Toddler with Weak Immune System - Help!

Updated on August 03, 2010
A.C. asks from Concord, CA
20 answers

My 18 month old has been getting sick very often since he turned 12 mos. He has had several stomach flus, upper respiratory infections, ear infections and finally an awful reaction to a sickness called HSP. He gets sick at least once a month. His Dr. is suggesting that I take him to a Infectious Disease Specialist, which I am very hesitant to do knowing the long and invasive battery of tests that they would put him through. Thats the last thing his little body needs right now.

So my question here is twofold:
1. Do you think this is normal? Are other children at this age, at this time of the year, getting sick this often?
2. Do you have any suggestions of things I can do to boost his immune system or environmental factors I can eliminate? My first step is taking him to a Naturopath next week and get him on some vitamins.
I’m a SAHM so he is only being exposed to other children a few hours a week at a play date or a play area. I am diligent about washing our hands after we go out. He still nurses around 5-6 times a day. I feed him a very balanced, healthy and organic diet. He never eats sweets or processed foods, it’s all fresh all the time and he is a great eater when he isn’t sick. Lots and lots of fruits and veggies. He doesn't eat eggs since he has a mild allergy, and I minimize the amount of dairy he gets. He'll get a piece of cheese every once in a while, but other than that I make sure he eats lots of green leafy veggies. He gets lots of play time and sunlight. We have a hepa filter running in his room in case there is an allergen in the air. We do have cats, but I try to keep them out of the sleeping areas.
I should note that not only is he thriving in terms of weight and development, but he is in the 100% for height and weight. He’s a big, big guy and from the outside does not look at all as if he is sickly.
What else can I do? I feel like I am missing something, or that I am not doing something for him that I should. I just want him to feel good for a few months, it breaks my heart to see him sick.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

I saw a miracle in my very sick baby by taking her to my chiropractor. I was venting one day to him about all the specialists I was taking her to and she was just getting worse. He told me to bring her in. I was very skeptical, but did. He saw her 3 times a week for a month. By the end of that month, she was off all of her meds, and has never had anything more than a little scratchy throat since. She is almost 9 now! I take her in once every other month, just to keep her healthy, and she is!

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answers from Hartford on

I would love to help! We have amazing vitamins and reduce toxins in the home! Shoot me a message and we can chat!

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answers from Sacramento on

Have you taken him off of wheat and dairy? These two can cause a ton of illness issues. They tear down the immune system so much if he is allergic to them. We just figured this out with my baby and it has made a huge difference. I was giving him amazing supplements ( I know b/c my girls have yet to get sick from infancy to 10 years old - not a cold, flu bug, ear ache, nothing). But it was not working for my little guy. Now that we have eliminated the offensive food, he is doing fantastic. I still give him the supplements b/c I want him to be as healthy as the girls. But I was poisoning him at the same time. That doesn't work. :)
Good luck!

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answers from Atlanta on

HI A.,

You've covered a lot of ground! The other things you should do is to detox your home...completely, take him to an upper cervical chiropractor and personally I would get rid of the cats (sorry but they carry strange things and they're sometimes hard to identify.)

Detoxing (not just replacing your chemicals) can be simple and inexpensive and I can walk you through what I did if you're interested. If you don't have a chiropractor, you can go to and look one up in your area. When you interview one to be your practitioner make sure they understand how chiropractic strengthens the immune system. If they don't know, then you're in the wrong place and you need to look for another one.

Was he given antibiotics for the infections he had? Antibiotics may fix a certain problem but they also weaken the immune system and set your little one up to get sick again...and easier every time.

When you go to the naturopath, make sure any vitamins given are absorbable and ask what type of delivery system they have. Sulfonate and gluconate systems are dangerous, chelate is better, oligo is great.

I'm being specific because my family went through the same exact thing. We don't get sick anymore.



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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like you are a great mom to your son. I think the naturalpath is a great idea. My friend is one and she has a device that can help her pinpoint problems and deficiencies as well as tell you how much of a supplement you need to take.
I would recommend that you look into Shaklee's vitamins. They literally saved my life. They are the number one seller of natural supplements and have more peer-reviewed research than all other supplement companines combined. But somehow they seem to be unknown.
They also make great non toxic cleaners.
If you would like to know more about Shaklee, let me know. I can also direct you to a free website where you can listen to audios on health issues.
Good luck and God bless.

