amadeus_gw

My child has enlarged adenoids

amadeus
13 years ago

For the last year my 2.5 yr old daughter has had chronic ear infections so we were referred to a specialist in pediatric otolaryngology. He found that she has enlarged adenoids that are keeping fluid from properly draining from the ear.

His solution is to a)remove the adenoids and b)put drain tubes in her ears for 10 months.

As a parent my instinct tells me to take his solution as a last alternative. I asked him what the alternatives are and his response was "other than not treating it there is no other alternative". What bothers me is that he has no idea what is causing it. So to me, his approach is like throwing a stone in the dark.

So now Im in research mode looking for other ways to resolve the the issue. Im looking for recommendations on what direction I should go. What kind of doctor should I seek out? What kind of treatments are availabe whether its homeopathic, herbal, or nutrition?

Thank you for any help.

Joshua

Comments (150)

  • Heathen1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    As far as I remember, no one was advocating the use of placebos as cures, but that if someone thinks something is working... it just might be working.
    The one thing that I learned as I have gotten older is that 'facts' are not finite... that we really know so little. The one thing that I have seen with a lot of doctors of Western Medicine is that they think that everything they've learned is a FACT. Even though every day, the news is filled with stories of how they were wrong.
    Combined with the fact that a lot of medicines came from plants in the wild, although well refined, it seems to me that the smart doctor would be open minded to herbalism. Though I am well aware that Snake Oil salesmen are rampant, closing one's mind to alternative therapies, specially ones that have been used for millenia, seems rather silly. I know that a lot of quite intelligent people have a hard time questioning what they were told as 'facts', those with an open and questioning mind, seem to me to be the actual 'intelligent' doctors.
    I'd think with age should come acceptance that one doesn't know everything, yet in the medical profession, age seems to lead to more of a stubbornness, and a thinking that they know everything. I have actually found that some younger docs are more open to alternative therapies. I guess that 'older and wiser' doesn't really apply in the medical field.
    Some people feel comfortable shutting off their brains and being told what to do... others find this frightening. I guess that's why some people gravitate towards the doctors who 'know everything' and the others gravitate towards more open minded 'wholistic' healers.
    It SEEMS to me that a herbalism forum would be filled with people trying to gravitate towards more 'wholistic' healing, and when people come in and insist that western medicine is the only way, it frightens the more open-minded freethinkers. Obviously, as some have spoken up, this is not so, and I am learning every day.
    To me, it's a shame that more doctors are unable to open their minds and maybe learn something that they weren't taught in medical school, but as Lucy always illustrates, it's not common... it's sad.

  • lucy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I should have clarified.. placebos are used in patients who have real diseases (as well as those that don't), but the objective is still the same - to allow the patient to feel they are being treated, and therefore to actually feel better because they relax and believe in the 'medicine'. However, "no one was advocating the use of placebos as cures, but that if someone thinks something is working... it just might be working." The placebos? "Working"? I don't think so - not in the sense you apparently mean it. Inert filler (rather than actual sugar) is not likely to 'work' on a real disease any time soon.

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  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "The one thing that I have seen with a lot of doctors of Western Medicine is that they think that everything they've learned is a FACT. Even though every day, the news is filled with stories of how they were wrong."

    It's worth noting that challenges to accepted theories in evidence-based mainstream medicine come from...researchers and practitioners involved in mainstream medicine. It's part of the healthy debate and willingness to accept change that exists in our scientific community.
    This affects use of pharmaceuticals such as cox-2 inhibitors (which provide good pain relief but may increase the risk of heart problems) and the use of herbal drugs. For instance, black cohosh has enjoyed some vogue in mainstream medicine (a major OB-GYN organization stated it had value in treating menopausal symptoms). Then a new comprehensive study found it was not useful - which is prompting reappraisal of black cohosh's place in therapy.

    This is the sort of open discussion we need. When we demand good evidence for drugs and treatments (as opposed to undocumented claims and testimonials) we have a much better chance of winding up with effective therapy - not perfect, but the best available. This also means a willingness to question ancient traditions in the light of modern experience and research - something many alt med advocates have been unwilling to do.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Heathen 1,

    I couldn't agree more with your last post. It was eloquent and to the point. No one was advocating placebos to "cure" anything. I personally believe "cure" is such a misnomer. The only thing that can "cure", if you will, is the triad of the body-mind-spirit (not necessarily in that order). This triad is ultimately responsible for the healing, not the drug, herb, medicine, etc. These agents only facilitate the healing process. Western medicine looks for health to come from outside of the body - what it can give the body from the outside-in to restore health or stop symptoms. Along these same lines is why, in my opinion, placebo has an effect, whether short or long term. The mind obviously plays a part, as sugar or water pills are not effective for health conditions. The belief that Patients are receiving powerful "medicine" kick-starts some process we can't fully understand. As Lucy pointed out, "People who think they will feel better are more likely to feel better". Placebo, as Eric oh stated, may even produce a negative effect on the body, but this is likely a rare occurrence. I am not sure why the ethics of placebo surfaced in your last post, Eric oh. Nobody has questioned ethics with regards to placebo or administering placebos by Physicians.

    Eric oh, you stated the following in your last post:

    "placing a child with enlarged adenoids on a severely restrictive diet when there's no demonstrable benefit is not innocuous. The parents may think an unsatisfying or nutritionally unacceptable diet has to be maintained for life - and the child is the ultimate victim."

    Cutting out refined foods was a subject of debate in earlier posts, specifically with Thurstjo's daughter. Nowhere was it stated that anybody with swollen adenoids absolutely had to go on a "severely restricted diet". I think most people with an intact common sense would agree that processed foods are not healthy. It certainly has been linked by some to the overwhelming increases in diabetic and cardiovascular disease in the West. Stripping foods of their fiber and naturally occurring vitamins and co-factors, then adding dyes, fillers, artificial colors and flavors, and then top it off by sometimes re-adding synthetic and/or low quality vitamins just can't make for a "healthy" food. Now, not all processed foods undergo that process, but a lot of them do. This doesn't even address the possibilities of what effects genetically modified foods have on the body - these are becoming utilized more and more in a lot of the grains and other foods grown in this country. Now this IS a question of ethics that I would like to bring up - there are no current laws that I know of requiring growers of genetically modified foods to list these in the ingredients of the foods that contain them. People are ingesting these engineered foods without their knowledge. We should at least have the right to know whether these engineered ingredients are in the foods we eat by way of mandatory labeling. The effects these engineered foods may have on our bodies by modifying naturally occurring foods is likely not what nature intended. It is a crap shoot as to how a body would react to an engineered protein (that doesn't even exist in nature) being ingested by the body.

    Children with food allergies (whether you give food allergies credence or not) ARE recommended to stop eating the foods that show a positive test and believed to be contributing to the allergies and/or sensitivities in their systems. This absolutely doesn't mean they have to follow this elimination diet for life such as a Celiac diet. These potentially allergenic foods can and are recommended to be re-introduced after the system recovers and is working properly to see whether or not the symptoms of allergy return. Celiac disease is a different issue. Since Celiac disease has no medical treatment, eliminating all gluten in the diet is what is recommended by health professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists who have a good understanding of the condition. I still don't consider it a huge leap in thinking that other potentially allergic conditions can be affected positively by eliminating potential dietary causes. Why would a child be considered a victim of a nutritionally unacceptable diet by eliminating foods that may be creating allergic symptoms along with unhealthy refined foods? Would it be better to excise either swollen adenoids, tonsils or intestines and then continue to provide foods that potentially have allergic consequences which may contribute to future health problems?

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Previous posts in this thread have singled out a variety of foods and ingredients (meats, dairy, "inorganic" food, aspartame and now processed foods) as suspect for causing enlarged adenoids, in the absense of any compelling evidence that they're to blame.

    Serious food allergies (to peanuts and shellfish, for example) do not just up and vanish on a restrictive diet, and it can be extremely dangerous to re-introduce them "after the system recovers", whatever is meant by that. Knowing this, it's easy to see how a parent who is wrongly convinced that her child is allergic to common, everyday foods might mandate a highly restrictive diet long-term to "protect" the child (even if it's unsatisfying or nutritionally deficient).

    At least that's what my common sense tells me. And you can't argue with common sense, right? ;)

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    We are not talking about the anaphylactic-type food allergies, Eric oh - Common sense SHOULD dictate the difference. Milk is an everyday common food. Soy is an everyday common food. Peanuts are an everyday common food. All of these are considered to be potential allergens and are among the top of the list of common allergens. My Children's pediatrician recommended we don't give cow's milk to our children before the age of one to avoid developing an allergy to the proteins contained in it. Is this an example of being wrongly convinced to avoid this food? It seems like common sense to me. Of course even common sense apparently is subjective, as well as "long term". We are talking about months, not a lifetime avoidance. Read up more on food allergies for a better understanding, and not just journals that dismiss it.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Of course even common sense apparently is subjective..."

    Exactly.

    Hundreds of years ago it was "common sense" that mysterious vapors and evil spirits transmitted disease, and it was considered nonsensical for doctors to bother washing their hands.

    We've learned that common sense is also commonly wrong.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think you may be confusing what is referred to as common knowledge with common sense. Common sense refers to something that relates to prudent and sound judgement. Common knowledge refers to something that most people believe to be, but doesn't necesarrily make it so. Common sense would serve to differentiate anaphylactic allergy and food allergy. Common knowledge would be the belief that "mysterious vapors and evil spirits transmitted disease, and it was considered nonsensical for doctors to bother washing their hands." It would be common knowledge that is commonly wrong.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "I think you may be confusing what is referred to as common knowledge with common sense."

    You appear to define common sense as "something I believe". And you think that your brand of "common sense" trumps scientific evidence (or in this case, the lack of it). So there really isn't anything left to discuss. Let us know if you come across any objective documentation that food restriction cures enlarged adenoids.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    No, it was stated clearly - Common sense relates to sound and prudent judgement - not what only I believe. I never said my opinion (which IS what I believe) trumps scientific evidence. I simply don't let scientific evidence dictate my entire belief system, as scientific "evidence" can have opposing results - that is common sense. Nothing is absolute. We have been over this before. If you choose to have scientific evidence be your one and only model of thought, that is your choice. Let me know if you come across any objective studies that prove food restriction ISN'T effective for enlarged adenoids.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The basic mechanism by which science functions is that people propose theories, and supply evidence to back their claims. If the evidence is compelling enough (and especially if experimental results can be repeated by others), the theory (or in medicine, the drug, treatment, or proposed cause of illness) is accepted.

    What does not happen is that someone proposes a theory and then says "Prove me wrong!". This goes counter to the spirit of scientific inquiry as well as being impractical (insufficient resources and time exist to chase down every wild claim, especially those based on feelings and personal prejudices). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary documentation.

    So if someone alleges that a miracle herb cures cancer with no side effects, or that mysterious food allergies cause adenoids to swell, it's incumbent on that person to demonstrate that the claims are true.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Well, yet again, I find another "scientific" study that refutes the information in one of your earlier threads. You stated: "One of the complications of enlarged adenoids is recurrent ear infections. From this site:" (kidshealth.org)
    Apparently, one of the scientific journals you like to quote says otherwise. The link is below for your edification:

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/328/7438/487

    Which study is more "scientific"? What does your common sense tell you?

    Let's move on.

    To quote you further from 5 posts earlier:
    "The one thing that I have seen with a lot of doctors of Western Medicine is that they think that everything they've learned is a FACT. Even though every day, the news is filled with stories of how they were wrong." (Heathen 1)

    your response:

    "It's worth noting that challenges to accepted theories in evidence-based mainstream medicine come from...researchers and practitioners involved in mainstream medicine. It's part of the healthy debate and willingness to accept change that exists in our scientific community".

    Diet doesn't deserve a role in those changes? I never said I could prove that food allergies causes adenoids to swell, but it certainly is NOT out of the realm of possibility. Since diet is a common factor among all humans, it deserves (once again) to be considered.

    In direct response to your last post on the "basic mechanism by which science functions":

    Thurstjo's daughter had "compelling evidence" (in at least my mind and certainly Thurstjo's mind) by the eradication of her symptoms ("She now sleeps silently and is a bundle of energy with no problems breathing") This fulfills part one of your basic mechanism by which science functions. This isn't the only success story a nutritionist has had on planet earth with swollen adenoids or tonsils. That would fulfill the "experimental results repeated by others" section, or part two of your basic mechanism model. The "theory is accepted" in my mind and Thurstjo's mind, and I would bet her success story would cause others to at least consider taking their children to a nutritionist or other alternative practitioner before having the adenoids removed. The success of Thurstjo's daughter "demonstrates that the claim is true".

    You have agreed that adenoidectomy (along with Lucy - who had the procedure performed) can be an effective way to treat symptoms associated with inflammation of adenoids.

    I don't recall you ever actually providing a study that scientifically backs up adenoidectomy as an effective treatment. Wouldn't it would be extremely silly, however, since it has been shown (on an anecdotal basis - OH NO!!!) to be an effective way of eradicating symptoms. It is so obvious that it isn't necessary for you to "demonstrate that the claims are true" when someone who you regularly agree with on this forum has had success (among many others) with this method.

    How does adenoidectomy in Lucy (which eradicated her symptoms) differ from Thurstjo's success in treating her Daughter (other than by method and sparing of the adenoids, of course)? Neither of the two methods have been supported by any "scientific studies" provided by anybody on any thread with regards to this topic, but the anecdotal evidence is compelling enough in both cases, the results have been repeated in both cases, and so the treatment should then be accepted in both cases.

    You, however, are only accepting adenoidectomy as an effective treatment when both treatments fulfilled your description of the "basic mechanism by which science functions". How does the method used by Thurstjo fulfill the "basic mechanism by which science functions" any less than Lucy with her adenoidectomy? You aren't in violation of your own description, are you?

  • lucy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    The difference is that my MD proposed surgery BECAUSE he was well aware my ear problems were most likely caused by either my inflamed tonsils and/or adenoids, following many years of study on the subject, backed up by thousands of other proven correlations between the two, not because his sister-in-law thought it might work because her best friend's teacher saw testimonials somewhere the year before. Yes, I 'testified' to how well things went with me, but would argue against anyone else doing it (surgery) on that basis unless it was also done as a result of proper scientific research, by accredited MD's, and not some guy with a diploma with a fancy sounding name of some school, from another guy who's real good at making them look impressive!

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    In response to jsrdc: my common sense tells me first to review what the original poster told us about her child:

    "For the last year my 2.5 yr old daughter has had chronic ear infections (bolding added) so we were referred to a specialist in pediatric otolaryngology. He found that she has enlarged adenoids that are keeping fluid from properly draining from the ear.
    His solution is to a)remove the adenoids and b)put drain tubes in her ears for 10 months."

    From the scientific journal article to which you just linked:

    "Adenoidectomy may benefit the middle ear by removing a source of infection from the nasopharynx and has been shown to be helpful in children over 4 years of age with chronic otitis media (ear infections) with effusion."

    Here's an article that provides comprehensive recommendations for dealing with otitis media in a wider range of kids, including ones as young as the child mentioned in the opening post. It cites surgical removal of the adenoids as appropriate treatment if there is obstruction or chronic inflammation of the adenoids - and the pediatric ENT specialist mentioned in the opening post found both of these conditions present in this child.

    So the suggested treatment is appropriate. As I suggested earlier, the child's mom might want to seek a second opinion on whether surgery is necessary.

