Welcome back to the Healing Pain Podcast with Sheila Kilbane, MD
We have an incredible guest and we’re discussing ways to heal and prevent common childhood diseases. Our guest is an ear for parents, a voice for children, a resource for other healthcare professionals, and she’s on a mission to help one million children get off meds. They may not need it if they were eating the right food for their health system. My guest is Dr. Sheila Kilbane. She is a board-certified pediatrician. Who’s also trained in integrative medicine. She practices medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina, and consults with physicians around the globe using her holistic strategies to help parents resolve eight chronic recurring health conditions. Dr. Kilbane, welcome to the show.
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How To Heal And Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses Using Integrative Medicine With Sheila Kilbane, MD
Thank you, Joe. It is so good to be here. I always love to chat with you. We’re going to have fun.
We let people know that we’re friends offline, as well as colleagues. We can blur the lines a little bit. I’m excited because I know you’ve been working on an incredible book for many years because many of the solutions that you offer children and adolescents are groundbreaking. They’re not commonly available. I know you’ve been putting all this information together, gathering the research, creating all your protocols. It integrates book, which I want to make sure everyone knows about right off the top of the bat. It’s called Healthy Kids, Happy Moms: 7 Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses. You can, of course, find that on Amazon. It’s available now.
I’m telling you if you are a pediatric physical therapist, an OT, a pediatrician, if you’re a mom, if you have children, if you ever were a child yourself, this is the book to get. I’m excited to talk to Sheila. In the introduction, I mentioned that you’re an integrative pediatrician. Tell us how you made that transition from what we might identify as traditional allopathic pediatrics and moving more into the integrative medicine and health space.
It’s similar to the way that you got into this and many of us. When I got out of residency and I started practicing, I was seeing the kids with all the illnesses. Chronic runny nose, reflux, eczema, recurrent ear, sinus infections, asthma, belly pain, constipation. I would give them medication. They would get better for two weeks and then they’d stop the meds. Two weeks later, they’d be back in the office.
I was seeing these patients once a month and I’m somebody who’s always going to ask, “Why?” I’m not going to keep doing something if it’s not working. It was when I was prescribing an antacid to 2 and 3-month-old babies and I was like, “What is this? What are you doing?” I started reading about nutrition and listening to moms also.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a little patient I’d been seeing since he was born. He had eczema and recurrent ear infections. Mom was breastfeeding him and she said to me, “Dr. Kilbane, I took dairy out of my diet and his eczema started to improve.” I laugh now because I had no idea at the time. I said, “Let’s keep it out and then we’ll figure out what’s going on.” Right before his one-year well checkup, his eczema had improved but it hadn’t gone away fully.
She had a big omelet. A bunch of eggs. There was no milk in it but a bunch of eggs and he had a huge flare-up. We’re like, “It’s dairy and eggs.” We took eggs out of her diet also. At that point in time, eczema fully resolved, and then the fluid that was in his ears had resolved. I had already referred them to get ear tubes but due to an insurance glitch and all that stuff, he didn’t get the ear tubes.
It was a big eye-opener. That’s when I started to research and read more. You start making these food changes and it was like magic. I thought, “This has to be a fluke or somebody would have told me about this during my training.” I saw it was pretty quiet for a long time and stayed in my little corner and did my thing. My partners would start saying to me, “Sheila, what’s that voodoo medicine you’re practicing?”
What’s that weird stuff you did over there with food?
A year later, they’re like, “What is the dose of those probiotics, Sheila?” It expanded from there. When you see this happen once, you want to scream it from a mountain top because then when it was over and over, and I couldn’t keep prescribing an antibiotic for an ear infection or whatever and not start to educate the parents about it.
On the evolution of this blog, people know that I talk about allopathic medicine and that it’s important. We need to have an allopathic system, and we also need to have integrative holistic functional alternatives as well. I’m always curious to hear another professional’s opinion as to why, for example, some of this didn’t show up in your traditional pediatric training and what we think of that nowadays.
I love this question because I believe 100% and that’s why I love integrative medicine because we combine the boat. If we need a chest X-ray and an antibiotic, absolutely, we’re going to use them. We’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for conventional medicine. I’ve been hit by a car. I’ve been thrown off a horse.