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answers from Chicago on

You are doing a great job. Sometimes kids just get sick- a lot. I think talking to a naturopath is a great idea. You don't mention how old your son is, but I think it's great that you are still nursing him. You really are doing more than most! The only things I would suggest is looking at your household cleaners- are you using safe, natural ones, or lots of bleach, etc? That can make a huge difference. I know of a family whose child had asthma, though no one in their families had it, and they found out it was a reaction to their toxic cleaners. They changed them, and he was no longer hospitalized for asthma.
I would also suggest seeing a pediatric chiropractor. They can do a TON to help kids whose systems are overloaded, or having a hard time. This website can help- I had my son see a chiropractor from 1month- 1 year. It was very helpful.
Don't be afraid to let him get dirty, play outside, and play with other kids. I think most kids go through a period of getting sick a bit and building up their immune system. Every time my son gets a virus, I remind myself that he won't get it again, because he's built up his natural immunities. The worst thing parents can do is keep their homes pristine and "free" from germs. Kids' bodies need germs around to know what to fight off, otherwise, they get a lot of autoimmune problems because their bodies aren't sure what to fight. Do some reading- you'll find that kids that grow up on farms have the strongest immune systems, BECAUSE of what they are exposed to on a daily basis. So take him to a petting zoo, get him out and about, and try to relax a bit and know that you are doing a lot to help him. :)

Sorry to be so long-winded here. Two other suggestions to try- probiotics, and fish oil every day. Cannot hurt, but can help! :)

Good luck to all of you!
Barefoot Books Ambassador

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answers from Sacramento on



My kids have been taking Juice Plus for almost 7 years now. My son went through the same thing as a baby. It is 17 different fruits and veggies in a soft chew or capsule. Check out the published, peer reviewed studies on what it does for the immune system. My son just went to his 8 year old well visit last week and the nurse said "we have not seen you since your last well visit." That was music to my ears.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


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answers from San Francisco on

Hi! Talking to a naturopath is a good idea. I would also look into food sensitivities (as opposed to food allergies). Do the IgG ELISA test. My son was doing well up till about 18 months - 75-percentile in height for his age but then started slipping down the growth chart to 0-percentile at age 3, when I flipped. Pediatrician kept assuring me it was normal for the slower growth rate and he looked healthy, not skinny at all. Right before he turned 3, he started getting a high fever, stomach pains, cold and cough every 2 to 3 weeks. Turned out that he was highly sensitive to diary, egg and gluten. None of these sensitivities showed up on any of the other allergy tests (skin prick and IgA). After I cut these out, my son was strong as a horse for over a year (no sniffles, no illness) and started gaining on the growth chart again. He had an ear infection recently when I tried reintroducing his allergic foods. BTW, the gluten didn't show up too prominently on his tests, but I went with my gut feel in cutting it out and still believe it was the right thing to do. When our immunity is high, we don't get sick. Clearly something is undermining your son's immunity. The naturopath should be able to help. Good luck.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,

seems to me you're doing everything right, the only thing that stands out in your post, is the mention of HSP.

Does your son have HSP?? How was he diagnosed??

Because all the things you mention your son suffering from seem as if they could be linked to HSP and if this is the case, I would recommend looking for a pediatric rheumatologist or a rheumatologist with experience treating children, because if ioubare able to get your sons HSP under control you may find all the symptomatic ilnesses he has been suffering from, may go away.

Here is awonderful site I found:

you may find some answers here, in any case good luck to you and your little guy, I hope he feels well soon!!!

All my best,
A. m. :)

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answers from San Francisco on

I hate to say it, but maybe you need to expose him to some dirt/germs. That's how you build up your immune system. if you keep him living in a bubble, he will get sick with every germ he encounters. let the kid live a little! You know the saying "god made dirt and dirt don't hurt!"

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answers from San Francisco on


I would also recommend the naturopath, chiropractor and probiotics. Does your child drink pasteurized milk? You might want to consider switching him to raw milk. In CA, raw milk is regulated by the state and it has to be as clean as pasteurized milk. There are lots of benefits to drinking raw milk. Removing gluten from his diet may also help. Your son may have a sensitivity to the pasteurized milk and/or gluten and getting him off of them may help. Here is a link to learn more about the raw milk:



answers from Seattle on

I think the naturopath would be great, also try chiropractic. The kids I know who get adjusted are always healthy, including mine! A little dirt here and there is also a good thing, builds immune response ;)

we also do extra vitamin d, omega 3s, and probiotics.