    Note that the practice guidelines do not suggest withdrawing foods from the child's diet as an experiment to see if that helps with the swollen adenoids and ear infections. They further mention the need to carefully screen the child for hearing loss and developmental problems - which could worsen if parents ignore effective treatment to experiment with diet changes suggested by an anonymous poster on the Internet.

    And no, a testimonial does not "fulfill...one of (my) basic mechanism by which science functions." Testimonials are not reliable by themselves as to whether a treatment is effective. If there is good scientific documentation that a treatment works, it may be useful to hear about people's experiences with that therapy (which is why I linked earlier in this thread to the Berkeley parents' network - oddly, I don't see you citing the parents' positive testimonials about how adenoid surgery helped their children).

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Lucy,

    I am not saying your adenoidectomy wasn't justified. ONCE AGAIN, and I have said this countless times - I am NOT against removal of adenoids IF it is NECESSARY. According to you Lucy, the MD still wasn't 100% sure as to the cause of your ear problems. You stated "my MD proposed surgery because he was well aware my ear problems were most likely caused by either my inflamed tonsils and/or adenoids" - MOST LIKELY caused by either inflamed tonsils and/or adenoids. Why they don't address the CAUSE of the inflamed tonsils and/or adenoids instead of removal is a major point of contention with me and others on this site.

    Thurtsjo's daughter was taken to a nutritionist who had SUCCESS with her adenoid condition WITHOUT the need for surgery. I don't see how this nutritionist fits into the category of "not some guy with a diploma with a fancy sounding name of some school, from another guy who's real good at making them look impressive!" Why is it any less credible in her case? Because she DIDN'T have the adenoids removed? Removal would have been OK with you, right? Why is it NOT OK that she had success with an alternative method? I can understand if she had exhausted all other methods and then turned to surgery as a final option. Since it was a nutritionist (one who specializes in nutrition) who helped with the recovery (along with a lab with ISO quality management certification and the approval of Allergy UK, which is the leading UK charity on allergies for its test) and supplements given based on the nutritionist's training, that isn't as credible as an MD (one who specializes in drugs and/or surgery) who wanted to excise the adenoids or put tubes in her daughters ears for 10 months? Where is the Patients best interests in that? I, for one as a parent, would weigh the option of recovery from surgery, possible complications of surgery and anesthesia, complications from 10 months of tubes and how it would affect the child's home life, social activities, etc. I would then factor in the complications from taking my child to a nutritionist and/or Homeopath and/or other practitioners to see if other primary factors were actually contributing to the swollen adenoids/tonsils in the first place. That may be considered going against the "scientific" grain in the opinion of others, but that is what I would choose to do (and apparently that is what Thurstjo chose to do and had wonderful success with the outcome).

    Eric oh:

    Did you happen to miss the CONCLUSION in the study I cited before from the BMJ? Here it is in case you did:

    Conclusions:Adenoidectomy, as the first surgical treatment of children aged 10 to 24 months with recurrent acute otitis media, is not effective in preventing further episodes. It cannot be recommended as the primary method of prophylaxis.

    You take one line from the INTRODUCTION section of that article and spotlight it as though that is the conclusion of the study. Now I am not a professional journal reader, but I would venture to say it is "unscientific" to take a line from the introduction and flaunt as if it is the conclusion of the study. In addition the line you did quote says that adenoidectomy "may" benefit the middle ear. It is not conclusive.

    You then cite another study from pubmed that talks about ear infections, and that in that study (since you are in to one-liners) it clearly states with regards to adenoids: "Adenoidectomy should not be performed unless a distinct indication exists (nasal obstruction, chronic adenoiditis"). Nowhere in the original post did it say anything about amadeus's daughter having CHRONIC adenoiditis. The original post talked only about chronic ear infections, but the actual cause of the ear infection was never discussed. How does you know with full clarity that that Amadeus's daughter had CHRONIC adenoiditis? You don't.

    Lucy's story is, in fact, a testimonial. Based on your quote of how "Testimonials are not reliable by themselves as to whether a treatment is effective", that would leave Lucy's success as nothing more than anecdotal evidence. I have never argued that removal of adenoids or tonsils isn't successful at reducing or eradicating symptoms. It just never addressed the cause of the problem. It only addressed the symptoms.

    To quote you Eric oh:
    "Note that the practice guidelines do not suggest withdrawing foods from the child's diet as an experiment to see if that helps with the swollen adenoids and ear infections. They further mention the need to carefully screen the child for hearing loss and developmental problems - which could worsen if parents ignore effective treatment to experiment with diet changes suggested by an anonymous poster on the Internet."

    Of course practice guidelines don't suggest withdrawing foods from the diet as a possible CAUSE of the adenoids and ear infections. It still doesn't prove it isn't a cause. It only proves that they don't believe it to be an effective option. Did you happen to forget the study on nutrition and MD's? You know, the one in which you stated "Lastly, I am not taking issue with the paper you quoted regarding medical school nutrition education (the one finding that nutrition is an integral part of schooling)" I would expect the guidelines to be astute enough to focus on the methods that support the majority of the training the MD's receive in school.

    Common sense (haha) dictates that there is no good reason for an MD to follow a course of treatment in nutrition that composes only 21-30 hours in overall education while in Medical school. Leaving that to the nutritionists, who specialize more in nutrition, is a more prudent option.

    The bottom line is this, Eric oh:

    Based on your posts, You and Lucy appear to be in the camp that believes (in the case of inflamed adenoids and/or tonsils) in the removal of such tissues based on the eradication of symptoms. This is based on what you feel constitutes "scientific" evidence and case studies who have performed the same procedure in the past. Anything else is not scientific and not therefore dangerous or not validated. Correct me if I am wrong in this description.

    I and others are in the camp that the CAUSE of the adenoid and/or tonsil inflammation should be investigated before excision of these lymphoid tissues is performed. One way to do this is to look into choosing a nutritionist and/or other alternative practitioner to investigate the bigger picture of overall health of the body by assessing potential allergies to foods or other substances.

    If you don't like what you see in our camp, don't look at ours, and by all means choose to stay in yours. It doesn't mean our camp doesn't exist. It doesn't mean our camp is less effective than yours. It only means you don't agree with the basis of our camp. That is your choice.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    jsrdc The article you cite concludes that acute otitis media is not helped by adenoidectomy together with ear tubes. The mother who began this thread specifically stated that her child has chronic ear infections. The article you cite specifically mentions that adenoidectomy has been found helpful in chronic ear infections. Therefore it supports my conclusions.

    Regarding whether the child in question has chronic adenoiditis, it's a logical conclusion based on the mother's description. Big, swollen adenoids and tonsils typically get that way from repeated infections and reflect a chronic state of inflammation - not a one-time acute event. Obstruction from chronic adenoidal enlargement is a potential indication for surgery to avoid hearing loss and breathing problems.

    As far as being in a "camp", I'll happily acknowledge being on the side of evidence-based medicine, whether herbal, "alternative" or mainstream.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Well, Eric oh, your very first thread in this forum states, and I quote (again):

    "One of the complications of enlarged adenoids is RECURRENT ear infections. From this site:"

    The study I mentioned that opposes the study you referenced in your first thread is entitled "Adenoidectomy versus chemoprophylaxis and placebo for RECURRENT acute otitis media in children aged under 2 years: randomised controlled trial"

    Recurrent acute otitis media is interchangeable with chronic otitis media. This article isn't pointing out an isolated case of acute otitis media, but RECURRENT cases. Don't be so bold as to change the title of the study OR the conclusion just so it fits into your argument. That is unscientific, and it goes against any form of common sense, to say the least. Do your best to get your argument in line with the actual language you use. It affects your credibility when they oppose each other.

    Since recurrent is a synonym for chronic, the BJM study still opposes your kidshealth.org study. And I ask you again, which is more scientific as well as which is more evidence-based? Are you still standing by the reference in your first thread? If so, it just goes to further prove that evidence-based studies can and do oppose each other.

