• Fluoride: Overexposure and the Dangers to Our Health.

    21 October 2015
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    Starting in the 1950s, hundreds of communities across the U.S. became embroiled in heated battles over whether fluorides—ionic compounds containing the element fluorine—should be added to their water systems. Activists stated that the risks of fluoridation were inadequately studied and that the practice amounted to compulsory medication and thus was a violation of civil liberties.

    When fluoride was first introduced to water in the 1940s as a means of preventing tooth decay, not a single dental product contained fluoride: no toothpastes, no fluoride mouth rinses, no fluoride varnishes, and no fluoride gels.  In the past 60 years, as one fluoride product after another entered the market, exposure to fluoride increased considerably, particularly among children.

    As you read through the research, you may decide to trash the fluoride-filled toothpaste in your bathroom (PLEASE lose your child’s fluoride toothpaste!), which I highly recommend.  But you probably don’t know that processed foods, pesticides, bottled teas, pharmaceuticals, Teflon pans, and mechanically deboned chicken all contain fluoride. DITCH THEM.  However, there is a bigger issue at hand: OUR WATER.

    Here we are in 2015 still fighting about fluoride.  Over the past 65 years, a lot has been discovered and brushed under the table pertaining to this chemical.  Since 2010, more than 75 US and Canadian communities have voted to end water fluoridation, and the issue is heating up as more and more people begin to demand water that does not expose them to this highly toxic industrial waste product.  The United States is one of the only developed countries that fluoridate their citizens’ drinking water.  Most countries fully realize that adding a known poison to your population’s water supply is probably not a good idea. In Europe, only Ireland (73%), Poland (1%), Serbia (3%), Spain (11%), and the U.K. (11%) fluoridate any of their water.  Most developed countries, including Japan and 97% of Western Europe, do not consume fluoridated water. More people drink fluoridated water in the US alone than in the rest of the world combined. About 70% of our public water supplies are fluoridated.  This equates to approximately 185 million people, which is over half of the number of people drinking artificially fluoridated water worldwide. http://www.fluoridealert.org/

    The FDA labels fluoride a drug, which has the purpose of preventing tooth decay. Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, decline in tooth decay has absolutely nothing to do with fluoride?  The decline has taken place worldwide, not just in areas with fluoridated water.

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    The National Academy of Science reviewed the safety of fluoridation and remains “unsettled,” but in 2006, a committee at the NAS published an exhaustive 500-page review of fluoride’s toxicity.  The report concludes that fluoride is an “endocrine disruptor” and can affect many things in the body, including the bones, the brain, the thyroid gland, the pineal gland, and even blood sugar levels.

    According to the National Research council (2006) fluoride has the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain, lower intellectual abilities, disrupt the endocrine system, effect thyroid function, increase the severity of diabetes, and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.  Further study needs to be done to rule out links to infertility and bladder cancer.  Studies also show that children in high-fluoride areas have significantly lower IQ scores than those who live in low-fluoride areas.  Not only are our children at risk for lower IQ levels, but studies have reported an association between fluoride exposure and impaired visual-spatial organization.  Other studies found association between prenatal fluoride exposure and fetal brain damage. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/

    Today, not only do 40% of American teenagers have fluorosis, but, in some fluoridated areas, the rate is as high as 70 to 80%, with some children suffering advanced forms of the condition. (http://fluoridealert.org/)

    Many people argue that fluoride is naturally occurring at high levels in our water. However, a lot of toxic substances (arsenic and lithium for example) occur naturally at high levels, but that does not mean they are safe.  Most people also assume that the fluoride artificially added to our water is added at the same level as (the toxic) natural occurring fluoride, but it is not.  The levels are far higher, and add to that the amount of polluted, contaminated water, we are in trouble. Fluoride is captured in air pollution control devices because fluoride gases are hazardous air pollutants that cause significant environmental harm. This captured fluoride acid is the most contaminated chemical added to public water supplies, and may impose additional risks to those presented by natural fluorides. These risks include a possible cancer hazard from the acid’s elevated arsenic content, and a possible neurotoxic hazard from the acid’s ability, under some conditions, to increase the erosion of lead from old pipes.

    Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50-60% of the fluoride ingested each day, but the remainder accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as the bones and pineal gland.  Infants and children excrete less fluoride from their kidneys and take up to 80% of ingested fluoride into their bones.  The fluoride concentration in bone steadily increases over a lifetime.

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 41% of American adolescents have dental fluorosis- a discoloring of tooth enamel caused by too much fluoride.

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    Breastfed vs. Formula-Fed Fluoride Exposure  Breastmilk has a remarkably low level of fluoride (0.004 ppm).  A formula-fed infant consuming fluoridated water can consume up to 300 times more fluoride than a breast fed baby (0.6-1.2 ppm).  There are no benefits, only risks, to ingesting fluoride.  Infants are already susceptible to environmental toxins, so consuming formula made with fluoridated water, we are placing them at extremely high risks.  These infants have the highest exposure to fluoride, by bodyweight, in the population.  The American Dental Association (ADA) distributed an alert in 2006 recommending parents be “advised that formula should be made with ‘low or no-fluoride water’.”  Unfortunately, the ADA has done little to get this information into the hands of parents.

    Aluminum + Fluoride = Alzheimer’s    Many municipal water supplies are treated with both alum (aluminum sulfate) and fluoride. These two chemicals combine with each other easily in the blood to form aluminum fluoride. Although elemental aluminum cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, some compounds such as aluminum fluoride do. Aluminum fluoride is very poorly excreted in the urine. It is poisonous to the kidneys. Aluminum salts in the brain lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.

    If you think you are escaping artificially added fluoride by consuming bottled water, think again.  The following companies “provide you with added fluoride” without so much as a warning on the bottle: (http://www.bottledwater.org/fluoride)

    ·         Alhambra
    ·         Arrowhead
    ·         Belmont Springs
    ·         Crystal Rock
    ·         Crystal Springs
    ·         Deer Park
    ·         Diamond Springs
    ·         Hinkley Springs
    ·         Ice Mountain
    ·         Kandiyohi
    ·         Kentwood Springs
    ·         Mayer Bros.
    ·         Mount Olympus
    ·         Nursery Water
    ·         Ozarka
    ·         Poland Spring
    ·         Pure Flo
    ·         Puritan Springs
    ·         Shenandoah
    ·         Sierra Springs
    ·         Sparkletts
    ·         Zephyrhills

    FLUORIDE and CANCER:  Fluoride has been to shown to thicken but weaken bones, and worse mutate normal genetic cells into cancer cells.  Some researchers believe that fluorine is a carcinogen.  The National Cancer Institute, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the Safe Water Foundation all found that the incidence of osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer) is substantially higher in young men exposed to fluoridated water as compared to those who are not.

    Because of everything the fluoride is linked to, it is estimated that 30,000 – 50,000 people die from fluoride poisoning each year. (http://fluoridealert.org/)

    What can you do?  Filter your drinking water with a well-made reverse osmosis filter system that  is able to remove over 90% of dissolved fluoride in drinking water.

    Side note:  The skin is our largest organ and absorbs what is put on it.  Showering, bathing, washing our hands, etc with our over-polluted, fluoridated water is allowing our skin to absorb the toxic drug.  Consider a filter for your showers and sinks as well as your drinking water.

    (I’ll take a second to love on our Berkey water filter now.)

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  • Fevers in Infants and Children

    24 September 2015
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    Before diving into the benefits and confusion of fevers, I will start with explaining a fever by age.  You see, a newborn, infant and baby’s temperature is not categorized as a fever at the same numerical reading as a grown adult, or even a child for that matter.

