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Research Discovers a Link Between Infections and Mental Illness in Children and Adolescents

Infections linked to mental disorders in kids

Sore throats, high body temperatures, and infections may seem like normal, non-threatening medical concerns for children and adolescents alike. They typically stay home from school, get some rest, and seek treatment from a general practitioner or hospital. Once the infection is treated, that's the end of it, right? Wrong... Researchers are discovering a greater risk for children who come down with a seemingly mild infection. According to a nationwide research study conducted in Denmark, children who suffer from infections are significantly more vulnerable to mental illness.

The study, which was published in JAMA Psychiatry, followed children born between 1995 through 2012. The results found that children who had been admitted into a hospital to treat an infection had an 84% greater chance of developing a mental disorder, and a 42% greater risk of being prescribed medication to treat it. The risk was highest immediately after the infection developed. The most common mental disorders children were likely to develop included ADHD, autism, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), tics, and psychosis. This suggests that the inflammation caused in the body in reaction to the infection has a significant impact on the brain.

Questioning the Causality

Despite the insinuation this study makes concerning the infections being responsible for the increased risk of mental health disorders, one has to ponder as to whether or not the treatment methods for the infections have anything to do with this. There wasn't sufficient evidence found to make a solid claim of causality. In fact, the study also shows a correlation between antibiotics and risk, which means the subjects had been treated before their risk was assessed, or in tandem with risk assessment. While inflammation can potentially impact the brain, and there are neurotransmitters in the brain that influence mental health, there are far more neurotransmitters responsible for mental health located in the gastrointestinal tract (GI). In order to keep the GI healthy, there must be a balance of healthy gut bacteria present. When a person takes an antibiotic, this kills all of the bacteria in the GI—good and bad. This suggests that it is possible the treatment methods themselves are causing the increased risks, despite what the study suggests.

antibiotics linked to mental disorders in kids

How to Combat the Increased Risk of Mental Illness

Regardless of the cause of the increased risk for mental illness, there's sufficient evidence to suggest that children who become ill and receive treatment from an MD face significant risks to their mental wellbeing. This is a serious issue, as ADHD, autism, and the like, are on an alarming rise across nations with adequate access to healthcare. This calls for a greater need for mental health services and methods for being proactive about overall health on a daily basis. Supposing that the cause is the treatment methods, prebiotics, and probiotic supplements are necessary for building up the healthy gut bacteria in the GI. It typically takes at least 2 weeks for this to happen after taking a low dose antibiotic.

Another way to help alleviate the aftermath of having an infection and receiving treatment is by taking a micronutrient supplement to support mental wellness. Micronutrients are needed to maintain overall physical and mental wellbeing at its optimal level. Research conducted by Dr. Charles Popper, a psychiatrist at Harvard, found that micronutrient supplements hold the power to effectively treat mental health disorders without the harmful or uncomfortable side effects psychotropic meds deliver. If your child has experienced an infection this year, it's important to be proactive about his/her mental health. The sooner these supplements are implemented into the diet, the better.

Not all micronutrient supplements are created equally. Some brands cut corners due to manufacturer limitations, and do not provide as high a quality of ingredients, or all of the ingredients our bodies need. Others aren't designed for superior absorption, which can make taking them almost pointless. The best micronutrient supplements I've found on the market today are a bit more expensive but are powerfully effective. Do your due diligence before you buy just any micronutrient supplement on the market. I personally recommend the formula developed by Focus Essentials. I've used it, and I love it. I felt the positive results immediately.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. An unhealthy mental state can cause a person's life to be less enjoyable, difficult to bear, and dysfunctional. If you want to help your child stay safe from the dangers of developing ADHD, autism, psychosis, and beyond, it's necessary to implement more than just antibiotics into the treatment plan. Your child deserves to live a happy, healthy life that's free from both infections and mental illness. If you're concerned about the mental wellbeing of your loved one, I urge you to try a bottle of micronutrients and see how it makes him/her feel.

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