I’m finding more and more that parents of young children are opting for chiropractic care as a solution to ear infections. For years now, parents are seeing the evidence-based research on antibiotics that has shown that not only are antibiotics ineffective at treating ear infections but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in the future, not to mention lots of nasty side effects and trouble with their child’s gut and immune health. To understand how we as chiropractors help assist the body in healing from ear infections without the nasty side-effects, please read the article below and be sure to share this with other parents looking for answers to their child’s chronic ear trouble.
If you are thinking about having children in the near future or currently have children or grandchildren please read this article. I just became a parent and this information now resonates with me more than ever. It is up to us as parents to make the changes and instill the TRUE meaning of health in our children. Myself and the other chiropractors in our clinic are trained in pediatrics and we strive to teach families how to be healthy every day. It starts with YOU! Below you will see a list of the info that we discuss with our parents in the office every day.
An Inconvenient Truth Regarding Children’s Health
February 19, 2016 · by Pathways · in Children’s Health and Wellness
By Maureen McDonnell, BS, RN
As a holistic, pediatric registered nurse for more than 35 years, I feel the crisis we now face regarding our children’s health is no longer just a medical one to be kept from the public, but rather it is a moral challenge facing our society that we all must become aware of. My intention is not to cause anguish and despair, but rather to spur awareness and action (especially by moms) to bring about positive change. The emphasis of this article, is on hope with a focus on effective solutions.
Ready or not, here are the current stats:
54% of the children in this country have one or more chronic illness.
There has been a 300% increase in Asthma in the last 30 years (6.7 million kids are affected)
12 million of our kids have Type 2 Diabetes (this is a lifestyle and diet related illness, not genetic)
Obesity rates have tripled in children in the last 30 years (17% of children between ages 2 and 19 are either very overweight or obese)
3 million kids suffer from allergies
The CDC reports: 1 in 6 children have either a neurological, developmental or behavioral disorder
1 in 6 children in public schools now receive special education
ADHD affects 5 million children
1 in 7 school aged children receive antipsychotic medication
The Autism rate which was 1 in 5,000 30 years ago, is now according to recently released numbers from the CDC,1 in 45… and yes, you read that number correctly…1 in 45!
And finally, the Infant Mortality rate of a country is one of the most important indicators of its health as a nation. It is the number of deaths of infants under the age of one year old per 1000 live births. Currently, according to the CDC, the US has a higher infant mortality rate than 27 other countries. Despite the fact that we spend more on healthcare by far than any other country in the world, a baby born in the US today is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia
This “new normal” is not normal!
Frankly, I’m embarrassed! As you can see, kids today have more chronic illnesses than ever before, and as a society we should refuse to accept those statistics as normal! Thankfully, children are no longer dying at a young age from infections (as they did prior to our collective understanding that contaminated water supplies, exposure to sewage, malnourishment and poor hygiene practices made them more susceptible to infections.) Additionally, the advent of antibiotics in the 1950s and the introduction of vaccines (which, at least in theory, help them resist infection) all contributed to longer survival rates and healthier children.
But now, it seems we have traded one problem for another and currently we have a different breed of children’s health problems to contend with. Having this many children affected by asthma, allergies, Autism, ADHD, Type 2 Diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, and learning and behavior problems is not normal, and it is not acceptable! The argument that all these conditions were always there in the numbers we are seeing today and that we just became better at recognizing and diagnosing them is a fallacy. Ask any well-trained pediatrician or school nurse or teacher who was working 30 years ago how many kids were unable to focus or required special education or stood outside the nurse’s office at lunch to receive their medication for hyperactivity or bi-polar disorder. Our schools and our society at large are struggling to deal with all the children who are handicapped by these physical, behavioral and developmental issues and require special services.
Why moms? Why Now?
Across the country and across the globe, mothers are beginning to speak out and share their concerns about how sick their kids are. These conversations combined with the natural wisdom mothers possess as to what is best for their children has led to an unearthing of solutions, very smart solutions!