    Did you know that a temperature up to 100.4* is completely normally in an infant under 12 weeks of age? A child over 12 weeks, a toddler, even an adult has not reached a true fever until 104*.  Nothing under this (100.4*) for a newborn is even considered an elevated temperature.  According to the American Association of Pediatrics, the normal range of temperature for an infant is between 97-100.4*F.  It is important to remember that a fever is not a form of illness. In fact, a fever is typically brought on by the body fighting off an infection or as a result of an immunization. Because a fever is generally caused by fighting off an infection, this can even be taken as a good sign of a baby’s developing immune system!  With a healthy immune system, the fever should break within 48 hours.

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    When the immune system is weak, or fighting something, it is smart to start supplementing to strengthen it.  By adding extra vitamin D, probiotics, and including colloidal silver, you can boost the immune system and have it ready to head into battle.

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    Fevers show that the body is doing exactly what it is designed to do.  They are the body’s way of healing itself.  When the child’s body increases in core temperature, it is preparing to battle.  The temperature will rise to a level that is necessary to keep the invading virus or bacteria from growing or reproducing more.  The fever causes everything to slow down and allows the body a chance to build up antibodies to fight off the disease.  Treating the fever with medication reverses this situation and tricks the body into cooling down before it is ready. The fever also acts as a catalyst to speed up enzyme reactions and metabolism.  It is during this time that the body begins to repair tissue.  Allowing the fever to run its course is the easiest and smartest way to beat the invading illness.

    The best piece of advice you will get is to step away from the thermometer.  You will know when your baby is under the weather and feverish.  Unless that baby is so hot that your mama bear instincts are screaming at you to run to the ER, then knowing a specific number won’t do anything but cause you anxiety. (And have you rechecking that temperature every 10 minutes!)  Fevers are more frightening than harmful.  They are usually a sign that the body is fighting an infection of some kind.  According to www.askdrsears.com the top three reasons for a fever in an infant are:

    Viral Infection: The most common cause of fever in children.  Roseola, colds, flu, hand-foot-mouth disease, chicken pox, fifth disease, along with many other viruses cause fever.  Most viruses are not dangerous. They simply need to run their course over several days. They are not treatable with antibiotics.  They are contagious, though, and baby should be kept home until the virus has passed.

    Bacterial Infection: Ear infections, sinus infection, pneumonia, bladder infection, and strep throat are all bacterial infections that cause fever.  Antibiotics can be used (or homeopathy and other natural remedies), but a trip to the emergency room is not needed, call your pediatrician in the morning.

    Teething: A fever up to 101*F is common while teething.

    Fever is also a very common side effect of vaccines and should be treated as a vaccine injury if the fever causes a seizure, brain swelling, or any other illness.  (Directly from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm )

    Being skin-to-skin with baby in a lukewarm bath will assist in cooling baby off gradually and will prevent him from getting too cold too quickly. It is also encouraged to ensure your baby is drinking a lot of liquids and kept in a cool room, out of the sun. If you are breastfeeding, nurse him around the clock.  Breastmilk has antibodies in it created specifically for your child and the environment you are currently in.  (www.kellymom.com )

    If your child is old enough to consume food, is no longer nursing, and is showing signs of illness, most people will recommend you supplement with pedialyte.  Before you go grabbing the sugar, preservative, and dye-filled drink, think about making a homemade version instead.

    Homemade Pedialyte Recipe: (Source: 100 Days of Real Food)

    Mix together:

    • 1 quart water
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Note: If you fear your child will think this drink is too plain consider adding in a couple splashes of orange Juice. Also, the sugar and salt may dissolve more easily if you warm up the water first.

    The main reason to treat your child’s fever is to make him feel better.  When he is achy, fussy, crying, not sleeping, or slightly lethargic, you may want to try a handful of natural methods of lowering the temperature to help with his comfort level.  Just remember that you are treating a symptom and not the illness by lowering the temperature.   Another note worth mentioning, a fever does not always present itself as a hot forehead, a fever can show as lethargy, overly thirsty, a poor appetite, poor sleeping, or a seizure.

