By: SONA PARMAR MUKHERJEE
Q: my son is six, and suffers from repeated infections of his adenoids.
He’s already had his tonsils removed, and I thought this would bring an end to the problem, but it has not. Is there anything else we can do? I don’t want him to have another surgery.
A: The adenoids are glands found at the back of the nose. Along with tonsils, they form an important part of a young child’s immune system – they filter out bacteria and viruses entering through the nose, and produce antibodies to help the body fight infection. From when your child is born to about four years, the adenoids grow and then become progressively smaller, almost disappearing completely by adulthood.
So what’s the problem? Well, in some children, the adenoids become enlarged, restricting breathing through the nose. As well as leading to snoring, there’s also an increased risk of glue ear (a condition caused by the accumulation of fluid within the ear) and ear infections. Because of these problems, an adenoidectomy is usually recommended.
What if there was a way to relieve the glue ear and ear infections without surgery? In nutritional medicine, both of these conditions are related to food sensitivity. In fact, in one study of children with recurrent ear infections, 78 per cent tested positive to food sensitivity.
What’s more, eliminating the offending foods led to a significant improvement in 86 per cent of the children.
So how do you know, without an expensive allergy test, which food your son is sensitivity to? It appears that by far, the most common food trigger is dairy produce: everything from milk and yoghurt to cheese and ice-cream.
Not only are these foods renowned for their ability to stimulate mucus formation in and around the ears, but when a child has a sensitivity, dairy produce also makes them more likely to suffer from frequent colds and a blocked and/or runny nose.
Another rather interesting way to figure out whether your son has an issue with dairy produce, is to see how much he likes it. As I’ve seen at my clinic, those who are exceptionally keen on milk or yoghurt are much more likely to have a problem with it. Children, like adults, often crave the foods they’re most sensitive too.
I would therefore start off by striking out milk and other dairy products from your son’s diet. Ideally, this should be done under the supervision of a clinical nutritionist to ensure you don’t deny him important nutrients.
If your son doesn’t improve on this new diet, it is probably worth eliminating the other commonly implicated foods, namely wheat, eggs and chocolate, in fact, all sugar is best avoided since it suppresses immune function, therefore making ear infections more likely.
In addition to this, to help clear the ear, nose and throat (ENT) tract and prevent repeated infections, I’d suggest a herb called echinacea, which is widely available. It’s both a great anti-inflammatory and anti-infective. I suggest that you buy a pre-packaged tincture, a concentrated liquid extract of the herb, from a reputable company. Maybe surgery will not be necessary after all.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION