Immune boosters for toddlers? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My 14 month old has gotten one cold after another since her first birthday. A couple weeks ago, her perpetually runny nose turned into a full blown fever for 3 days, no sleep for 5 nights, went back to exclusive breastfeeding, etc. She got better for almost a week, and now she's got another chest cold, snoring and bad cough. I think she gets a new ear infection with each new cold. I treat the ear infection, and things seem to get better, and she doesn't seem to be in as much pain starting a couple days after the cold goes away. Her pediatrician thinks it's all just one ear infection since every time we come in (only twice since her first birthday), she has an ear infection or 2. Unless things get really bad, we're not going back until her 15 month WCV, but if she's got another ear infection then, I know the pressure to use antibiotics is going to go up. More than that, I just don't want my baby to go through cold after cold and ear infection after ear infection. This last one started while we were on vacation, and we didn't have our cod liver oil, but usually, I'm giving her cod liver oil every day, and I've started adding more garlic to our diets. Is there anything else I can do?
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#2 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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she should be on a good quality probiotic, Copius amounts of SA, I would also be giving her this (we used both b4 DS was 2 with our ND's go ahead)

http://www.gaiaherbs.com/product.php?id=191

and this http://www.gaiaherbs.com/product.php?id=325

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#3 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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Get her to adequate vitamin D levels. You could test her 25(OH)D but most people are low and she's had a lot of infections. I'd just dose her 2000 IU of D3 per day (safe for kids over age one). Vitamin D has proven immune boosting (and other good) effects.

Probiotics have proven immune boosting effects. Florastor (s. boulardi) is proven to raise the immune system. I'd get that one and also one that colonizes (Klaire labs is good).

Zinc levels help the immune system. We do optizinc (zinc monomethoionine or something similar) with my kids since it is absorbed so much better and it also doesn't deplete iron.

For my child with immune issues we also do colostrum and epicore. You can read up on those.

The list above is the order I would do boosting in.

You might look at xylitol and ear infections.

Repeat ear infections are often due to drainage issues (chiroproactic care or cranial sacral might help) or allergies (dairy common).

Very likely resistant/repeat ear infections are involving biofilms. I made a thread a while back on how to handle ear infections. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...41&postcount=3

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#4 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas. I'll have to look into those and see what I'm comfortable with. What does SA stand for? I do wonder if milk is a problem since we started having problems about the same time I started letting her have yogurt (the only milk product I give her). There were a lot of other changes happening at that time too, though, so it's hard to tell. Maybe I'll keep her away from yogurt for a while (which will mean I have to eat it while she's sleeping because she loves it). Then, if she gets better, I won't know if it's because of the milk or because she's getting more sun. I was thinking of starting milk kefir as a pro-biotic for the family, but I'm still wafling between milk kefir and water kefir. If DD is allergic to milk, maybe it will have to be water kefir. I'll definately look at how to get more zinc in her diet, but I'd rather do it with food than supplements. Marnica, how much water does the echinecia/goldenseal want to be diluted with? DD probably only drinks about half an ounce of water a day, and most of it is used to make a mess, so dosage would be hard.
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#5 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
Thanks for the ideas. I'll have to look into those and see what I'm comfortable with. What does SA stand for? I do wonder if milk is a problem since we started having problems about the same time I started letting her have yogurt (the only milk product I give her). There were a lot of other changes happening at that time too, though, so it's hard to tell. Maybe I'll keep her away from yogurt for a while (which will mean I have to eat it while she's sleeping because she loves it). Then, if she gets better, I won't know if it's because of the milk or because she's getting more sun. I was thinking of starting milk kefir as a pro-biotic for the family, but I'm still wafling between milk kefir and water kefir. If DD is allergic to milk, maybe it will have to be water kefir. I'll definately look at how to get more zinc in her diet, but I'd rather do it with food than supplements. Marnica, how much water does the echinecia/goldenseal want to be diluted with? DD probably only drinks about half an ounce of water a day, and most of it is used to make a mess, so dosage would be hard.
SA is sodium ascorbate...a highly buffered and more bioavaliable form of vitamin c. Comes ina powder and is hard to find in stores. I get mine online.

You could dilute the enchinechea tincture in water or any other beverage. I often do it in breast milk or juice. Doesn't have to be water. You only need a bit of liquid and it's more to mask the taste than anything else. HERBPHARM makes a children's echinechea that is orange flavored and I just give that to DS directly from the dropper.

