alive Advisor: Ear Infection, Vitiligo and Muscle Injury

alive Advisor: Ear Infection, Vitiligo and Muscle Injury

Dear Dr Rona:

I am concerned about my seven-year-old daughter who has had numerous ear infections over the years. She has one "broken ear" which doesn't hear as well as her other ear. We had her tested by audiologists and they noted there was a problem. My daughter frequently says that her ears "pop" and she can hear better after this happens. She drinks a lot of milk and seems to crave it. Also, she has black areas under both eyes and is often tired and weak. NF

Dear NF:

Middle ear infection affects two-thirds of children in North America by age two, and is the most common cause of acquired hearing loss in children. Allergies to milk and other common foods and the frequent use of prescription antibiotics are at the bottom of most infections in children.

Fungal infections are the usual side effect of the use of prophylactic antibiotics. Fungi, through the production of mycotoxins, may act as immunosuppresants, especially with respect to cellular immunity (ie, the impairment of white cell defense against bacteria, viruses and parasites). This leads to more ear infections, more antibiotics, and so on. Antibiotics wipe our the friendly microbial flora in the gut, allowing candida and other fungi to multiply. This can damage the lining of the gut, leading to leaky gut syndrome which allows the absorption of food allergens.

Many researchers and authors (especially Dr William Crook) believe that the epidemic of middle ear infections in North America is a direct result of antibiotic-caused fungal infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Often, the only way to break the vicious cycle is to treat the fungus by eliminating sugar, refined carbohydrates and food allergens. Infants and children frequently prescribed antibiotics for middle ear infections have been noted to higher than normal incidence of both hyperactivity and autism.

Recent research suggests that food allergies may have a big role to play in recurrent middle ear infections. Food allergies create nasal congestion. The fluid from the back of the nose moves easily to the ear through the eustachian tube, the passageway that connects the middle ear with the nose. When it gets blocked, fluid sits in the ear. Bacteria then start to multiply and ear pain with fever can occur.

The top food allergies are cow's milk, wheat, egg whites, peanut products, soy, corn and oranges. When children avoid these foods for four months, there is an 86 per cent improvement in the ears and hearing of children advised to use tubes. Both the frequency of the infections and the amount of fluid in the ears go down significantly. When children add back the offending foods, ear infections return.

Dear Dr Rona:

My husband has vitiligo on his hands and his legs. It hasn't spread to his face yet. Is there anything he can take to cure it? CG

Dear CG:

Vitiligo is a skin condition marked by areas of depigmentation (white spots) and is considered to be an autoimmune disease. It is frequently associated with a lack or insufficiency of hydrochloric acid production by the stomach. It may also be associated with an endocrine (adrenal or thyroid)imbalance as well as a chronic systemic fungal infection.

Achlorydria (no acid) or hypochlorydria (low acid) leads to dozens of nutrient deficiencies. This is because most high protein foods need acid for digestion. If acid is low or absent, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are poorly absorbed. The most recognized nutrient deficiency caused by low or deficient stomach acid is vitamin B(12) deficiency. This can lead to pernicious anemia and can usually only be rectified by regular B(12) injections.

Low stomach acid may be the result of heredity, extended use of drugs such as antacids, anti-ulcer medications, infection in the gut or food allergies (especially to milk, dairy and wheat). Doctors specializing in nutritional medicine can do several tests to determine the cause.

Glutamic acid hydrochloride, betaine hydrochloride, pepsin, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, stomach bitters, vitamin B(5), B(6) and C may be helpful. All are best taken in the middle of a meal, or just afterwards.

Vitiligo may also respond to antifungal treatment. Diet is very important in the treatment of any fungal infection. Sugar of any kind feeds fungi and must be eliminated, along with white flour, yeast, peanuts, mushrooms and many more. The ideal diet for righting fungi may be found in The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook.

Dosages of all these supplemental nutrients have to be carefully individualized. Supervision by a nutritional medical doctor or naturopath is recommended.

Dear Dr Rona:

In the summer of 1996 I fell and injured my shoulder. After four months, my doctor determined that I had torn a rotary cuff, with no nerve damage. It was suggested that I have surgery. Is there another way to deal with this? JR

Dear JR:

If the shoulder problem you describe is not too severe, some natural treatments could help prevent surgery. It all depends on the severity of the torn muscles.

Healing occurs more quickly if nutritional status is optimized. Vitamin A and beta-carotene are both required for collagen synthesis and wound healing. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids also play a major role in maintenance of collagen and tendon repair.

Vitamin E and the trace mineral selenium work synergistically as antioxidants, countering the effects of the free radicals produced in the injured muscles or ligaments. Zinc, copper and manganese are also important in this regard. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, is effective for virtually all inflammatory conditions and helps reduce pain, swelling, bruising and healing time after most injuries. Although these complementary medicines are generally regarded as safe, severe pain or joint damage demands immediate medical or surgical intervention.

Recommended Reading:

The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook


by J.M. Martin/Z. Rona 438pp (sc) $25.95

Detecting Your Hidden Food Allergies


by W. Crook, MD 209pp (sc) $16.50

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.


By Zoltan Rona

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