Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.

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Chronic Ear Infections

Curing and Preventing Chronic Ear Infections using Diet and Anti-Yeast Therapy Candida

This information is excerpted from Dr. Semon’s book, An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003). Like all information in this website, this information is intended for your thought and consideration as to how best to approach the problem of chronic ear infections. For treatment, please see your health care provider, or make an appointment to see Dr. Semon.

Many young children seem to get one ear infection after another. The doctor prescribes round after round of powerful antibiotics, only to have symptoms come back a few weeks later. The antibiotics are repeated, sometimes indefinitely. Yet even with all the antibiotics, some children continue to suffer from painful ear infections, and some recover, only to get another infection soon!

Sometimes as more and more antibiotics are given, behavior deteriorates. Parents are frustrated; the doctor may have no answers.

Why? Because sometimes the right question is not being asked. Instead of preventing and killing chronic ear infections, round after round of antibiotics actually promotes them. So, this is a case where the antibiotic treatment needs to be antidoted. To understand why this is so, and what you can do about it, keep reading.

Ear infections are caused by bacteria at the back of the mouth and at the beginning of the tubes leading to the ears. There are both benign bacteria and bacteria capable of causing disease. There are other microorganisms present in those places, however. The yeast Candida albicans also lives in the back of the mouth and at the beginning of the tubes leading to the ears.

When you take antibiotics, the medicine kills the bacteria. The medicine kills both the benign, or non-harmful, bacteria, and the bacteria that causes the ear infection. The yeast Candida albicans is not killed. This is yeast causes complications. The yeast Candida albicans can also be harmful. The yeast can grow into the spaces left by the dead bacteria.

Why is this yeast important for ear infections? Let us look at some basic research on Candida.

Long before the days of complicated DNA experiments, researchers asked simpler questions. One question asked was “do the yeast Candida albicans and Tuberculosis like each other and grow better together?” The answer is yes.

The same is true of Candida albicans and the bacteria Salmonella.

The yeast Candida albicans has been shown to help other disease causing organisms grow better.

I suspect the same is true for Candida and the bacteria which cause ear infections and the same may be true for Candida and the viruses which cause colds. They grow better together. In the case of ear infections, even if the bacteria are killed, the yeast is right there to help disease causing bacteria grow again leading to another ear infection. In other words, the yeast helps the ear infection causing bacteria to come back and cause another ear infection.

What can be done about this yeast keeping the bad bacteria growing at the back of the throat? To answer this question, we must first look at the relationship of yeast found in various sites of the body.

The yeast Candida albicans is found both at the back of the mouth and throat and is also found in the intestinal tract as well as being found in the female genital tract. Does the yeast in these various sites interact in any way. The largest amount of yeast is found in the intestinal tract. The yeast can be found anywhere in the gut and the gut is very long with much surface area. By comparison, the amount of surface area available to yeast in the throat and mouth and female genital tract is smaller. The blood supply in the mouth and throat and in the female genital tract is high and usually that means that infections are less likely. More blood means more immune cells can get to the area, making infections less likely. So why is there yeast at these sites?

The reason is that the yeast in the intestinal tract is quite active and suppresses the immune response to Candida throughout the body. How does this happen?

Briefly, the yeast evades the body’s immune system by changing its form and by releasing tiny portions of its capsule into the circulation and these pieces of capsule interact with immune cells in such a way as to suppress these cells and prevent these cells from reacting vigorously to Candida albicans.

The release of these tiny portions of capsule prevent the body from clearing the Candida from the body, both in the intestinal tract and in the back of the mouth. In other words immune cells which might attack the Candida in the throat or female genital tract, instead are suppressed by the release of suppressive factors from the yeast in the intestinal tract.

In summary, even though the yeast which aid the disease causing bacteria are at the back of the mouth and throat, all the yeast which is in the rest of the intestinal tract makes it easier for yeast to grow in other parts of the body. So eliminating yeast from the intestinal tract is necessary to reduce the yeast in the throat and mouth, which in turn stops the ear infections.

I have found, in my clinical experience, that the way to stop this process is first to clear the Candida out of the body.

The way to clear intestinal Candida is to take the anti-yeast drug nystatin. This drug is not absorbed and kills the yeast living in the intestinal tract. Then the yeast can no longer aid the bacteria which cause ear infections.

The diet also contains many foods which contain yeast compounds. To treat yeast these foods must be removed from the diet. Also, removal of these dietary yeast products enables the body to clear itself of yeast chemicals.

Some of these yeast chemicals are toxic to bacteria and will clear space for the yeast to grow again. If these yeast chemicals are left in the diet, nystatin will not do much good because the yeast keeps growing back. Fortunately, because nystatin is not absorbed, nystatin causes no side effects except for a little nausea. No harmful side effects have ever been caused by the use of nystatin. Therefore there is no risk to this therapy.

Once the yeast burden is reduced from the intestinal tract and the back of the throat, the cycle of ear infection and antibiotic followed by another ear infection will be broken. Children whose behavior has deteriorated due to antibiotic administration will show better behavior.

For more help in implementing yeast free diets, please see our books. An Extraordinary Power to Heal (2003) gives you detailed instructions, day by day and week by week, about how to eliminate toxic foods from your diets. We give you the recipes and menus to do this in Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen (2003) and Feast Without Yeast(1999).

Homeopathy and Ear Infections

One of the best ways to treat both chronic and acute ear infection, in addition to anti-yeast therapy, is to prevent colds and other upper respiratory infections from becoming ear infections. I have found, in my practice and in our family’s personal experience, that treating colds homeopathically can reduce the severity of the colds and prevent ear infections. Homeopathic treatment is inexpensive and relatively safe. However, there are numerous remedies for each medical condition that we usually think of as one illness, such as a cold, so it is best to consult a homeopathic practitioner or doctor to determine which remedy might be beneficial for you or your child at a certain time.