    To quote you again from your most recent thread, Eric oh:

    "jsrdc The article you cite specifically mentions that adenoidectomy has been found helpful in chronic ear infections. Therefore it supports my conclusions."

    This is incorrect. What the article SPECIFICALLY states is the following (which is once again not in the conclusion, but in the introduction of the article):

    "Adenoidectomy may benefit the middle ear by removing a source of infection from the nasopharynx and has been shown to be helpful in children over 4 years of age with chronic otitis media with effusion"

    The child in the first post is 2 1/2 years of age, not over 4 years of age - can you cite a study for children aged between 2 1/2 to 4 years old with this condition? MD's would likely reference a journal study they plan to use to support their choice of treatment that is closest in age parameters to the Patient being treated. That would be a logical conclusion, and you do support logical conclusions, right?

    Since you have established yourself to be in the evidence-based medicine camp, which is completely fine, I would like to point out the following, which is from wikipedia with regards to "Evidence-based medicine":

    "The types of trials considered "gold standard" (i.e. randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials) may be expensive, so that funding sources play a role in what gets investigated. For example, public authorities may tend to fund preventive medicine studies to improve public health as a whole, while pharmaceutical companies fund studies intended to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of particular drugs".

    ALL of the sources you have provided studies from in any thread are very medically-oriented studies in which no nutritional-based studies would be found. Bias in funding equates to what gets published. This still doesn't mean nutrition doesn't have a valid role in inflammation or disease (whether it is related to swollen adenoids or not).

    Further information on evidence-based medicine, again from wikipedia:

    "The studies that are published in medical journals may not be representative of all the studies that are completed on a given topic (published and unpublished) or may be misleading due to conflicts of interest (i.e. publication bias).[7]"

    This is evidenced by different journals ending up with different conclusions for similar studies.

    I am not disputing gold standard or evidence-based medicine. But I won't throw out alternative treatments because gold standard treatments or quackwatch feels they are useless. It is akin to me pointing you to read the American Journal of Nutrition with regards to how effective Celebrex is for joint pain - that would be a useless suggestion.

  • lucy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think a point has been missed here, or at least gone around to make others, and that is that infections, whether chronic or acute, are a factor of bacteria growing out of control and causing inflammation. I have yet to come across any scientific evidence that nutrition plays any part in bacteria multiplying, most certainly not in the majority of aerobic infections that are attacked and killed by antibiotics such as penicillin. There may be a link in cases of anaerobic bacteria, with growth emerging from organic, food-based fungi, and treated with gram-negative antibiotics, but the usual culprits in the above arguments are gram-positive, aerobic (air-borne) and contagion (passed on by touch) based, making the rounds of day care centres and schools notorious for being 'homes' for them. Anaerobic infections such as salmonella are often seen in people who have eaten, e.g. salads left open to the sun in summer, but those bacteria do not cause adenoid inflammation.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Chronic" otitis media is sometimes referred to as recurrent otitis media. But "acute" and "chronic" otitis media are not the same thing, though the BMJ study jsrdc cites blurs the definitions a bit. For more on what the difference is between acute and chronic otitis media, check out this National Institutes of Health website.

    jsrds, I suggest you go back and look at that BMJ article again, as it does not say what you think it does. As well, please refer to the comprehensive pediatric practice guidelines I linked to, which clearly indicate that surgical adenoidectomy is appropriate treatment for the type of adenoidal enlargement described in the child whose treatment we have been discussing.

    A great deal of scientific research has been done on nutrition, including its role in certain medical conditions (do a PubMed online search and you'll be deluged with literature citations). An enormous amount of work has been done on vitamins alone.

    I'm a little puzzled. First you quote a scientific article when you think it backs your position (which it doesn't), and then you condemn scientific research in general as a tool of Big Pharma (though the great majority of medical research does not involve testing pharmaceuticals).

    You seem to be trying to have it both ways. ;)

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Eric oh,
    I fully understand the differences between acute and chronic. Much to your disliking, I do possess common sense. Having said that, recurrent episodes of acute otitis media, or recurrent otitis media are very interchangeable. It is (obviously) stated as recurrent when it occurs more than once. Acute otitis media is a SINGLE episode. However, recurrent episodes of otitis media (referred to specifically as "recurrent acute otitis media" in the BMJ article) is the crux of the article. To further clarify it for you, the same NIH website you quoted in your last thread states the following:

    The term "acute" refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media.

    Recurrent is the term you specifically used in your first thread - did you actually mean chronic and misunderstand the term recurrent? If so, it is OK to admit the misnomer. I won't tell anybody. The original poster described her daughter to be suffering from "chronic ear infections", so I think your intent by using "recurrent" is clear.

    Since "chronic" is BOTH an infection that lasts a long time AND one that comes and goes (this again, is according to the NIH article you posted) the BMJ study DOES actually fit into the "chronic description - see the following:

    The BMJ article is based on the following criteria:
    "To be eligible, the child had to have experienced at least three acute episodes during the previous six months". Is three episodes of what they call "acute recurrent otitis media" in a 6 month period not considered to be an infection that comes and goes? This is why they referred to it as recurrent acute otitis media - they could have easily stated it to be recurrent otitis media. It is the same thing. Are you possibly the one who is mistaken on this article, and just not able to accept that it opposes an article you earlier quoted - both of which are in "scientific" journals? That is what is sounds like to me.

    Secondly, I have NEVER disputed (nor needed to) what the "comprehensive pediatric practice guidelines" say. I would have guessed without ever reading it that it is common procedure to surgically remove adenoids. I think you are still failing to understand that this is Gardenweb.com, not the comprehensive pediatric guidelines website. People on this site are still open to alternative therapies, regardless of how many medical studies, guidelines, or journals you may use in your quest.

    I only quote scientific articles that have opposed a specific view or conclusion that you have quoted in the past. This has been done to show a lack of consistencies among different journals that happen to study the same topic.

    I don't condemn scientific research in general, nor do I condemn it as a tool of Big pharm - I was simply and specifically quoting a wikipedia page on evidence-based medicine, in which YOU have stated you are a proponent. Once again, there is nothing wrong with that. I simply have found articles or studies that challenge what you have quoted, and then you feel inclined to incorrectly point out that what I have found is "my" opinion. It is specifically designed to help you get it that NOTHING is absolute, even in the evidence-based medicine world. Having explained that, it sure shoots down your observation that " I seem to be trying to have it both ways". =0

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Secondly, I have NEVER disputed (nor needed to) what the "comprehensive pediatric practice guidelines" say."

    Really? Didn't you just spend your last several posts attempting to interpret a journal article as showing that adenoidectomy is not effective in chronic ear infections?

    "I think you are still failing to understand that this is Gardenweb.com, not the comprehensive pediatric guidelines website. People on this site are still open to alternative therapies, regardless of how many medical studies, guidelines, or journals you may use in your quest."

    Sounds like you're trying to have it both ways again. It's OK for you to quote a journal article to try to prove a point, but not for me?

    Sure, visitors to this forum generally want to find out about herbal drugs as opposed to mainstream medications. Lots of people want their herbal treatments to be evidence-based, meaning that their effectiveness and safety have been demonstrated in clinical trials. There will always be those content to accept testimonials and unproven claims that fit in with their way of thinking, and they are free to tune out what they don't want to hear.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Eric oh, You really are attempting to sidestep the most recently debated issue - is the BMJ article indicated or not for chronic ear infections? I believe it is, and I also believe you now realize it, otherwise you would have posted a further argument in your last thread. It is OK to say you are incorrect. If I am incorrect, I have no reservations about being up front about it, and I will gladly admit my mistakes. You have shown an aversion to say you are mistaken on two occasions now. Are you in politics, by chance?