As a young kid, I used to get kidney infections and I had to take an antibiotic for an extended period of time but a kidney infection is super serious if it’s not treated. It’s the way we have this huge foundation. That’s also why I love having the Medical degree because once you understand something, then you can start to say, “Let me make some modifications. We’re going to do things safely and with the science behind it.” We’re also going to look at nutrition, which we didn’t get any training.
I learned that low vitamin C could create scurvy but that was the extent of it. If people don’t understand that and why would you? You would think that in medicine, we would study nutrition but we spent a lot of time studying medications and the side effects but we don’t get training in nutrition. That’s why I also counsel patients on not getting frustrated if you go to their physician and they’re unable to give you information on supplements and nutrition.
I spent two years studying about this in longer, and then it’s a continuing education. The supplement topic we could talk about for hours on that but my recommendation with supplements is if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t start taking things because you can create harm. I treat supplements like I treat medications.
Obviously, you’re a pediatrician, you’re seeing children and adolescents but what are the most common diagnoses that you’re coming across that are chronic that people don’t need to be struggling with moms and their kids that can start to reverse and start to treat naturally?
It’s this list in their inflammatory illnesses. In the world that we live in, people are starting to understand how inflammation impacts us. Those illnesses that I had talked about reflux, recurrent ear and sinus infections, eczema, those bumps on the back of the arms, asthma, wheezing, constipation and belly pain. Those are the ones that integrative functional medicine that we know how to deal with those well. It extends into many other illnesses, including some auto-immune diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases. For the purposes of my book and people reading, those are the main ones that we’re talking about that you can make some big strides in without necessarily having to do a consult with an integrative pediatrician.
Have you seen the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disease rise since you’ve been practicing?
In my practice, we were not seeing thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease. I have a low-volume practice. I have three young boys with inflammatory bowel disease. That was unheard of and we’re seeing younger and younger kids, babies that have all of these gut issues. They’re fussy, pain and mom may be on a perfect diet. She’s already eliminated a lot of the allergens from her diet and she’s breastfeeding. You may be doing a probiotic but the kids are still sick.
We’re seeing these more complicated illnesses earlier on but this is always the beauty of the way that we approach it in my practice. I have a wonderful integrative pharmacist who is on my team, and she and I together because we have a little bit different training. We’ve developed a way of focusing on digestion.
When we focus on digestion, that’s where we start to see the magic happen and that’s how we get the long-term improvements. When I first started practicing integrative medicine, how do you use supplements the way that I used medications? If you had an iron deficiency, I would give you a better form of iron than the prescription I used to give you but now were pragmatic and look at the triggers of inflammation. This is a long explanation for your question but I lay it out in the book as we have five main triggers of inflammation. We all have our genetics always keep that in mind but then we look at how do our genetics interact with food, environmental allergies, environmental toxins, infectious diseases and stress.
Stress can be emotional. It can be physical. I have to say when it comes to physical therapists, occupational therapists, were the ones early on who helped me to start shifting the way that I was looking at things. It’s a hugely interesting topic. How you’re breathing? How you’re holding your body? If we’re not addressing everything, we won’t see the magic. I always talk about the shift that you see and the kids’ eyes get brighter. The dark circles under their eyes go away. That mouth breathing, that Darth Vader breathing starts to resolve. This is the child. This is their native system, how it should be working.
Tell us those five triggers again, so we can make a mental note of those and write them down. If you’re at home, you have a pen and paper that you want to put on a Post-it or take out your phone and just write those down.
It’s food, environmental allergies, environmental toxins, which can be things like if you have mold from a water-damaged building, exposures, infectious diseases. If you’ve got a chronic bacterial infection, if you’re getting recurrent viruses, we’ve got to pay a lot of attention to that because our immune system is designed to be effective at addressing a lot of the things that we’re exposed to day-to-day. If your child or you as an adult are on antibiotics once a month, even several times a year, that’s too many. We shouldn’t need antibiotics regularly. The last one is stress. It can be emotional and it can be physical, and the way that I talk about it with kids and everything I talk about applies to adults is we all impact each other significantly.
When we have a child, if you’re in a household and say, maybe marriage is pretty tense or maybe one parent travels a lot and the other parent is a stay-at-home parent basically through the week, and then they get home, there’s all this tension. The child is going to resonate with the predominant adult in the household. If one or both parents is stressed, we could have this child on perfect nutrition and perfect supplements but their system is going to be in fight or flight right with the parents.
