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Thread: Advice regarding daughter's ear infections and dairy (long, sorry) page

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Advice regarding daughter's ear infections and dairy (long, sorry)

    My 2 year old daughter who is in a home daycare was very healthy until December. Sure, she had the occasional cold, but got over them quickly. In December, she got hit with a bad virus and has had trouble ever since. When her fever spiked very quickly, I took her to urgent care and she was given antibiotics for an ear infection which has yet to fully resolve (those were her first antibiotics). She has had three courses of antibiotics since (finishing her last course tomorrow). It was just her right ear and now it is both ears -- both eardrums are bulging and red with pus behind them. She does have a current viral illness (runny nose, cough).

    Here's the problem, though: Two weeks ago, she awoke with her eyes completely matted shut with green gunk. It scared the bejeezus out of me because she went to bed looking normal. It was 6:30 in the morning so we took her to the ER of a well-respected children's hospital. The ER doc said that he could not believe how bad her bacterial conjunctivitis was (pinkeye) and gave her an antibiotic (at that point, her 3rd round) and eyedrops. The conjunctivitis cleared quickly. But what scared me is that he said her eyes became infected because her ear infection was so bad it spread to her eyes. Well, as of today, this is happening again. I started the drops in her eyes, but her ears are the main cause according to that doctor.

    So, anyway, I asked her doctor about possible dairy issues. She doesn't eat a ton of dairy (yogurt in her smoothie and maybe a piece of cheese or other yogurt throughout the day mostly and a fair amount of Kerrygold butter). Her doc said he has heard it can make people 'mucousy' but has never seen a study on it. But he said I can try to take it out.

    So, the question is, what can I use in her smoothies? She wants them every day at daycare. She is also gluten-free (diarrhea if she eats it). She says she doesn't like coconut, so coconut milk is out. I guess I could keep trying coconut milk to see if eventually she'll take to it. Any other options? Usually I make it with full-fat greek yogurt, 1/2 a banana, berries, and stevia. I want to get some good fat in there because otherwise, it's mostly carbs.

    By the way, do you think butter or clarified butter would be okay?

    This is really hard to see this. Something has to be done. I just want her to get better!

    Thanks in advance!

    Shannon

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    geekgrrl's Avatar
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    I've seen a couple of studies that said there were no links between dairy and 'mucus' or respiratory infection and so on. Sorry no links, but if you go to google scholar you might find something useful.

    You might find that some probiotics will help; I've got some Blackmores brand ones which are actually pleasant and chewable (thinking here about restoring oral flora).

    Could there be something in her environment that is triggering it? Bedding, pets, carpeting, plants? Birch trees?
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    cillakat's Avatar
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    has she been getting a consistent amount of D since the onset of the infections?

    adenovirus (I think that's the one...it's one of the virruses) is a common cause of ear AND eye infections in kids. It seems unlikely that her infections are all bacterial since they aren't resolving with abx and since...eye and ear infections in kids are usually viral.

    It's always worth doing a dairy free trial, though you could be on the verge of seeing improvement simply due to time rather than any change you make at this point.

    Birch trees at this time of year? Aren't you in the north? I suppose indoor allergens are a possibility but to me it sounds more like a basic D, A, zinc issue.

    K

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    It may be worth subbing 1T of the greek yogurt with coconut milk and slowly slowly slowly moving toward more coconut and less yogurt. Slowly being the operative word.


    K

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekgrrl View Post
    I've seen a couple of studies that said there were no links between dairy and 'mucus' or respiratory infection and so on. Sorry no links, but if you go to google scholar you might find something useful.

    You might find that some probiotics will help; I've got some Blackmores brand ones which are actually pleasant and chewable (thinking here about restoring oral flora).

    Could there be something in her environment that is triggering it? Bedding, pets, carpeting, plants? Birch trees?
    She takes probiotics daily. A couple different ones. Those have been a saving grace at preventing antibiotic diarrhea. She has taken strong probiotics for at least a year...her gut has been messed up pretty much since birth. She had a lot of diarrhea and those were the only thing that helped. Surprisingly, it is the weakest probiotic that helps the most (Biogaia, which is only 100 million CFU, but it stops her diarrhea in a snap...something HMF Intensive or similar "medical strength" ones couldn't do).

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    Sue's Avatar
    Sue
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    What other foods does your daughter normally eat? does she eat other non-gluten grains? Does she eat a lot of fruit?

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    has she been getting a consistent amount of D since the onset of the infections?

    adenovirus (I think that's the one...it's one of the virruses) is a common cause of ear AND eye infections in kids. It seems unlikely that her infections are all bacterial since they aren't resolving with abx and since...eye and ear infections in kids are usually viral.

    It's always worth doing a dairy free trial, though you could be on the verge of seeing improvement simply due to time rather than any change you make at this point.

    Birch trees at this time of year? Aren't you in the north? I suppose indoor allergens are a possibility but to me it sounds more like a basic D, A, zinc issue.

    K
    I am in the north (Michigan). I give her 2000 units of Vit D/day. She weighs around 32-33 pounds. Her last lab value was around 50 I think.

    As far as A, D, zinc issue -- her current supplements are:

    basic chewable multi
    chewable mag/calcium (1:1 ratio I think)
    chewable immune complex with zinc and vitamin c
    probiotics (Biogaia chewable, HMF Intensive)
    Coromega high-DHA kids fish oil packet (200 mg DHA/36 mg EPA)

    A friend of mine who is a certified PA said that it might be a eustachian tube dysfunction where it's not opening up. She said I can try an inhaled nasal steroid spray and that works well sometimes. I can't imagine spraying that up my child's nose. Steroid reduce inflammation...if there's inflammation there's a reason. Whether it's seasonal allergies, food allergies, etc. I just wish i knew what it was.

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    ShannonPA-S's Avatar
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    BTW, I know eye & ear infectons are usually viral and resolve. But if there is a dysfunction with the eustachian tube, the ear infection can become bacterial because it's not clearing out. And apparently this is what is happening. My PA friend said she likely needs a broader spectrum antibiotic. But I really wish I could just stop giving her all these darn antibiotics. My friend said she would try one more course with a broad spectrum and if it didn't work, then consider ENT referral and quitting dairy. But I really don't want to subject her to a broad spectrum antibiotic if I don't have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue View Post
    What other foods does your daughter normally eat? does she eat other non-gluten grains? Does she eat a lot of fruit?
    Her typical day looks like this:
    morning: plantain chips or cheesestick or almonds (something snacky while my husband gets ready for work)
    10 am: smoothie (greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, berries, stevia)
    noon: chicken sausage with vegetables and rice crackers or fruit or homemade chicken lemon rice soup and fruit
    afternoon: cheese or nuts with a little fruit or veggies with guacamole (she's at daycare and sometimes eats fruit and sometimes doesn't)
    dinner: whatever I'm making, which is usually Primal -- salmon, sweet potatoes, veggies or steak with onions/mushrooms, etc.

    She does have maybe one serving of rice crackers daily. Also, maybe once a week, she had tacos with corn tortillas. No other grains and definitely no gluten.

    The funny thing is that she used to a TON of fruit. Now she doesn't really want it. She also doesn't want a lot of starch. If I do make potatoes for dinner, she usually won't eat them. Sometimes she will eat a few bites of sweet potatoes or rice. But she is definitely a meat lover.

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    Have you considered having tubes placed for her? I know it is a last resort for many people, but my nephew had them put in after multiple, multiple ear infections and more rounds of antibiotics than I can count. The tubes stopped all his problems. My sister really regretted waiting so long as he had some hearing deficit from the infections. He is nine now and his hearing is fine.

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