Also about the milk. Even if she isn't allergic, you should with hold dairy while she is ill. Dairy products encourage mucous and you don't need more of that!.

Dairy is often the culprit in recurring ear infections. I would steer clear. My son loves yougut as well, but can't do dairy. I buy coconut milk yogurt. He loves it. He can also tolerate goat milk yogurt, but I avoid this as well when he is ill.

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#6 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Food source zinc is going to be red meat. The richest sources are probably not foods a child typically eats. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...rient&dbid=115 Some seeds are high in zinc but the phytates are a major zinc (and other mineral) inhibitors so I would not use that as my source. You can research phytates and zinc to see why.

Most kids who are ok on zinc (I think many, many aren't) are ok because of foods that are zinc fortified. I.e. they are taking supplemental zinc through fortified cereals/breads, etc. If a person is going to do that of course you might as well supplement with the best available form in my opinion and give it away from the other minerals added to fortified foods.

Not everyone is going to make adequate D with sun. In fact, research indicates most don't. I've linked those studies on threads here before. I and others have speculated about reasons. But in short if you've not supplemented any D and especially you weren't taking at least 6,000 IU per day breastfeeding I'd want to test her level before I assumed she was ok/would be with sun especially given recurrent infections. You want a level in the 50's to be optimal for her. Forty some levels are sub-optimal. Below is quite low. In my opinion almost every child needs supplemented with D. Vitamin D council has excellent D information. Low D in childhood/infancy has huge implications for her long term health current infections are nothing compared.

I guess I'm saying think through your choices carefully. If what you're doing isn't working doing more of the same reasoning/choices probably aren't going to work better.

Research your goldenseal et. al carefully. Herbs are medication. For example if goldenseal is an antibiotic you've got to treat it as an antibiotic in terms of using probiotics, healing gut, etc. (Just an example-my son had a severe allergic reaction to a combo of those two herbs and I've not used them or researched them since). It might be the right choice. It's "more medicinal" than anything I suggested to boost the system. I'd think carefully about this if you're not willing to do any probiotics. It is, I believe, a powerful antibiotic.

I've read around here before of a particular kefir strain that contains s. boulardi. If I were doing kefir as my probiotic source I would look at that one given what I know about s. boulardi.

Sodium ascorbate is a form of vitamin C. We use it. I would not rely on it to be my sole supplement to boost immunity.

Sleep is important, whole healthy foods, etc.

Think through things carefully. You're describing a pretty concerning situation in my opinion with those repeat infections and I'd be pretty aggressive (in an educated way of course).

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#7 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, ladies. I'm working on researching the ideas here. I think we'll try nutrient-rich foods first, and if that doesn't cause improvements, we'll move on to supplements and then herbs as necessary. I do think that vitamin D may be a problem. We use cod liver oil with a pretty good amount of D (~300 IU for her, ~600 IU for me), but every time I get lax about giving it to her (like on our recent vacation), she gets sick. Maybe we'll need to get that tested.

Zinc could also be an issue, but most of the foods she eats are on the "good" list for zinc. I probably don't get enough, though, and since I'm a lot of her diet, that could be an issue. Maybe it's time to try out calf liver.

I think we get a lot of vitamin C, but it's hard to know how much is enough. We'll look into it.

I like the idea of kefir as a probiotic because it supposedly does a better job of actually recolonizing the digestive tract permanently while many pro-biotics lose their potency on the shelf and die in the stomach with very little left to colonize the intestines by the time they get there. We were kinda leaning towards milk kefir, but now I'm wondering if milk might be part of her problem. Any chance that milk kefir (with goat milk) might not be a problem even if milk is? I guess I could make her a separate batch with coconut milk if I needed to.

I am also trying to learn from my own experience. As a child, I was sick or had a cold very often. I had so many ear infections and got antibiotics for every single one. My parents tried cutting milk for a while. They put me on echinecia a lot, goldenseal for a while, extra vitamin C. Nothing really seemed to work in their opinion. It's not as much of a problem for me anymore, but I still do get colds kinda often, but nothing too serious. I just wonder if DD is experiencing something similar. Of the ideas listed, vitamin D, zinc, and probiotics were the things that my parents never tried, so that's where I'll start first. Thanks for the brainstorm!
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#8 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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How much vitA in the CLO? Most CLOs have too much vitA to be a good source of vitD... our bodies, in using the vitA, also use up vitD, and really that vitD is roughly the right amount for the increased need from the vitA, it's not addressing deficiencies. Guess how long I was giving my kids CLO before I twigged to this?

