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Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

Earache

Hilary Butler - Saturday, May 29, 2010

The telephone rings. It’s someone with a fully vaccinated child, whose kid has earache. Again. And was prescribed antibiotics. Again. Did the doctor run tests to see what it was? No. So let’s toss an antibiotic napalm bomb into a kid, which will nuke what good bacteria there are that have a job to do in keeping bad bacteria under control. Dumb, dumb and dumber. But this is “infectious disease” medicine we are talking about. And it has been this way for decades, and its time it stopped.

A lot of misunderstanding about disease and disease treatment (i.e. vaccination and antibiotics) stems from the problems with disease classification. This paper identifies the problem, but it’s answer is crapshoot (It’s geekspeak and enough fry your brain, but persevere – then take a holiday! You’d think these people could explain things in plain language, but not so…)

Let’s use earache as an example. Many people think that the Hib vaccine, and prevnar, have reduced ear infections, but this is not so. If we had a clear diagnostic classification system people would never dream of getting the Pneumococcal vaccine.

Diseases are labelled by what symptoms they cause, which obviously results in a big problem for anyone who thinks logically:

How many different “pathogens” cause otitis media? Lots.

And how many different diseases besides otitis media does pneumococcus cause? Lots.

How often does Pneumococcus cause serious disease in relation to mild disease. Very very rarely.

Most people carry Strep Pneumo as a normal commensal and never get sick from it at all.

There's too much "overlap" in terms of accurate diagnosis.

That doesn’t matter. This overlap, gives vaccine manufacturers the opportunity to trick people by calling their vaccine effective against one “disease” – such as earache, or pneumonia - caused by THAT ONE pathogen.

But it matters quite a bit about what that vaccine is doing to the other pathogens that cause the same disease, and the other diseases caused by the same pathogen. Particularly when there is evidence (which doctors stay silent about) that the reduction of carriage of Hib, leads to the increase in the more serious Strep Pneumo, and the use of Prevnar is now paving the way to increases in really serious Staph Aureaus as well as other types of Strep Pneumo. All very predictable, because as someone once said, “nature abhors a vacuum”.

And you can’t presume that when you create a vacuum, something benign will jump in to fill the gap.

So for instance, vaccine efficacy of pneumococcal vaccine for earache (which is minimal anyway) completely ignores the increase in otitis media attributed to different pathogens, such as other pneumo types, Hib (yes, Hib!), M. catarrhalis and S. aureus.

The disease classification system allows manufacturers to simplistically focus on only one disease/one pathogen instead of the reality of much wider effects. That’s the beauty of the one Germ = one disease, head in the sand reductionist paradigm. So long as people believe that only ONE thing causes ONE disease, you can get away with simplifying a problem to the point of stupidity, and no-one is any the wiser. Furthermore, it means that if you are vaccinated and get that “disease” (pneumonia) anyway, then it can always be blamed on “something else” filling the breach.

At the “street” level, doctors are going to diagnose, based on what they can see with their eyes, and that means “symptoms”. They might take a swab, or they might not. Not that swabs are that relevant, because often a single swab might identify multiple bacteria, which are all then called “pathogens”, when in fact they are “commensals”. The word “commensals” means that in normal, healthy people, all the different types of bacteria work together as a community, maintaining a balance which doesn’t allow one particular one to gain dominance and cause problems.

So a doctor comes along, and (for the sake of being seen to do something), tosses in an antibiotic, which creates mayhem amongst the commensals, allowing the “strongest” to become dominant. What’s the result? What Dr Mendelsohn used to call “rebound ear-ache” It’s a lottery really. It could be the “same” bacteria (so much for immunity to each one…) , or it might be a different one. And doctors rarely consider using probiotics of any sort, to try to rectify the flora destruction that their antibiotics caused.

That antiobiotic usage leads to an increase in “pathogen activity” is known, and discussed even in this country since 1999  “Children who have recently had antibiotics are two to seven times more likely to subsequently carry resistant strains of S. pneumoniae as commensals”.   In some quarters repeated earache is considered a doctor’s bread and butter.

The problems here are two-fold.

First, the child is subjected to completely unnecessary repeated infections BECAUSE of the antibiotics. And the medical literature is quite clear that antibiotics don’t work on ear infections.

Secondly, this haphazard medical practice allows doctors to misdiagnose the cause and get away with it as long as they either get lucky and treat the symptoms in a manner that makes them go away; or the body heals itself in spite of inappropriate treatment, or better still, the parent returns for another consult, the doctor blames another bacteria and hands out another needless prescription. More business is better profits.

But parents won't realise these problems because most of them are being kept in the dark about them.

I know all about earache. It was a constant companion of mine through childhood, as a result of having a mother who believed that everything should have an antibiotic tossed at it.

My “saviour” was becoming allergic to all major classes of antibiotics. I was forced to find out treatments, and guess what? The constant earaches went away. Do I still get earache? Occasionally. But now, I usually toss a few drops of olive oil which has garlic infused in it, into the ear, and place that ear on a warm hotwaterbottle which has a polarfleece cover. Usually that sends me to sleep, and usually…. The earache is gone in a matter of a few hours.

Do I know much about treating earache in our children? No. The only time I had to treat earache in the children was once, in one child. After measles. Now why would a kid get earache, specifically AFTER measles and never any other time? Who knows. One of the mysteries of so-called “infection”. And no, I didn’t use antiobiotics. I left it to sort itself out. Why did our children not get earache any other time? Just maybe, long term extended breastfeeding, no vaccines, knowing how to assist their immune systems to heal themselves, and feeding them properly while they lived here, was the key to me remaining completely ignorant as to how to treat kids with earache.

Frankly, it’s trying enough treating my own earache. I’m very grateful our children never had to experience what I put up with as a child, courtesy of a parent who worshipped at the alter of whatever the doctor prescribed.

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