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Understanding Childhood Illnesses and Antibiotic Usage

From a naturopathic and homeopathic perspective, childhood illness is an important part of an individual’s physical and psychological development. The illness reinforces the child’s sense of his or her own boundaries, invigorates the immune system and makes it more efficient. Evidence of this lies in the growth spurts and developmental changes parents often report following an acute illness. Acute illness is defined by a rapid onset of severe symptoms with a short course and in naturopathy specifically, it indicates a form of elimination. Problematically, with abundant use of antibiotics, acute illnesses (or eliminations) are stopped short of their detoxifying purpose resulting in chronic illness.

Otitis (ear infection), for example, is a common ailment in young children. Unfortunately these days this ailment is seen more often as a chronic illness than an acute one. The reason for this is that most children receive multiple courses of antibiotics and immunizations, which serve to drastically reduce the child’s capacity to eliminate. This reliance on antibiotics slows the child’s complete detoxification process and progression to a vigorous state of health where they have NO chronic symptoms. Often children are sick much longer than they would have been had they not had the history of multiple suppressive rounds of antibiotics. In these circumstances, patience is critical to achieve wellness.

When the child (and parents!) make it through one infection without antibiotics, there will be great benefits to the child’s immune system and the developmental benefits of the illness will be achieved. This type of care also strengthens the parent-child relationship and engenders faith in oneself and in the body’s capacity to heal itself. This is a fundamental principle in naturopathic care and is what sets this philosophy aside from the mainstream thinking.

More and more health care professionals concur that antibiotics should be reserved for serious infections only. Please take note of your own anxiety in making your decision to give your child antibiotics. It is difficult to witness children suffer, but we must remember what will truly make them strong and give them an efficient immune system. An acute illness is a way to eliminate toxins. Antibiotics suppress this elimination and further intoxicate the individual. These potent pharmaceuticals also predispose the child to further infections, as they wipe out all of your intestinal bacteria, good AND bad, creating a vacuum for opportunistic infections. Leading immunologists say it takes 18 months to restore your intestinal flora after a course of antibiotics. This flora is the basis of the natural immunity every child needs. HMF (Human Microflora) should be supplemented for a minimum of six months after a course of antibiotics, and in some individuals, even longer.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF ILLNESS

Should your child develop an acute illness, you can refer to the chart of Unda Drainage Compounds. These compounds can be used with the single homeopathic remedies Dr. Erin may have suggested for likely acutes, or with those that she might suggest if you choose to consult with her about the acute illness. These remedies will facilitate the drainage or detoxification of the individual. Stop your regular Unda numbers if you happen to be taking some at the time an acute illness develops. Only use 3-4 compounds at one time. If you are confused as to which numbers to use, please set up a consultation with Dr. Erin or Dr. Cavin.

DOSE

AGE 0-2 2 drops SIX times a day
AGE 2-5 3 drops SIX times a day
AGE 6-adult 5 drops SIX times a day
Frequency of dose may be decreased as symptoms improve

ALTERNATIVE DOSING: Take 20 drops of each Unda # (along with 10 pellets of any other single homeopathic remedies you may be using) and add them all to 24-32 oz. of filtered water and sip every 15-60 minutes, depending on the severity of symptoms. (More severe=more often).

UNDA COMPOUNDS FOR SUPPORT:
(No more than 4 compounds should be used at one time)

UNDA #2 ALWAYS use with acute infections (ear, throat, sinus, flu, urinary, etc.) Supports drainage.
UNDA #7 Aids in urinary tract inflammation, infection and elimination.
UNDA #15 Whenever your child’s temperature rises above 98.6 F OR if your child develops chills and is attempting to mount a fever. (see chart below for ideal fever temperature).
UNDA #312 Use for sore throat.
UNDA #37 Use for infections (except sinus & ear infections) and any localized inflammation.
UNDA #44 Use for urinary tract infections, fever and kidney stones.
UNDA #710 Use for sinus or ear infections (instead of #37)-infections inside a “cavity”.
UNDA #27 Use for hoarseness and upper respiratory infections.
UNDA #5 Use for coughs, chest colds and bronchitis or pneumonia (or threat thereof).

FEVER CHART

Centigrade Fahrenheit EFFECT of TEMPERATURE Comments
37.5-38.5 99.5-101.3 Favors Bacterial Growth Very inefficient fever, Poor immunity
38.5-39.5 101.3-103.1 Favors Bacterial Growth; Bacteriostatic (stops bacteria but does not kill he bacteria) Minimally effective, a sign of progress in immune function from a lower grade fever.
39.5-40.5 103.1-104.9 Bateriolytic (knocks out and kills the bacteria) IDEAL FEVER TEMPERATURE
40.5 and up 104.9 and up “Toxic fever” VERY unusual Cytolytic (causes cellular death) FEVERS RARELY go above 41.5C/105F. Cool in lukewarm water or with damp, cool cloth if Temp exceeds 41.5 C/104.9F.