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Antibiotic use in infants linked to asthma

Many parents of children with autism, ADHD, asthma and allergies (the 4 A’s) note that their children were frequently on antibiotics. A recent study found a link between antibiotic use during the first year of life and the development of asthma.

How does antibiotic use cause asthma?

New research published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine states that impaired viral immunity and genetic variants on a region of chromosome 17 increase the risk of both antibiotic use in early life and later development of asthma rather than the antibiotics themselves. However, other research challenges this finding.

The scientific link between asthma and antibiotics

In the same issue of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine is research that states the link between asthma and antibiotics is due to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ – as children today are exposed to fewer microbes than in the past. While research published in The Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology during the same month (May 2014) indicates that perturbations in children’s gastrointestinal microbiota disrupt the immune system causing children to develop asthma.

As with most chronic conditions, there is usually not one cause and sometimes several factors occurring at the same time are noted as causing a condition. So, if they aren’t really sure why asthma and antibiotics are linked how can we prevent it? The answer is really quite simple – minimize the use of antibiotics for our children as much as possible.

Breastfeeding can help your child’s immune system

Research shows that breast milk is rich in white blood cells, antibodies and found to be associated with greater antioxidant ability than bovine milk, especially in the glutathione synthesis pathway. When early initiation of breastfeeding does not take place, disruption of the lining of the gut occurs, further increasing the infant’s vulnerability to illness.

Be sure to identify allergies that cause ear infections.

A number of studies have found that pepsinogen, a digestive enzyme produced by the body to bread down food proteins, to be a culprit in ear infections. The enzyme was found in concentrations that were about 1000 times higher in the middle ear than found in the blood.

In one study, 83% of children who had ear infections tested positive for pepsinogen. So in essence, the ear infection is a symptom of acid reflux and we are simply treating the symptom with antibiotics.

How does pepsinogen get from stomach to the middle ear?

When a child lies on his back, pepsinogen can flow up to the throat and drip into the middle ear creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Often times the only indication of acid reflux in children is a cough when they lay down at night. The journal Otolaryngoly Head and Neck Surgery concluded that controlling reflux may be an essential piece of controlling middle ear infections.

The most common culprit in acid reflux in children was found to be dairy. If allergy testing is performed on your child and they test negative, this simply means they are not allergic to dairy, however it could still be responsible for their reflux.

Don’t eat foods tainted with antibiotics

During the child’s first year of life, table food is introduced. 80% of antibiotics use in the United States is on livestock, so feeding your child meats that were raised without the use of antibiotics is imperative.

In addition, apples and pears – the very juices most parents begin their children on during that first year has been allowed to have antibiotic-laden pesticides used. This is supposed to be phased out during 2014.

What are the best ‘natural’ antibiotics?

At Healing 4 Soul, we understand that antibiotics are sometimes necessary and we find that some natural antibiotics often resolve the issue, negating the need for a pharmaceutical antibiotic.

Garlic, honey, coconut oil, colloidal silver are used frequently within my practice with fantastic results. At Healing 4 Soul, our motto is ‘We are here to educate, not medicate’ and we strive to heal patients naturally