Pediatricians, and informing parents on health for children other than vaccinations - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 04-24-2011, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does your pediatrician discuss at well visits for your child the importance of vitamins and supplements, a good healthy diet, etc, to you in terms of building a healthy and strong immune system for your child, or do they just promote vaccination with providing no additional information on boosting the immune system?

(NDs would be excluded from this.)

 

  The practice we go to does the latter.  I'm just curious how many practices out there actually inform parents on the importance of vitamins, etc, for their children and the impact it has on health versus the all-mighty vaccines.  If all practices did this, I have a feeling less and less people would run to get vaccines (particularly the flu vaccine since the flu can be fought easily in an already healthy person who eats well) because they would have more comfort in knowing what vitamins to take, what each vitamin can do, what to eat to stay healthy, what weakens the immune system, etc., and would feel more confident their children could ward off illnesses much easier.  (I'm not talking about the immune compromised here. Just the basically healthy everyday child.)

 

Thoughts?

 

 


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#2 of 30 Old 04-24-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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As I said in a previous thread, I'm an MD and I routinely recommend vitamins to my patients. I also emphasize the impotence of physical exercise and I even run a couch-to-5k program for my patients every year. However, I don't believe that these things are in lieu of vaccination, but rather in addition to.
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#3 of 30 Old 04-24-2011, 07:25 PM
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ahh I'm glad you started another thread about this!

 

I'll reiterate what I wrote there that basically no, our ped does NOT give additional info about vitamins etc. 

We do not vax and yes he is resentful and I DO believe it affects what other advice he gives us. I can totally see him just not bothering (if he would anyway) because he assumes I just like to ignore him because everything a doctor says is wrong or something. I don't believe that BTW, we just don't vax.

 

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I stopped saying she didn't sleep through the night many visits ago because I didn't want to hear about how she needs to be taught how to sleep!

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#4 of 30 Old 04-24-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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We've been going to a family practice for about 6 years. Our doctor encourages breastfeeding as long as possible, discusses the kids' diet at each visit, recommends vitamin D supplements, a good-quality multivitamin and probiotic. When dh's cholesterol and triglycerides were problematic, she suggested nuts and fish oil, rather than prescribing drugs. During the 5 years that were non-vaxers, she was always respectful, never pressured us; the decision to start vaxing was completely on our own volition. We've rarely been prescribed antibiotics; my older ds took them once as an infant (I can't recall what for), dd has never taken them, and ds2 only took them at birth for group b strep.   



 

 

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#5 of 30 Old 04-24-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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it's depended on the practice since we've moved a lot. i think that there's only been one that didn't discuss diet at all. our most recent ped at the low-income clinic was AMAZING! about diet and health. it's one of the reasons that i kept going there after we got on the state insurance plan.


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#6 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As I said in a previous thread, I'm an MD and I routinely recommend vitamins to my patients. I also emphasize the impotence of physical exercise and I even run a couch-to-5k program for my patients every year. However, I don't believe that these things are in lieu of vaccination, but rather in addition to.


Yes, I did see your post on the other thread and I also saw that you recommend the flu vaccine. I'm not trying to question anything you do in your practice as I know it is routine for practitioners to recommend vaccines, so don't take offense, I'm just wondering in general if vitamin D levels are checked and are adequate, the individual is a healthy person who eats well and exercises and is not deficient in any other areas, why is the flu vaccine necessary? Of course people can have complications from the flu, as with anything in life, but they can also have complications from the vaccine itself.  Also, the flu shot and nasal spray's side effects just about mimic the flu itself (especially the nasal spray, FluMist, which is probably more appealing to children since it is not a needle), so why would I want my child to experience symptoms of the flu in order to avoid the flu (which isn't true either since vaccines are not 100% effective) and expose him to the potential/possiblity that he may have a severe reaction/complication to the vaccine/spray itself? I just have a really hard time making sense of this all and the flu vaccine is one of the vaccines that I will never understand. 


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We see a DO now (family practitioner) after switching from a pediatrics practice. He doesn't care if we vax or not (we do). I find DO's to generally be more concerned with whole body wellness and much more versed in the importance of viewing the health and welfare of a family holistically. That includes physical and mental health and encouraging a well balanced and supportive family life.

