I was up last night with our 4-year-old as he was coughing and short of breath.
Darn colds always go right to his lungs, which rattle and make him breathe far too fast. It’s almost uncanny how predictable it’s become. In fact I have a note in his file here at home reminding me that we need to have the doc take a listen if his breathing is over 40 per minute or heart rate over 150 without a fever.
The rest of the family is different though. Cold viruses tend to go to my husband’s head and sinuses, and my neck and shoulders.
I find that fascinating.
Odd, I know.
My daughter was the worst thrower-upper I’ve ever seen and got stomach viruses like nobody’s business between the ages of 2 and 6. My oldest son has had far more than his fair share of ear infections in his life – the other children have had zero to share between them.
That gets my brain going. Wondering. Hypothesizing.
Even Googling, but I can’t find anything to back up my theory.
I keep wondering if people have a general “weakest organ” that bacteria and viruses attack first – one body part or system that, for one reason or another, is literally that person’s “weakest link.”
I’m hoping Gabe’s is his big toe or something silly like that, as he’s been remarkably resilient to colds and respiratory stuff…but he does seem to have some tummy issues and has thrown up far more than his fair share for a one-year-old. (The theory there is that eggs are a problem for him…more experimentation needed, but it never feels like a good time to potentially have a throwing-up-baby for 12 hours!)
I always thought I was Superwoman with no physical weaknesses, until this happened. Turns out I probably have a candida overgrowth, which I was able to beat back into submission, but I still have the itchy spot at the base of my neck reminding me of my kryptonite.
The worst part about that being my “weakest link” is that I probably passed it on to all my kids. My younger three in particular struggle with cradle cap, and my oldest had the worst eczema of the bunch when he was little (and also last year). Skin problems can be a sign of an imbalance and/or yeast issue, exacerbated by sugar.
I never fully went on an anti-candida diet, just didn’t have the bandwidth. When I found out I was expecting Gabe, my instinct was to really try to kick it once and for all, to protect him from receiving all that baggage from me.
But. But. I couldn’t imagine pregnancy without cheese. I think about it every time I pick flakes off his scalp. #guilt
I’ve been wanting to explore this idea for a while and get a conversation going with other families. I was tickled when TriLight Health said they’d sponsor this post, not only because then I’d actually write it instead of putting it off, and also because we rely on a lot of their products for our personal weakest links: I’m grateful for Lungs Plus for 4yo John, Tummy Plus for 7yo Leah, Hear no Evil for 10yo Paul and Lympha Rub for everyone. TLH has offered KS readers a little early Christmas gift – use the code Kitchen15 for 15% off your total purchase, good through the end of 2015. And they already offer free shipping over $25!
So let’s get that discussion going!
The Chicken or the Egg?
One of my questions as I ponder all this is:
Cause or effect?
Was John born with weak lungs, perhaps simply because of his genes or because of something in our environment during critical prenatal phases of lung development? Or did whooping cough and pneumonia weaken his lungs so that colds dig in deep, and the fact that he got those illnesses was just a matter of circumstance, not particular lung susceptibility?
In my own case, my dad probably has candida overgrowth issues. If I can inherit that tendency genetically from him, I probably did. I was also formula-fed despite Mom’s best efforts. Did my diet as a child or young adult impact how it played out in any way? Or would I have had to have a perfect anti-candida diet in order for my health to be any different than it is now?
Some say candida can increase one’s risk of cancer (which my dad successfully fought last year and is 18 months clean, praise be to God). So it may be a serious question here.
Forward-Looking or Backward-Thinking?
Leah seems to have grown out of the terrible vomiting (she literally would go 24 hours without throwing up, then have another episode of violent vomits, then 24 hours, then again – it was the weirdest pattern I’ve ever heard of!). However, she has serious motion sickness in vehicles, so that plays right into having a “weak stomach.”
When I say it that way, it makes me think of my theory as not a new and progressive idea, but as an old wives’ tale, something people used to say when they didn’t understand diseases like IBS, IBD, food allergies and more. Certain people just had a “weak stomach” or “poor constitution,” and that was it.
But in today’s day and age, maybe we can use our advanced understanding of the human body to troubleshoot better.
If it’s true that people generally have a part of the body or system more susceptible to attack by negative outside forces, maybe we can figure out the root cause better or bolster that system in a more targeted way.
Because I know John’s lungs will be attacked violently if he gets a cold, I react immediately. At the first sign of a sniffle, we up his probiotics, get some Scout Out and immune-boosting herbs in him and start Lungs Plus a few times a day. If I do it right, sometimes we catch it before it settles in. If not, we are still able to keep him from going off the deep end, usually, and avoid fevers and seriously frightening heart rate and shortness of breath.
With things like candida, any skin issues, or tummy trouble, it seems we should be looking for the root of the problem. What are we eating that might exacerbate or cause problems? What minor ailments might be related to the same system? For example, is there any correlation between a food sensitivity, motion sickness, and bedwetting (which we’ve kicked now, more on that in 2016!!)?
But what else? I’m dying to hear what other moms notice in their different kids or across families.
I can’t wait to hear if you see any correlation between what I’m surmising here and your own experience.
And if anyone has any sources beyond personal experience to credit or discredit the idea, I’d so appreciate it if you could ring in via the comment section!
It’s important to say that I’m not a medical professional (or even a medical amateur), just a mom thinking out loud. None of this is designed to be advice – or even truth. It’s just an experience and a theory.