answers from San Francisco on

You seemed to be doing the best things that a mom can do for her child for which I complement you; however, toxins are all around us--in the food we eat; water we drink; air we breathe; personal-care products we apply on; cotton materials we wear; in the furniture, carpet, cleaning agents that are inside the house. Any breathing living being has toxins in the body. Dr. John H. Tilden called the disease toxemia and what we know as diseases, according to him, are symptoms of toxemia.
Toxins weaken the immune system which is our internal "soldiers" fighting for us to keep us healthy. It is just obvious that our first move is to get rid of the cause of the weakening of the immune system. Natural Cellular Defense is a 100% natural, safe, and science-based detoxifying agent that carries the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation. It removes toxins; heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium; and carcinogens. It strengthens the immune system, helps balance the pH levels, and binds sub-viral particles causing effective neutralization of the activity of viruses, among the many health benefits that it gives. It is safe for pregnant and nursing women, and children.
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answers from San Francisco on

I would say you may run into quite a few kids that are sick that often but remember every time your body get sick it means the immune system lost the battle and the sickness won until your body can eventually beat it. Ideally, when the immune system is strong it would not lose the initial battle often and you would not get sick very much. My 3 year old gets sick maybe twice a year and when he get sick it usually only last one day and is never very bad. He goes to school two full days and week and we belong to a weekly mommy group ( with 15-20 other kids and Moms) so he is exposed to tons of kids. The other kids are sick very often and despite being around them he does not get sick.
I would go to the Naturopath first but one of the best ways to boost an immune system is to take probiotics- BioKult is expensive but a fantastic probiotic. You would also want to add foods that contain probiotics like a healthy yogurt, fermented foods, etc. Raw milk would be a great food to add to his diet but you might want to wait until his immune system is built up a bit because his digestive system might not make the right enzymes to break it down. For that same reason, I would not have him drink pasteurized milk. Remember 80% of our immune system is in our gut so if the immune system is weak than the gut would be too.
Second, I would start giving him a good cod liver oil. Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver oil is the best! That would do A LOT to help boost his immune system. Since his immune system is so low, I would also have him take the Green Pastures Butter oil along with the Cod liver oil. The butter oil will enhance the Cod liver oil's effectiveness.
I do this for my son and myself and like I said before we are almost never sick. My son has never had an ear infection.

I really hope you can get your little guy to feeling better. It really is heartbreaking to see them not feel well.




answers from San Francisco on

You might try an allergist, I am not sure where you are located by Dr. Nsouli in Danville is great.



answers from Sacramento on

I'm sorry to hear that your child has been so sick. That's tough for everyone. I don't have any medical advice for you--you hopefully have a medical team that you trust. However, I can say that my son who is "healthy" has also had a really rough winter. Since October, he has had H1N1, pneumonia twice, a stomach flu, fifth's disease and a myriad of colds. My son is in a day care center, so I am assuming that's where he gets it. I have heard from other parents that it's just been a really rough year for childhood illness and it doesn't necessarily reflect the health of your child. My son just turned two in March, and he does great in between all these illnesses. I hope your child recovers quickly and is thriving!



answers from San Francisco on

I have my granddaughter on some great nutrients since she was two days old and she very seldom gets sick. She is nine. You can listen to this prerecorded call the tophic is on good nutrition from a gentleman that is a mycrostipist he reads the blood and wrote a book on The Blood Never Lies. The call will only be available until the 10th of this month to listen to. If you want the number email me and I will send it to you.

Does your hepa filter produce ozone? If it does it may make your baby worse.
Let me know and I will recommend one that does not.

Have a great Mothers Day.

N. Marie
[email protected]



answers from Washington DC on

Stop washing his hands, feed him dairy foods, make him play with other children all the time, throw out the air filter, and ... take him to a petting zoo/farm.

He's not supposed to be kept clean and "safe". He's supposed to get exposed to all of the varied bacteria and viruses so he can build up an immunity, before he gets too old.

Also, don't delay a visit to a specialist because it will discomfort your son. The goal is to improve his health, not to keep him happy.



answers from Las Vegas on

It sounds like you are doing everything right to support his immune system. You didn't indicate how often he has been sick or what he has had. Babies and toddlers do get sick a lot though; that is how they build up their immune system. If he has had a lot of ear infections within a 12 month period, I would definitely be concerned. If he seems to have chronic diarrhea, I would be concerned. If he has had several colds this last year and maybe one or two bouts of the flu, I don't think I would be quite as concerned.

From what you have indicated, he seems to be doing really well despite being sick a lot and it seems like you are doing a lot of good things to bring up and healthy happy baby. One thing I would mention is to try to stay away from giving your son infant tylenol before or after he receives a vaccination. From what I have found out, aceteminaphin (sp?) surpresses the body's ability to clear out toxins (in other words, the vaccine will not be able to run its natural course and clear out of his body as it should).

Hope this helps.


answers from Missoula on

I give my son probiotics everyday. Eighty percent of your immune system lives in your digestional tract. Any doctor will recommend them. My son didn't get sick at all during the winter months since being on probiotics.

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