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Head/Ear/Mouth pressure and the constantly moving child - please help me figure this out.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My 2.5 year old DS intolerant to gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, nightshades, coconut. We discovered about 3 months ago that Sals are an issue and have been eliminating those and seeing differences in red face, hyperactivity, poops, and inability to settle.  A few months ago, he became so uncomfortable with pressure in his head (pushing on his front teeth constantly, grinding all night, pulling at ears, rubbing nose, difficulty swallowing, constantly restless, poor sleep) that we began seeing a pediatric chiropractor.


The chiro said his head was "filled with fluid" and his spine was in major need of adjustment. Despite the initial shock at high velocity adjustments after having done only energetic and craniosacral work with DS, I saw a huge difference in my son very quickly.  I liked the practitioner, he was big on homeopathics and boosting his immunity. DS began to sleep through the night for the first time, and drain fluid from his nose and wax from his ears, two things I had never seen. He was able to sit still for the first time in his life and I don't know if it was coincidental, but he began eating better and gaining weight. 


Every week he would do the tympanogram and test the movement of the inner ear, and we would get a reading that it was still flatlined - sometimes we would see some small movement, but then the following week we would be back to flatline. The chiro seemed a bit perterbed at times, and often spent extra time with us working on DS, trying to get to the bottom of "the little puzzle" he called my son.  After 12 weeks of adjustments though, we ran out of sessions. The chiro gave us two more for free, and offered more at a discount, but we are in a really bad place and cant afford more than once per month right now.


4 weeks out from stopping sessions and we are back to being restless all night, grinding teeth like mad, hands on teeth constantly (all teeth are in, not teething) and moving moving moving ALL the time. he also talks very loudly and i am worried his hearing is affected.


I need to get to the bottom of this! Is there something I can do to relieve the pressure in his head?


My questions is, why? Why is his head filling with fluid (and then not draining!)? I don't feel like we were getting to the root of the problem. I thought it could be the sals, but they have been so low (and we are suppling with mag, mo, epsom salt baths, omega 3's)


Does anyone have any thoughts? Could this be from sals still? something else? I have not explored histamine inducing foods as an issue. Seasonal allergies also a possibility, I guess.  I don't know what to think and if I can possibly handle one more set of food restrictions, supplements, homeopathics, books, websites...

I'm just welcoming any thoughts outside of my brain right now. :)


I sincerely appreciate your time!




post #2 of 10

Have you considered year-round enviromental allergies in your house, such as dust mites (something like 85% of folks with allergies are also allergic to dust mites) molds, mildews and house pets?

     Taking steps to minimize dust mites in our house has made a HUGE difference.  It has been worth all the effort.

post #3 of 10

Not about allergies per se, but have you taken your child to the pd to check his ears? It could be a predisposition to fluid in the ear. http://coldflu.about.com/od/othercommonillnesses/a/fluidinears.htm


Two little children in my neighbourhood have recently been separately diagnosed with a bad case of fluid in ear. Both of them had a short operation to drain the fluid out. One of them had so much fluid she's almost deaf and her speech has been delayed - which was what triggered the investigation in the first place. I saw her a couple of days after the operation and she looked as though she was having a major flu. Her mum said a lot of fluid was draining out, not just from her ears, but also her nose. Her father was predisposed to it as a child, and her older sister also had that in a milder degree and had the same operation, and she's a healthy active girl now, even though one ear has still not closed properly and she goes for annual check-ups.  


If it is this for your son, it's important to get the fluids out and you may need to make lifestyle adjustment for a while depending on your child - e.g. some kids's ears are fine after that, but some take longer for the ears to close up and have to be careful that fluids don't go in. Things have to be very clean - use antiseptic - for some, the adenoids may need to be removed eventually.


In any case, it's good to just get it checked out for peace of mind.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you sweet silver.


When he was about 8 months old he had a scratch test to all the common allergens and showed up negative on everything. Is it possible that that could change? A few members of my family have a dust mite allergy... this is something I didnt consider, but thought we were in the clear b/c of that scratch test. Is it worth getting redone?



post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 



this is interesting - i had no idea this existed. i thought because he did not get regular infections, that the fluid was not a potential issue.

i am going to take him into our NP and ask her about this. im wondering if an ENT would b a better choice?


i so appreciate the time you both took. any other thoughts welcome.


post #6 of 10

Since your son obviously has some food intolerances I would probably suspect another food could be causing this. I had really bad earaches as a child and had tubes in my ears twice. I did not start figuring out that I had food intolerances until after I had kids. I had been dealing with clogged ears (fluid) for several months until I decided to try going grain free and within a week I was able to finally pop my ears. I slipped up and ate a couple things with rice in them and the next day my ears were getting clogged again and I had a major headache.


Also, for the scratch test. 8 months is still young for allergy testing, the results can most definitely change as he gets older.


