My oldest daughter started complaining of ear pain last week and by the time I was able to take her to the doctor a few days later, she could barely hear out of one ear. I tried the garlic oil drops, oregano oil drops...I used my whole arsenal on her. But guess what? Her hearing wasn't getting any better and she continued to complain of pain. I'm a nutritionist but I also get scared when healing doesn't happen as fast as I want it to, especially when my daughter's hearing is at stake.
So I caved. She's now on a 7 day course of antibiotics.
I am so bummed.
No doubt many of us have been in this situation before. Doctors the world over are known to prescribe antibiotics, even when they're not entirely necessary. And we don't want to give our children antibiotics unless they are absolutely mandatory.
But when we have to what can we do to protect our child from the negative side effects of antibiotics?
Here is my 3 step plan for getting my child through this antibiotic course:
- PROBIOTICS. Some literature suggests to start them on a probiotic course after the antibiotics because the antibiotics kill all the gut bacteria (good or bad). I'm giving it to her anyway, but 1-2hrs away from the antibiotic with a kiwi or papaya (a great PREBIOTIC food that feeds the probiotic and helps it multiply in the gut).
- NO DAIRY. Dairy is a big NO-NO whilst my children are dealing with any inflammatory condition. And if antibiotics are in the pictures then it's definitely out because dairy causes mucous build-up in the membranes and will delay healing.
- BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE. I'm a big believer in getting my kids to increase their nutrient content through food and not supplements. Children's supplements are generally packed with sugar and other fillers. So, this week, I'm making smoothies for the girls with spinach, banana & blueberries. I'm adding cinnamon - a wonderful anti-inflammatory; ground ginger to improve the assimilation and absorption of the nutrients; and raw cacao for more antioxidant action and to make the smoothie look & taste like chocolate.
I am also going to buy some organic chicken to make some broth - but I've got to get on to that. Getting it perfect is so hard.
Sometimes, antibiotics are inevitable. And they will always have a negative impact on your child's gut health. But these three actions can help mitigate that impact whilst keeping your child's diet nutrient rich.
Signing off, a very vulnerable mummy today.
Thrive Nutrition Practice is owned by holistic nutritionist, Cristina Tahoces, DHN.