Mothers—not medically trained nurses, doctors or researchers—hold the key to unlocking the answers as to why this tsunami of sick kids has hit. And more importantly, since mothers carry, care for (and most often are the ones to shop and cook for) their kids, they hold the power for preventing and treating these conditions.
Here are a few solutions as to What Moms Can Do Now
Become informed. Although your pediatrician is an important member of your child’s health team, don’t abdicate total responsibility for the health of your child. Do your research and find effective, safe and natural ways to prevent and treat various conditions and then discuss them with your child’s medical doctor, chiropractic physician, nutritionist, and other integrative practitioners.
It was no slouch or ill-informed, self-proclaimed healer who said “Let food by thy medicine”. That came from Hippocrates, the father of medicine and one of the wisest men who ever lived. So take the Hippocratic Oath as a mom…When your child is showing early signs of a cold or infection, before heading to the pharmacy, make a pot of homemade soup with tons of organic vegetables, an organic protein source, parsley, garlic and other herbs. Get that juicer out from the back kitchen cabinet or head on out and buy yourself an affordable Nutri-bullet and start whizzing up some organic vegetable juice (carrot, green apple, spinach with a touch of fresh lemon is a good place to start). Familiarize yourself with healing herbs such as Echinacea and Astragalis. These and many other natural remedies will support the body’s immune system and its innate ability to heal. Medical treatment of course may be necessary, but continue to support the body nutritionally.
And speaking of your child’s immune system… try not to reduce the very complex subject of vaccines to a simplistic “for or against” opinion. Trust me, after 38 years as a pediatric registered nurse, I can tell you there are many ways to enhance your child’s immunity (that do not get the same well-funded air time) including whole, organic, non GMO food, herbs, nutrients, probiotics, juicing etc. Do your research into this topic. Although the concept of vaccinating makes sense (who wouldn’t want to protect their children against infections?), the effectiveness of many vaccines is questionable. Add to that issue thetoxic ingredients they contain such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol, aluminum, aborted fetal tissue, mercury, polysorbate 80 etc. which are injected directly into your child’s blood during the most vulnerable stages of their development. Any thinking person would have to agree, this is a practice that is outdated, outmoded and needs (at the very least) to be reexamined and revamped. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC.org) or Safeminds.org both will provide you with eye opening material to help you make informed decisions regarding the 36-45 vaccines that are currently being recommended for our children before the age of 5.
If your child is super picky (and most kids are), the pickiness can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies (especially in the all-important mineral Zinc). Start with a good comprehensive multi vitamin designed for kids, but if after a few weeks, their repertoire of foods does not expand (and they have white horizontal lines on their fingernails, indicating a Zinc deficiency), consider adding additional Zinc. Start with 5mg and gradually increase to 20 or 30mg per day. Stay within the recommended dosage parameters unless you consult a nutritionally savvy practitioner.
Replace soda and juice with lots of pure water or water with a splash of juice. Add a little seltzer or Perrier for fizz. Keep your kids hydrated throughout the day by giving them at least 6-8 glasses of filtered water.
Balance their blood sugar levels. If a child has difficulty focusing, their moods are unstable, they get irritable or anxious, or they have periods when they feel weak and tired, try giving them a protein source every 3-4 hours. Don’t overdo it, but hardboiled eggs, rolled up turkey slices, a handful of organic nuts, a protein based smoothie or a protein pop will do wonders for stabilizing their mood, energy, focus and overall health. For snacks: instead of sweets or fruit, try some organic humus, organic almond butter (if your kids don’t have a nut allergy) and chop up some veggies for dipping. Make some fresh organic chicken, turkey, beef and veggie based stews and soups and freeze them for meals during the week.
Gut health: Improve the health of the gut by reducing sugar and by giving your kids (and yourself) a high quality probiotic. Additionally, Google “fermented foods” and start making your own homemade sauerkraut (which is teaming with good “friendly” probiotic bacteria that bumps out the bad organisms which in turn strengthens the immune system.) Remember 80% of the immune system is headquartered in the gut. So if your child is dealing with an immune dysfunction (recurrent infections, autoimmune illness like rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, allergies, etc.), start by healing the gut. Oh and by the way, the brain neurotransmitter that is responsible for keeping us in a good mood, reducing anxiety and depression and helping us focus (called Serotonin) is also manufactured in the gut. So, if you or your child has any of these conditions, working on healing the gut with a healthy, organic, non-inflammatory diet, probiotics and vegetable juicing is a very wise strategy indeed. It is often said in the holistic, integrative world of medicine “heal the gut, heal the child!” If your child does have to take an antibiotic, be sure to give a probiotic (not at the exact time of the antibiotic, but throughout the course of treatment and well afterwards) and continue to support the body nutritionally.