Most conventional doctors are not going to believe there's a link between food intolerances and fluid in the ears. Just be prepared for them to probably want to put tubes in his ears, whether it's necessary or not.

post #7 of 10

Well, the link I posted on fluid in the ear did say that in some cases, allergens could be a factor. I think it really depends on the individual child. For some kids it's a one-off and resolved with antibiotics, for recurring cases, you'll probably have to look deeper and perhaps make some lifestyle changes.


A brief thought on dustmite allergy which had made our lives miserable - PP is right, 8 months is too young for reliable testing. Dustmites can cause enlarged adenoids which in turn can prevent fluid from draining out. You can look here (scroll down) for some possible signs of enlarged adenoids. http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Tonsils-and-Adenoids.htm


I'm not exactly sure how it works out, but for fluid in the ears, with conventional medical specialists, yes, you will end up with the ENT specialist in the end. 


for me, I will try every reputable avenue, conventional or alternative. I'm sure when you have it all sorted out, things will make sense in hindsight.  The chiro definitely helps your son to cope with the fluids, but you have not yet determined the root cause. It could be a very persistent low-grade infection worsened by the fact that he can't rest well, in which case you need to drain it out properly; it could be enlarged adenoids due to dustmite allergy or other unknown allergies; or it could be just that his tubes are extra short and don't drain as well at this age. It could be a combination of everything or something else altogether.

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by mama.rye View Post

Thank you sweet silver.


When he was about 8 months old he had a scratch test to all the common allergens and showed up negative on everything. Is it possible that that could change? A few members of my family have a dust mite allergy... this is something I didnt consider, but thought we were in the clear b/c of that scratch test. Is it worth getting redone?



            I have two responses.  First, allergies:  Yes, this can change.  And sometimes known allergens still don't show up on skin tests until later (almond allergy in my DD especially, finally was positive at 4yo, and I knew this was trouble since she was tiny because of skin reactions from almond ingredients, like in lotions.  Wheat didn't show up on tests until 4yo, but with that one I think the allergy kicked in just 1 year earlier.)  Sometimes skin tests are a bust, but his control scratches would have indicate whether the test was working.  The histamine scratch would have been positive, higher than the saline scratch.  


           The second is the drainage.  Some people with and without allergies have trouble with drainage.  It could be for reasons others posted about earlier.  It could be a combination of allergies and a bad anatomy for drainage.  I always have a plugged right ear.  i use a neti pot, but I can't use a squeeze bottle (which has better results) because i get earaches from them.  Others I have heard from can't even use a neti pot because of a tendency towards sinus infections.  Every body is different.

            WARNING:  POSSIBLE GROSSNESS AHEAD!  I get some good results from making sure my tonsils aren't blocked up with "stones" and immediately get some drainage (though never complete).  At first, this tasted nasty and the stones reeked of foul breath, but I take care of them often enough so this doesn't happen.  I know that would be next to impossible to do with your son, but look at his tonsils.  Do you see whitish blobs stuck in there?  These are entirely normal, a sign tonsils are doing their work, but they can get backed-up.  (Tonsils do get a workout with allergic folks.)

           I really have no answers for you, but I hope you find yours.


post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!!  Your responses are so helpful.


I took him to an ENT yesterday, and not surprisingly, left feeling I had wasted $15 and an hour of my life. He looked in his ears and said they looked perfect. No fluid. The end. No other suggestions from him.


I pressed about testing for allergens, and he said he thought it was bad idea for a toddler to have a scratch test (would be uncomfortable) and blood test (unnecesary.)  If we wanted to see if it was allergies, we should give him Zyrtec and Flonase and if he struggles less - viola! Allergies. But to WHAT, jacka$$?! Sorry. I may get him tested but certainly won't be giving my money to that office. He had a smirk on his face the entire time that read "another paranoid mom reading into every nose sniffle" and at the end suggested we get him neurological testing to see if thats what was disrupting sleep. Sigh.


Well, the symptoms persist (tossed all night rubbing his nose and moving moving moving) but no fluids anywhere.  I'm beginning to suspect this has to do with the salycilate sensitivity (which I still don't fully understand) and food related chemical sensitivities. He had a can of tuna last night and I read that fish is high in animes. He displays symptoms of anime sensitivity that I have not put together until now - with racing heart being a big one.


I'm going to explore allergy testing still, but start to delve into this whole new world of food issues!  I would take this from him and suffer itt he rest of my life if I could - it's horrible to watch your child live like this. I know you all can relate....


I found support on the salycilatesensitivity forum and am slowly learning.


My best to you all -



post #10 of 10

I also disagree with your doc...2.5 is not too young for allergy testing.  Usually they do just a few scratches, so if you suspect something other than the Big Ones, request it.  Keep in mind that sometimes existing allergies seem to not show up on the test, even though the control scratches say they should, and that new allergies can arise.  We retested at 4 and KABLAM! huge number of allergies, new since the testing at 2 1/2.  Scratch testing is expensive without insurance, but can be worth it

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