Childhood Ear Infections. The Cure: Just Get Healthy

At the end of my oldest daughter's first winter, her pediatrician told me that
in his 15 years of practicing medicine, every time he has seen a baby with as
many severe ear infections as Samantha has had, the child continues to get ear
infections, year after year, until they are at least school age.

        With absolute passion, I started my work to make sure that Samantha's
story would be different.  As I saw it, the Pediatrician, guided by his medical
journals, was batting 0%.  In 15 years he has never had a success.  So when he
told me that all of the authoritative studies say that nutritional
supplementation, diet, homeopathic and herbal therapies and considerations of
allergic responses could not possibly effect a child's tendency to get
earaches, these were the very avenues of studies which I pursued.  Ignoring
these avenues, as my Pediatrician has done, resulted in 100% failure.  I still
wonder at the huge failure of logic, which caused our Pediatrician to believe
the "authorities" when in front of his own eyes he could see and even admit
that what he was doing resulted in failure each and every time.

        I proceeded to read everything I could find and to talk with everyone
who would, about how to cure and prevent childhood ear infections.  At this
point, I was also hotly reading about alternative cancer therapies.  About a
year earlier, I found out that my father was diagnosed with cancer, was given a
two to five year prognosis, and had rejected all of the mainstream therapies
aimed at attacking the cancer in favor of a natural approach aimed at
strengthening and healing his body.  My mother and sister chose to worry.  I
chose to read everything I could find and talk with everyone who would, about
how to cure and prevent cancer.

        So while the majority of the friends who I made as a new Mom were
starting on their second child, I was taking care of my sick child and in my
own self-directed self-study diploma-less "Alternative Medical School."

        One of many remarkable discoveries, for me, was how very similar the
recommended health protocols were for both cancer and childhood ear
infections.  In general, the alternative treatments are aimed at nourishing,
strengthening, cleansing, and balancing the body rather than attacking some
specific disease such as cancer cells, bacteria or virus.  And with this care,
the body is able to function properly and take care of the disease itself.
Good health is good health.  There is no permanent remedy for ear infections or
cancer outside of achieving good health.

        Another remarkable discovery was simply the nature of what is being
theorized  (beyond what is in the pink froth of the popular press) about how
one might go about staying healthy.  Among the more surprising theories is a
recommendation to eat a low carbohydrate/high protein diet, even a low
carbohydrate/high fat diet to strengthen the immune system, lessen
inflammation, and strengthen the cardio-vascular system.  This turns the food
pyramid on its head.  The literature on this is extremely compelling.

        Back to childhood ear infections and on to some of the practical steps
that I took to improve Samantha's health. Samantha has been free of earaches in
her second, third, fourth, and fifth winters. I used all of the health ideas
listed below. 
Each was recommended by a medical source: some mainstream and some alternative.

       Vitamin C - This is an obvious essential for health and mega-dose
recommendations for both adults and children have been written about and
studied for decades.  I worked on many strategies to get vitamin C into
Samantha and then into Ellee when she came along.  My most successful strategy
is to use a powdered form of Vitamin C called Calcium Ascorbate.  Not many
places have this.  I get it at The Apothecary (5415 Cedar Lane, Bethesda,
301-530-0800). I managed to get about 5,000 mg of vitamin C into Ellee each day
when she was 2 years old and about 10,000 mg. of Vitamin C into Samantha each
day when she was 4 years old.  Calcium Ascorbate won't curdle milk like
ascorbic acid does, so I can put it in Ellee's bottle (a quarter teaspoon,
1000mg, per 4 oz of whole milk) and in Sam's cup (a quarter teaspoon in 6 oz of
water mixed with 2 oz of milk).  The most sought after summer cooler at my
house is my C-Surprise.  I mix 6 oz of water, 2 oz of juice and a half-teaspoon
of Calcium Ascorbate.  Samantha loves this, but even more surprisingly, I do
too.  I also use a powdered Magnesium Ascorbate and a powdered Buffered-C in
diluted fruit juices.  Note: Vitamin C is a powerful chelator of lead in the
body and, indeed, with this therapy, Samantha's lead count dropped from '4' as
an infant, to the lowest category which they measure which is 'less than 2'
when she was 4 years old.  Typically lead counts go up during early childhood.

       Flax Seed Oil - Rarely have I felt as powerful a response to a
nutritional food as I have to flaxseed oil and it is highly recommended for
both childhood ear infections and cancer.  It is high in Omega-3 essential
fatty acids.  Some theorize that the epidemic of childhood ear infections is
due to an epidemic of Omega-3 essential fatty acid deficiencies in this
country.  (Some theorize that it could also be due to the over use of
antibiotics in our country or due to our contact with pollutants or due to the
use and overuse of childhood vaccinations).  I am certain that I had an Omega-3
deficiency given the power of my response to it.   Flaxseed oil must not be
heated so it can be used only with cold or lightly warmed foods.  It is very
good tasting oil.  I make salad dressing out of it.  I put it on non-fat
cottage cheese.  I make a rice, salsa, hard-boiled egg, and flaxseed oil dish
which both girls are truly passionate about.  (I heat all but the flax seed
oil, mix, and let cool to warm before mixing in the flax seed oil.)

