The four questions I get asked ALL the time

There are certain topics or trends that seem to follow just about anything, and that is no different from healthcare, or figuring out the best options to take care of our bodies and our families. The same goes as with anything, certain questions pop up much more frequently than others and I am going to answer the top four I often hear.

First of all, I am a physician that truly believes that there is no bad question. Knowledge is power and the more you know the more you are able to make informed choices for you child. Questions mean you are thinking and trying to process information. It is imperative that you understand what is going on with your child and the side effects of some of the therapy choices. I am shocked at how many people tell me that therapy or medications or procedures are not fully explained to them before utilization. On that note, lets see what we can learn.


1. What if my child does not have a diagnosis yet, but exhibits signs or symptoms of ADHD, sensory issues or something on the spectrum?

Yahoo! Glad to hear this, because this means they will not have received any medication yet. You can not medicate with out a diagnosis. Yes, many of the ADHD medications are used off label for other things, but you can’t be medicated for ADHD with out a diagnosis. Just so that you know, I DO NOT treat a diagnosis, I treat the child. Therefore, whether or not they have a diagnosis or not means nothing to me. I look at an extensive amount of paper work (that you fill out for your child), preform an extensive functional neurological exam and also preform an EEG brain map. From this I determine the best mode of treatment for each child individually. If your child has positive findings, that is what I treat, not a diagnosis.

2. What if my child if diagnosed with ADHD and already on medication?

I treat children on medication the same as I treat unmedicated children. Just because your child is on medication does not mean that a natural approach will not be effective. Many of my patients caregivers are particularly concerned about the side effects from the medication their children are taking. While some children exhibit positive results from taking medication for example increased concentration at school, many of them have adverse side effects as well. The most common side effects I see are appetite loss, weight loss, depression, personality changes and having to increase the medications to stronger dosages or to more dosages a day. Also from some children with sensory issues, these may become more pronounced. In my practice, I do not prescribe medications, nor do I discuss dosing. This is a conversation between you and your pediatrician. Just like as stated before, I do not treat the diagnosis even if you have one. Everyone has different signs and symptoms of ADHD. Blanket treating these symptoms is not a beneficial approach but finding the root cause is.


3. We have tried so many therapies with little or no change. What makes your program different?

I have heard of many treatments and therapies and I never discredit any of them. As parents we are always trying to look for the best option for our children and all parents that are actively looking for better answers for their child should be applauded. I have so much respect for the parents that have tried different things as they are looking for their child to function optimally! Kudos to you! My approach is different as it is a three pronged approach.
The triangle of Neurometabolic Integration consists of looking at your child:
1. Metabolically
2. Neurologically
3. Brain Connectivity through an EEG Brain Map

The reason I use this trifecta is first, research shows a multi model approach is the most effective for the treatment of ADHD and it just makes sense. For example, how can you be changing function of your body and brain if you are eating foods that are making you inflamed. Just like you can’t put the steeple on the church without the church building itself. If you tried, the steeple would just crash. I like to build from the foundation up using the NeuroMetabolic Integration approach. Additionally, I have found that many patients have not received complete instructions on the process of why and how to fully execute the treatment plan their doctor is recommending. Once again knowledge is power and no question is wrong. If you are not aware of the full process of why you are doing something it may not seem important to follow the plan. This is why I take a lot of time explaining the process for which each modality is utilized. So for example, if you don’t understand why your child should not be eating gluten if they are sensitive to it, I may explain it to you as drinking a bottle of parasites. You wouldn’t do that, but they can both cause inflammation and inflammatory cascades that attack various parts of your child’s body including their brain. Another misconception I hear is that home exercises are not as necessary as in office treatment. WRONG! These are just as or even more important than in office therapies. In office and home therapies are intertwined to work together and should be performed together.