In fight or flight, we get a shift in the way our blood flows, and our blood is shunted away from our frontal cortex, which is where we do our Math, our homework, make our decisions, more to our primitive brain. Our heart rate, respiratory rate goes up and our blood also shunts away from the GI tract where we digest our food. It goes to our arms and our legs that we can run away from that proverbial lion that’s in the forest.
It’s going to impact behavior, digestion and all our ability to absorb our nutrients. Our adrenal glands are going to be kicking out our stress hormones and when that’s happening, we’re burning through our magnesium, our B vitamins, some of our other minerals. It’s like there’s a hole in the bucket and we can dump a whole lot of supplements in but if we don’t plug up our bucket, we’re not going to get that long-lasting improvement. That’s why we can’t leave out any piece of the puzzle.
We’ll start with the last one there, obviously, stress. This tribe understands the impact of adverse childhood experiences, a growing brain and body. The rates of chronic disease, obesity, chronic pain, chronic IBS are very high in those populations. They’re vitally important topics for all of us to consider both in individuals and communities as well because a lot of this is community-related.
When you talk about diseases that are out there, obviously, this has been a year of a significant pathogen that has affected those with chronic diseases first and when we think about this pathogen, that’s been out there the Coronavirus. It comes to mind first is elderly people or maybe those who are diabetic and obese but let’s not forget some of those with chronic diseases who have diabetes, pre-diabetes, asthma are young kids.
I love that you brought this up and the timing of the book, you could never predict any of these things. Nobody wants this pandemic at all, let alone to be lasting as long as it is. I started writing this book actually when I met Joe in 2016. It’s been a process. You’ve been right. You’ve written several books and getting it to a place and it’s so much better now because we have all these visuals to really explain inflammation because it’s a hard concept. People are like, “What does that mean?”
We think of a sprained ankle or a jammed finger. We know if you sprained an ankle, you get all these white blood cells to go to that area and those white blood cells are what we consider inflammation. They go to an area and will help clean up that dead tissue or that injured tissue from the sprained ankle but then 3 to 6 months go by, and then your joint feels like yourself again.
I talk about decreasing our systemic inflammation in the same way I talk about healing a sprained ankle. In kids, in my experience, it generally takes about 3 to 6 months, depending upon what’s going on in that. Kids who are healthy, it’s a lot quicker. If you have a child with pretty significant asthma, it’s going to take us a little minute to get their inflammation down but then once that happens, if you get exposed to a virus, you’re not going to have that big push of inflammation because it’s the inflammation in response to the virus that’s causing so many of the problems.
If we can keep that to a minimum, we’re always going to get exposed to things. When we get exposed to them, we’re not going to have as big an issue with it and I’ll give you a concrete example. One of the cases that I write about in the book was a little boy who was 4 or 5 when they came to see me and had recurrent wheezing. He was one of those mouth breathers and had needed inhalers. Once had to go on an oral steroid for the wheezing and he went berserk with the steroids.
Some people don’t tolerate steroids well. The mom was like, “I need to figure this out. I cannot put them on an oral steroid again.” We go through his history and a lot of runny noses. He also had the big dark circles under his eyes. He was fussy as a baby kind of that colicky reflux, which is a classic history of a dairy sensitivity.
We took dairy out of his diet, and then he had a significant dust mite allergy. His mattress was at least twenty years old. It had been his uncle’s from when his uncle was in college. That mattress is going to be full of dust mites. We threw out the mattress, we got rid of dairy and within three weeks, he came back and he was like a different child. The mom is going, “How come I didn’t know about this?”
I said, “This is the way that I practice now but I didn’t know that before.” I will say that more information is out there now but we have to understand our medical training to know where we want to get this information, which is why Joe does what he does. It’s why I do what I do because we want our colleagues and the families that we work with to understand how this stuff can make a big difference.
For a couple of my patients who have significant asthma came a year before the pandemic started. The parents and my team are like, “Thank God. We’ve got this under control before this happened because they feel a lot more comfortable now.” They’re doing all the precautions, but their children have been able to catch a virus and not end up in the hospital automatically.
