Are Food Sensitivities Causing Your Child’s Frequent Ear Infections?

June 3rd, 2014

By Guest Blogger: Ashwin Reddy

 

Does your child suffer from frequent ear infections? Are you tired of antibiotics that only work temporarily until the next infection? Or maybe you are wary of the side effects of antibiotics and would like to find something more natural?

Naturopathic Medicine has solutions, because Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) seek to address the root cause of symptoms. An ear infection is a symptom of a deeper underlying imbalance.

Ear infections are more common in children because their ear’s internal structure makes it more prone to infections. The tube that drains fluid from the inner ear ­– the Eustachian tube ­– is smaller and narrower than that of adults. When inflammation occurs because of various factors, this tube closes off and turns into breeding ground for bacteria.

 

Carbohydrates

When we think of bacteria we think of germs infesting unclean or unhygienic places. But bacteria can be grown in a lab too–only given a perfect set of conditions. They require the right temperature, moisture level, and last but not least, sugar to grow.  The environment has to be just perfect or a bacteria culture will fail.

Similarly in the human body, bacteria need a friendly environment to multiply. The food we eat can create this type of environment. How? Carbohydrates in the body are in fact converted to sugars­. The effect on the body is the same whether you eat straight sugar, or the many other carb-laden foods like pizzas, pastas, French fries, cakes, ice cream etc. that are widespread in our culture.

In a lab, if you remove the sugar from the media the bacteria fails to grow. Similarly in the body if you reduce simple carbohydrates, you reduce your chances of ear infections.

The solution to this is to shift from eating quick burning carbs like the above and transitioning to eating healthy alternatives. This isn’t easy but with a dedicated and committed attitude it is possible to remove sugar and carb laden food from the diet and replace them with healthy alternatives. Many have done it – educating yourself and seeking support are important steps in the process. 

 

Food Sensitivities

Another factor that increases chances of ear infection are food sensitivities. Many children today are sensitive to common foods. Many foods have been unfortunately altered and processed in a way that is not healthy for human consumption.

The body is an intelligent organism and when it is sensitive to a certain food, it reacts with inflammation in the hopes of protecting itself. 

When this inflammation occurs in the ear it can result in a painful ear infection that comes with fever and other symptoms.  

There are two options to determine the foods your child is sensitive to. The first one is a food sensitivity test that your ND can order for you. These­ tests look for substances that are created by the body in response to specific offending foods­. Removing the foods from your child’s diet then removes the basis for an inflammation response from the body.

The other option is a more traditional one that you may have heard of – it is known as an elimination diet where you remove foods that are known to cause a reaction in the body and reintroduce them one by one – fine tuning your diet in the process.  

Some common food sensitivities are:

  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Egg whites
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Peanuts

Other Solutions

While all the factors for ear infections are out of the scope of this article, I will briefly mention a few other solutions that NDs can offer.

The immune system plays a central role in maintaining health and integrity in the body. A well functioning immune system will keep infections down. Your ND may prescribe medicines specifically to strengthen your child’s immune system. 

Some NDs are also trained in craniosacral therapy, a gentle form of neck and head manipulation. It can help drain the fluid in infected ears ­– and provide relief for your child. For more info about craniosacral therapy, click the following link: http://www.vitalianaturalmedicine.com/news/craniosacral-therapy-and-its-benefits/

 

Ashwin Reddy is a freelance writer living in New Jersey. He is passionate about natural health, holistic nutrition, spirituality and other subjects. You can reach him through email at ashwin@ashwinwrites.com or check out his website http://www.ashwinwrites.com

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