    Secondly, I personally have never disputed the pediatric guidelines. The BMJ article may have conflicting information with regards to those guidelines. I referenced that particular article in response to your "recurrent" ear infections thread. If that goes against the pediatric guidelines, you may want to be very careful in which sources you quote, and think about quoting a journal in the future that doesn't conflict with your earlier statements. I don't write the journals, I just quote them

    Now, to quote you, Eric oh:
    "Really? Didn't you just spend your last several posts attempting to interpret a journal article as showing that adenoidectomy is not effective in chronic ear infections?"

    I didn't "attempt" to show it wasn't effective - I made a clear and concise argument with regards to what the conclusion stated - what I DIDN'T do is take a line from the introduction and try to use it as part of the conclusion. Your attempts to dispute that particular BMJ article have obviously stopped, and for good reason.

    Thirdly, it is OK for ANY of us to quote a journal, not just myself, and certainly not just you. Consistency is the only point of contention I have with regards to journals you may quote, and as you have read, I have found inconsistencies. Because I point them out doesn't equate me wanting to "have it both ways".

    Lastly, I wouldn't be surprised if many have tuned you out, and many likely have tuned me out. I don't take it personally. If I am wrong, I will gladly admit it. If I have offended anyone, please understand it is not personal. This is a debate where freedom of speech is allowed, to discuss alternative methods of healing, and to provoke thought among the Gardenweb members.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am not posting "further arguments" because it would be repetitive.

    Anyone who wants to form an opinion on valid therapy for enlarged adenoids now has ample resources to consult.

    With regard to further pointless personal interchange, count me among those now tuning out.

    Best of luck in your endeavors.

  • jsrdc
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Same to you with your endeavors - I am sorry to hear that you feel our exchanges are pointless. It wasn't many threads ago that you stated "This is the sort of open discussion we need". I guess that stamina is fading ;)

  • rusty_blackhaw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    A note on that website states that its "information" is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

    So, better save your money than buy useless supplements.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hello agaain, eric oh - to clarify your above statement for anybody not familiar with that particular statement, ANY supplement that does not have a drug status or is not reviewed by the FDA is required to state the following:

    "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease".

    Here is the reference:

    Code of Federal Regulations]
    [Title 21, Volume 2]
    [Revised as of April 1, 2004]
    From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
    [CITE: 21CFR101.93]

    A bottle of Garlic tablets have to state the same. It doesn't make garlic a useless supplement.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Well, let's see.

    The poster in question is telling mom that the miracle carb product is "a new discovery in wellness", that the daughter's body will "heal and regenerate itself", and that the product will have a "GLOBAL IMPACT on dis-ease" (whatever "dis-ease" might refer to), and will make a "world of difference".

    Given all that, it's kind of disconcerting to see the miracle carb promoters telling us in fine print that the product isn't actually intended to treat anything (!). This is typical use of a loophole allowed by Congress, where supplement dealers can make general claims for a product without having to do any of the work necessary to show the product is effective for any purpose. Even if they cross the line and start claiming their product works on arthritis, cancer or swollen adenoids, it may be months or years before the FDA takes action, by which time the supplement dealer can be in Rio enjoying an extended beach holiday.

    So it's buyer beware - and in this case there's nothing to back up the grandiose promises.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Buyer beware applies to anything, including food, cars, pharmaceuticals, and yes, even "special carbs". Even though drugs are regulated by the FDA, you still put your well being at risk and end up trading current symptoms for other symptoms (sometimes more symptoms, and usually worse)by taking any of the countless number of prescription drugs. Just take a look at the side effects on ANY medication, including aspirin or other "safe" OTC medications. Buyer beware applies the pharmaceuticals and any other entity, even if it is regulated. Ulitmately, you are missing my point, eric oh. I am not advocating taking special carbs. I am pointing out that ANY supplement that is not regulated by the FDA by law has to state their product is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, NOT just the special carbs. Secondly, the body is what does all of the healing - the life force. Drugs certainly don't heal, and special carbs don't heal either. The body heals and regenerates under the right conditions. Let's not confuse that by any means. Lastly, that supplement dealer who ends up in Rio may just be having dinner with a Pharmaceutical CFO whose company peddles "legal" drugs that still end up hurting and even killing thousands of people every year regardless of their regulation.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Buyer beware applies to anything, including food, cars, pharmaceuticals"

    Agreed.

    "Even though drugs are regulated by the FDA, you still put your well being at risk "

    What you get with a regulated drug is something that has to be shown to effectively treat a condition, and a chance to make an intelligent decision about whether the benefits justify the cost and potential side effects. What you get by "treating" swollen adenoids with Wonder Carbs is no demonstrated benefit at all, a waste of money, and the likelihood of watching your child suffer with continued infections and the potential for hearing loss and other problems.

    "Secondly, the body is what does all of the healing - the life force"

    In that case we shouldn't be messing around with drugs or supplements. Trouble is, not all "life forces" (including bacteria and viruses) are beneficial, and we can use a nudge in the right direction through proper care.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    What you "get" with regulated drugs are "regulated" chemicals created by a pharmaceutical company which in turn, is "regulated" by the FDA. Even with regulation, the risk of harm is still there. We know this already. There are no denying the side effects that come with these drugs. People make "intelligent" decisions all the time with regards to drugs, and some lose their lives as a result. Some get more side effects. Some get "relief" due to suppression of symptoms. Drugs don't cure anything. Anybody who says otherwise, I beg to differ. Since glyconutrients are already found naturally in known healthy foods, are they then useless if you eat the healthy foods (Goji, seaweed, echinacea, and aloe) that contain them? I believe the poster who advocated looking into glyconutrients isn't claiming them to be a cure for swollen adenoids. Give the body what it needs to heal, remove the resistance that is causing the problem in the first place, and watch the body heal itself. That is the life force I was referring to - not pathogenic bacteria and viruses, although some bacteria are beneficial to the body, such as the probiotics (acidophilus, bifdium). The body isn't given enough credit to heal itself. Do we really need drugs to be healthy? No. And what "nudges in the right direction through proper care" are acceptable? I am glad to see your stamina has returned, eric oh.....

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I'm not sure what drugs, regulated or not, have to do with the original poster's request - since no drug was being considered to manage this child's adenoidal enlargement. The option being considered was surgical - which would remove the source of the problem.

    Those of us advising the mom in this thread to consider only therapy of proven value have not made statements about whether supplements are good or bad in general, just that they have no demonstrated effectiveness for swollen adenoids.

    Several posters have used this thread as a platform for their ideas on pH, food allergies, Wonder Carbs, the Evils of We$tern Medicine etc.

    "Drugs don't cure anything. Anybody who says otherwise, I beg to differ."

    You could take this up with Lance Armstrong. Or any of the many cancer patients (including thousands of children with leukemia) cured by modern therapy. Or someone whose life-threatening infection was conquered by antibiotics. But you'd probably claim the outcomes in all these and many other cases were due to "life force".

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Lets put these cancer drugs you mention to the test, eric oh. Let's take 5 lifeless bodies, all who unfortunately perished from cancer, and inject them all with these modern cancer drugs. Let's see how many of these bodies then become cancer-free. Better yet, let's take any single body who was overcome by a major infection, give that body some antibiotics, and let's see if the infection that overcame the body goes away. What is missing here is the life force. Lance Armstrong was and is an amazing athlete in amazing shape. His chances of beating cancer when he was diagnosed were arguably better than most. I am not denying his cancer drugs helped him to beat the cancer, but none of it is possible without the inherent force in the body that supports life. So, yes, outcomes in ALL cases of healing are central to having life force to begin with. I challenge you to find a single Doctor in his or her right mind who would disagree with this.

    To quote you eric oh - "I'm not sure what drugs, regulated or not, have to do with the original poster's request".

    You have argued from day one how alternatives to drugs are "useless" or "ineffective". Yet, if a medical treatment such as antibiotics (drug) was brought up, you either supported or had no quarrel with such, because it it either mainstream or found in a journal. You yourself have been supportive of such from day one, so that particular statement is in direct conflict with your previous threads.