 

I also go to him because he is a doctor and I want a doctor monitoring my son's health and well being. He trained for years to recognize certain signs and symptoms that I would never know to look for.

 

I am not sure where he stands on the flu shot but assume he will encourage my son to have one as our old ped did. My son has CP and has a higher risk for severe complications from the flu than other children. My husband and I always get one too regardless of how much vit D we take.

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Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

We see a DO now (family practitioner) after switching from a pediatrics practice. He doesn't care if we vax or not (we do). I find DO's to generally be more concerned with whole body wellness and much more versed in the importance of viewing the health and welfare of a family holistically. That includes physical and mental health and encouraging a well balanced and supportive family life.


I always heard family practitioners being less focused on vaccines when it comes to children and are much more supportive.  I always kept this in the back of my mind when thinking of switching doctors from a pediatrician to a family practitioner since our ped's office does not give much guidance.  Are family practitioners just as qualified as peds when it comes to children's ailments/illnesses? I always wondered this.  I may start to look into this option again.

 


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#9 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post

 



I always heard family practitioners being less focused on vaccines when it comes to children and are much more supportive.  I always kept this in the back of my mind when thinking of switching doctors from a pediatrician to a family practitioner since our ped's office does not give much guidance.  Are family practitioners just as qualified as peds when it comes to children's ailments/illnesses? I always wondered this.  I may start to look into this option again.

 



I have found that, while some of the doctors in the practice don't have a lot of experience with small children, overall the care has been more thorough than with our former pedi. The family practice detected ds1's irregular heart beat, which the pedi never noticed. The pedi knew nothing about autism, while the doctors at the family practice has plenty of experience because the treat the residents of the local facility for developmental disabilities. I've also found that the family practice looks at dynamics of the entire family, rather than focusing solely on the child.

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#10 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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Silvermoon- I should have been more clear about the flu shot. While I offerit to everyone, I only recommendit for those at risk of complication- namely, the elderly, immunosuppresed, or those with underlying medical conditions.
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#11 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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In regards to your question - we just switched our family medicine doctors (MD) to another one in the same practice. But from what my DH informs me - our new one does give a considerable amount of information re: exercise, diet, and vitamins including vaccinations. Again he looks at the whole picture of health and is quite respectful of our decisions to delay or space out some of the vaccinations as recommened by the AAP schedule.

 

More importantly we see a family medicine doctor for our whole family as I see them having a better perspective on the health dynamics of the family vs. just focusing on the child. 


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#12 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have found that, while some of the doctors in the practice don't have a lot of experience with small children, overall the care has been more thorough than with our former pedi. The family practice detected ds1's irregular heart beat, which the pedi never noticed. The pedi knew nothing about autism, while the doctors at the family practice has plenty of experience because the treat the residents of the local facility for developmental disabilities. I've also found that the family practice looks at dynamics of the entire family, rather than focusing solely on the child.


This is very, very interesting and surprising at the same time. I'm shocked to hear family practitioners are more thorough than peds. It sounds like there is a good chance I would have much more support with a FP.  I like the idea of looking at the dynamics of the whole family because I believe that is very important. 


 

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Silvermoon- I should have been more clear about the flu shot. While I offerit to everyone, I only recommendit for those at risk of complication- namely, the elderly, immunosuppresed, or those with underlying medical conditions.


Thank you for clarifying.  

 

If we look at the history of the flu shot, it originally started as being recommended to the elderly, then to children with underlying conditions, and now to everyone.  The recommendation now to everyone completely boggles my mind.  Why have we lost complete confidence in the healthy human body's ability to fight off illness?  Why can't we have faith that a healthy body can most certainly fight off illness in an effective manner.  I can't phathom why we have come to such as place where we (society in general) doubt the ability of our own immune system and ignore the fact that it's the center of our health and being without getting wrapped up in the scientific aspect every time.

 

I never judge anyone who wants to get the flu shot or anything else for that matter, as everyone has different outlooks on it, but we can't really deny the fact that we are losing sight of how strong our bodies actually are and what they are capable of. It's very complex indeed and I am surely no scientist.  I am just a normal everyday person, and I like to have faith that our bodies can protect us, most certainly from the flu, as long as we keep healthy. 