From these five triggers, food is at the top of your list there. Food can be challenging for families. Someone has to go out and do the shopping. Someone has to prepare the food, sometimes to make sure that the children are sitting down, eating the food, making them snacks or lunch, school lunches, etc. Where do you start with educating and counseling parents on the lowest level because sometimes it can be overwhelming for a parent like, “The milk I drank my whole life. It’s not right for my child at this point in life?” Where do you start with the mom who’s a little overwhelmed but you’re 100% on board with, “This is the direction we need to take?”
We do baby steps and we’d change one thing at a time, which I do no matter what, even in the practice because if we see improvements or worsening, we want to know what made the difference? I start what I call the mini to cleanse for kids, which I love that name. Everybody was like, “You can’t say that.” I said it and I love it because we don’t want to go to dairy right away. Let’s look at sugar drinks. Are you doing soda? Are you doing a lot of juice? Juices, we think of as healthy but a cup of orange juice has almost as much sugar as a cup of soda. We start there and we know that the amount of sugar that’s is about to, those sodas like this suppresses your immune system for five hours. We’re just going to say, “Cut out the sugar drinks.” It’s like taking a boot off of your immune system.
It’s even amazing to me that there are certain organizations that have recommendations on how much-added sugar can be in a baby, a child or an adolescent’s diet. I’m like, “We all have something sweet winds up on all of our plates at some point but I don’t think we should be encouraging a normative value of added processed sugar in a child’s diet. “
I included those values in the book from the American Heart Association because I want people to start understanding this and I play this game with my nephews all the time because they know how to do it. You take the number, look at the sugar that’s on the back of it and you divided it by four and that’s the number of teaspoons. There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon and you can get an organic coconut vanilla-flavored yogurt and it has 25 grams of sugar. That’s six teaspoons. No parent would ever dream that a food company would put six teaspoons into something that we’re marketing to kids.
It’s small. It doesn’t even look like it could fit six teaspoons.
If they love that flavor, you take maybe a teaspoon out or a tablespoon and maybe mix it with something or you put it in your smoothie. Our kids’ taste buds are bathe in sugar and I don’t put a huge emphasis. We just do this. The kids naturally, their pallets start to change, especially if you have a picky eater at home. We don’t sit and try to sit at the table and eat everything on your plate. The first thing is we look at sugar drinks, and then we move to artificial dyes and colors. There’s a tremendous amount of research. Since 2010 in England, they have made companies put a label on foods that can change a child’s behavior.
It’s changing their brain and nervous system.
A hundred percent and it harms the gut. We always talk about gut health in integrative and functional medicine. If you could start with those two things, that would make me the happiest person ever. If you can do a green smoothie in the morning and make it sweet with a lot of fruit and put two leaves of spinach or two leaves of lettuce. As they start to like it, then you start to decrease the fruit content and increase the greens. You can end up getting 3 to 4 servings of fruits and vegetables in the kids with one green smoothie in the morning, and you can send them out the door feeling awesome. You can make popsicles with them. Pour it into a little thing and that’s a great little snack that they can have when they come home from school.
That’s a great tip even for adults because many adults have that sweet tooth trained in them and you give them a smoothie with almond milk, a scoop of protein powder and some kelp. They’re like, “Dr. Joe, this does not taste good at all.” Instead, “Now eat some strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and maybe a little bit of peach,” and then it makes it a little bit sweeter, and then you can basically taper them down is what you’re saying.
Our health coach calls it a starter smoothie. That’s the other thing too. I do a smoothie every morning and I do this much of a banana. Bananas we know have a lot of sugar in them and I’m somebody that it works for my system. I also don’t think there’s one diet that fits everyone. We all have to figure out what works for us, either a banana or avocado. It gives you that creaminess. You can use water as a base.
We don’t want to use dairy, orange juice or anything like that as the base. That’s the first thing. As we move for the mini cleanse is we start to decrease the packaged snacks and use fruit, a vegetable, maybe a hard-boiled egg if your child tolerates eggs. I’d rather you have a baked chicken in the refrigerator and they pull some of the chicken off the refrigerator and that’s part of what their snack is.
