What Are Chronic Infections?
Chronic infections, such as repeated ear, sinus and bladder infections, as well as Strep, croup and E. coli are common today. The following conditions indicate a prolonged or persistent invasion of the body by these and other pathogens, which can be viral or bacterial:
- Reduced immune response
What Your Doctor May Tell You About Chronic Infections
Most doctors will tell you that the best way to protect your child from chronic infections is through using anti-bacterial products, and by washing hands frequently.
Once a child has an infection, doctors often prescribe an antibiotic, plus Tylenol, aspirin, Motrin, or another pain reliever. If infections recur and recur, your doctor may suggest additional drastic measures, such as ear tubes, removal of tonsils and adenoids, and prophylactic antibiotics.
Another Way to Think About Chronic Infections
Prevention is based on the fear of getting sick. Unfortunately, common medical procedures ignore the ancient wisdom that illness is the body’s way of ridding itself of undesirable invaders. In our grandparents’ days, fevers, rashes and coughs were welcomed as necessary “spring cleaning.”
While treatments such as pain relievers and antibiotics can give immediate relief by suppressing symptoms, they can also have long term deleterious ramifications such as lowering immune resistance. More importantly, they can start a vicious cycle of infections, antibiotics, increased inflammation and more infections. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria; they do not work against viruses. They can also increase yeast, triggering more increasingly more chronic infections.
When infections recur, they are often more virulent, and can include behavioral symptoms such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Originally this emotional disorder was linked only to recurrent strep infections, and called PANDAS, short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus. As doctors gradually realized that OCD can be triggered by numerous infections, they established the umbrella term PANS for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome.
These infections include:
- Borrelia burgdorferi (a co-infection of Lyme)
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
- Herpes simplex
- Epstein-Barr virus
PANDAS is considered a subset of PANS.
Chronic Infections Healing Checklist
- Get 10 hours of sleep per night (or more if your child is under 10)
- Get outside every day
- Get an hour of exercise or movement per day
- Sync circadian rhythm by getting up when the sun does and going to bed after it sets
- Limit screen time as much as possible
- Use blue-blocking lightbulbs and glasses at night, especially when looking at screens
- Put bare feet in wet ground when possible
- Drink half body weight in ounces of water
- Eat whole foods
- Buy organic foods
- Eat a clean diet
- Remove all GMO foods
- Remove all fast and processed foods
- Remove all foods with artificial colors, artificial ingredients, artificial flavors, natural flavors, preservatives, phenols and salicylates
- Strictly limit sugars, refined salt and refined carbohydrates
Use Only High-Quality Fats
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (unheated)
- Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oil
- Grass-fed ghee
- Duck fat
- Grass-fed beef tallow
- Cod liver oil (unheated)
- Walnut oil (unheated)
Remove Vegetable Oils and Trans Fats
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils (Crisco, etc.)
Include High-Quality Protein with Every Meal
- Pasture-raised eggs, chicken and other fowl
- Grass-fed beef, lamb and other red meats
- Wild-caught fish
Add Fermented Foods and Probiotics
- Eat kefir yogurts, if dairy is tolerated
- Eat fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kim chi
- Eat umeboshi plums, which are very alkalizing
- Eat miso soup, if soy is tolerated
- Take a quality probiotic, such as VSL #3, Gut Pro, Dr. Ohirra’s Live Cultured Probiotics, Garden of Life, Klaire Labs. Work with your practitioner for a more targeted probiotic.
Blood sugar that is too low can lead to attention and behavioral problems.
We recommend keeping blood sugar optimized so that it's neither too low nor too high.
- Identify and remove possible environmental triggers, such as mold, dust, pet dander, and electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
- Identify and remove possible toxic exposures in the home from purchased products, such as detergents, soaps, lotions, and other cleaning and personal care products
- Remove animals (both live and stuffed!)
- Remove carpets
- Use non-toxic cleaners
- Use non-toxic building materials
Lower Stress Levels
Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens become more active when the body is in a state of stress.
By teaching your child ways to self-regulate with practices such as prayer, reiki, meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi and the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), they can become good advocates for themselves and become active participants in the recovery process.
NAET (Namudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) and BioSET are two non-invasive methods of allergy elimination.
- Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for possible food sensitivities and allergies
- Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D
- NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs for malabsorption, gut dysbiosis, cellular energy, mitochondrial metabolism, neurotransmitter metabolism, vitamin deficiencies, toxin exposure and detoxification need
- Organic Acid Test (OAT) for yeast overgrowth, other microbial infections and oxalates
- Inflammation markers such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
- Fasting blood sugar and insulin levels
- Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA)
Use Digestive Aids with your Practitioner's Guidance
- Betaine hydrochloric acid
- Digestive enzymes with DPP-IV for gluten and casein intolerances
- Proteolytic enzymes
Always work with your practitioner to determine the brand, type and dosage of supplements. Common supplements include the following:
- Cod liver oil
- Vitamin D3
- Methylated B complex vitamins
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine and other minerals
- Make sure your child is pooping every day. Learn more about how to clear up constipation and diarrhea.
- Have your child exercise or move every day. Sweating carries toxins out of the body.
- See a homotoxicologist, naturopath or homeopath for drainage remedies and detoxification aids.
- Optimize blood sugar to allow the liver to spend more time detoxing rather than processing sugar.
- Ionic foot baths can help detox unwanted pathogens and are easy to do with children.
- Infared saunas can detox heavy metals through the skin by sweating. However, this form of detoxification may not be suitable for young children who lack the ability to sweat.
- Epsom salt baths add sulfur transdermally to help with detox.
They provide hands-on helping with the practical matters of healing such as cooking healthy foods, removing toxins from the household and helping you work more efficiently with your practitioner.
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Sources & References
Nsouli, T.M. The role of food allergy in serious otitis media. Ann Allergy. 1991; 66:91
Pfotenhauer, K.M., et al. Vitamin D Deficiency, Its Role in Health and Disease, and Current Supplementation Recommendations. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2017 May 1;117(5):301-305.