If the public was more educated what to do in order to prevent earaches, then less time would be wasted visiting the doctor. Not only that, but less antibiotics would be used and less longterm issues with digestion, resistant bugs and weak immune systems would no longer be so pervasive.
Research supports the link between food allergies and food intolerances to earaches. (see bottom of this post) Of course there are other causes as well but the type of earaches and ear infections that you can easily prevent are linked to offending foods.
The common foods which are linked to earaches, ear infections and otitis media:
- Citrus fruits.
I must define food allergy and food intolerance.
Food allergy: basically one eats a food and if highly allergic, he/she goes into respiratory failure, wheezing, anaphylaxis shock, edema, full body hives, swollen lips and is downright scared as breathing is getting to be impossible. Emergency room or medical assistance is required. There are more mild forms of food allergy as well causing less serious problems but still these problems occur pretty quickly. These are triggered by the IgE immune response - the fast acting response.
Food intolerance: an underlying cause of numerous health conditions - one being recurrent ear infections and earaches. Food intolerance means that your immune system is slowly responding to a food as foreign and attacking it. For some reason, small amounts of food proteins are escaping from your digestive tract and into your circulation causing an immune response. These are triggered by the IgG immune response and the signs and symptoms of a IgG response are very subtle. One must be looking for them in an individual to pick them out.
Typically an unhealthy digestive system is the cause of food intolerance. One must repair their digestive system and avoid the offending foods.
How does one avoid the offending foods? Well, if you make an effort trying to determine which foods are causing your symptoms, then likely you can figure it out without having to resort to Food Allergy/Food Intolerance blood tests, skin prick tests or the RAST Food Allergy test.
Simply eliminate the likely offending foods and see how you feel in about 2 weeks. Don't eat any of those foods as the slightest amount of the offending food may cause you to react again.
Consider this very important tip into food intolerance:
The foods one LOVES and the foods you CRAVE are usually the actual culprits. Clinical Ecologists see this and practice this all the time. I have seen it with my own eyes and when I am successful in educating patients about it, they typically return to health quickly.
Also look at what foods you eat the most of and eliminate those. It sounds tough and it is frankly for the first week. Then after that, you lose the addiction to that food.
Take my wife for example:
Ate bread with every meal or if in a hurry, grabbed a piece of it, put some butter on it and wolfed it down. Her digestion would vary from constipation to diarrhea, her mind would cloud up and not think clearly, her joints would ache. I suggested she stop eating wheat for 2 weeks.
I'm surprised I'm actually still alive as she freaked out on me. That was the food addiction talking and I knew it. I told her about this and she still resisted. Finally, after months of showing her research supporting food addictions and food intolerance, she gave it a whirl. Imagine - she got better immediately.
My oldest son - 3 year old: He will get a bright red rash around his anus if he eats wheat. Take him off wheat, and poof, it goes away. If he eats dairy, he becomes angry and more reactive to his younger brother and to us. Take him off of dairy, and he is a more typical kid without the reactivity and anger.
I eat wheat and I get a red tipped tongue which hurts - it actually feels like it is burnt. I stop eating wheat, and it goes away in a couple days. I eat or drink dairy products and I get earaches. So I have stopped them. Yes it was tough at first and didn't want to admit I had an intolerance to these highly prevelant foods but I do. And I do as my digestion stinks due to stress of being in medical school. I know that as soon as I chill more, my digestion will improve and my intestines and stomach will heal. I could try to heal them now but I know that with stress, it is worthless as Ill just create a leaky gut again.
To this day, there is no wheat in our home - nor is there any dairy. We have no earaches in our home. We have no itchy butts or sticky stools from wheat - which is a common sign of food intolerance to wheat. We have very few runny noses. Our kids have never had any antibiotics - none. My wife and I have not had antibiotics either in years.
Remove your ills by taking a difficult step but a highly effective one:
Eliminate dairy, wheat, perhaps egg, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Corn is way up there also - and that includes corn syrup.
Here is some research for those who think I tend to blow smoke - and remember that serous otitis media is a type of ear infection - commonly triggered by intolerant foods:
Role of food allergy in serous otitis media.Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.
BACKGROUND. The relationship between IgE-mediated hypersensitivity and recurrent serous otitis media has not been completely established.
OBJECTIVE. The purpose of the present study was to examine the prevalence of food allergy in patients with recurrent serous otitis media.