    Ways to help: (www.askdrsears.com )

    • Skin-to-skin, kangaroo care keeping baby chest to chest with you to help regulate body heat
    • Rest: Do NOT wake your child up. Rest is best!
    • Give your child plenty to drink to prevent dehydration (not enough fluid in the body) and help the body cool itself. Water, clear soups, and popsicles are. If your child isn’t getting enough fluids, don’t force him to eat if he doesn’t feel like it. (Breastfeed around the clock if possible.)
    • Keep your child quiet. Moving around can raise the temperature even more.
    • Keep the room temperature between 70°F to 74°F.
    • Dress your child in light cotton pajamas so that body heat can escape.
      Don’t over bundle your child. Overdressing can trap body heat and cause your child’s temperature to rise.
    • If your child is chilled, put on an extra blanket but remove it when the chills stop

    A fever is the body’s way of testing the immune system.  Regular chiropractic care keeps the immune system ready to fight. A study showed the effects of specific upper cervical adjustments increasing healthy cell counts. Along with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, chiropractic care adds to the building blocks of a strong immune system.  (http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/FULL/Kent_Model_of_Subluxation.pdf)

    Most pediatricians recommend to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help reduce fever.  Here is the APA stance of alternating therapies:

     

    “…questions remain regarding the safety of this practice as well as the effectiveness in improving discomfort, which is the primary treatment end point. The possibility that parents will either not receive or not understand dosing instructions, combined with the wide array of formulations that contain these drugs, increases the potential for inaccurate dosing or overdosing.  ”

    So, it is best to let the fever ride out and don’t panic it’s just a fever.

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    Contrary to everyone’s belief, taking the temperature rectally is quite controversial should not be done at home. A thermometer must be inserted at least 5 cm to obtain a stable core temp. This insertion temp risks perforating the rectum and can possibly end in death. Perhaps, leave this for the extremely rare instances in the hospital when the absolute most accurate reading is needed.   (http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/nixrectl.html )

    Above all, trust your gut instincts.  If you truly feel that your child is seriously ill, contact your doctor or head to the emergency room.  You have every right to call your pediatrician and ask questions to calm your anxiety and have your questions answered.

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  • Practical Tips for Flu Prevention

    strong immune systemIn light of the news that this year’s flu shot is, at best, 23% effective (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/flu-vaccine-working-23-percent-effective-28249610), many people are wondering what they can do to help protect themselves and their family from the flu.  In fact, there are a lot of lifestyle changes that you can make in order to help keep your family healthy during what we have been calling ‘the sick season.’  In addition to influenza, norovirus (what most people refer to as a ‘stomach bug’ or ‘stomach flu,’ that includes vomiting, diarrhea, and fever), and rhinovirus (the common cold), all run rampant this time of year.  Many of the tactics that you can use to prevent the flu will also prevent the spread of other common contagious illnesses.

    First and foremost, practice proper hand washing!  Check out this awesome poster from the World Health Organization.  You can print it out and hang it in your bathroom for your kids: http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/How_To_HandWash_Poster.pdf. One of the best best strategies that you can implement to help prevent the spread of illness, is have everyone take off their shoes and jackets, and WASH HANDS as soon as you get home.  From anywhere!  When you get home from school, the drugstore, the mall, the grocery store, a friend’s house, your mom’s house, anywhere.  Every time you walk in the door make it a habit to wash your hands.  If you are running multiple errands, or will be in a location where soap and water is not readily available, it is a good idea to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but keep in mind this does not kill norovirus, clostridium difficile bacteria, or many strains of the flu virus.  Experts have said that hand sanitizer is more effective at preventing germ proliferation, rather than at killing it off, so it’s important to use soap and water whenever it’s available, and not to rely on hand sanitizers.

    In addition to hand washing, when you are out and about, it’s important to try not to touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth!  This is more difficult than people realize.  It’s habit to rub our eyes when we are tired, scratch our nose, or eat something with our hands.  Spend any time with children, and you will notice how often they have their hands in their mouths, and fingers in their nose!  That’s one of the best ways to spread germs, so talk to your kids about keeping their hands away from their face.  This will be almost impossible for them!  But it’s still important to try, and it’s never too late to begin instilling good hygiene habits in our children.

