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Recurrent Ear Infections Natural Treatment Relief

By Dr. Jonathan V. Wright

If your child suffers from recurrent ear infections, you can frequently reduce or even eliminate them by working with food allergies, eliminating unnecessary burdens on his or her immune system and using a few basic supplements. Especially with small children, it's wisest to work on this problem along with a practitioner skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and other natural therapies.

"Mainstream" medical treatment of recurrent ear infections involves the repetitive use of antibiotics, antihistamines and decongestants. In some cases, tubes are inserted surgically into the eardrums, even though several studies published in medical journals have shown that tubes do very little or no good.

It's almost certain that a child who suffers from recurrent ear infection is allergic to some foods, which must be identified, temporarily and then desensitized. In my experience and the experience of the parents I work with allergy to cow milk, and daily products is the most common, but always just one among several or many food allergies. Using modern techniques, it's possible to test and desensitize even with very young children. For, further information on allergy testing, you might wish to read the brief regarding Allergy Testing.

It's also important to lessen the burden on the immune system by eliminating refined sugar of all sorts. Completely eliminating refined sugar means reading all food labels and rejecting not only sucrose, but also "high fructose corn syrup", "corn sweetener", dextrose, dextrin, lactose and so on.

Food chemicals are another unnecessary burden on the immune system and contain no useful nutrients. Find foods with no artificial preservatives, flavorings or colorings for your child.

Supplements are very helpful, also. Please remember: since recurrent ear infections occur sometimes in very young children, it's wisest to check with a doctor knowledgeable and skilled in nutritional therapy for guidance with dosage for very little children.

The most useful vitamin and mineral supplements are vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A. Helpful herbal supplements include goldenseal and echinacea [ek-in-a-she-uh].

There are many forms of vitamin C for children, including chewable. If you use the chewable type, make sure it doesn't contain added refined sugar. For the little ones I work with, I usually recommend 250 to 500 milligrams two to three times daily.

Zinc helps to bolster the strength of the immune system for both children and adults. For children, zinc is available in natural food stores as chewable lozenges containing honey, or as capsules containing zinc picolinate. I usually advise a total to 15 to 30 milligrams daily, depending on the size of the child.

Vitamin A also helps out bodies to fight off infection. Depending on the size of the child, I'll usually advise 10000 to 20000 units daily. Unless you're working with a nutritionally knowledgeable practitioner, it might be wisest to use a tablespoon of cod liver oil a day, like our great-grandmas recommended, instead of vitamin A itself.

These individual nutrients should be taken along with a good general multiple vitamin-mineral supplement appropriate for age.

Goldenseal, sometimes called "hydrastis", is an herb which inhibits the growth of certain harmful bacteria while encouraging the growth of normal "friendly" bacteria. It's available in many forms in natural food stores, and is safe for children.

Echinacea is a traditional Native American remedy helpful against a variety of infectious organisms. Most experts on the use of herbs recommend that echinacea be used for a few weeks to months, then paused for a few weeks, used again, and so on, or it loses effectiveness.

Following these guidelines, literally hundreds of children seen at our clinic over the past twenty-two years have had recurrence of ear infections drastically reduced, or more often, have stopped having them completely.

Because of differences in age, sex, metabolisrn, or potential allergy, these diet and supplement therapies may not be suitable for you. Consult a health care professional skilled in nutritional and natural therapies. To locate one near you, you might call the American College of Advancement in Medicine at 800-532-3688 or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at 206-323-7610.


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