rather than keep this a secret, I want to share with you what I think it making a difference for them.

 

First let me tell you my giant 12 year old is 5’9” and 130 pounds.  My giant 14 year old is 5’10” and 132 pounds.  Not only this but I am so happy with the outstanding reports that I constantly hear from their teachers regarding what a pleasure they are in class.  At least as import, their reports match my own experience.  They both excel at school and sports.  There is nothing to brag about here as I think this has far more to do with their inner nature than with anything involved with parenting.  Of course they are far from perfect and this article is not about perfection.  The best word for what I am trying to talk about is optimization.  Optimal not just in height but in health.  Mental, emotional and physical health.

 

So this article will mostly be about how I learned to avoid the big pitfalls that can affect children’s health.  By saying “giant kids” I will trust that you know I am really talking about what can make your child as healthy as possible.  Another word that you may hear thrown around for this is epigenetics.  This simple means that after nature has determined which genes your child will have through conception, how do these genes get expressed as the child grows.

 

The first step begins in pregnancy, of course.  One thing that a mother can do is test herself for hidden food allergens.  Food allergens can be a problem because anything that will stress the mom can affect how the baby will begin preparing itself for the world.  Remember when the sperm and egg come together the baby is made we have the canvas and the paints that we will have for life.  From that point on we are working on the picture that we are going to paint with the tools that we have.

 

So if a food allergen is eaten then it will create a reaction in the body.  The reaction is balanced by the release of a hormone called cortisol.  If the baby sees high cortisol level than the picture that will be painted in the womb is a response to this high cortisol stress.  One of the biggest stresses that human beings have faced is lack of food.  So when the baby sees high cortisol in the womb it will paint a picture of a smaller or shorter and rounder baby.  It does this to minimize surface area.  That is a fancy way of saying it make it easier for the baby to stay warm when it is born.

 

The most effective shape to save calories is the shape of a ball.  The least effective way to save calories is the shape of a stick.  Another way to say this is that a ball has the least surface area to volume and a stick has the most surface area toward volume.  This is more than just a superficial cultural preference for one body type or another.  We know that rounder bodies have a higher risk of illness like diabetes.

 

After food allergies the next step in eating is to decrease the foods that are not good for your blood type.  There are about three foods for each blood type that are not very well digested.  These are in my free booklet that is usually available for download on my website.  By taking these two diet steps the baby is being exposed to less stress hormones and will create a taller and more slender picture in the pregnancy.

 

It also makes sense that during pregnancy the mom should eat foods that are organic and GMO free.  Eliminate any food that are artificial such as artificial sweeteners and food clolors.  I think did not think that eating foods free of genetically modified ingredients was a big factor in the past.  Recently I have seen studies that show that that the insecticide proteins that are part of GMO foods are showing up in the blood of newborn babies.  So this is a stress that can be eliminated and thereby decreasing cortisol.  Anytime you see high cortisol I want you think think low growth hormone.  Low cortisol will equal high growth hormone.  One more time, cortisol blocks growth hormone.

 

Clearly after the baby is born both the mom and child should continue with these diets.  Breast milk is the best food for babies, and will do the best job of continuing to create the best picture with the paints and canvas given by the dna the baby was born with.  When foods are introduced they should also be foods that are compatible with the baby’s blood type.  Remember the baby’s blood type may be different than either the mother or the father’s blood type.

 

Also shortly after the baby starts foods they should be tested for hidden food allergens.  By eliminating these food allergens early you will greatly decrease the amount of cortisol in the baby’s system and that will mean an increased amount of growth hormone.  Sometimes we see patterns of allergies in the mom, dad siblings and the baby.

 

There are a few other additional factors to consider in childhood.  One concern I often hear from parents is about vaccination.  This can be a very controversial topic for some people.  I recently heard a lecture that seemed well documented where a doctor was discussing how diseases that we vaccinate for decreased in countries without vaccination at the same time.  Of course a good conventional medical pediatrician will recommend vaccination.  In fact many parents come in and tell me that their conventional medical pediatrician won’t treat their kids unless they vaccinate.  It seems best that parents educate themselves on both sides of the question so they can defend themselves.

 

Some parents simply choose to delay vaccination while the child is going through such rapid growth and does not seem to be exposed to some disease we vaccinate for.  In any case we do know that vaccines do contain ingredients that are designed to create inflammation.  These are called adjuvants.  They are in vaccines to create inflammation after the vaccine injection so that the immune system reacts to the proteins in the vaccinations.  An internet search for vaccine ingredients should bring up a list.  As with any medical procedure it is good to know exactly what is being done before giving your consent.  Fully understanding all of the ingredients in a vaccination sometimes helps parents make a more informed choice.  The inflammation caused by a vaccine will increase cortisol and block growth hormone in the same way as any other inflammation.   Then again, childhood illness can temporarily cause the same problem also, so we don’t know how much of factor that is.

 

Throughout childhood the goal is the same for giant kids.  Keep the cortisol low and the growth hormone high.  One way to know if this is a problem is to see if the child has a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep.  Often sleep disturbances are caused by high cortisol.  If I see this pattern we can do a saliva test for cortisol to see if that is the problem.  Then it is a simple matter to give something to restore balance.  During sleep is the time of the highest release of growth hormone, but to get the most effect the child must be asleep and have low cortisol level.

 

Another way to look for high cortisol in children is to look for anxiety.  Anxiety in children usually means that there is a high cortisol level.  Again it is not a big problem to test this and correct the problem if it exists.  Other emotional imbalances can also be signs of hormone disturbances that can be balanced naturally in a way that helps to enhance growth hormone release.

 

Of course if a child seems to be abnormally short they should be evaluated by an endocrinologist that can measure their hormones.  A problem may be so bad as to need growth hormone injections from the doctor.  Even in cases that need growth hormone injection to get normal height, they will be most effective when cortisol is kept low by making the changes above.

 

If a child’s height problem is not bad enough to require growth hormone injections, there are some natural substances that we have seen to increase height.  These probably work by increasing the amount of natural growth hormone in the body, but we don’t know for sure.  The nice thing about working with the body itself is that we don’t have to worry about side effects.  What we do may not be working on the hormones at all and may instead by working on the cells and how responsive they are to the hormones that are already in the body.  There are no studies on these questions and we don’t know for sure.

 

One last thing we can do as parents, and one that I work on myself, is accepting our kids for who they are.  So often we want to take the credit and blame for who are kids are as people.  More and more it seems to me that kids come into the world as who they are waiting to be revealed.  This makes us less responsible for their successes and failures and more responsible for finding ways to nurture who they actually are.  Being accepted for who you are can have a profound affect on your stress and cortisol level.

 

Growing giant kids turns out to be more about finding the best mental, emotional and physical environment and providing that for your child.  I agree it is a lot of work, but it can also make parenting more fun and interesting.  Healthy kids that are balanced have a better chance of growing into healthy adults and even of having healthy kids themselves, time will tell.