"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Growing Pains (note- this post is not about Kirk Cameron)

When someone isn't feeling well around our house, I tend to shy away from pharmaceuticals, both prescription and over the counter stuff. I have several reasons for this...
-unwanted (and sometimes dangerous) side effects,
-news of supposedly safe, FDA approved medicines being pulled off shelves,
-the fact that they tend to fix the symptoms and not necessarily the underlying problem
-not to mention the stress they tend to put on our liver and kidneys


I've always been willing to suffer through a little more discomfort in order to avoid drugs that actually harm my body or put my health at further risk, while essentially only treating symptoms. Over the years, though, I've found several natural remedies that work as well, and in some cases better, than pharmaceutical alternatives for both the symptoms and the underlying causes.

The first problem that I ever learned to treat non-pharmaceutically was growing pains and leg aches. As a kid, I had awful growing pains. I can remember crying and crying for what seemed like hours as my mom sat up rubbing my legs. When I was pregnant I started to experience the same thing again.

Then I read in one of the dozens of pregnancy books by my bed that it was because the growing baby was stealing my calcium (sneaky little thing). So, I got a decent calcium complex from the health food store and started taking it before bed. This is something I should have been taking anyway, just the regular dose, nothing above and beyond.

And it worked the first night!

Later, when the kids had growing pains themselves, I began giving them the age appropriate dose most nights before bed and it worked for them as well. If I forgot to give it to them and their legs were already hurting, I would give them a half dose of pain medicine along with the calcium, because it does take a bit of time to work.

The older kids could swallow the capsules, but for Joey, I would just open one and mix it into a spoonful of peanut butter. Nature's Way is the one we found that didn't taste gross that way; it just made it a bit gritty. (That link takes you to VitaCost, a company that I buy a lot of my vitamins and herbs from. They don't have everything that I need (and they have a lot of stuff that I wouldn't buy), but they do have brands I like for super cheap. And their shipping is only 5 bucks for any size order, so I order big.)*

I believe that it is fairly important to buy high quality supplements. Most of the stuff sold at the grocery store does not get absorbed well by the body. I usually judge products by whether Vitamin Cottage carries it, because they are fairly strict about what they put on their shelves.

I do not feel that just because something is natural, that it is completely safe. They wouldn't work as medicines if they didn't cause significant changes in the body. And even though something may be safe at the suggested dose, does not mean it's safe in higher quantities. Also, it's important to remember that what works for one person, may actually exacerbate problems in another person with a different medical history. It is for these reasons that I suggest you check with your doctor before taking anything new.

Just something to keep in mind.

*Wow, a parenthesis within a parenthesis. I think that's a Wisdom of the Moon first!


Related Posts-
Fighting Heartburn with Peppers
Spicy Pee (Natural Help for UTIs)
Acupressure for Constipation


Greg said...

I like that you name specific brands. The brand is very important. A really good resource for understanding the supplement industry is the Supplement Buying Guide at NutritionalTree.com (which does not sell products but rates thousands of different products).

What you find out is that the integrity of a product is really dependent on the company that makes it.

Adam said...

I am new to your blog, and I love it!

About natural things not always being good for you - this could not be more true, the natural world is full of poisons like mistletoe, poison ivy/oak, nightshade, foxgloves and so on. Even tomato leaves are pretty nasty to nibble on.

Angeleen said...

Wow. I need to try the calcium thing!

Grace really suffers from growing pains on a regular basis. I'll be buying calcium tomorrow!

Thanks for the great tip!

auroramae said...

I also have a five year old child who gets growing pains. We use the same calcium & PB mix and it works like a charm!

Jennifer said...

SUch a good reminder to look for the simplest answer to such things.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Hi. My 21 month old has been waking with leg pain of some kind at night. I have been giving a good quality liquid calcium/magnesium supplement for three weeks, but she is still waking with pain 1-2 times a week. Do you have any thoughts on what to try next? I hate giving pain meds--but the whole family needs to sleep at night--not be up crying or listening to her cry and trying to comfort her.

I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

Wendy said...

Michelle, that's so strange. I'd maybe try another calcium supplement. And I've found that bedtime massages with warm oil (sesame) works pretty well for all kinds of problems. Other than that, I couldn't really say.

Good luck, though. I know how bad those nighttime growing pains are.

Wendy said...

Michelle, one more thing... I just checked here http://pediatrics.about.com/od/weeklyquestion/a/04_leg_pains.htm
and thought maybe I should pass it along to you. It looks like it might be a good idea to have your kiddo checked out at the doctor's just to rule out other, more complicated problems.