Parents are seeking out ways to keep their kids healthy and avoid the overuse of antibiotics, the difficult part is figuring out what sources to trust as there are an overwhelming number of opinions on how to prevent, treat, and manage discomforts, diseases, and illnesses. It seems like everyone has a vested interest in what choice a parent makes. At Upper Cervical of Tulsa, we want parents to know, and feel, like they have choices, and that they have the right to make whatever choice they feel is right.
As ear infections are on the rise, with nearly 2 out of every 3 children being diagnosed with multiple ear infections before the age of 3, parents are having to make choices about how to care for their kids. Choices must be made! Here are our 7 best choices for overcoming ear infections!
Ear Infections Are On The Rise!
We commonly see children in our office who have had their guts destroyed by antibiotics. What parents don’t realize is that their kids’ bodies are being put into a cycle of stress, or an inability to heal and function properly. Antibiotics destroy bacteria in the gut, both good and bad bacteria. We know the immune system is housed in the gut, so when antibiotics are introduced into the system, the natural immune system and function is compromised, leaving that child susceptible to further illness and an inability to combat those illnesses. Bright Life Family Chiropractic says,
By the age of three, over two thirds of all children have had one or more episodes of otitis media or middle ear infection. There are numerous problems with antibiotic usage for children with ear infections such as: allergic reactions, GI upset, destruction of the gut’s intestinal flora leading to yeast proliferation and antibiotic resistance. Tubes in the ears have a 98% recurrence of infection within two months while 25% of those with tubes suffer from hearing loss years later.
Even through more options for antibiotics are being made available, ear infections are not declining. Could this mean antibiotic use could be a part of the problem instead of part of the solution? Perhaps. Dr. Michael Barnett and Dr. Jeffrey Linder with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say, “Despite clear evidence, guidelines, quality measures and more than 15 years of educational efforts stating that the antibiotic prescribing rate should be zero … physicians continue to prescribe expensive, broad-spectrum antibiotics.”
What Is The Solution?
If antibiotics aren’t the solution to ear infections, and we know that a healthy gut is VITAL to combating ear infections then let’s start with promoting gut health! We also know that the Vagus Nerve connects the brain to the gut, and is controlled by the nervous system. AHA! Another great place to start! Perhaps the solution lies within the nervous system and the gut!
7 Best Tips for Overcoming Ear Infections, and Keeping Kids Healthy!
- Chiropractic is always our #1 recommendation! “Chiropractors are trained in adjustments that can actually open up the Eustachian tube and allow it to drain properly. This relieves the pressure build up and the pain and allows the conditions that cause the infection to dissipate. Somewhat similar to draining a swamp and the mosquito epidemic disappears.” Getting their nervous systems checked for subluxation makes perfect sense since the nervous system controls the immune system, and every other function in the body, including the ears! It’s important to note that chiropractors do not treat any illness or disease, but rather restore the function of the nervous system, which controls function of every bodily system.
- Introduce a diet full of immune system boosters. Veggies cut into fun shapes can make them more fun to eat. Star shapes were the most kid friendly according to research. Studies show that when you place an Elmo sticker on the veggie, 50% more kids chose to eat the veggie. That’s easy enough!
- Eat fermented foods regularly! This is an excellent way to increase the gut’s beneficial bacteria to boost immune function. Ok, before you write me off, try Bubbies pickles and sauerkraut, So Delicious coconut yogurt, and GT’s kombucha. They are delicious! What is Kombucha, and why should I drink it? Check this out: 7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday
- Of course we recommend avoiding antibiotics unless there is a life threatening situation. Since most antibiotics are given for ear infections make sure you know if the infection is viral or bacterial. Antibiotics are useless against viruses, and a whopping 60-70% of ear and upper respiratory infections are viral. One physician says, “the only definitive method for determining the cause of the ear infection is to puncture the eardrum and culture the fluid, and in the U.S., most physicians treat with antibiotics instead of obtaining the culture.”
- Perform a lymph drainage massage at first sign of respiratory congestion. This is a an excellent way to restore comfort and function! Watch Dr. Opal teach you how!
- Diffuse essential oils like Eucalyptus, Thieves, or Breathe Again from Young Living in your child’s bedroom at night. Mix two tablespoons of coconut oil with essential oils and rub on the child’s chest after a warm bath just before bedtime. And remember, have the child sleep in an elevated position to increase drainage.
- Increase Supplements like probiotic, zinc, vitamin C, colostrum, elderberry syrup, and liquid vitamin D3. These can be used daily for proactive immune system support.