We move on to the processed fats. If we’re eating out, we’re getting a lot of processed fats that have a lot of inflammation and also, I’m a big advocate for planning your meals out for the week, the same way you would plan a trip or plan your sporting events and know when you have crunch time. When do I need to have a snack in the car so that we don’t have to stop at McDonald’s or wherever we’re going to go?
I live in the South and Chick-fil-A are people consider it their health food, fast food, which is a bit of an oxymoron. We want to plan our food the way that we’re planning our trip and also considering your health like that. We want you to plan things out and having cooler bags. Having all of your systems ready to go. Have your refillable water bottles with your filtered water and starting there.
Don’t delve into dairy, gluten and all that stuff. Start there and then you can go. I walk you through all of this in the book and I have swap-outs. We made it clear, visual and getting everybody in the family involved. Dad doesn’t get a pass. Dad’s got to be part of this as well. People want to do what they can outside of the house but doing it together because if you have the food at home, adults can’t resist it. I will go grab whatever cookie or thing is in my house. You can’t have it if you don’t want to eat it.
We go on processed meats. If we’re doing meat, ideally get grass-fed or wild game if you can but you want to steer clear of the deli meats, hot dogs and things like that. If you’re going to do them, definitely get organic, get nitrate-free and there are companies popping up that have cleaner meats and those things alone are going to make a huge difference.
As I was flipping through your book, I came across a section on supplements and I had to pause for a minute and think back to my childhood. I’m like, “What did I have for supplements?” What comes to mind is chewable Flintstones. That was the version of the ‘70s and ‘80s, that’s pretty much what was on the shelves that people had access to. Physicians at that point, unless you were an alternative medicine physician, we’re not talking about supplements. We’re not recommending supplements. Where do you begin that process with kids and parents?
The first thing is the statistics on how many fruits and vegetables. We also ate very differently as kids. We were eating at least in my household and I have a feeling your parents were the same way in that we didn’t have sugar foods. We didn’t have sodas. We had this big garden in the back and I remember my mother would buy a box of sugar cereal every once in a while. I’m the youngest of five. It would be gone within hours because we didn’t get that. Kids these days, the statistics are 65% do not get the adequate number of fruits in a day and 93% don’t get adequate vegetables. That’s the first thing, where most kids and definitely the kids I see my practice were starting from a place of depletion.
It’s hard to make up that difference unless you’re going to stay home and make everything from scratch and do all that stuff because most of us also have compromised digestion. We have stress or eating a lot of things that aren’t good for us. We’re taking a medication. Sixty five percent of the world’s medications are from the US and we are only 5% of the world’s population. Chances are if you’re reading, somebody in your household is on prescription medication, if not more than one.
That’s the one thing. We’re really not eating what we should be eating. There is some research showing that fruits and vegetables nowadays don’t have as high nutrient content as they did several years ago. Povertation and all that sort of thing. Organic, I always make this point because people think, even if it’s organic, if people aren’t treating the soil properly, an organic tomato can be nutrient depleted the same way a regular tomato can be.
I would love to be able to do this without supplements because sometimes it’s a pain to get supplements into kids. I have to use a significant amount of supplements in my practice to get the kids back into balance. If the kids are generally healthy, I lay it out in the book what to do and how to do it. If they have anything going on, we do a probiotic first for a week, and then do a digestive enzyme. We would add an Omega-3 fat, which can be fish oil. You can do it also a vegetarian way as well. I’m not going to add a lot of fats into a child’s diet unless I know they’re actually digesting and absorbing that because otherwise, we’re going to get expensive urine and stool.
We do a whole food supplement and then vitamin D in the wintertime only. We always want to get things naturally if we can. You need roughly 15 to 30 minutes a day but without sunscreen but without burning. I live in North Carolina, that can be a little bit tricky. You have to think about that. If we need to do some gut healing, we do that over 3 to 6 months. My recommendations are a whole food supplement year-round, and then in the wintertime, we’re going to add in the vitamin D, a probiotic, because the research is good with how that supports the immune system. In all of that, I have it in graphs. I have it very clearly laid out in the book. If you go on to my website, SheilaKilbane.com/book, we’ve got some downloads for you. Some things that you can get and download the supplement guide.
For everyone that knows her book, Healthy Kids, Happy Moms, which is written for moms as well as children, what’s great about this book is it’s colorful. There are lots of pictures, images and figures, which make it easy to pick up and read and obviously to use in your life. I appreciate that because kids could be looking at it and maybe school teachers, moms, nursing school teachers. It’s a great visual that you have in there for everyone.
