Chronic Infections

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:

    • Inflammation
    • Reduced immune response
    • Fever
    • Rash
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue
    • Cough
    • Congestion

    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
    • Influenza
    • Epstein-Barr virus
    • Cytomegalovirus

    PANDAS is considered a subset of PANS.

    Chronic Infections Healing Checklist

    Make Lifestyle Changes

    • 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 a Clean Diet

    Use Only High-Quality Fats

    • Coconut oil
    • Olive oil (unheated)
    • Avocados
    • 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

    • Canola
    • Corn
    • Soy
    • Safflower
    • Sunflower
    • Hydrogenated vegetable oils (Crisco, etc.)
    • Margarine

    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
    • Legumes
    • Nuts

    Add Fermented Foods and Probiotics

    These will keep the gastrointestinal system and microbiome healthy and strong which in turn will keep the immune system strong.

    • 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.

    Optimize Blood Sugar

    Blood sugar that is too high can lead to excess inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

    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.

    Do an Elimination Diet

    Children with chronic health conditions often have hidden food sensitivities and intolerances that exacerbate their symptoms. With an elimination diet, remove potentially inflammatory foods such as:

    • Casein
    • Gluten
    • Soy
    • Corn
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Shellfish
    • Nuts
    • Peanuts

    Clean up Your Environment

    • 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.

    Practitioners of techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining) and jin shin jyutsu can lower stress levels for your child, as well.

    See a NAET or BioSET Practitioner

    Children with chronic health conditions typically also have food allergies and/or food sensitivities and intolerances.

    NAET (Namudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) and BioSET are two non-invasive methods of allergy elimination.

    See a Homeopath, Naturopath or Homotoxicologist

    These practitioners can diagnose and treat gastrointestinal disorders naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

    Ask Your Practitioner to Run Some Laboratory Tests

    • 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
    • BiCarb
    • Bromelain
    • Papaya

    Use Supplements with Your Practitioner's Guidance

    Always work with your practitioner to determine the brand, type and dosage of supplements. Common supplements include the following:

    • Cod liver oil
    • Probiotics
    • Vitamin D3
    • Methylated B complex vitamins
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
    • Magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine and other minerals
    • Others

    Help Your Child Detoxify

    • 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.

    See a Chiropractor

    A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve bodily functions.

    Work with a Health Coach

    Our Epidemic Answers health coaches are trained to understand the root causes of your child's chronic health condition.

    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.

    See an Acupuncturist

    Acupuncture can help lower stress and anxiety. It can also help with blood-sugar and hormonal regulation.

    Still Looking for Answers?

    Visit the Epidemic Answers Practitioner Directory to find a practitioner near you.

    Join us at Healing Together, where you’ll find even more resources plus a community to support you, every step of the way.

    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.


    Dorfman K. Cure Your Child with Food. New York, NY. Workman Publishing, 2013.

    Oski R. Don’t Drink Your Milk. 3rd Edition. TEACH Services, 2013.

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