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#13 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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Yes, I did see your post on the other thread and I also saw that you recommend the flu vaccine. I'm not trying to question anything you do in your practice as I know it is routine for practitioners to recommend vaccines, so don't take offense, I'm just wondering in general if vitamin D levels are checked and are adequate, the individual is a healthy person who eats well and exercises and is not deficient in any other areas, why is the flu vaccine necessary? Of course people can have complications from the flu, as with anything in life, but they can also have complications from the vaccine itself.  Also, the flu shot and nasal spray's side effects just about mimic the flu itself (especially the nasal spray, FluMist, which is probably more appealing to children since it is not a needle), so why would I want my child to experience symptoms of the flu in order to avoid the flu (which isn't true either since vaccines are not 100% effective) and expose him to the potential/possiblity that he may have a severe reaction/complication to the vaccine/spray itself? I just have a really hard time making sense of this all and the flu vaccine is one of the vaccines that I will never understand. 


Speaking for myself, I want to avoid the flu at all costs, as I can't adequately care for 3 small children if I'm down for the count. The oldest and youngest are at higher risk for complications, so I want to avoid getting them sick as well. The middle one is starting nursery school this autumn and I'd like to mitigate the chances of her bringing the flu home from the germ factory. The vax isn't a guarantee, but neither is diet, vitamin d and c intake, herbs, homeopathy or hand washing. The only 100% effective measure would be a hermetically-sealed bubble.

 



 

 

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 The only 100% effective measure would be a hermetically-sealed bubble.

 


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This is very, very interesting and surprising at the same time. I'm shocked to hear family practitioners are more thorough than peds. It sounds like there is a good chance I would have much more support with a FP.  I like the idea of looking at the dynamics of the whole family because I believe that is very important. 


 

 


For me it has been a great experience. Veering slight off topic, I have struggled with depression for years and had been trying to treat it holistically for just as long. When I finally hit rock bottom, I went to a psychiatrist, was put through a 3 hour evaluation and sent home with a rx for blood work and a follow-up visit 3 weeks later. Yes, a depressed, suicidal mother of small children was sent on her merry way to "hang in there" for a few weeks. A week later I had an emotional breakdown, and for some reason I ended up calling the family doctor, trying to tell her what happened, while blubbering like a fool. Knowing me, my history, my healthy lifestyle, my stress level, how I had been trying natural methods to treat depression, as well as her knowing my children, she didn't put me through any kind of rigamorall or expect me to drag 3 little ones to another appointment. Instead, she immediately called in a prescription for an antidepressant, as well having a counselor call me to get started in therapy. I would never have been able to "hang in there" until a psychiatrist decided to take seriously, so having someone already know the whole scope of my situation allowed me to get the help I needed much quicker.  

 

 



 

 

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I'm not sure I would want to take advice about nutrition and supplements from a regular allopathic doctor.

 

Most doctors are not adequately trained about these topics. While this is certainly a generalization (some docs are well read because they have taken addtional training/courses or taken it upon themselves to learn more), the average doc coming out of medical school has had very little training when it comes this sort of thing. According to one study done in 2006, the average was about 24 hours of training. Granted some training is better than no training and if they are giving advice to someone that has NO knowledge about nutrition/supplements and their impact on the body this would be advantagious no doubt. However, If I was extremely interested in nutrition and supplements, I would not turn to an alloptahic doctor for advice. Most of what I have learned about this sort of thing, Ive learned through my own research and from ND's who get ALOT more training.

 

My own doctor (who I rarely see since most of the time I see an ND) told me to take a multi vitamin. I was already taking a whole foods based multi, but decided to ask him what he recommended. He told me any multi would be fine as long as it had folic acid in it. Sorry but all supplements are not created equally. There are a ton of crappy products out there full of synthetic dye and fillers.


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ND's who get ALOT more training 

 

ALOT more training? In what? I can complete a year of coursework via the internet and call myself an ND. Not even close to the level of competence I require.  My state does not license them anyways.

 

For us a DO was a nice middle ground. True verifiable medical knowledge and ability with a healthy dose of looking at the whole picture within the family.