    Body pH, food allergies, and other conditions can reduce the resistance of the body's immune system. That can lead to a whole host of conditions, including ear infections and swollen adenoids related to ear infections. Can adenoid enlargement be due to a virus, or bacterial infection? OF course. Can it be due to other things that precipitate the infection? Yes. The bottom line is alternative therapies work, such as homeopathy and such as acupuncture. Diet should be the first thing addressed in my opinion, as your digestive system is a large part of your immunity, and since the food you eat daily interfaces with your digestive system. Then begin digging deeper once the potential dietary issues have been dealt with.

    To further quote you eric oh - "Those of us advising the mom in this thread to consider only therapy of proven value have not made statements about whether supplements are good or bad in general, just that they have no demonstrated effectiveness for swollen adenoids".

    You have repeatedly assessed alternative therapies including supplements to be "useless", "harmful", or that they are "putting your child at risk". That sure sounds to me that you have made your argument for supplements being "bad", at least in regards to swollen adenoids or ear infections.

    I just hope the final outcome for all of this back and forth banter has been the child with the swollen adenoids has had success, and that his/her condition was resolved without having to cut out immune system tissues as a way of getting rid of the symptoms. Ultimately, the child's well being, regardless of your belief system is the most important aspect of all of this, in my opinion. Peace out.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Regarding "life force", I absolutely agree that a person has to be alive to be successfully treated for any condition. :)

    You're also right that I've pointed out that supplements are useless for a child with enlarged adenoids. So, for the most part, are prescription drugs. So are homeopathy, acupuncture and any number of things which well-intentioned but misinformed people promote on the basis of personal philosophy and undocumented testimonials.

    I too hope this child got the help she needed, without a lengthy period of time wasted exploring "alternative" treatments. As I mentioned before, someone close to me underwent a long period of misery with enlarged tonsils and adenoids as a child while her mother dithered over surgery, which fixed the problem.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Let's not forget Thurstjo, who posted earlier and had success with her daughter's adenoid problem. If you recall, it was with the help of the "useless" nutritionist and homeopathic Doctor, much to the dismay of her MD's. Would her success be considered "a lengthy period of time wasted", or perhaps time well spent by avoiding cutting out specialized immune system tissues? Why would you consider that success story an undocumented testimonial? I also wonder if the person's Mother you know who had the adenoid problems looked into diet and other alternative methods before choosing surgery for her daughter. Surgery certainly stopped the symptoms. If you have no adenoids, there won't be swelling of those tissues once exposed to stress (bacteria, viruses, allergies, etc.) If that particular person had tried acupuncture or supplements, and it had worked for her, would you still be calling those particular methods useless?

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Why would you consider that success story an undocumented testimonial?"

    Because that's exactly what it is.

    In a long thread like this you often find testimonials from various people for a whole slew of treatments, both pro and con. Each person may believe they know the one true way. Or they've never tried the therapy in question but want to promote a particular health philosophy. Or they're attempting to sell something. There's no way to tell.

    "Quacks often use case histories, testimonials, and subjective evidence to justify their exaggerated claims...Testimonial evidence is by definition biased and unreliable. Scientists report their studies in reputable journals, where their work is reviewed and evaluated by other scientists prior to publication. Controlled experiments that can be confirmed by repeating the study are the best way to document the truth of the information."

    Relying on testimonials for health care information is bound to steer you wrong.

    More on why people fall for testimonials.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Call it what you want, play the semantics game - when you box yourself into a particular paradigm, you miss a lot of the stuff on the "outside". Thurstjo's daughter had success, and you refuse to give it any credit. That is OK - regardless of what you think, the outcome of her success speaks for itself. The countless others who have used similar methods with success know the value the efficacy as well. When the science eventually catches up to the "how" with regards to alternative therapies working, then hopefully some progress will be made - instead of just dismissing them because they are out of the box, then even more progress can be made. I believe this is a competition thing. Not all therapies work, whether scientific or not. But, because one may choose to not always "drink the koolade" of scientific study, you are branded either a quack or your method is ineffective. That might be a bit extreme on the part of science. Sticking with the chronic ear infection topic, here are some examples of the scientific community and the uncertainty involved with some of the "scientific" methods on dealing with chronic ear infections:

    Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies

    Doing nothing may actually be more effective than surgery. In one study, children with congestion in both ears had a tube implanted in only one ear. The untreated ear had fewer subsequent infections than the treated one. A 1989 study showed that the surgery offered no advantage over doing nothing in terms of duration of the disease, recurrence of disease, subsequent surgery, or hearing loss after twelve months, even for patients with serious initial hearing loss.

    Routine removal of adenoids, practiced by many surgeons, has no beneficial effect on the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear and consequent hearing loss.

    Most children receiving the operation continue to get ear infections.

    The operation may have to be repeated, about 30% of the time, according to one study, and more than 50% in children under two years old.

    Chronic fluid in the ear and accompanying hearing loss tends to improve spontaneously. A study shows improvement without treatment in more than 80% of children, with 50% returning to near normal.

    Treatment for allergies or food sensitivities may solve the problem.

    Minor delay in speech development due to chronic hearing impairment is not likely to have long-term consequences. Some physicians inappropriately warn parents that the hearing loss will lead to learning disabilities.

    Placement of tubes causes permanent scarring of the eardrums in about half of patients.

    Serious complications, such as meningitis or brain abscess, are rare, and the operation does not apparently reduce such complications. A Scottish study found that in the twenty years between 1966 and 1986, these complications remained stable, even though the frequency of the ear tube operation increased sixty-fold.

    Children spontaneously outgrow chronic ear problems, usually by about age seven. The adenoids naturally reduce in size, and as the skull becomes longer and higher with normal growth, the eustachian tube becomes more vertical and drains more easily.

    The immediate benefit of the surgery is immediate improvement of hearing and reduction of pain. To a child with fluid in the ears, a normal conversational voice sounds like a soft whisper. To compensate, the child amy turn up the television sound unusually high, or may not hear the teacher well in school. Sometimes the parents think the child is ignoring them. A few weeks after the operation the hearing usually returns to normal. The tubes also relieve the main cause of painpressure in the middle ear. Many ear specialists recommend surgery if an ear infection persists for more than thirty days, but others wait six months in most cases, with medical supervision, until it is clear that hearing impairment is continuing.

    The dangers of surgery are those inherent in general anesthesia. Adverse reactions to anesthesia affect about one child in three. The most common is simple nausea after surgery, but reactions are life-threatening in about one child in a thousand. Antibiotic therapy also has risks. About one patient in ten develop allergies to antibiotics. Bactrim, an antibiotic commonly used to treat ear infections, can produce more than sixty kinds of side effects. Some, although rare, are potentially fatal.

    The link to the above information: http://medherb.com/Therapeutics/Pediatrics_-_Chronic_childhood_ear_infections.htm

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It's interesting that the author of your article damning medical treatments (a naturopath?) is eager to point out that childhood ear infections and related problems may improve spontaneously. But when it comes to posting anecdotes about selected patients, he's convinced that his tinctures and diet recommendations must have been effective and not the result of spontaneous improvement. :)

    This again is why anecdotes and testimonials can't take the place of well-conducted clinical trials. Anyone who refers to science as "drinking the koolade" and doesn't see the value of following the rules of evidence will never be convinced.

    Parents who want the best for their kids will research the issue and make their own decisions.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    eric oh - the material I referenced is citing raw stats from clinical articles, NOT the author's opinion. Below that raw data, he also goes on to recommend both common and safe herbs and remedies,such as vitamin C, echinacea, garlic oil, muellein oil (a nice fit for gardenweb.com). Any problem with Vit.C or garlic? They work very well for lots of things, and have unlimited documented uses, which are both effective and safe. The case studies he documents BELOW the article I referenced must be to what you are referring when you state it is the author's opinion.