    Typically, the influenza virus is considered a “droplet transmission” virus, which means you must come into contact with the secretions of someone who is infected.  Some strains have been known to be “airborne,” which means the microscopic droplets can stay suspended in the air for some time and you can become infected by breathing them in.  For this reason, if you are going to be in contact with someone with the flu, or if you MUST go out in public when you have the flu, it is prudent to wear a respiratory mask.  These are available at any drugstore.  While you might feel silly wearing it, it’s better than getting the flu or spreading it to someone else!  Alternatively, you could wear a Scough and pretend you are covering your face because you’re cold! http://wearascough.com

    Getting regular chiropractic adjustments can help keep you and your family in optimal health.  In order for our immune systems to function appropriately, our body and brain need to be able to send effective messages to each other!  These messages are sent up and down our spinal cord (in a complex process I won’t bore you with here), and a simple adjustment can make all of the difference if some of those pathways are blocked.  Chiropractic adjustments can be especially helpful for children who have frequent sinus and ear infections as the adjustments help to keep those areas open for drainage.

    Vitamin D deficiency is almost epidemic in this country, especially during the winter months when we are exposed to very little sunshine.  However, vitamin D is crucial for proper immune function and many other functions in the body. In order for our bodies to make adequate vitamin D, we need to have adequate levels of cholesterol in our bodies, and at least 15 minutes of face and arm exposure to sunlight per day.  Clearly no one one in the Northeastern United States is getting that amount of exposure during the icy cold winter months.  A high quality vitamin D supplement can help fill in the gaps until we can all lay out in the sunshine during the warmer months.  We like Bluebonnet brand, Xymogen, and Nordic Naturals, but you can ask your chiropractor or naturopath which supplement brand they recommend.  It is especially important for breastfeeding mothers to make sure that they are not vitamin D deficient.  Many pediatricians mistakenly claim that breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D and that babies need supplementation, but this is only true if the mother is deficient.  Some breastfeeding mothers need as much as 5,000-10,000 IU supplementation in order to have enough vitamin D for themselves and their nursing baby.  Your chiropractor or other health practitioner can order a blood test so that you know what your vitamin D levels are.

    It is very important to maintain the healthiest diet possible when trying to prevent the flu and other illnesses.  By now, most of us know how damaging excess sugar can be to the immune system, so it’s especially important to keep the sugar down during outbreaks of illness!  We know how hard it is to maintain a healthy diet when fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t as available and when all you want to do is curl up with some hot comfort food.  Nourishing soups that contain a lot of garlic, onions, and ginger will help fight the flu and other illnesses.  Bone broth is a wonderful addition to everyone’s diet, see our favorite recipe here: http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/ Organic oatmeal with grass-fed butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup is a delicious and nourishing way to start the day.  Pastured eggs have plenty of protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D.  Don’t forget to eat the yolk!  That’s where the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats are.  Snack on organic almonds and walnuts, organic dried fruit and seeds, and grass-fed cheeses.  If you must have something sweet (as we all must sometimes), you can make your own organic low-sugar hot chocolate.  Organic, fair-trade pure cocoa powder, plus the milk or milk alternative of your choice, and just a couple teaspoons of organic cane sugar will satisfy your sweet tooth.