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ALOT more training? In what? I can complete a year of coursework via the internet and call myself an ND. Not even close to the level of competence I require.  My state does not license them anyways.

 

For us a DO was a nice middle ground. True verifiable medical knowledge and ability with a healthy dose of looking at the whole picture within the family.


Actually, you can get a training as a "traditional naturopath" through through any online degree mill.  Becoming an actual Naturopathic Doctor requires 4 years post-grad training in an accredited school.  The problem is that consumers aren't always aware of the difference. 

 

Sorry. wild.gif  Back to our regularly scheduled discussion. 

 


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#20 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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To answer the OP, we've (finally!) found a family practice doc who is respectful of our vaccination choices.  She does look at the whole picture and will ask questions about nutrition and supplements.  I remember reading somewhere, however, that conventional medical schools don't teach nutrition or require any education in it.  Marnica, do you have reference to that study?  It seems like I've even cited it here before...  LOL!


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#21 of 30 Old 04-25-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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 I remember reading somewhere, however, that conventional medical schools don't teach nutrition or require any education in it. 

 

The doctors I know continue to educate themselves well beyond what was learned in medical school. Just as we strive as parents to make good health decisions for our children in a world filled with info-both good and bad.

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The doctors I know continue to educate themselves well beyond what was learned in medical school. Just as we strive as parents to make good health decisions for our children in a world filled with info-both good and bad.

That's fair and true.  I, too, continue to educate myself well beyond what I learned in my undergraduate and graduate education.  If self-education is all that it takes, then it doesn't necessarily make a doctor a better expert on nutrition than a child's parent.  I'm not saying that doctors shouldn't discuss non-vaccine-related aspects of healthy; on the contrary, I'm glad that they see a bigger picture.  But their amount of training in certain topics should be a consideration.  Honestly, I'd like to see nutrition playing a much more active role in med school curricula. 


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#24 of 30 Old 04-26-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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ALOT more training? In what? I can complete a year of coursework via the internet and call myself an ND. Not even close to the level of competence I require.  My state does not license them anyways.

 

For us a DO was a nice middle ground. True verifiable medical knowledge and ability with a healthy dose of looking at the whole picture within the family.



 I realize that every state is different. I am merely discussing why I choose to get nutritional info elsewhere. ND's are licensed in my state and I certainly could not get an online degree in a year and practice where I live. ND's who attend accredited Naturopathic medical colleges get quite alot of training in clinical nutrition. Makes sense as the core naturopathic modalities are clinical nutrition, botanical and physical medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture.  Not sure if you are insinuating that licensed ND's cannot provide "true verifiable medical knowldege and ability"??  I agree that I would never go to an ND in a state that did not require a license to practice so if this in unavaliable to you, I can see why a DO would be a nice compromise.


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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To answer the OP, we've (finally!) found a family practice doc who is respectful of our vaccination choices.  She does look at the whole picture and will ask questions about nutrition and supplements.  I remember reading somewhere, however, that conventional medical schools don't teach nutrition or require any education in it.  Marnica, do you have reference to that study?  It seems like I've even cited it here before...  LOL!



 here ya go

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430660/


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#26 of 30 Old 04-26-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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DD has seen 2 pediatricians and 1 family doctor.

 

We saw a ped first, and he did not discuss anything with us whatsoever. We submitted to the standard vaccination schedule for the first nine months. He examined DD and asked us some milestone questions ("is she sitting up yet?") but that was utterly it.

 

When we decided to stop vaccinating, we just moved to a family doctor. We didn't even try to fight with the ped. Family doctor was pro-vax but respected our choice. But he did not have any advice related to health at all either.

 

Incidentally, DH and I used the same family doctor (of course). A PP has a positive story of a family doctor intervening when she was depressed. I was at the end of my rope 3 years ago and even wrote my family doctor a letter with details and told him I desperately needed help (as a followup to a visit), but I got squat. Bubkis. And the family doctor really did seem to know less about children. Maybe less than a lot of doctors. He was sure nice but he wasn't the greatest doctor.