       Homeopathics - I have used single remedy homeopathic remedies since
with no noticeable result.  I have been to several homeopathic practitioners,
have read many books and have tried this path to health many many times with no
noticeable benefits.  Then, I discovered a homeopathic practitioner who works
with multiple remedy homeopathics.  The classic homeopath does not administer
multiple remedies, but the literature is very convincing for the multiple
remedy approach, as is my experience.  The line of products I used for my girls
and myself is called Hobon and was developed by Dr. Kratz, the primary
Pharmaceutical editor for the Merck Manual for many years.  (Medical
credentials don't get much better than that.)  Samantha was on a 6-month
protocol designed to cleanse her body of some of her toxic load of chemicals,
metals, bacteria, virus, food additives and pollution.  I can't give any
recommendations for a Maryland homeopath because the one who we use is in New
Jersey.  Rather my recommendation is general: don't dismiss the rogue homeopath
with multiple remedies, instead, consider it a golden find (and let me know
about it).

       Eardrops - Mainstream doctors will tell you that using eardrops is
illogical because what happens in the ear canal is unrelated to the infection
in the middle ear.  But as the queen of ear aches myself, I have felt much
relief from eardrops when I have had an earache.  I have used a Mullein and
Garlic in olive oil ear drop, a colloidal silver ear drop, an ear drop
containing citricidal, and a water and hydrogen peroxide ear drop, all with
good results.

       Vitamin A - when I supplement with vitamin A, I use either Metagenics'
Mycelized Vitamin A which I ask for at The Apothecary (One drop contains 5,000
IU) or Prolongevity's Liquid Emulsified Vitamin A through Life Extension
Magazine (one drop contains 20,000 IU).  Each can be used in milk, juice or
water.  This is the only item on this list that I am concerned about the
possibility of giving too much.

       Peanut Butter - I love it and hate it.  I use it to effectively hide
every conceivable supplement  (I open a capsule and mix the contents in).  I am
concerned about its low Lysine level, however, which is related to a weak
immune response to viruses, so I always mix Lysine powder into the peanut
butter.  I have also mixed in capsules of Magnesium, Vitamin E and
Beta-Carotene.  For a more complete protein I often mix peanut butter with
sunflower butter.  Sam actually prefers this combination to PB alone.

       Brewer's Yeast - This is an invaluable source of balanced B
vitamins and
probably the most valuable food of all for diabetics and people with blood
sugar problems.

       Popcorn - I make it on the stove with olive oil then sprinkle
Celtic sea
salt and Lewis Laboratories Brewer's Yeast on top.   Sam is absolutely
passionate over it.  For salt:

       Scrambled Eggs - I can put as much as a rounded teaspoon in 2 large
and Sam can still be coaxed into eating it.  When I put a smaller amount in,
Sam likes it even better than plain.

       Ground Meat - I put it in burgers, meat loaf, meatballs and any recipe
that uses ground meat.

       No baby cereals - Why feed a baby an iron-poor food "fortified" with a
synthetic iron which some scientists and nutritionists say is toxic to the
liver?  If a baby needs a source for iron starting sometime between 6 and 12
months, as I typically hear claimed, why not feed your baby an iron rich food?

       No Juices - Carbohydrates, especially simple sugars as found in foods
such as juice, have a strongly depressive effect on the immune system.  I did
not give any juice to Samantha until she was two years old.  Even now at six
years old, I only give her juices that are very diluted and vitamin C

       A diet relatively high in protein, low in carbohydrates, high in good
fats and low in bad fats - Tofu is a quick protein fix to supplement the usual
meat or fish or poultry at dinnertime.

I give the kids as much flax seed oil and olive oil as I can put in their
meals, because they are healthful fats.  I use generous amounts of organic
butter on their rice and toast.  Butter is a neutral fat, neither inherently
good nor bad.  I use organic butter because toxins tend to accumulate in fat
and this is as true for milk and milk products as it is for meat products.  I
use a lot of butter on carbohydrate foods to help reduce the quantity of the
carbohydrates that they eat.  The bad fats are primarily the hydrogenated and
partially hydrogenated fats.  I try to keep these away from the kids, although
I know that they get them during school, Sunday school and social situations.
The majority of  crackers have the "bad" fat.  Read ingredients and find a
brand without hydrogenated fats and make that your cracker staple.

       Acidopholis/Bifidus - Some say that when you give antibiotics to a baby
who is less than a year old, you will need to supplement his/her diet with
acidopholis/bifidus for a week or so.  Some say that when antibiotics are given
that young, you need to supplement his/her diet for the rest of the person's
life.  I have chosen a middle ground: I plan on supplementing Samantha's diet
with acidopholis/bifidus until she is 18 and out of my influence. There are
many good brands of powered pro-biotics. 

       Herbs: Echinacea and Goldenseal - Both are intended for acute illness
rather than as part of a daily health regimen.  It is easy to hide Echinacea in
the kids' drinks because it has a very mild taste.  However, my kids have
always rejected even the most dilute and well-hidden Goldenseal because it
tastes terrible.  Even I wait until I am really sick, before I will choke
Goldenseal down.

      With help from the measures above, Samantha seems to have conquered her
tendency toward ear infections.  After all of this work, she still has a
tendency, however, to get sicknesses that involve a cough.  I am now reading
about her coughing problem (i.e. I am still reading about health).

        There are, unfortunately, no simple health answers that work for
everyone.  I don't have them and doctors don't have them.  Everyone needs to
find her own way.  I wrote this article in the hopes that some of the work that
I did on my journey with my daughter, Samantha, will be of help to others.

Disclaimer: This information comes from my personal experiences and is not to
be construed as medical advice.

Amanda Buxbaum

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Suggested articles/pages:

Medical Journal Changes Policy of Finding Independent Doctors to Write

Hospitalization Can Traumatize a Child

Allergies Forum:

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