We’ve been dialing into more the individual, the person with the condition, the gut inflammation and things like that. I also know you’re a person who has bigger visions and missions. It’s funny because I was doing some research for a lecture that I gave on nutrition and pain, and there’s a great study from Canada that identified those with food insecurity are more likely to have chronic pain and use opioids. This was a huge study done in Canada, 65,000 people and they found that food insecurity was a risk factor.
That was more important than education and more important than economic status. It shows you how important food and nutrition are for that population but I know it’s important for kids, too. In the US, they have a picture of the United States and show the food insecure states, which are pretty much the ones in the Southern part of the country. Those states align with obesity.
It’s a little strange because you think, “If they’re food insecurities, if they don’t have access or the economic means to access food, how can they be obese?” We know they’re eating very high caloric, processed sugar foods. What do you start to think about the bigger picture of children in our own communities and country, kids who might not have access to food at school or maybe they don’t have access to an integrative medicine pediatrician like yourself? How do we start to help them access in a way that’s affordable and easy for them?
This is where I have my huge interest lies because it’s a luxury what we’re talking about, pulling things out of the diet. If you don’t have food, you don’t care what it is you’re going to eat it. Any of us would be like that. From a government perspective, the foods that we are offering families of lower-income and the kids at school are poor quality, nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods. It is things like a lot of these sugar cereals.
I’ve heard schools that offer cinnamon biscuits or roll with orange juice and that’s what they’re going to get for breakfast and more sugar. We’re going to stick them in a classroom, and then the teacher is going to be the one to have to control that behavior. If you or I ate one of those we would be bouncing off the walls. We’d feel sick first of all because we don’t eat like that.
We’re not thinking. We’ve completely lost the forest through the trees and schools will say they can’t do this. They can’t do fresh fruits and vegetables because they don’t have the equipment to cut it up. Everything has to come in as a package. This is where we need to be looking at policies and I write a chapter on dairy because to me, dairy is the elephant in the room in the medical world. According to my American Academy of Pediatrics, I should be recommending that all kids drink 2 or 3 cups of milk a day because that’s how they’re going to get their calcium and it’s a good source of nutrition.
The reality with dairy is that a cup of milk has about half as much sugar as a cup of soda. The lactose in dairy, we don’t think about that too much but that’s sugar. I have a nice table in the book where I point out the research shows, “This is what the studies show about dairy and recurrent ear infections and with eczema. The studies on asthma are much smaller, but when you look at it from this overall perspective of inflammation,” it’s a huge challenge. The inner-city kids, are the populations that are much more vulnerable and they don’t have access to this other food.
This is where we need to be talking to our government officials, our policymaking, and we need fruits and vegetables. If we could do anything, if you could add one more fruit and one more vegetable into the diet per day, that would be a huge start. I wish I had all the answers but this is part of writing this book is I would want this to get in the hands of people who can make more of those changes because nutrition is not rocket science. We’ve made it complicated but that’s why I did that mini cleanse because it isn’t as complicated as we made it. We need to go backward with our nutrition.
Now, a child might have a bowl of cereal and milk for breakfast, a piece of pizza for lunch, chicken nuggets and French fries for dinner. Those French fries are considered a vegetable and otherwise had zero nutrient-dense food and one of the chapters I have, it’s overfed and undernourished. That’s what’s happening. I do blood work on all the kids, and we see iron deficiencies, deficiencies. If you’re inflamed, then you’re not eating the right foods. Your body isn’t absorbing nutrients effectively and efficiently out of the food that you are eating. My intention is that this book is going to be a jumping-off point for us to continue that conversation of how are we going to get healthy food to all kids in all adults?
It’s a brave conversation to enter into and start to talk about, “Here’s how we make nutrition simple.” As we know our fellow trained PhD professionals have made nutrition a science, which it is but the habits don’t have to be as you mentioned, the habits and principles don’t have to be that complicated. How do we then take a hard look at our communities, countries, churches and say, “There are certain members of our community that don’t have food, and they need to have access to high-quality nutrient-dense food to feed the growing brains and body?” If they don’t, we’re going to inherit and we are inheriting more and more chronic diseases in our country and globally.