4. Last question I often get is a difficult one, I know from personal experience. When a parent is really at their whits end and feels like they have exhausted all of their options, it sounds something like this: “Dr. Kelly, I am afraid for my child. I am scared to see what the future holds for them and I don’t feel like I have any options left. What can I do?.” I HEAR YOU and I will tell you these statements always bring a tear to my eye. Just like a young child reading off an affirmation about how awesome they are, but not truly believing it in their heart yet.

My response is simple. You have not tried everything yet. Every child deserves everything we can offer to live an optimal and truly joyful life. If you are really struggling please take the time to educate yourself on the services in my office. You can do this by taking advantage of a complementary phone consult with me, to see if the NeuroMetabolic Integration program is a good option for your child. With this program, I evaluate fully before we even determine if treatment is an option. For the sake of your child and your family, take the time to see if this program would be a good fit for them. My goal is to help your child thrive! My biggest reward in life, other than the smiles from my own four children, is your child giving me a high-five because they are doing better. You have nothing to loose. Take the time to get educated and see if a natural approach can help your child blossom!


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What is NeuroMetabolic Integration?

This is a question that I receive often in my practice. When I think of the body as a whole, I look at it in a variety of ways. I look at things neurologically, metabolically and then through the process of brain activity through a QEEG map of the brain wave mapping.

Neurofeedback-QEEGNeuroMetabolic Integration is the seamless approach of looking at the body as a whole, and not separate pieces that don’t function together. As we know, the ankle bone really is connected knee bone from the funny son we learned in Kindergarten. To treat the body in any other way then one fully integrated and connected system is not going to work. Yes, we can diminish symptoms sometimes from a piece by piece approach but we are not going to find or fix the root cause of the problem. I often hear from parents is that their child has been diagnosed with ADHD based on their symptoms, and are treated for the symptoms but not the root cause. This is what makes NeuroMetabolic Integration so unique and innovative.

I am a chiropractic physician who is also a functional medicine practitioner. When I look at your child from a whole body approach, I look from the top down but also everything in between. Most parents bring their child to my practice because things are clearly not functioning properly in their nervous system and brain. Many children have brain waves stuck in aberrant patterns, symptoms of inflammation in the gut and sugar handling issues. If you don’t investigate all of the symtpoms and simply treat with medication, it will not resolve the problem to begin with. In many cases the side effects of medications brings a whole bunch of other symptoms too. I look at the body systems functionally to uncover the things that are firing incorrectly and therefor causing a variety of issues.

I love when I receive a child’s intake paperwork for the first time. It’s like a big puzzle figuring out where to start. I examine all the pieces and look at all the different angles to help bring clarity.

If your child is suffering from ADHD or anything on the ASD spectrum, do them a favor and schedule a free phone consult to see if there are any pieces of the puzzle that need help getting into place. Hope may be on its way!


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More on inflammation

If you haven’t seen the previous post on inflammation, take a quick look for it! It will bring you up to speed and then this will all make a little more sense.

When I give the example of the knee that has been damaged and then related that picture to the gut, the process becomes very clear. Too much inflammation can cause major damage, and the cycle will keep repeating unless we first remove the insult (what is causing the inflammation in the first place) and second find ways to decrease the cycle that is already going and repair what it has already damaged.

It does not have to be food causing the inflammation, it can be purely digestion or absorption issues, it can be from parasites or other infections, bacterial infections, blood sugar handling problems, STRESS and/or genetics to name a few. The main focus is to find out what is causing the inflammation. If you do not know what is causing the inflammation, you can not stop it!

Can inflammation affect anything and everything? Absolutely…

What if it effects your GI system so you can not absorb required nutrients or now your gut is so affected that it is leaking out molecules and your body has started an immune response and begins attacking itself (autoimmunity)? What if you start to feel foggy or thinking slow or are unfocused? Could your brain possibly be suffering from an inflammatory process ? What if your thyroid function is out of whack, could your thyroid be inflamed?

image-child-with-stomach-painInflammation, once it gets going, it is not specific. It will and can attack anything. It is very common for one of your systems to become inflamed or off track and be causing issues (eg gluten sensitivity or celiac) and then to later have another system to become effected … for example thyroid issues start to rear its ugly head.