We do a stand-alone vitD as well, Carlson's drops are easy to dose. I gave a lot last year to really increase all our levels, now I've backed off--but I'm still giving it in the summer, and I live in Texas and my kids are slightly brown--enough that they don't burn so they can stay out for a couple hours w/o sunscreen, but not so dark that they're incredibly slow to make vitD in the sun. For whiter kids who burn in the Texas sun, or anybody fairly far north, vitD supplementation is a very reasonable option.

re: probiotics, we love kimchee. I saw it do good things for DD's digestion, we're dairy-free so dairy kefir isn't a choice for us. Tastes good too. I think it's a good start to working on digestive imbalances, esp if you want to do foods before supps.

VitC--you probably don't get nearly as much as your bodies can use, unless you're eating a very atypical diet. My read of the subject says most adults need a baseline of 5-6 grams per day, and sick adults can go way higher. Kids are less, due to body weight, but not many kids consume, say, a gram of vitC per day. That's been a helpful supp for preventing complications during illnesses; doesn't seem to prevent them for us, but makes them quicker and milder.

re: minerals in general, if you want to focus on diet, I'd really look at your phytic acid intake, either reduce/eliminate grains entirely or ferment most of them, ditto with at least soaking legumes. Makes a difference in the minerals we can absorb from our food. We still supplement zinc, but it's a good food practice regardless.

And other foods can be problematic, for us I think gluten is a bigger deal.
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#9 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Food source zinc is going to be red meat. The richest sources are probably not foods a child typically eats. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...rient&dbid=115 Some seeds are high in zinc but the phytates are a major zinc (and other mineral) inhibitors so I would not use that as my source. You can research phytates and zinc to see why.

Most kids who are ok on zinc (I think many, many aren't) are ok because of foods that are zinc fortified. I.e. they are taking supplemental zinc through fortified cereals/breads, etc. If a person is going to do that of course you might as well supplement with the best available form in my opinion and give it away from the other minerals added to fortified foods.

Not everyone is going to make adequate D with sun. In fact, research indicates most don't. I've linked those studies on threads here before. I and others have speculated about reasons. But in short if you've not supplemented any D and especially you weren't taking at least 6,000 IU per day breastfeeding I'd want to test her level before I assumed she was ok/would be with sun especially given recurrent infections. You want a level in the 50's to be optimal for her. Forty some levels are sub-optimal. Below is quite low. In my opinion almost every child needs supplemented with D. Vitamin D council has excellent D information. Low D in childhood/infancy has huge implications for her long term health current infections are nothing compared.

I guess I'm saying think through your choices carefully. If what you're doing isn't working doing more of the same reasoning/choices probably aren't going to work better.

Research your goldenseal et. al carefully. Herbs are medication. For example if goldenseal is an antibiotic you've got to treat it as an antibiotic in terms of using probiotics, healing gut, etc. (Just an example-my son had a severe allergic reaction to a combo of those two herbs and I've not used them or researched them since). It might be the right choice. It's "more medicinal" than anything I suggested to boost the system. I'd think carefully about this if you're not willing to do any probiotics. It is, I believe, a powerful antibiotic.

I've read around here before of a particular kefir strain that contains s. boulardi. If I were doing kefir as my probiotic source I would look at that one given what I know about s. boulardi.

Sodium ascorbate is a form of vitamin C. We use it. I would not rely on it to be my sole supplement to boost immunity.

Sleep is important, whole healthy foods, etc.

Think through things carefully. You're describing a pretty concerning situation in my opinion with those repeat infections and I'd be pretty aggressive (in an educated way of course).
I agree...the goldenseal should be used sparingly, not for more than 2 weeks at a time and should always be given with probiotics.
For overall immune building you can get straight echinechea without the goldenseal. This might be a better bet for a 1 yr old anyway.

If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#10 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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How much vitA in the CLO? Most CLOs have too much vitA to be a good source of vitD... our bodies, in using the vitA, also use up vitD, and really that vitD is roughly the right amount for the increased need from the vitA, it's not addressing deficiencies. Guess how long I was giving my kids CLO before I twigged to this?

