Broken Brain with Dhru Purohit


#141: Anxiety Is Not Always Anxiety: Understanding What’s Really Underneath Your Child’s Behavior with Dr. Pejman Katiraei

Season 1, Ep. 141

When kids present with an emotional or behavioral issue, many times it could be masking something completely unexpected, something physical. You might think your child has an anxiety issue when, in fact, it’s not actually anxiety at all! What looks like anxiety can be an intestinal problem, sleep apnea, or many other things. 

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host Dhru talks to Dr. Pejman Katiraei, a board-certified pediatrician who is also boarded and fellowship trained in integrative and holistic medicine. He completed his undergraduate at UCLA and then obtained his osteopathic medical degree at Western University of Health Sciences. He completed his pediatric residency at Loma Linda University, where he stayed on as Pediatric Chief Resident, and then as teaching faculty for over 4 years while he founded the Loma Linda University Wholistic Medicine Clinic. 

Dr. Katiraei is one of a few physicians in the country with mastery of osteopathy, functional medicine, functional endocrinology, medical herbalism and more. Dr. Katiraei is now in private practice in Santa Monica, where he focuses on helping children with severe behavioral challenges. 

In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Katiraei talk about the reason your child might be acting out could be because of a physical imbalance that is causing him or her to suffer and be in pain. They discuss the impact gut health, nutritional deficiencies, and mitochondrial dysfunction can have on a child’s behavior. They also talk about why crawling is an essential part of a child’s development, and kids that go from sitting directly to walking have been shown to have sensory issues, anxiety, and nervous system issues, among other things. 

In this episode, we dive into: 

-Understanding what your child’s body is trying to survive (10:40)

-The connection between tongue ties and sleep apnea (20:15) 

-Why you should pay attention to your kid’s sleep (24:01)

-Dr. Katiraei’s challenges with his daughters health (28:27)

-What your child’s endurance says about their health and behavior (35:41)

-Why sensory issues develop (43:45)

-How to increase our child’s ability to handle stress (59:12)

-Dr. Katiraei’s supplement recommendations for children (1:16:35)

-Where to learn more about Dr. Katiraei (1:19:27)

-What’s really underneath your child’s behavior (1:19:59)

For more on Dr. Katiraei, you can follow him on Instagram @wholistickids, on Facebook @wholistickidsandfamilies, and through his websites and

Also mentioned in this episode:

-Anxiety Is Not Anxiety: When Mito Errors Cause the Nervous System to Falter

-Mitochondria and Immunity - The Critical Link You Must Know About

For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here

Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your request to join here:

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