Situations like these are very common because inflammation is not specific….

What if your brain is “foggy”, what if you can’t focus, what if you can’t concentrate, what if you have a hard time sitting still , or what if you have all the above? What do you think about your brain function at this time? Can inflammation be causing issues with brain connectivity, brain response, brain activity ? Yes it can. Your brain can be inflamed and your brain can be under functioning due to this inflammation ….

First things first, find the source of the inflammation, assess the damage, get rid of the root cause , begin the process of healing…

Can kids be inflamed? Absolutely… gut dysfunction, eczema, focus problems, hyper activity, sleep disturbances, concentration issues, excess “water” weight or a puffy feeling, joint pain (kids should not have joint pain), are just a few things that may be symptoms of an inflammatory process… If these symptoms are consistent with anything your child is feeling, look to inflammation to see if it is the cause or part of the cause …..

If you think your child may be inflamed…

1. Find the source of the inflammation
2. Get it out of your life
3. NOW

The goal is to have happy, healthy non-inflamed children living their optimal life…

Have a great and hopefully less inflamed day!

Dr. Kelly


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Inflammation!! What is it and why should I care?

I always explain inflammation this way to make it an easy visual to see what the effects can be…. Is inflammation good? YES… on the other hand is inflammation bad ? YES.…

Let me explain… Let’s say you bang your knee on the corner of a bench hard. You already see the bruise forming, it’s all red and it’s throbbing and it hurts.

What is happening in this process?

Your body sees that there is attack on the injured knee or damage to it and it sends in reinforcements to protect and heal this area. You will see bruising, swelling at the site of insult, and your knee joint will feel stiff. Your body is protecting you from running on it or jumping on it so you can not cause further damage. So the result is, it hurts to move it. Eventually in a few days the bruise will change color and the swelling will go down, stiffness no longer there and you can go back and play. Normal inflammation cycle.

Now picture this….

What if you hit that same knee everyday in the exact same spot with the same force. What would your knee look like? What function would it have? How would it feel? Over a period of time your knee with the constant insult, pain, swelling, eventually would not be able to function at all. With a continuous injury, eventually you would have to have that knee replaced to be able to function again. Constant insult, results in injury, non stop inflammation process, decreased function.

Now let me take this picture to another level.

What if you are eating some type of food that is causing inflammation in your gut and causing your gut to leak. Well wait, let’s just back up to inflammation and constant insult. For example if you have a gluten sensitivity unbeknownst to you, and you eat gluten daily. You could be causing inflammation not only on a daily basis but possibly on an hourly basis. If you think of this realistically your child could be ingesting something multiple times per day that could be causing GI inflammation whether you know it or not. The inflammation cycle never has a chance to subside or to take a break.

boy wuth upset stomach

So say that you eat toast in the morning for breakfast, inflammatory cascade begins, have crackers and cheese for a snack, inflammatory cascade increases, has a PB and J on wheat bread for lunch, inflammatory cascade really kicking into high gear now. Dinner is breaded chicken and broccoli. I’m obviously just giving an example here for discussion purposes but if the person ingesting all of this food has any type of allergy, food sensitivity, leaky gut, autoimmunity or GI absorption issues, this inflammation cycle is on fire and the fire is not going out until the we eliminate the triggering food and some treatment is done to repair the damage.

Inflammation can be causing a cascade of issues in your child’s body, including their brain.

Like the banged up knee, your child may be “banging” up various areas in their body. The key is to figure out what areas and what is specifically causing the inflammation.

Specific lab tests can figure out initially if your child is inflamed and what may be the cause of the inflammation.

Please contact me if you are interested in exploring if your child is inflamed and if this is part of what may be causing your child’s issues.

Have a healthy and productive day!

Dr. Kelly

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