We do a stand-alone vitD as well, Carlson's drops are easy to dose. I gave a lot last year to really increase all our levels, now I've backed off--but I'm still giving it in the summer, and I live in Texas and my kids are slightly brown--enough that they don't burn so they can stay out for a couple hours w/o sunscreen, but not so dark that they're incredibly slow to make vitD in the sun. For whiter kids who burn in the Texas sun, or anybody fairly far north, vitD supplementation is a very reasonable option.

re: probiotics, we love kimchee. I saw it do good things for DD's digestion, we're dairy-free so dairy kefir isn't a choice for us. Tastes good too. I think it's a good start to working on digestive imbalances, esp if you want to do foods before supps.

VitC--you probably don't get nearly as much as your bodies can use, unless you're eating a very atypical diet. My read of the subject says most adults need a baseline of 5-6 grams per day, and sick adults can go way higher. Kids are less, due to body weight, but not many kids consume, say, a gram of vitC per day. That's been a helpful supp for preventing complications during illnesses; doesn't seem to prevent them for us, but makes them quicker and milder.

re: minerals in general, if you want to focus on diet, I'd really look at your phytic acid intake, either reduce/eliminate grains entirely or ferment most of them, ditto with at least soaking legumes. Makes a difference in the minerals we can absorb from our food. We still supplement zinc, but it's a good food practice regardless.

And other foods can be problematic, for us I think gluten is a bigger deal.
We're currently using Carlson's CLO. 850IU Vit A and 400 IU Vit D per tsp. On the assumption that we're lower than we should be, I take 1 1/2 tsp, and DD takes 3/4 tsp.

We switched to a Traditional Foods diet a few months ago. We soak or ferment our grains and beans and have eliminated soy. We grind our own flour and consume within a few days after soaking or fermenting.
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#11 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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We're currently using Carlson's CLO. 850IU Vit A and 400 IU Vit D per tsp. On the assumption that we're lower than we should be, I take 1 1/2 tsp, and DD takes 3/4 tsp.

We switched to a Traditional Foods diet a few months ago. We soak or ferment our grains and beans and have eliminated soy. We grind our own flour and consume within a few days after soaking or fermenting.
The general rule of thumb is it takes 1000 IU per 25 pounds to maintain current vitamin D levels. So that dose (vitamin A aside/that was an issue here as well) those doses won't correct a low level or really even maintain...

It's good to ferment! That will help. You can look at zinc content in her food and see if she's getting enough (in my experience you want more than the RDA/she may be getting that).

Look into the D issue.

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#12 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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Lots of great advice! ITA with sbgrace about vit D and well, most of what sb wrote in that first post.

I'd get your DD assessed by a Chiropractor. I'd also make an appointment with an ENT to have her adenoids looked at.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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#14 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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This is the regime I have my DD on for the cold and flu season. I also give her a multi vitamin BUT only on days she doesnt eat well. I think its overkill if she has eaten a good variety of foods that day.

1 chewable probiotic
1000 mg Carlsons orange flavored fish oil
250 mg vitamin c chewable
1000 IU vitamin d

When she is sick or I think she has been exposed to something, I also give her elderberry syrup twice a day.

We do green smoothies. With any dark leafy greens.

We also do regular chiro visits. I am taking her in for a tune up tomorrow.

Try avoiding dairy if ear infections are a problem. Sometimes that helps.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-01-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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I've been doing most of supplements below for about 2 yrs. Ds is now 4 yrs old and rarely comes down with anything. I used to do smoothies every day
for years but now he is tired of them so I do them a few times per week.

Elderberry syrup-several times a week
Vitamin C- 1000mg or more depending
Vitamin D- 1000IU or more if needed
Multi Vitamin- occassionally
Probiotics- Using the New Chapter-Flora
Juicing-Loves carrot juice

Here is a link I thought was helpful.
http://www.kidswellness.com/common/n...59127000E2B4AE

Also read that taking elderberry 2 x per week can help prevent colds and flu and reduce the duration of it. We just add it to juice-tastes great.

When he does get a cold I always use Sinupret (made in Germany)-another
mom on this site told me about it. Helps alot and DS loves it.


http://www.bionoricausa.com/product-...upret-for-kids
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