    Sorry to inform you, but evidence shows that the ear infections do, in some cases, resolve spontaneously (life force, perhaps?) It has served me and others well to question even the most "scientific" studies - as we have discussed many times before, there are always interests at stake. "Drinking the koolade" was meant as a metaphor signifying how some blindly follow what is supposed to be status quo in the scientific community. If you choose to blindly follow, and be one of the herd, that is your choice. I couldn't agree with you more when you stated that "Parents who want the best for their kids will research the issue and make their own decisions". The only issue here is that you denounce those decisions when they don't fit into your idea of what works or what is effective.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    As you are mischaracterizing my statements and arguing with things I have not said, it is probably best to refer you back to my previous two posts.

    I'd be happy to discuss any documented studies showing a role for diet, supplements or trust in "life force" for relieving the misery of a child with chronically swollen adenoids and frequent ear infections.

  • tasymo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Eric Oh, and Lucy too-
    Did you even READ the original posters questions? HE (you've repeatedly refered to him as the child's Mother...) was seeking suggestions for his RESEARCH for alternatives to surgery. He does not indicate that whatever is recommended here is what he will automatically try. Sometimes when you are seeking answers, you need some idea what questions to ask. You two are awfully eager to jump in and discourage anyone from looking into alternatives that might be found on this forum (HERBALISM) in case you've forgotten. I agree wholeheartedly with Heathen. I invariably reach a point when reading a thread like this where I simply start skipping your replies. I come here because I am interested in Herbalism and would like to learn more, as well as converse with others who share that interest. I'm not stupid, and I don't take everything I read as the gospel truth, including your tedious lists of research funded by the not so reliable (in my humble opinion) FDA and Medical community. I truly do appreciate it if someone tells me an Herb I'm interested in is toxic, though I am also aware that any Herb that is truly effective has the potential to be toxic if not used properly. I am a firm believer in 2nd opinions if what your Doctor recommends doesn't feel right to you- I still have a healthy functioning ovary after a hysterectomy because I fired my first Doctor and found one who was willing to listen to, and answer all my questions and concerns. I know it won't do any good to ask you guys to back off, but at least re-read the original post. I've copied it and tacked it on this message, although I'm afraid you lost Joshua's attention. You may have noticed that he hasn't replied. I sincerely hope he found some answers that were helpful to him and that his daughter is better. Kathy


    For the last year my 2.5 yr old daughter has had chronic ear infections so we were referred to a specialist in pediatric otolaryngology. He found that she has enlarged adenoids that are keeping fluid from properly draining from the ear.
    His solution is to a)remove the adenoids and b)put drain tubes in her ears for 10 months.
    As a parent my instinct tells me to take his solution as a last alternative. I asked him what the alternatives are and his response was "other than not treating it there is no other alternative". What bothers me is that he has no idea what is causing it. So to me, his approach is like throwing a stone in the dark.
    So now Im in research mode looking for other ways to resolve the the issue. Im looking for recommendations on what direction I should go. What kind of doctor should I seek out? What kind of treatments are availabe whether its homeopathic, herbal, or nutrition?
    Thank you for any help.
    Joshua

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I and others have posted information to help the original poster make a decision (father, not mother as you noted, though that doesn't affect the advice given). For instance, he was puzzled about the cause for his daughter's condition, and I posted information and a helpful link to explain it and the suggested treatment.

    tasymo: "Did you even READ the original posters questions?...I invariably reach a point when reading a thread like this where I simply start skipping your replies...I am a firm believer in 2nd opinions if what your Doctor recommends doesn't feel right to you...I know it won't do any good to ask you guys to back off, but at least re-read the original post."

    Apparently you skipped over this reply of mine earlier in the thread, one of two occasions where I suggested the original poster might benefit from a second opinion: "I can understand a parent being concerned about a recommendation for surgery (and maybe a second opinion would be reassuring), but I don't know of any nutritional or herbal remedies that could be expected to shrink adenoids and prevent recurrent ear infections that potentially could damage a child's hearing."

    It's certainly any poster's privilege not to read or respond to comments with which they disagree, but if you feel the need to make personal attacks, it helps to check first on what the other poster actually said.

  • tasymo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Eric, I don't believe what I said was a personal attack. I don't know enough about you to do that. I simply stating what I feel. This forum is supposed to be a place to discuss HERBALISM, not a place to discourage folks from exploring it.

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Kathy (tasymo) - we are in complete agreement, to start with.
    You see, it is eric oh's Modis operandi to denounce any treatment that he feels isn't scientific, isn't found in a journal of his liking, or doesn't have effectiveness. For whatever reason, it isn't enough for only HIM to believe strongly in what he feels is right - he can't help but to spread his "gospel" to the others (regardless of whether or not others want to hear it), even when he is way off base with regards to where he spreads that gospel - gardenweb.com in this instance. Then, when somebody calls him out on it, he goes on the defensive and begins to claim he was personally attacked. I have witnessed it for some time. I believe his intentions are good, just very misplaced, and not popular by any means in this forum. Why he isn't choosing to spend his time on medical forums, or quackwatch forums is a surprise to me - he would fit in extremely well, bashing herbs and alternatives with those of that ilk. Maybe it is his mission to convert all of us here on gardenweb.com - it won't happen.

    Just like his last thread to me - he stated:

    "As you are mischaracterizing my statements and arguing with things I have not said, it is probably best to refer you back to my previous two posts.

    I would now like to respond to that. You stated the following three posts ago, eric oh:

    "It's interesting that the author of your article damning medical treatments(a naturopath?) is eager to point out that childhood ear infections and related problems may improve spontaneously.

    To quote you again, eric oh: "As you are mischaracterizing my statements and arguing with things I have not said, it is probably best to refer you back to my previous two posts".

    I have not mischaracterized you or anyone on this site.

    Once again, it is not "my" article. I found an article with raw data, posted a thread showing the raw data from the article, and you then accuse the author of "damning medical treatments" by referring to the case studies in which you did not agree. The data is not based upon the opinion of myself or the author trying to "damn medical treatments". That is specifically what I referred to when I stated "it is not the opinion of the author".

    In those case studies, he is successful using methods other than medicine, and he reports what has worked. If you disagree with the case studies, so be it. It won't change the fact that he had success using alternative methods, regardless of your beliefs in alternative therapies.

  • rusty_blackhaw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It'd be nice if we could disagree on the safety or effectiveness of a particular treatment without resorting to personal attacks on whoever we might disagree with. Ad hominem tactics should have no place here.

    The forum is explicitly for the discussion of using herbs for medicinal purposes. It has never been about unqualified praise for every form of alternative medicine and denunciation of all mainstream/evidence-based medicine. While there are numerous herbs about which I've had favorable things to say over the years (including St. John's wort, black cohosh and feverfew), there are herbal remedies that are ineffective and/or dangerous, and can legitimately be questioned (and yes, jsrdc, I do consider ineffectiveness as a reason to criticize a treatment).

    We have regular posters here who believe in the concept of complementary medicine (combining the best of herbal and mainstream treatments) and they add a lot to the discussions. If anybody would prefer a forum geared to unquestioning acceptance all types of alt med, attacks on any favorable mention of mainstream medicine, abuse and banning of all who feel differently, plus lots of advertisers and fake testimonials, e-mail me and I'll recommend some sites for you.

  • tasymo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thanks Jsrdc, for the back up! It is very frustrating to read through a thread like this and to constantly have to wade through reams of "case studies" and such. I suspect many people give up and log off. I'm here looking for personal experiences of Folks who utilize the very real medicinal value of Herbs, especially the people who grow and prepare their own. Yes, Lucy. The very "word of mouth" you so vigorously decry. I know how to use Google. If I hear about something here that I'd like to further investigate, it's not difficult to locate plenty of documention of case studies involving those herbs. How those studies are funded puts a huge dent in their believability, however. Our World does not naturally have pills and scalpels scattered across it, but it does have Herbs, flourishing without Human intervention. I sincerely believe they are here for a very good reason. Kathy

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Eric oh,
    It certainly is not breaking news to me that you consider effectiveness a reason to criticize a treatment. The core issue is more that your particular idea of "effectiveness" is narrowed and viewed with blinders. You have criticized the effectiveness of virtually every alternative method I and others have mentioned - acupuncture, homeopathy, food allergy testing, pH, etc. You have no qualms when it comes to criticizing, but when the criticism boomerangs back to you, you cry foul, and claim ad hominem tactics are at work. What is the old saying? If you can dish it out, you better darn well be able to take it in return.

