Treating Childhood Ear Infections
I would like to devote this issue of the newsletter to homeopathy for children, with my emphasis on treating childhood ear infections. I am presenting three cases of children with recurrent ear infections who did very well on homeopathy. In addition to ear infections some of these kids had behavioral or emotional problems as well. The placement of tubes in the eardrum was recommended in two of the cases by their pediatricians. After homeopathic treatment the tendency to get recurrent ear infections was reversed and the overall health of the children improved dramatically.2
Childhood ear infections is one of the most common conditions that I treat. Other frequent conditions I treat in children are asthma, allergies, skin conditions and behavioral problems. Homeopathy is such a beautiful therapeutic modality for children, because it is noninvasive, with one dose of a remedy often lasting one to many years. The child improves on all levels from the mental to the physical, and the family dynamics improve dramatically when the youngest members of the family feel well.
My intention here is to present the cases of three children who required different remedies for the treatment of their recurrent ear infections. By sharing these cases with you in some detail I hope to show how the homeopath looks at the whole person when selecting a remedy, and how the remedy effects positive changes in the overall health of the youngster, in addition to helping them get over the tendency to these ear infections.6
The first child I want to tell you about, Richard, was a lovely and sweet baby boy of nine months when I first saw him in April of last year. This little boy had big blue eyes, blonde hair, and had a very friendly, charming and engaging personality. He was not at all shy, but was fascinated with people and was easy going. He had not learned to crawl yet, but was trying very hard.
Richard had his first cold at six months and since then had three to four colds, two of them leading to ear infections and treatment with antibiotics. When he had an ear infection he would tug at his ear, and wake in the middle of the night crying and wanting to be held. He never had a fever with his ear infections.
The baby had a tendency to constipation, loved eggs and cheese, was slow to develop his motor skills, and loved to cuddle. He had a tendency to perspire around the head in his sleep.
I prescribed Calcarea carbonica 200C to Richard and he has been doing very well since then, with no more episodes of ear infections. Calcarea is a remedy homeopaths give to the healthiest children. Usually they are a little on the chubby side, with big heads and are slow learning to walk. These children often have a lot of fears, though Richard did not have any. A love of eggs, a tendency to constipation and headsweats, and a fear of heights are guiding symptoms to this remedy.
The second child I want to tell you about is Richard's brother, Matthew. Matthew was four years old when I first saw him last April. He was a mischievous looking little boy.
He suffered from recurrent ear infections since the age of two, which were treated with repeated rounds of antibiotics. The doctors had recently advised putting tubes in his ears to try and address this problem.
The only time this little boy was not energetic was when he was not feeling well. At that time he would make mean faces, wouldn't respond to questions, shouted loudly and had a tendency to hit. When he was sick, he liked to play with guns more than usual, and would be uncooperative and capricious. He would ask for something and then reject it and get angry. Sometimes he would purposely urinate on the floor in anger. Matthew was very jealous of his younger brother and liked to throw things.
Like Richard, Matthew would almost never have a fever with his earaches, but would get as white as a ghost with dark circles under his eyes.
Matthew was breastfed for eight weeks, but reacted badly to the breastmilk, and would scream and cry. He had his first cold at six months, and when he turned one his personality changed. He started to have temper tantrums, didn't want to listen to anyone, was rebellious, and became hyperactive. He would have up to six tantrums per night till age two and a half. After that he only had tantrums when he was sick.
The remedy I prescribed to Matthew was Tuberculinum 200C. The other remedies I considered for him were Chamomilla, and Carcinosin. After this prescription Matthew did very well. He did not have any more ear infections, and his tendency to break things, play with guns, and throw tantrums had much improved.
When I saw him six months later some other problems came into prominence. His parents now complained that the jealousy of his younger brother was worse than ever, he now had many fears, including a fear of loud noises, the dark, ghosts, witches, new situations and people. He liked to dominate the family and was very bossy toward his parents, the family dog and his little brother. The parents were very concerned about this control thing.
I changed the remedy to Lycopodium 200C in October. This was a remedy his father had benefited greatly from. I recently saw Matthew again and he still hasn't had another ear infection. The jealousy, fears, trantrums, hyperactivity, destructive behavior, and fears of the dark and ghosts had all improved.