Give it time mom…
Transformation does not happen overnight. Unlike medications that tend to mask symptoms and generate more immediate results, dietary changes, supplements, herbs, juicing etc. can take some time to produce results. However, from my experience with my own children, as well as having guided and advised many moms over the past 4 decades who deal with underlying causes, these time-tested natural approaches are effective in bringing about long-lasting improvements and often resolution of the various conditions plaguing our children today.
Our country has been heavily influenced by the quick fix, magic bullet approach to health and has only recently awakened or rediscovered many of these natural healing approaches. So, reversing the illness trends in our kids is going to take some time. Give yourself that time to learn, and hang out with like-minded moms who also want to investigate the underlying causes of these disorders and not just treat the symptoms. Research, read, and watch enlightening documentaries such as “Bought”, “Trace Amounts”, “Forks over Knives”, “Cowspiracy”, “The Autism Summit” and “Supersize Me”. Google the GAPS Diet, vegetable juicing, etc.
Just as the movie “The Inconvenient Truth” spurred a revolution in thoughts and actions about our environment, I am seeing a movement develop of moms reconnected to their own instinctive wisdom and empowered with the knowledge of natural healing. Not surprisingly, this movement is leading to the restoration of health and well being in many of our children!
Maureen McDonnell has been a holistic, nutritionally-oriented RN for 38 years. She is the health editor of WNC Woman Magazine, the former national coordinator of the Defeat Autism Now! Conferences and the co-founder of Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet (SOKHOP.com). Maureen lectures widely on the role the environment and nutrition play in women and children’s health. She has 8 grandkids, is an Executive Area Manager with Arbonne International and lives in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina
– See more at: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/an-inconvenient-truth-regarding-childrens-health/#sthash.EeEJgn0X.dpuf
“Our daughter Andrea had multiple ear infections before she was a year old. Our doctor finally said our only option is to have the tubes surgically in place to help her ears drain. We were so relieved because we thought this would solve all our problems. Unfortunately, this did not solve our problems. The ear infections started up again about a month after the surgery. We brought Andrea in to see Dr. Keough on a recommendation of a friend thinking this was our last hope. Since Andrea’s 6th chiropractic adjustment she has been ear infection free! She is now a healthy 4 year old who hardly ever is sick.” Amy
“After our son was born he had a difficult time nursing and was constantly spitting up, fussy and unhappy. Our doctor said it was a bad case of acid reflux. It was a very difficult time for my husband and I. Taking advice from a friend we brought him in to be adjusted at 3 weeks old and what happened after that was a miracle. After a few treatments he began to nurse and thrive. He is now a happy, healthy baby and we bring him to see Dr. Keough monthly to have his spine checked for any interference. We are so grateful to have found a health care professional that addressed the cause of symptoms without just wanting to cover up the symptoms. Thank you! ” Sandy
I came to Dr. Felicity in my third trimester worried about my son being in the breech presentation. Not to mention I had SEVERE low back pain. Within 3 treatments, coming twice a week my son had turned and was no longer breech. My back pain also became much better. She really saved me throughout my pregnancy.” ~Ashlee M.
What happens during the birthing process can be traumatic to an infant’s delicate neck and spine. Additionally, as children grow and develop they accumulate “micro-trauma’s” in their spine. For example, falling or bumping their head while a child learns how to walk causes spinal distress. Chiropractic assists in removing the accumulated micro-trauma from their spine so children can continue to grow and develop free from spinal distress which can ultimately affect them later in life.
Chiropractor Felicity Keough explains the why chiropractic treatments are necessary to start at birth.