    Yes, there are posters who are interested in the best of both mainstream and herbalism on this site. There are also posters who are more interested in alternative methods, including herbalism and other forms of holistic approaches. I believe that is why they are on gardenweb.com in the first place. The latter really isn't in need nor do they deserve a constant barrage of adjectives denouncing anything that doesn't have a journal reference or pharmaceutical study attached to it. Give people a little more credit than that. There are loads of people who are very intelligent and have common sense who don't happen to read JMPT or NEJM to validate their health choices. I would bet most people on this forum have enough intelligence to be able to navigate through the multitude of both the helpful and harmful options available.

    The original poster wanted advice on what types of doctors to seek out, and what treatments were available - all of this AFTER seeking a medical opinion and being told there was "no other alternative". Why is it that you are inclined to shoot down the very advice these people are asking for simply because you don't agree with it. Why not allow the original poster to make their own decision for their own child, based on ALL of the information presented?

  • lucy
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I think the point (or one of them) here is that you (or anyone) can come up with a 1,000 'alternatives' to a problem of any kind, but if none of them are proven to work, and one works just about every single time, who's wearing the blinders? There is a place for pursuing other avenues for answers when nothing has been shown to work, and/or someone is dying (or at least suffering) from a problem that hasn't responded to anything yet (and the diagnosis may be in question to begin with), but beating a dead horse on principal because you can is pretty dumb as far as I'm concerned. What works is adenoidectomy. Period. What also works is antibiotics and tubes for inner ear infections that every second kid under 5 seems to get routinely, and what doesn't work, and often (at best) delays proper treatment, and at worst actually makes things worse, is a slew of unproven, testimonial/word of mouth based, untested and inconsistently formulated herbal and/or other alternative 'cures'. It's soo time to get past this and go on to something else!

  • tasymo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    So are you saying we should surgically remove the portion of the immune system that is working the hardest to eliminate the root cause of the problem and ignore said cause of the problem, hoping no further symptoms appear?

  • jsrdc
    12 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Lucy,
    Has anybody questioned that tubes or adenoidectomy will work at eliminating symptoms some of the time? What has been the crux of many debates here is that people have been looking for ALTERNATIVES to this from day one. Thurstjo had success with her daughters case. Because you and eric oh don't believe homeopathy works for this doesn't change the outcome of success. Should thurstjo's daughter go ahead and have tubes inserted and have the adenoids removed because you and eric oh don't believe her avenue has solved the problem? It sure seems to me that you and eric oh have been beating a dead horse on YOUR principals. Bottom line - you and eric oh sure seem to think any opinion on this subject that doesn't parallel yours is plain wrong. Blinders are worn by whom?

    This is from the J Am Board Fam Pract 14(6):474-476, 2001
    © 2001 American Board of Family Practice

    There have been numerous studies in the medical literature reporting the ineffectiveness of antibiotics as treatment for ear infections

    Recent evidence has thrown into question the use of antibiotics and the length of treatment, if prescribed. The growing worldwide development of multidrug-resistant bacteria, the uncertainty of diagnosis, and that up to one third of cases of AOM are viral in origin 12 have made popular a wait-and-see approach to the initial prescription of antibiotics, especially in many European countries. In several randomized clinical trials, antibiotics provided only a small benefit. 13-15 In a meta-analysis of more than 2000 children with AOM, ear pain resolved spontaneously without antibiotics in two thirds by 24 hours and in 80% by day 7.

    More raw data - Tympanostomy tube insertion is the first choice for surgical intervention. Approximately 20 - 50% of children who undergo this procedure may have OME relapse and require additional surgery. (Univ of Maryland Medical Center)

    So, up to 50% of the time, ear infection with fluid re-occurs. Effectiveness of your preferred method sure is questionable here.

    Since a good deal of infections are viral, lucy, antibiotics are useless. If they are bacterial, the bacteria may die from the antibiotics, unless of course the bacteria have become resistant from the overuse of antibiotics for many years.

    Maybe you and eric oh should think about dismounting from the medical high horse and understand your type of mainstream medical thinking just isn't as popular as you may think it is here on gardenweb.com

    I agree to disagree - let's get past this and move on.

  • shaferduke_yahoo_com
    9 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hi Joshua, I'm sure by now you have come to a conclusion on how to treat your child's problems, but in case you haven't, I wanted to post my experience with this situation. My 2 yr old daughter just had her tubes, tonsils and adenoids done.
    I, like you, would rather treat health issues in a homeopathic way, so I did some research. I found out quit a bit on the subject.
    First, I found out that ear infections are one of the most common symptoms of enlarged adenoids. Other symptoms are snoring, sinus infections, and obstructive sleep apnea. (Central sleep apnea has nothing to do with adenoids and is caused by the brain malfunctioning.)
    Next, I found that there have been numerous studies done proving that, although our tonsils and adenoids are a part of our immune system, they actually play little to no part in actually "fighting" infection, and when removed have little or no impact on the way our body fights infection. In my experience, I have found that antibiotics cause more damage to our bodies than this somewhat minor surgery does. My oldest daughter suffered from "unknown" infections (possibly throat and/or sinus?), and was treated with antibiotics alot when she was younger. As a result, her teeth are de-calcified and without any enamel! Another issue we have found with her being prescribed antibiotics, is that her body, over the years, has become overrun with yeast and fungus, which, (if you do some in-depth research)causes ADHD symptoms! We are currently trying to regain her bodies natural state of harmony by getting rid of the yeast and fungus, but its a long hard road! After her adeniod/tonsilectomy she hasn't had any more "infections".
    Like you I wondered if there was a homeopathic or nutritional "cure" to this problem. I researched natural anti-inflammatories (fish oil and vitamin E,etc.)to reduce swelling and immune boosters (vitamin C, etc.)to prevent infection. I used them on my younger daughter and found only little improvement. I also tried to restrict problematic foods like gluten and milk. Gluten restriction showed little improvement in her overall health but milk restriction showed a tremendous improvement! I wanted learn why this was and if restricting milk was going to cause health issues like bone growth and tooth disease. What I found out alarmed me!
    First, children stop producing the enzyme required to break down HUMAN milk between ages 2-3, which could be why more children at this age develop ear infections. Next, I found out that ONLY bovine calves produce an enzyme to break down cows milk to get the calcium and vitamin D out of it and that no matter how hard our bodies try we CANNOT break down and use cows milk as a source of vitamin D or calcium. In fact, by drinking cows milk we actually deplete our bodies of this and are better off receiving it from green leafy vegetables. Also, saturated fats and hormones received by cows milk/dairy products actually cause inflammation and increased mucus production in our bodies, thus possibly contributing to enlarged adenoids and tonsils. (If you get a chance read "The China Study" and "Perfect Health: The Natural Way", very informative!)
    Finally, I found that some children, like mine, are just genetically predisposed to enlarged adenoids and tonsils. In these cases, you can try all you want, but the size of these glands will only increase as will the problems associated with them. As in my younger daughters case, removal was really the only way to correct her problems. I tried all of these things and researched everything I could possibly think of in order to help her, but I realized, this is just one of the many issues we are going to have to deal with because of her genetic/metabolic disorder.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you have tried other avenues like restricting dairy with no prevail and if the majority of research points toward the removal being a success, why make your child suffer through the pain of infections? If there's even a small possibility of a permanent solution, why not do it?

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