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A holistic approach to common ear, nose, and throat problems.

Sinusitis, allergy, asthma, acid reflux and chronic nasal congestion are some of the most common problems seen by an ear, nose, and throat specialists. The standard medical treatment for these ailments has been based on the use of nasal steroid sprays, oral steroids, and antihistamines. In severe cases, surgery is performed.

These medications have one thing in common. They each treat the symptom, but not the problem. The root cause of these problems is inflammation. In most cases, the body is unable to digest nutrients from food and/or there is an allergy to a food or an environmental trigger such as pollen or animal dander. Once the inflammatory process begins, it leads to swelling, fluid retention, constriction of blood vessels and a slowing or increasing of the movement of food through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is important to keep in mind that the GI tract begins at the nose and ends at the anus. Therefore, it becomes clear that there can be complaints throughout the system if inflammation is present. For example, swelling of the tissue in the nose causes nasal congestion and can lead to sinusitis; swelling in the stomach can lead to acid reflux and heartburn; swelling in the intestine can cause bloating, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea; and swelling in the lung can cause asthma. In children, colic, failure to gain weight, frequent vomiting especially during and after meals, eczema, hyperactivity, and frequent infections are seen.

In order to control inflammation, it is important to properly digest what is eaten. Properly digested food improves absorption of nutrients and eliminates the formation of toxins that can trigger an inflammation. Usually a person can identify foods that will cause problems like nasal stuffiness, headache, bloating, heartburn or gas. However, sometimes there are more severe symptoms such as wheezing, hives, itching, and eczema that are also related to maldigestion.

Simply, if a child has an allergy to the food or does not have the appropriate digestive enzymes to break it down so that it can be absorbed into the body, the food will remain in the GI tract and become rancid and toxic, stimulating a diffuse inflammatory response. The immune system will be turned on to attack the "foreign substance." This leads to "allergy" in adults and cold symptoms in children, such as sneezing, snoring, nasal congestion, and runny nose. If the skin is involved, hives, itching, redness, and eczema result. If the intestine is involved, diarrhea or constipation result. If the lung is involved, bronchitis and asthma are the presenting symptoms.

The ability to digest proteins, starches, sugars and fats depends on several factors. It can depend on blood type, body type, age, prior intestinal surgery, a history of not being breastfed as a child, medications that are being taken, and increased stress. For example, if there is not enough protease enzyme, eating proteins such as meats and eggs will lead to symptoms such as fatigue, nasal congestion, foul smelling stool, heartburn and/or bloating.

Detoxifying the system is important to cleanse the system of waste and toxins. Colonic therapy, chelation therapy, the use of various herbal remedies, and enzyme therapy are some examples of valuable methods of achieving this. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding preservatives, processed foods, and sugar are also important to promote digestive health. The use of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins are integral to maintaining a balanced healthy system.

In children, avoidance of treating frequent infections with chronic antibiotic use is the goal of both parents and physicians. The key to attaining that goal is prevention. Being proactive helps control and., in most cases, eliminates problems before disease can arise. Breastfeeding provides a strong foundation that will help the immune system and digestive systems develop and function well. In adults and children, it is important to assess the function of the various organs and systems in the body. In most cases, physical examination, standard blood work, and x-rays will not be sensitive enough to pick up a nascent disease process. In most cases, they cannot diagnose why the patient has vague complaints such as fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, colic, vomiting, frequent infections and food intolerance, weight gain, headache, or recurrent/chronic infection. However, tests that look at the function of the body on a microscopic level such as Qualitative Fluid Analysis (QFA) are important tools that can assess the body to determine if it is in balance.

Once the baseline biological function is determined, a protocol can be individually tailored to correct imbalances to return the child or adult to good health. If maldigestion is the problem, an enzyme protocol can be designed to aid in food absorption, cell nutrition and promote colonization with healthy bacteria and yeast. If there are allergies to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, mold or pet dander, vaccination to the allergen can be instituted to prevent the allergy and asthma occurring. If the problem is diagnosed early, preventative treatment can be initiated. Prevention will decrease the dependence on steroid sprays, antihistamines, antacids, and antibiotics. In short, trips to the doctor's office can be greatly decreased and possibly eliminated.

Elaina George, MO is an otolaryngologist practicing in Atlanta Georgia at Peachtree Ear, Nose, and Throat Center. Dr George trained in New York. Her practice includes adults and children, and she specializes in allergy, snoring and holistic ENT.
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Title Annotation:Children's Health
Author:George, Elaina F.
Publication:New Life Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:888
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