A chronic runny nose, cough, four ear infections in a row and a scheduled surgery for my two and a half year old is where my journey into natural nutrition and prevention really began.
Taking us back to about 3 years ago, my always healthy two and a half year old daughter began preschool. Yes, I had heard about the daycare sickness cycles and was warned about the 10-12 times it is assumed that your child will have some sort of cold or flu in their first year of daycare or school, however, I was definitely not prepared for the two and a half months of a constant runny nose (and I mean it was like a constant faucet!), lingering deep cough and four ear infections in a row in my always healthy child!
This picture of her brings back memories of a bit of heartache for me because she wanted nothing more than to go to gymnastics classes. So we took her and her little nose ran the entire time. The instructor scolded me after the class asking why I would bring a sick child to a gymnastics class and expose other children? I understandably responded that she wasn’t sick or contagious, she just suffered from a chronic runny nose. We didn’t return until long after that as her symptoms continued.
Sorry, enough reminiscing, back to the doctors visit… Four ear infections in a row? At two and a half years old? Even this boggled the mind of our Pediatrician. Chronic ear infections at her age were not as common unless she had been having them since infancy is what I was told.
The answer… Surgery. Well, that was the “easy” answer at least. The medical answer.
I was told by my doctor that my daughter’s adenoids were inflamed, which was blocking the fluid in her ears from draining, causing the ear infections. We had an appointment with the ENT doctor to discuss the surgery procedure of removing her adenoids and tonsils but then that wonderful “mom instinct” inside of me just couldn’t go through with a surgery without really understanding why the inflammation in her body was happening in the first place. Looking back, it really makes me wonder how many children are unnecessarily having their adenoids and tonsils removed without ever exploring ways to calm inflammation in the body first. Now i’m no doctor, but to me, things weren’t adding up.
“Adenoids are masses of lymph tissue that help the body fight infection. Adenoids are found in the pharynx (throat) just behind the nose. Along with the tonsils, adenoids are the first line of defense in your throat.”*
After researching inflammation of the adenoids further and speaking with natural nutritionists, I found that these act as indicators in our body that an infection is present and they help the body fight infection. Yet, this is what they wanted to remove from my daughter? Wouldn’t it make more sense to find the source of the inflammation, calm the inflammation, therefore attempting to calm the enlarged adenoids. Call me crazy, right?
Right about that time, I had absolutely fallen in love with so much of the Shaklee Get Clean non-toxic cleaning line and was just starting to really get into the natural nutrition supplements that the company offered. The lady who I knew in Shaklee was extremely knowledgable in helping to heal the body naturally so I gave her a call and explained the situation, asking if there was anything at all that could help me make sense of the inflammation in her body and counteract it.
Here is what I decided would be the best course of action nutritionally for my daughter to see if I could overcome some of the health issues that she was experiencing:
1. She started taking a natural, non-synthetic multi-vitamin, called Incredivites.
Incredivites are free of artificial colors, preservatives and flavors. The recommended age is 2 tablets at the age of 4, so since she was two years old, I gave her 1 tablet daily (as recommended to me by a doctor).
Let me start by saying, all probiotics are definitely not the same! I started giving my daughter Shaklee’s Optiflora probiotic twice daily for the first 5 days and then one capsule per day after that.
Side note: Probiotics are definitely the new trend right now and many of them are not guaranteed to deliver live enzymes into the intestines and colon of the body. They can easily die off while sitting on the store shelf or even in your stomach acid, that’s why Shaklee has a patent on the actual delivery system of the live enzymes, how cool is that! When I was younger and frequently traveled into third world countries, my digestive system was a mess! I will just leave it at that lol, but trust me, the last thing you want when you are traveling with an entire group of people, is digestive issues!! My mom starting giving me Shaklee’s Optiflora at a very young age and they were truly my saving grace on so many occasions. As they helped to heal my digestive tract, I regretfully stopped taking them during my teenage years and forgot all about Shaklee until I started having issues with my prescription prenatal vitamins and then again, relied on Shaklee for help. But we will save that story for another day! Short story, I only trust Shaklee’s Optiflora if I am looking for results from probiotics!
3. Alfalfa –
Where do I even begin? Shaklee’s Alfalfa has been known for years as the “poor man’s vitamin” because of all of the nutrient dense vitamins and minerals that it soaks up from the soil. Alfalfa helps with detoxification of toxins and it is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. I truly believe that this is what helped calm the inflammation in my daughter’s body! Every time my daughter starts to get a runny nose or shows any signs of allergies, she asks for Alfalfa and it works for us within about 20-30 minutes. It has also helped my husband eliminate his asthma and allergies and it’s my go to when I start to feel irritation in my sinuses. You can read more about more benefits of Shaklee’s Alfalfa here.
4. Cutting back on mucous producing foods like milk and bananas.
Although it was recommended that I eliminate dairy all together, that was a little overwhelming for me, so I started by just replacing the milk that she drank with almond milk. I still allowed her to have all dairy except milk but I continued to cook with milk as usual, still gave her ice cream on occasion, and it didn’t seem to bother her unless she drank straight dairy milk.
After a week and a half of introducing the three new nutrients and cutting back on her daily intake of milk, all of her symptoms were gone and I had my fun loving, healthy little girl back!
I was completely astonished! After two and a half months of dealing with this, it was a simple as adding in some vitamins and nutrients into her system? I was shocked and took her back to the doctor to be examined. The doctor was even more shocked than I was. Her words were, “Well, I honestly have no medical explanation of how this happened but I am glad that it did!” Then she continued to ask more details about exactly what protocol I followed so she could let other families know about this option to see if it might help!