 

So we moved back to a pediatrician. We got exactly one piece of advice from him - since DD is low weight, he recommended ice cream, as much as DD wanted. Because ice cream, as you all know, is equal (or perhaps even superior) to all other foods in terms of nourishing DD, promoting bone, muscle and organ growth, and supporting the brain. And ice cream in  unlimited quantities is an excellent foundation for a life of good dietary choices and habits, and is known to prevent diabetes, as well as support the immune system. The reason my kid is low weight is just because I haven't provided sufficient quantities of ice cream. And the fact that she is hypotonic of course is never discussed, because there couldn't possibly be a correlation. (No doctor has EVER discussed her hypotonia to me - I mention it every time, and we did a self referral to EI because no doctor ever suggested it, but they just nod and maybe they write it down but maybe not).

 

I know there are great doctors out there, but I have thus far been sorely disappointed.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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Not sure if you are insinuating that licensed ND's cannot provide "true verifiable medical knowldege and ability"??  I agree that I would never go to an ND in a state that did not require a license to practice so if this in unavaliable to you, I can see why a DO would be a nice compromise.

 

I am not saying that at all. I am sure there are great ones. Just for me, in my current location there is no way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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I am not saying that at all. I am sure there are great ones. Just for me, in my current location there is no way to separate the wheat from the chaff.



 I think it sucks that some states do not license ND's.


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#29 of 30 Old 04-27-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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The pediatrician I used to go to for my 15month old DD promoted vaccines and did not talk at all about healthy diet!  She did not even mention diet, EVER.  She pushed and pushed me to vaccinate, and I finally stopped going to see her, and instead am going to the nurse practitioner at public health.  She is great, when I told her I did not wish to vaccinate, she did not care, did not push, just accepted it.  She also commented on how my DD was snacking on a banana and an orange while we were there and said she was glad to see that she was eating fruit, and asked if she got plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in her diet.

 

The other pediatrician in my small town is just as bad as the one I was seeing.  I have a friend who sees him for her son, who is 15months old.  He was never sickly until she stopped BFing him and switched him to all solids and cows milk.  Now he is sick more often than not, and is not growing properly.  Her pediatrician has not even discussed diet with her, which is terrible because he does not get ANY fruits or veggies.  All he gets is basically hot dogs, cereal bars, candy and cows milk.  UGH!  And of course she will not listen to me because I'm not a doctor so I dont know anything!!  She does not get it that my unvaccinated DD who eats only organic food, and a TON of fresh fruits and veggies NEVER gets sick because of the fact that she eats so healthy and vaccines have not poisoned her body.  I do not know how to get through to her!  And I feel so bad for her little boy.....

 

As far as vitamin suppplements, I am not a huge fan unless they are food based, because your body does not absorb much of the synthetic vitamins anyway, and the huge doses that are found in supplements often do more harm than good, especially considering that most processed food is vitamin fortified anyway.  I think the most important thing is a variety of fresh organic foods in one's diet.

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#30 of 30 Old 04-27-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

 since DD is low weight, he recommended ice cream, as much as DD wanted. Because ice cream, as you all know, is equal (or perhaps even superior) to all other foods in terms of nourishing DD, promoting bone, muscle and organ growth, and supporting the brain. And ice cream in  unlimited quantities is an excellent foundation for a life of good dietary choices and habits, and is known to prevent diabetes, as well as support the immune system. The reason my kid is low weight is just because I haven't provided sufficient quantities of ice cream. And the fact that she is hypotonic of course is never discussed, because there couldn't possibly be a correlation. (No doctor has EVER discussed her hypotonia to me - I mention it every time, and we did a self referral to EI because no doctor ever suggested it, but they just nod and maybe they write it down but maybe not).

 



WOW, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!!  I saw on TV one time a little girl that was very tiny for her age, and her Dr recommended for her to eat hamburgers and other fast food and drink pop!  It showed her eating and drinking all that garbage.  I was so upset by it that I just turned it off.  A healthy diet, and probably one higher in healthy proteins and good fats would help your DD, but NOT one with high sugar and empty calories!!  That is absurd!  By that I mean things like avocados, organic chicken, raw goats milk, legumes, nuts, grass-fed organic beef, etc.

I am very sorry to hear that so many people have such a hard time finding a decent care provider for their loved ones, how frustrating!!  I have had the same problem and finally went to a nurse practitioner that does well child check-ups, and she is the best I have found!

 

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