Take the hard road.

I debated whether or not to discuss this particular topic in this way, because it involves my daughter... But if it can help anyone then it's worth it.

Since my youngest was about 2 years old (maybe younger) she has had knee pain almost every night before bed. At the date of this post she's almost 6 years old. Doctors (including her chiropractor who took x-rays) said "it's just growing pains" and to manage the pain with ibuprofen as needed. I hate the idea of giving my child NSAIDs on a regular basis so we found that Copaiba essential oil, when used neat, would alleviate the pain enough for her to fall asleep.

She recently started showing signs of anxiety and depression. Those symptoms are very real for me in my past and are prevalent in both sides of her family - so it really worried me that she was already experiencing it. I don't care to repeat the things she would say, but to paint the picture my sweet 5 year old would mention things about life and death that should NEVER be said, let alone by a child. We did our due diligence and came up empty handed with the source of her depression.

After a lot of inward reflection and my personal journey of depression we (my husband and I) decided to do the only thing we knew... approach this with nutrition and foundational wellness.

With my education I have researched the gut/brain connection coupled with inflammation in-depth. If your gut is impaired due to a food intolerance, you experience systemic inflammation, allergies, and mental health issues - just to name a few. In an effort to determine her intolerance we cut dairy for a time to no avail. Then about 3 months ago we completely cut gluten from her diet.

Limiting a child's intake of any one thing in particular is not easy. Getting her school and other people in her life she spends time with on board, is not easy. It has taken a lot of education on her part, and theirs. Telling your daughter she can't have a cupcake or slice of pizza with her class is not easy. Her teacher is incredible though and we have appropriate options in place now. We pack her lunch every day, which is also not always easy.

Do you know what IS easy? Realizing that gluten or something in the glutenous grains (like pesticides) was the culprit - the positive changes were almost immediate. Putting our daughter to bed without tears is easy. Since going gluten free, she has no more knee pain, and her mental state is like that of a completely different child.

My entire point is that taking the hard road to find the culprit of the problem instead of medicating the symptom is imperative. It's not only imperative for your health, but for those in your care. You must be their advocate when they can't advocate for themselves. This could be a child, or someone of diminished capacity. Always seek the root cause.