Children With Behavioural Problems More at Risk of Inflammatory Conditions Later in Life

Children with behavioural problems may be at risk of many chronic diseases in adulthood including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, as well as inflammatory illnesses (conditions which are caused by cell damage). This link that has been established further confirms the important role that nutritional therapy  and functional medicine play in addressing behavioural problems in children.

What the researchers have to say:

Researchers have found that children with behavioural problems had higher levels of two proteins (C-reactive protein — CRP; and Interleukin 6 — IL-6) in their blood. This was the case even after a large number of other factors, including sex, race, background, and medication use, were taken into account. Having raised levels of CRP and IL-6 can be an early warning sign that a person may be at risk of chronic or inflammatory conditions later in life.

The researchers believe the link may be due to the fact that many behavioral problems are associated with how the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis works. The HPA axis plays a major role in controlling reactions to stress and the immune system and, if it malfunctions, it can stimulate the release of the two proteins that cause chronically elevated levels of inflammation, which is tissue’s response to injury.

Alternative Thoughts

Whilst drugs that are used to treat behavioural problems may be immediately effective, they do not address the underlying core clinical imbalances that may be at the heart of behavioural and mental health issues in children – in particular stress and associated inflammation. Nutritional therapy and functional medicine aim to identify these imbalances through functional testing and then tailor make health supportive programs which include changes in diet and lifestyle and the use of supplementation.