    Remember also, that the majority of your immune system resides in your gut.  There are certain food additives and over-the-counter medications that are known to harm the beneficial bacteria inside your large intestine that protect you from infection.  NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can damage gut flora when taken in excess or over long periods of time.  Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) have been known to kill off beneficial bacteria. Always read labels of all over-the-counter medications as many contain sucralose or aspartame.  Pedialyte, often given to children for dehydration during illness, contains sucralose, which is almost guaranteed to make your child feel worse.  Check out this blog for an all-natural rehydration drink for kids: http://dontmesswithmama.com/homemade-citrus-electrolyte-drink/

    If you or your family members do happen to come down with the flu, in the absence of other serious medical conditions, it is usually a self-limiting illness.  It is important to stay at home, preferably in bed, and to REST, when you are ill!  Our culture encourages pushing yourself to the limit, but it’s important to STAY HOME when you are sick in order to prevent passing the illness along to others.  Plenty of rest also results in a quicker recovery.  Keep hydrated and eat nourishing meals such as bone broth.  For kids without an appetite, I make a delicious, immune boosting rice dish that I have put on my birth blog here: https://birthinfullbloom.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/immune-boosting-rice-dish-for-sick-little-ones/

    Stay hydrated with coconut water, electrolyte drinks, organic juices, and tea.  Organic Lemon Balm tea is both antiviral and delicious!  Even kids like it, sweetened with a little raw honey (honey is not recommended for babies under 1 year of age).  Breastfeeding babies and kids are much less likely to come down with the flu, but if they do, it is important to nurse frequently for hydration, calories, and immune boosting effects.  If you are nursing a baby and your older child comes down with the flu, pumping breast milk and giving it to your older child in a cup can help them benefit from the antibodies it contains.  We have yet to read a convincing study indicating that Tamiflu is indicated for treatment of the diagnosed flu, but this is something you must discuss with your healthcare provider.

    There are many herbal remedies that are safe for treating common illnesses at home.  These include Echinacea and Elderberry, the two most common, Lomatium, Olive Leaf Extract, and others, but as herbal remedies are out of the scope of this blog post, we suggest directly contacting an herbalist or naturopath for dosing recommendations.  As always, boosting probiotics and vitamin C will help almost any illness.  Note that too much of either can cause loose stools in both adults and children.  If this does happen, remember that is normal (and often indicates you have just passed the therapeutic dose), and simply discontinue or back off the dosage.

    There are so many ways that you can help protect your family from the flu this season, and not all have been listed here.  If you have any questions about the information you’ve read here, please contact us at peaandthepodchiropractic.com or 302-368-0800.

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  • Chiropractic Care Can Help and Prevent Pediatric Ear Infections

    Many children in the United States suffer from recurring middle ear infections, known as Otitis Media.

    In fact, 3 out of 4 children will experience at least one ear infection by the time that they are 3 years old.

    Ear infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or be the result of allergies, and include symptoms such as severe pain, fever, and irritability. The most common conventional treatment is antibiotics, but these will only work for bacterial infections (many ear infections are actually viral infections), and often don’t resolve the und10720886_10203030691383605_1006833486_nerlying condition. The result is then more recurring ear infections and subsequent antibiotic prescriptions. This in turn can create antibiotic resistance, persistent gastrointestinal distress for the child, and a myriad of other problems. Recurring ear infections can even temporarily or permanently damage your child’s hearing, also resulting in speech delays. For this reason, prevention and treatment of the underlying condition is of utmost importance.

    One of the causes of persistent ear infections is actually allergies, both seasonal and allergies to certain foods. Allergies create an accumulation of fluid in various compartments of the body, including the middle ear. This fluid accumulation provides a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. These organisms cannot grow well without the fluid. Eliminating the causes of fluid build-up, by both reducing allergen exposure and receiving chiropractic adjustments to relieve compression around the ear, can reduce the frequency of ear infections.

