Ear Infections: Do you really need that antibiotic?
For the first three years of my oldest daughter’s life, I raised her the standard American way: We get sick, we go to the doctor, we get a prescription, we feel better, and we repeat. She used to get a lot of ear infections. As soon as she would finish one antibiotic, it seemed like she’d be sick again and we’d be back at the doctor’s office.
During one streak, she had nine antibiotics in nine months. Why didn’t that doctor tell me this wasn’t necessary? I am assuming it’s because he didn’t know any better either. I wish he would have said, “Your body can heal itself, by itself, given the proper care.” But instead I shoved this medicine down my child’s throat only to compromise her gut microbiome and enlarge her tonsils.
When I thought my two-year-old had had enough of the medications, I agreed to let an ENT give her tubes, not once, but twice. Then it was suggested that I get her tonsils out because of how large they were. I scheduled the surgery, but the day before something inside me said, “Two surgeries before the age of three is plenty. Let’s wait and see if she gets better on her own.” Thankfully I listened to that inner voice and I canceled the surgery. Shortly after, I started learning about functional medicine, how to heal through nutrition, and the truth about what antibiotics do to the immune system when they aren’t necessary. I took most gluten and dairy out of my entire family’s diet, and my daughter hasn’t had an ear infection since.
According to Dr. Axe, “In general for almost everybody out there, if your child is getting ear infections, it might be time to give up gluten and get off conventional cow’s milk.
“If you go to your primary care physician and that doctor recommends an antibiotic for an ear infection, I would really consider if you should use that doctor or not. That’s because the doctor really probably doesn’t know what he’s doing, unfortunately, because most ear infections are viral. Plus, we know that antibiotics can cause allergies in children, so you definitely want to find an alternative treatment.”
Two less-invasive ways of treating ear infections, which I found worked for my daughters, are chiropractic care and garlic oil. If you want to make your own garlic oil, I have included a link to my recipe here: https://teattotable.net/natural-remedy-for-ear-infections/
Now I am on a mission to heal my daughter’s gut. My hope is that we will be able to avoid the most common outcomes for overuse of antibiotics: allergies, food sensitivities, mood disorders or worse.
As parents, we are always trying to do what is right for our kids. I have to remind myself at times that I shouldn’t feel guilty about the decisions I made. My husband and I thought we were doing the right thing. The best I can do is learn from what happened, move forward, and as a health coach, share the message with others. I know that in time, with probiotics, proper nutrition, detoxing and patience, we will turn her gut health around.
If you want to learn more about feeding your family nutritious food and improving their gut health, contact me for a free health consultation at Mandala Integrative Medicine.
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Health Coach and Senior Operations Manager, Mandala Integrative Medicine
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