I have a quote in my book, it’s research from Harvard and if we continue at the rate that we are, 50% of kids will be obese by the time they’re in their mid-30s if we continue on the way that we are going. David Katz started the Preventive Medicine Program at Yale. He wrote the foreword to my book and he honed into also, what is the responsibility of the food companies and we’re letting all of these companies off the hook. We are buying it. We know marketing works. That’s why these companies spend millions of dollars on marketing. Those of us who do integrative and functional medicine, don’t have Marketing degrees.
Getting this information, “How do you make it sexy to eat fruits and vegetables?” That’s where we’ve got to have these stars. I love talking about Tom Brady and Michelle, his wounds in his wife because this guy’s 45. There is a reason that he can still be in the NFL. They take food very seriously. Especially, I always talk about him if dads are starting to give us grief about not wanting to make these food changes, and if we can start to write, they can make it sexy.
There are these beautiful celebrities, and that’s who we seem to look toward in this culture that we live in. Let’s start to look to the people who make feeling good and fun. Joe and I were talking about before we started this, is that what I do in my practice helps to prevent the adults from coming to you later on with chronic pain, with all of these body aches, and when we establish that early on.
We have opportunities, whether you’re a parent, a sibling, an aunt, an uncle or the neighbor down the block, you have an opportunity to model behavior for every kid you run into on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. If those behaviors are modeled, kids do pick up on them. There was a great video that was trending. He’s a Portuguese soccer player. Ronaldo is his first name.
During an interview, they placed a Coke bottle in front of him, and he took the Coke bottle. He slid it way down at the end of the table and then put a water bottle in front of him. I thought, “How great of an opportunity that he’s setting an example,” not only for adults watching him but many kids watch soccer players around the world and they saw this in a healthy superstar, push a sugary soft drink out of the way. He didn’t say anything but it sends the message beautifully that this is not a health-promoting food. This is not how I became a healthy adult.
It is what kids do, what we do, not what we say. We have to live in and we have to walk the walk because it can be a bit of a pain. My family makes a lot of fun of me but they do. They listen to me most time but they feel better. My sister gets these rashes on her face and she’s like, “I’m staying off of it now.” She’ll fall off the wagon. It makes life is better. If you’re any spiritual being or you have a connection to nature to the outside, when you physically feel better, you have that connection better and that’s when we can be kinder to one another because if you’re not feeling good, that’s when you’re snapping at your kids or your spouse. What is life if you feel crummy all the time?
I’ve been sequent talk to Dr. Sheila Kilbane. She is an integrative pediatrician. She has a brand new book out. I recommend you pick it up as soon as you’re done reading this, it’s called Healthy Kids, Happy Moms: 7 Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses. You can, of course, find it on Amazon. You can also check out her website, easy to remember. Her website is SheilaKilbane.com.
I want to thank my dear friend and colleague Dr. Sheila Kilbane for coming on and talking to us about how to reverse chronic disease in our children, which is an important topic and how to promote health in them, which is an even more important topic. Make sure you share this blog out with your friends, family and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, whatever group you’re into, grab the link and share it in there and make sure to check out her book. I’m Dr. Joe Tatta. We’ll see you next time.
Thank you, Joe. This has been great.
- Dr. Sheila Kilbane
- Healthy Kids, Happy Moms: 7 Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses
- Amazon – Healthy Kids, Happy Moms: 7 Steps to Heal and Prevent Common Childhood Illnesses
- David Katz
About Sheila Kilbane, MD
Dr. Kilbane is on a mission to transform pediatric healthcare and get one million kids off of meds they may not need. To help spread the word about how profoundly nutrition impacts children’s health, she presents at medical conferences, online summits, guest blogs and regularly appears on wellness podcasts.
Dr. Kilbane has presented on the Evolution of Medicine Functional Forum, a monthly gathering of 6,000-10,000 health professionals where speakers such as Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, and Dr. Leo Galland have also presented. She was a featured speaker at the Journey to 100 conference in Guernsey, UK, where healthcare leaders from around the globe explored ideas for new and sustainable approaches to lifelong health.
Bachelor of Arts in Zoology: Miami University
Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Residency: Carolinas Medical Center
Fellowship: University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
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