Why antibiotics shouldn’t be the first line of defense for simple ear infections
Ear infections are quite common in our little ones; ear pain, crying, fevers are the usual precursor of a cold or other respiratory infection.
Childhood ear infections most commonly infect the middle ear, called otitis media. This causes swelling in the middle ear and into the Eustachian tubes (tubes from the ear that drain fluids into the throat). When fluid is unable to drain properly out of the ears it creates an ideal environment for bacteria and viruses to flourish. Sometimes, the fluid builds up enough to cause the eardrum to burst, which will then allow the eardrum to burst and dispel fluids.
Why does this seem to happen to so many children?
Children’s Eustacian tubes are shorter and more horizontal than that of adults. Not to mention, they have less mature immune systems than grownups with make them more susceptible to infections. According to the Pediatrics 2003;111:e574-9 by the age of seven, 93% of children will have at least one bout of otitis media, making it the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician.
When your child suffers from an ear infection it can be painful for both children AND parents. However, it is usually a minor illness. If your child suffers from chronic, re-occurring ear infections that is a greater concern because it may impact hearing and speech development.
Are Ear Infections caused by Viruses or Bacteria?
Viruses! Not bacteria. Did you guess right? That means most ear infections are not affected by antibiotics. Before considering prescribed antibiotics ask your doctor to test of the condition is viral or bacterial. Many health experts now agree that most mild or moderate ear infections clear up on their own with “the wait and see approach.” This will avoid overuse of antibiotics which can lead to the development on bacteria that become drug resistant. The job of antibiotics is to kill off ALL the bacteria in the digestive tract which includes both good and bad bacteria.
How can Chiropractic Care help Ear Infections?
Unfortunately, birth can be a traumatic experience and as a result children can acquire misalignments of the spine (Subluxations). Mild chiropractic adjustments to a baby’s the neck and the base of the head are very effective in correcting these spinal dysfunctions attained during the birthing process. Chiropractic can impact the child by allowing their nerves and muscle to function optimally. When the spine is functioning to its optimum capacity fluid drains from the ears easily. This makes a significant difference for children suffering from ear infections.
A child’s spine is very unique in that it is mostly made up of cartilage and membrane. This makes infants and children very responsive to gentle chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic is safe and effective for all ages!
Many of the patients that are parents choose chiropractic care for their children because it assists in maintaining optimum health. With regular spinal adjustments, good nutritional advice and other natural remedies children are less likely to need drug intervention which is what parents want!
Healthy Eating and Supplementation to Prevent Ear infections
In addition to chiropractic care there are natural options that assist with preventing and overcoming ear infections which can be purchased at your local health food store or your natural health care practitioner.
Supplements to add to your children’s diet:
• Naturopathic Ear Drops
• Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
• Garlic Extract
Limit or remove from your child’s diet:
• Refined grains (packaged and processed cookies, pop-tarts, crackers, chips, breads etc)
• Cow’s Milk and Cheese(other options include raw, grass-fed goats milk in moderation, rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk)
• Refined sugars ; candy, concentrated fruit juices, soda
**If you have pets it critical to have your child tested for allergies, for they may be experiencing allergic reactions to your pets**
Healthy dietary options to add to your child’s diet:
• Give them have un-limited access to vegetable and fruits (cut up and prepare lots carrot sticks, celery, tomatoes, avocado, berries, apples slices, pears, melon, raisins, etc) keep them in the refrigerator for easy access
• Prepare lean meats for lunch and diner (preferable grass-fed beef, free ranging chickens, wild salmon)
• Eggs from free ranging chickens (scrambled, over easy sunny side up or a big veggie omelet)
• Healthy oils essential for development (olive, flax and coconut oils have many health benefits)
• Healthy whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millet
• Healthful sweeteners in moderation such as un-processed honey, maple syrup, molasses and stevia
• LOTS and LOTS or pure water
It is SO important for parents to teach their children to incorporate healthy eating habits when they are young, the habits they learn at a young age will impact the rest of their life! A healthy diet full of nutrients from fresh foods and supplementation leads to a healthy immunity and will give your child the defenses to better fight off infections.