Friday, February 15, 2013

My child is almost 4 and has never had antibiotics (directly)

My child is almost 4 and has never had antibiotics (directly)*.


I shared that information with a pharmacist the other day and she looked at me and said, "Woah, really?"  I guess I never really thought that maybe that is an unusual thing for an almost 4 year old, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how often I hear of other kids her age being on antibiotics at least 1-2x/year for some kind of infection.

I believe antibiotics have their time and place in medicine and I would not hesitate to use antibiotics in the right situation.  They can be life-savers and I'm thankful they were created so that we can use them in and at appropriate times.  An important distinction though is that appropriate times do not mean ALL THE TIME.

*Personal note: I was on antibiotics for over 5 years.  I shudder to think of the actual length of time I was really on antibiotics because, really, was that necessary? Absolutely not.  But, I was seeing a dermatologist for acne, and an antiobiotic is what she prescribed, and because I didn't want to deal with broken-out skin (the embarrassment! the horror! the scarring!), I dutifully took it as directed.  For the better part of my older teenage years and early 20s, I took an oral antibiotic and I rubbed a topical antibiotic on my skin. I also took antibiotics after Mia was born at least 3 different times because I could not get over mastitis without it.  FWIW, I did not get mastitis after Gabe's birth.  Cleaned-up diet for the win!

Why am I cautious about giving my kids antibiotics?

  • Because the infections were not life-threatening.
  • Because I knew given proper rest and a good clean diet, the infection could heal itself on its own.
  • Because simple infections that are treated with antibiotics often come back again and again.
  • Because antibiotics kill all the bacteria (both good and bad) in your digestive system, leading to a whole host of other problems.

In some cases, giving my child an antibiotic would've been much easier than the alternative course.  It's not as much fun restricting diet when your child has an infection, or making sure they consume garlic, or elderberry syrup, or trying to get them to guzzle warm tea.  A fruity tasting liquid antibiotic or chewable capsule would've been far easier!  But it may not have been in their best interest health-wise.

So, how have we handled illness and infections?

  • Clean up the diet from any processed foods or refined sugars.  Depending on severity and duration of symptoms, dairy and grains may also be removed.  Consume homemade bone broth.
  • Increase dosages of Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO). It has high concentrations of Vitamin A and Vitamin D, which are essential to prevent and regain strength from sickness.
  • Consume elderberry syrup. (Be careful if you or child have autoimmune issues, too much may not be good for you.)
  • Add liquid garlic (or consume raw garlic, if an option) to food or sneak in condiment like organic or homemade ketchup --> voila, garlic ketchup! Yum!!
  • Treat infection topically with colloidal silver or orally take colloidal silver.
  • Relax and replenish the body with soothing Epsom Salt Baths (provides magnesium).
  • Add probiotics into diet to give digestive system a little boost.
  • Visit your chiropractor!  This has helped immensely by visiting as soon as symptoms are noted - a simple adjustment often puts things back in alignment and your body can better respond.  A chiropractor working with children should use gentle fingertip pressure.  Mia often says this "tickles!"  I have also cleared up nasal drainage the first time I went to an acupuncturist!  The Chinese weren't messing around!
There are loads of other ways to treat illness. I refer often to Wellness Mama's post on Natural Illness Prevention & Beat Cold, Flu and Fever Faster.

These are ways you can naturally manage infections, like colds, ear infections, upper respiratory, and even skin infections.  

Will we ever use an antibiotic in the future? I am not a crystal ball reader, but chances are quite likely that the answer is yes.  For now, we will continue on this path and do what we can to preserve healthy gut function.  

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical doctor or a physician. I am "just a mom" who has done a lot of research.  Please consult with your primary care provider or holistic physician if you have questions regarding these recommendations.

What do you do to stay healthy? How do you limit or avoid antibiotics?


Lynda Huebel said...

Do you have a Facebook page? I shared your blog with my FB friends, but if you have a FB page, I'd like to LIKE your page. I'm not on the Google Friend Connect, and if its yet another social site, I'm not interested. Just don't have time. But would like an easy access to your tips.

Megan said...

Hi Lynda! Thanks for stopping by! I don't have a Facebook page at the moment, just my personal page, but not a page dedicated to this blog. If you want to subscribe to my blog you can add the URL to an RSS feed reader and then it will update you whenever I post a new entry.
And thanks for sharing the link! :D