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Ear Infections and Milk

I have heard of many kids with recurrent ear infections who are repeatedly given antibiotics to cure them. Again, a case of giving medicine to fix the symptom, but not finding the cause of the problem. Don’t get me wrong – I am not against medicine! Drugs are a wonderful thing when needed to ease pain or to prevent greater health problems from occurring. But, in conjunction with fixing the what, shouldn’t we as a society (doctors, you, me) investigate the why??

So, back to ear infections. According to pediatrician Dr. Greene, “Of the kids who are prone to ear infections (about 1/3 of kids), allergies are the underlying cause about 1/3 of the time. Cow’s milk is the most likely non-airborne culprit. Presumably, it causes inflammation of the Eustachian tubes — the tubes that normally keep the ears clean and drained. It can also change the nature of the secretions.”

Also, a study done in Finland concluded that children with cow’s milk allergy in infancy, even when properly treated, had experienced significantly more recurrent ear infections.

So, if a child has a lot of ear infections, investigate milk as the cause. This could mean doing allergy testing and/or eliminating milk from the diet (consult your doctor).

Read more about Milk Allergy and the Milk-Free Diet.

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