Sunday, March 7, 2010

Natural Remedies for Chronic Ear Infections

Read and Post your questions for the doc:

Chronic Ear Infections

I have a friend who was wondering what your thoughts were about preventing chronic ear infections in her 4 year old daughter.

I often find that it is related to a food sensitivity or reaction. It is important to identify any foods that could be causing this. This can be done through an elimination/challenge diet – where many of the potential reactive foods are removed from the diet for 2 weeks and then slowly reintroduced to see what reactions may occur, or through a simple blood test that we offer.

Another important aspect to support is their digestive system (a.k.a. the gut) - this is where most of the immune system is located. I would guess that this child has been on multiple rounds of antibiotics and has not sufficiently replenished their levels of good bacteria in their digestive tract. This can leave them more susceptible to future ear infections. As well as lead to new food sensitivities, this can cause more ear infections.
Probiotics, which are good beneficial bacteria for our intestines, play an important role in our immune system as well as helping to prevent food sensitivities. In addition to good quality, high potency probiotics like the HMF brand that we recommend, I would also suggest omega-3 essential fatty acids such as a fish oil supplement, good brands are Nordic Naturals or Carlson’s, Vitamin D (actually not a vitamin, but a very important hormone that is essential for proper immune function), and Juice Plus+, whole food nutrition from vine-ripened fruits and vegetables. These supplements along with taking a close look at the child’s diet are a good place to start to help prevent ear infections.

Most doctors will treat ear infections with anti-biotics and sometimes steroids if necessary. These treatments may be helpful to resolve the acute presentation of the ear infection, but unfortunately they do nothing to improve the health of the child or to prevent another ear infection.

I typically treat kids like this with homeopathy, which involves an in-depth intake to understand their specific symptoms to identify the indicated remedy. The goal of homeopathy is to correct the underlying susceptibility so that she no longer develops ear infections and her overall health is improved. Homeopathy treats the whole person and as a result all aspects of their health would be improved.

If your friend would like to know more - they can call our office and schedule a complimentary health consultation. 704-708-4404

My best,

Dr. Michael Smith
Naturopathic Physician