Beautiful Chaos

Finding adventure in the everyday

Why we do what we do: colds, flu,ear etc.

January8

When Spunky was 9 months old she got her first ear infection. I did what most people do, the only thing I knew to do, I took her to the doctor, got an antibiotic and her ear infection went away. Yay for medicine, right? Well, 4-6 weeks later she got another one. Then another one. Then another. In the span of 6 months, she had 4 ear infections. This medicine that I was relying on was helping, but not really taking care of the problem. She was still getting ear infections. She was still struggling to fight off the virus on her own and so it was continuously turning into an ear infection.

This 4th ear infection was a month after my world was rocked by a celiac disease diagnosis so I was open to alternative ideas. I went for a run with a new friend and mentioned some of my recently discovered health issues that I was wading through. She invited me to come learn about a new way.  I thought I was going to learn info for me that night, and in a roundabout way I did, but I walked away with hope for Spunky. My friend taught me about the ability of our bodies to fight infection. She taught me about strengthening our immune systems. And she taught me about giving our bodies the nutrients they need to do the work they were made to do. She also said that if we let our bodies fight for themselves, they get stronger. They remember and fight better the next time.
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I had an appointment set for Spunky that next day. My friend gave me what I needed to boost Spunky’s immune system and help her body fight while I waited for my supplements to come in. I cancelled her appointment. I was skeptical and fearful. I was also hopeful for a new way. I called my friend multiple times in those first few days. Spunky’s ear infection cleared up in a day or two. Without any antibiotic. And she didn’t get another ear infection for 2 years.
What happens to our immune system when we use nutrients to fight?
This is the Immune System for Dummies version. I can’t handle much deeper than what I’m explaining to you, however, there are many deeper places to read about these things if you just start searching.
But, from what I have learned, when we get a virus or a bacteria in our bodies, our immune system jumps into action. Lots of cells with lots of different jobs start working together to fight the intruder. One type of cell detects the invader, one detects what kind it is, one sounds the alarm and calls others to action and one calms everyone down once the fighting is done so the fighter cells don’t get carried away and start attacking good guys. After the bug has been concurred, acquired immunity is achieved. Your immune system remembers. Not that we’ll never get a cold or ear infection again (there are many different strains of things), but each time our immune system is exposed it gets stronger and smarter and better at dealing with bad guys.
What happens to our immune system when we get sick and use antibiotics?
Antibiotics work and they usually work fast. But, when we send an antibiotic into our bodies, they wipe out everything. The good bacteria along with the bad. They make it harder for the immune system to remember. That is why Spunky kept getting ear infections. Her body was never able to figure it out on it’s own and learn to stand up to those irritating punks!
This guy has a great article about the intestinal flora (good bacteria) and how important it is for our immune systems.
What supplements do I use?
First, and most importantly, I use a brand of supplements called Shaklee. I’ll explain why in my next blog but for now just know that they are far superior to anything else I’ve found. Yes, they are pricey, but there’s a reason for that as well: they work. They’re safe. They are a research company and have proof to back up their claims. They have guarantees. Every time (at least 3 times I can think of) I’ve tried to save money and buy something from the health food shop or the natural grocery, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work as well, if it even works at all. I keep thinking, Shaklee can’t be the ONLY company that makes quality products, but so far they keep holding their ground against any perceived competition. I say perceived because, in my mind, there is no competition when it comes to supplement brands, but like I said, I’ll tell you more on that later.
I use a lot of different things for different ailments, but since I was talking about ear infections before, I’ll just elaborate on that one for now. When I started treating Spunky’s ear infections I used garlic, Nutriferon (something I can explain at a later date), vitamin C, and an echinecia blend all crushed in a liquid vitamin. And I did that twice a day. I was pulling out all the stops that first time. Spunky was also taking a multi-vitamin (Incredivites) that I knew would help strengthen her immune system. I don’t do all of those things every time anymore, I’ve learned I can get away with less. Now that I’ve learned more and their body’s immune systems are pretty strong. However, if I did continue to do all those things, they’d probably get better faster.
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Am I totally against antibiotics?
No. I am thankful for them and know they have a time and a place where they are SO necessary. A week after I had Monkey, I got Mastitis (a breast infection), I had no idea that is was happening since nursing is painful in the beginning anyways. I got super sick before I caught it and couldn’t fight it myself. In that instance, I was so thankful for antibiotics. But since then, I have had at least 5 bouts of Mastitis that I’ve kicked on my own using my normal regimen.
I also think that we, as a society, have learned to jump to antibiotics really quickly instead of trusting our bodies to be tough enough to fight. We have learned a lot of fear about illness that isn’t necessary. And since my family has been doing things differently, we have been healthier. Less sick, and when we do get sick, our bodies know what to do and do it efficiently.
Since Spunky’s last round of antibiotics at 15 months, none of my kids have needed an antibiotic. No one in our house has, other than my time of mastitis. We’ve had sinus infections, respiratory infections, ear infections, pink eye, croup, colds, flu, mastitis and I’m sure other things that weren’t diagnosed. I’m glad to know that antibiotics are there if all else fails, but am also so glad to have other options at my disposal, and on hand for whenever something strikes.
*Just so there’s no confusion (since my detailed explanation of the immune system was so in depth and scientific) I am no doctor. I am a mama who learned bits along the way and has discovered a new way to treat her kids that has improved their health. I am still learning and growing and discovering and researching. But I’m hoping that my experience can help others out there who may be in a similar situation as I was in. Let me know if there is any questions I can answer or find answers to. I’d love to help if I can.
posted under Family, Health

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