Probiotics for Life

From the first day of school through to your well-deserved retirement, challenges can arise at every age; your health is no exception to this. More and more, research is showing that your microbiome (i.e. your gut bacteria) is foundational for good health, especially when it comes to having a robust immune system. For example, the microbiome coordinates how active your immune system is (which is important for fighting off infections), while also ensuring your immune system doesn’t become over-active when exposed to things that are foreign to the body (e.g. allergies). The microbiome is also important for maintaining digestive health. As such, when the balance of healthy species within our gut bacteria is lost (due to the effects of a low fibre diet or antibiotics), gut symptoms such as excessive bloating and gas can result. When the microbiome becomes imbalanced, it requires repair, which is where probiotics can help to restore what has been lost. However, it is not just a case of adding in any kind of bacteria; the right ‘type’ of probiotic needs to be used for the right purpose. Whilst you can’t always avoid factors that can reduce microbiome health, restoring its bacterial balance with probiotics is achievable for everyone throughout their lifespan.

The Key is to Be Specific

Probiotics are bacterial organisms that are categorised into families, and just like humans, they have their own family tree:
  • The genus name (i.e. their extended family)
  • The species name (i.e. their immediate family)
  • The strain (i.e. them as an individual)
When using probiotics, it is important to know the type, or strain, you are using.  For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® is a well-researched probiotic for immune support, but if you use another Lactobacillus rhamnosus that is not the LGG® strain, the effects may not be the same, despite being the same genus (Lactobacillus) and species (rhamnosus).
Further, specific strains have the ability to preserve and enhance microbiome health, while others provide relief from various symptoms, such as infections, allergy and digestive pain.
Let’s look at some different probiotic strains, what to use them for, and when they may be useful across the lifespan.

Probiotics in Pregnancy Do Double Duty

The health of a mother’s microbiome helps determine the health of her baby’s microbiome, and their subsequent immune and digestive health. Several probiotic strains have been shown to improve the mother’s microbiome, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12®), which support healthy blood sugar levels in pregnancy,1 and also lowers the chance of infant eczema2,3 and infections.4 Additionally, Bifidobacterium breve (M-16v) and Bifidobacterium longum (BB563) may help to reduce the risk of allergy in infants.5 Choosing the right probiotics in pregnancy is therefore important to support the health of both mother and baby.

Microbial Building Blocks for Babies and Toddlers

After birth, a baby’s microbiome is influenced by the microbes it comes into contact with during delivery, breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. The microbiome continues to change rapidly up until around three years of age, where it stabilises, resembling an adult’s microbiome.
In the early days however, the baby’s microbiome plays an important role in immune system development, in to order to cope with exposure to germs from the outside world.
However, when antibiotics are introduced to treat infections (such as ear or throat infections), this can imbalance the microbiome, leading to children developing more infections as a result of compromised immune function. Several probiotic strains have been shown to support microbiome development7 and the immune system, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12®), Bifidobacterium breve (M-16v) and Bifidobacterium longum (BB563). Research tells us that a combination of these strains can reduce a sore throat,8as well as ear, nose and chest infections,9,10,11 which can lower the need for antibiotics,12 helping reduce illness in babies and toddlers.

Naturopathy Can Help With the following childhood conditions

Fiona provides tailored health plans based on a multitude of factors relevant to your child’s symptomology (how they are feeling), pathology (how their body is responding), plus dietary and lifestyle factors. Digestive complaints – constipation, diarrhoea, loose stools, pain or bloating Allergies and allergic conditions – such as asthma, eczema or hayfever Poor Immunity – recurring colds or ear infections Skin Conditions – rashes, eczema, acne, pimples or allergic reactions Moods – anxiety, depression or mood swings Food Intolerances – identifying food reactions Food Allergies – identifying food reactions Growth and development issues – fussy eaters or nutritional malabsorption Behavioural challenges – ADHD or others Energy – poor energy or chronic fatigue Picky Eaters – fussy eaters Sleep – trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

What happens in a consultation

During your consultation, Fiona will seek information about your pregnancy, birth and post birth experiences. This will provide an integrated view to give a full picture of the foundations of your child’s health status. You can expect to leave your consultation with a thorough understanding of the potential contributing factors of the presenting symptoms. Fiona will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates possible herbal/nutritional medicine, dietary/lifestyle recommendations, recipes and handouts. Plus an overview of the consultation so you feel empowered to care for your child’s wellbeing with Fiona’s guidance. At The Children’s Naturopath, Fiona Stock an expert in childhood health, she understands children’s needs and considers working with kids and teens to be an absolute joy. She finds that children typically respond to naturopathic treatment very well – bouncing back to good health in no time.  And she treasures the opportunity she has to teach kids about their bodies and engage them in their health journey, setting them up with strong foundations and knowledge for life.

Meet Fiona Stock

Fiona is skilled at getting to the heart of childhood health challenges – helping to initiate lasting change.

Fiona Stock is a respected Paediatric Naturopath & Children’s Nutritionist with a career spanning over 23 years. Armed with an abundance of experience and a true desire to transform your child’s health, she’ll listen closely to understand the underlying causes of their troubling condition. Fiona gets to the heart of your child’s presenting symptoms by deciphering what their body is trying to tell you. She will suggest simple and specific changes as well as herbal or nutritional medicine where required to nurture and restore your child, so they can enjoy the good health they deserve. Deeply compassionate and highly skilled, either of the Naturopathic Consultation Options with Fiona is a wonderful investment in your child’s health. If you’ve tried everything and are yet to find solutions to your child’s health challenges – this could well be the path to take.
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Fiona treats the following conditions:

✅Poor Immunity ✅Poor Focus & Concentration ✅ Behavioural Problems ✅ ADHD ✅ Depression ✅ Anxiety ✅ Food Allergies ✅ Food Intolerances ✅ Constipation ✅ Diarrhoea ✅ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ✅ Tummy Pain ✅ Eczema ✅ Asthma ✅ Obesity ✅ Auto-Immune Disease ✅ Recurring Infections ✅ Fussy Eaters ✅ Sleep Issues ✅ Plus many more…

Kids Health Club

Memberships coming soon.

Only $10 monthly.