METHODS. A total of 104 unselected patients (age range 1.5 to 9 years, mean 4.6 years) with recurrent serous otitis media were evaluated for food allergy by means of skin prick testing, specific IgE tests, and food challenge. Patients who were allergic to food(s) underwent an exclusion diet of the specific offending food(s) for a period of 16 weeks. A non-double blinded food challenge was performed with the suspected offending food(s). Their middle ear effusion was monitored and assessed by tympanometry (Welch Allyn Model 23600) during the pre-elimination, elimination and challenge diet phases.
RESULTS. There was a significant statistical association, by chi-square analysis, between food allergy and recurrent serous otitis media in 81/104 patients (78%). The elimination diet led to a significant amelioration of serous otitis media in 70/81 (86%) patients as assessed by clinical evaluation and tympanometry. The challenge diet with the suspected offending food(s) provoked a recurrence of serous otitis media in 66/70 patients (94%).
CONCLUSIONS. The possibility of food allergy should be considered in all pediatric patients with recurrent serous otitis media and a diligent search for the putative food allergen made for proper diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.
Utility of food-specific IgE concentrations in predicting symptomatic food allergy.Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND: The double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge is considered the gold standard for diagnosing food allergy. However, in a retrospective analysis of children and adolescents with atopic dermatitis and food allergy, discrete food-specific IgE concentrations were established that could predict clinical reactivity to egg, milk, peanut, and fish with greater than 95% certainty.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the utility of these 95% predictive decision points in a prospective evaluation of food allergy.
METHODS: Sera from 100 consecutive children and adolescents referred for evaluation of food allergy were analyzed for specific IgE antibodies to egg, milk, peanut, soy, wheat, and fish by using the Pharmacia CAP System FEIA. Food-specific IgE values were compared with history and the results of skin prick tests and food challenges to determine the efficacy of previously established 95% predictive decision points in identifying patients with increased probability of reacting during a specific food challenge.
RESULTS: One hundred children (62% male; median age, 3.8 years; range, 0.4-14.3 years) were evaluated for food allergy. The diagnosis of food allergy was established by means of history or oral food challenge. On the basis of the previously established 95% predictive decision points for egg, milk, peanut, and fish allergy, greater than 95% of food allergies diagnosed in this prospective study were correctly identified by quantifying serum food-specific IgE concentrations.
CONCLUSION: In a prospective study of children and adolescents referred for evaluation of food allergy, previously established 95% predictive decision points of food-specific IgE antibody concentrations for 4 major food allergens were effective in predicting clinical reactivity. Quantification of food-specific IgE is a useful test for diagnosing symptomatic allergy to egg, milk, peanut, and fish in the pediatric population and could eliminate the need to perform double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges in a significant number of children.
PMID: 11344358 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Recurrent otitis media with effusion and food allergy in pediatric patientsINTRODUCTION: Recurrent otitis media with effusion continues to be important pediatric clinical problem and is related to food allergy.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if the recurrent otitis media with effusion was associated to food allergy.
METHODS: We reviewed medical charts from children with food allergy and otitis media with effusion for a period of three months of duration or every month for the last six months seen in an allergy clinic. Patients with anatomic abnormalities, polypous or immunologic deficiencies were excluded. Every patient was challenged with foods to which he/she was allergic in order to demonstrate cause-effect. In all patients we performed tympanometries.
RESULTS: We found twenty five patients with recurrent otitis media with effusion and food allergy demonstrated by positive skin testing. The most common food found to be associated was milk, egg, beans, citrus, and tomato. The elimination of the food diet led to a significant amelioration of the otitis in 22 patients, in whom clinical and tympanometry evaluation was performed. The challenge diet with suspected offending food provoked a recurrence of the otitis problem.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrated the association between recurrent otitis media with effusion and food allergy. Therefore, all patients with recurrent otitis media with effusion should be investigated for food allergy.
PMID: 11759256 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The role of food allergy in otitis media with effusion.Department of Otolaryngology, Cukurova University Medical Faculty, Adana, Turkey.
OBJECTIVE: To detect the relationship between food allergy and otitis media with effusion (OME).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was performed on three different groups. The patient group was made up of 56 patients with OME (group I). There were 28 patients with food allergy in group II and these patients were investigated for OME. The control group consisted of 28 patients without any complaints concerning food allergy or OME (group III).
RESULTS: Food allergy was detected in 25 patients with OME (44.6%) (group I). In patients with food allergy (group II), OME was detected in 7 patients (25%). In the control group (group III) food allergy was diagnosed in 5 patients (18%) and OME in 1 patient (3%). The incidence of food allergy in OME group was statistically significant when compared to the normal group (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that food allergy may play a role in the etiopathogenesis of OME.