    Ear infections also occur after a child’s immune system has been lowered for any reason. A child’s Eustachian Tube is short, narrow, and horizontal. Because of this, bacteria and viruses (from a common cold for example) can easily make their way to the middle ear. If there is also misalignment of the structures around the ear, the microbes build up and grow even more. There is new research that the overuse of antibiotics and vaccines given early in life can contribute to recurring ear infections. As Dr. Brenda Trudell of New Beginnings Chiropractic explains, “Antibiotics given early in life, or with the first ear infection may alter infants’ immune systems in such a way that they are unable to fight off infections on their own. Some vaccines are known to lower immunity for a period of time, which can make an infant more susceptible to viral or bacterial infections. And six childhood vaccines, including Hib, have “Otitis Media” listed as a common adverse reaction, meaning the vaccine itself is a known cause of ear infections. With vaccines given at birth, 2,4,6 and12 months, it may be a reason why 62% of children are diagnosed under the age of one. A large study in New Zealand showed that vaccinated children were 3 times as likely to get OM than unvaccinated children” (http://newbeginningschiropractic.net/chiropractic-approach-to-childhood-ear-infections/) For this reason, she recommends that children who are showing any signs of illness or fever, NOT be vaccinated at that time. If their immune system is busy fighting off something else they will be more susceptible to a vaccine-induced ear infection.

    Childhood ear infections can also be caused by trauma at birth and in this case it is especially important to visit your chiropractor. Infants born via C-section, forceps, or vacuum, are at a much higher risk of spinal and cranial injury and should be seen soon after birth by a chiropractor who specializes in Pediatrics. Babies who are born via C-section and thus were not exposed to the beneficial bacteria of their mother’s vagina are at an even greater risk of developing recurring ear infections.
    One natural treatment for ear infections it to put drops of organic garlic infused olive oil or breastmilk in the ear (not to be used if a rupture is present). Supplementing your child with 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D (supplement yourself with 5,000 IU if you are breastfeeding a baby or child), up to 250 mg of vitamin C, and a high quality probiotic will also help their overall health. Exclusively breastfed infants also have much lower rates of ear infections. Most importantly though, if you are planning on treating your child’s ear infections naturally, it’s imperative to clear the fluid out of the ear and open up the space where the bacteria or virus is growing. Otherwise any treatment is going to be short-lived at best. The conventional medical treatment of this scenario is to insert tubes in the child’s ears. Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the ear drum (tympanic membrane) to allow air into the middle ear. The insertion of ear tubes is currently the most common childhood surgery requiring general anesthesia. Both general anesthesia and antibiotics are serious medical interventions that are not without risks. Chiropractic adjustments of the neck and skull have been recommended by many doctors, including Dr. Sears, to aid in the treatment and prevention of ear infections in children, and these adjustments may prevent the need for tubes. Dr. Joan Fallon DC, describes her treatment of ear infections in an article for the American Chiropractic Association.

    Before yet another round of “maybe-they’ll-work-and-maybe-they-won’t” antibiotics or the drastic step of surgery, more parents are considering chiropractic to help children with chronic ear infections. Dr. Joan Fallon has published research showing that, after receiving a series of chiropractic adjustments, nearly 80 percent of the children treated were free of ear infections for at least the six-month period following their initial visits (a period that also included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks). “Chiropractic mobilizes drainage of the ear in children, and if they can continue to drain without a buildup of fluid and subsequent infection, they build up their own antibodies and recover more quickly,” explains Dr. Fallon. She’d like to see her pilot study used as a basis for larger-scale trials of chiropractic as a therapeutic modality for otitis media. (http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=69)

    Chiropractic adjustments for ear infections usually involve the bones of the neck, skull, jaw, and cervical spine. Correcting the alignment of the small bones in the head and neck allow fluid to properly move and drain. As Dr. Trudell explains, “Chiropractic adjustments remove interference within the nervous system by correcting misalignments in the spinal column, jaw and possibly cranial bones, without the use of drugs or surgery. Correcting misalignments also reduces muscle tension, decreases inflammation, increases mobility, and establishes proper blood flow and lymph drainage, all of which can affect the function of the middle ear and Eustachian tube.” These adjustments are very gentle and nothing to fear! Relief can even begin as early as the first treatment.

    If your child is suffering from recurrent ear infections, come and see us at Pea and the Pod! There are many factors that impact recurring ear infections and Dr. Brenda can help you find which health and lifestyle changes will help your family. We also are proud to now have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant on staff, Mona Liza Hamlin. Exclusively breastfed babies have lower rates of ear infections and if you need help with nursing your little one please give us a call!

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