The hitting behavior, bossiness and fear of loud noises were still present, but not as prominent as before. His overall health had improved greatly and I did not give him a remedy to take at this visit. I suspect that he may need a dose of Carcinosin in the future.
Tuberculinum is the tubercular nosode, and some guiding symptoms to this remedy are a tendency to throw things, a desire for milk and or an aggravation from it, destructive and aggressive behavior, head banging, sleeping in the knee-chest position, hyperactivity, capriciousness, desire for smoked meats and a love of travel. The remedy has many symptoms in common with Carcinosin and Medorrhinum.
The second remedy I prescribed Matthew was Lycopodium. This is amongst the top three constitutional remedies for males of all ages. Its characteristic symptoms are a 4 to 8 p.m. aggravation time, right- sided symptoms, fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, dictatorial behavior, dyslexia, shyness and jealousy. Often there is a comparison syndrome in the family, which can bring on Lycopodium symptoms, such as a very successful father, and a son who feels he cannot measure up, or a son in the family who is being constantly compared to his more athletic brothers. Urinary and digestive problems will also frequently be present when Lycopodium is indicated.
The last child I want to tell you about, Sylvia, was a beautiful little two year old girl, when I first saw her a year ago, and did not seem to be shy at all. There was a strong family history of cancer on her mother's side.
Sylvia had her first ear infection at eight months of age, and had ten more since then in a one and a half year period, with as many rounds of antibiotics. An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist had recommended putting her on preventative antibiotics, and even with that regime the ear infections kept on coming. The specialist now recommended surgery.
The little girl slept through the night from three to eight months, when the ear infections began. Then she started to wake up every night crying loudly and inconsolably. The neighbors were complaining, and the mom was concerned about what they were thinking.
The toddler had a problem with separation and cried when she was left with babysitters. She liked to help with cleaning, perspired on her head at night, liked eggs, tomatoes and potatoes, got severe diaper rashes and frequent diarrhea. She loved to jump and dance and to be read to. She had a fear of abandonment, the dark and of animals.
The remedy I prescribed to Sylvia was Carcinosin, based on the strong family history of cancer, the fears, food preferences, separation anxiety, fastidiousness, and sleep problems.
Right after Sylvia took the remedy she got another ear infection. This is a very frequent reaction, because the remedy finds the most recent problem the child has had and brings it up for treatment. She had another ear infection in August, but has been feeling well since then. Her mother says she is now very happy, sleeps well, and the inconsolable crying, diarrhea and rashes have subsided. Her family is quite pleased with her treatment.
Carcinosin is a remedy I often prescribe for children with recurrent ear infections. Often the homeopath sees indications for several remedies in the case when this remedy is needed, but none of these remedies covers the symptoms perfectly. The integrity of the immune system has been undermined. Usually there will be a family history of cancer, problems, with insomnia, separation anxiety, fastidiousness and perfectionism present. Please see my article on Carcinosin in the Fall 2000 newsletter.
I presented these three cases of childhood ear infections in some detail to show you that there definitely is a viable option to antibiotic treatment and surgery to address this problem that has reached epidemic proportions in our small children.
As you can see much more than just examining the ears is involved in making a successful homeopathic prescription. The whole child is taken into consideration, with his or or her personality, behavioral tendencies, fears and preferences. The other great benefit of homeopathy is that it is not just the ears that improve with the treatment, but the child in all levels of its being.
One thing I have found quite interesting is that these ear infections often start at six months of age. One can offer many theories about this, but I feel that the vaccine connection should not be ignored. Often the six month point corresponds to the third round of vaccines, whose effects on the immune system can be cumulative. This is a time when we start to see the early breakdown in health in our babies, with chronic problems starting to appear like ear infections, asthma, skin conditions, and so forth. Unaccountable behavioral changes also often pop up around this time. I cannot prove that there is a link to vaccines, but I do believe this is worthy of further investigation. Luckily homeopathy can reverse many of the effects of vaccine damage in our children. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the homeopathic treatment of childrens' ear infections.
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