My 19 year old son has had great difficulty breathing through his nose for years, and as a consequence, he is unable to enjoy a good night's sleep and the associated health benefits that arise from it. He has been under the care of an ear, throat and nose specialist since a child and has had five sets of grommets, tonsils and adenoids removed and recently had another operation to widen and clear his nasal passages. He has also seen a homeopath, been tested for allergies and tested and measured the effects of removing dairy products from his diet, all to no avail. He has severe congestion problems and continues to snore and experience broken sleep patterns breathing only though his mouth and suffers from cracked, dry, bleeding lips.
Sorry to hear of your son's challenges, but fear not. I have a clinic full of similar cases. There are a few important things I would like to point out to you right up front:
- Your son's tests for food allergy or intolerance may not be reliable. I have tested many food allergy and intolerance tests with double blood draws using a different name on the second set of vials and in almost all cases, the results were radically different! The one company I've found to be most reliable is "Bio Health Diagnostics" (see www.biodia.com). I suggest you contact them and ask if there is a physician using their systems near you.
- Food allergy is NOT usually the underlying cause of problems like those you describe. True food allergy is IgE mediated, resulting in rapid reactions. An example is peanut allergies, which can kill you quickly - and anyone with such an allergy knows it. What is likely to be causing your son a lot of trouble is food intolerance. Food intolerance most typically results from what is called a leaky gut. I have a large section about this in my book “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy,” and it is well illustrated for the layman to understand. This is important because many get assistance for food intolerance (thinking it is an allergy), yet never treat the cause: a leaky gut. Simply stated, a leaky gut occurs when - for any reason- the cells of the small intestine become inflamed and separate, allowing undigested food particles to enter the portal vein to be delivered to the liver. Once in the liver, if they can't be effectively processed, they typically end up in general circulation. The immune system then works to attack them at various locations throughout the body. They tend to settle in and around the most commonly used joints and connective tissues, resulting in muscle and joint aches and pains that often send people to doctors for help. Typically, they are given anti-inflammatory drugs that make the condition worse on the inside, while in the short term, alleviating the discomfort.
The most common causes of leaky gut syndrome are:
- Stress (of any type, be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual)
- Alcohol consumption
- Medical drugs
- Gluten containing foods
- Food additives, preservatives, colorings, emulsifiers, thickeners, container solvents and other such agents
- Fungal infection
- Parasite infection
For your son to even begin to get better, he should have someone administer tests to see if he has a patent GI barrier. Bio Health Diagnostics has a great test for that.
If your son has not used a good oral colon cleanse kit (I recommend the Aerobic Life 10 Day Kit) and followed up with a course of probiotics, any efforts to improve his condition will be futile. With the procedures you mentioned above, he will surely have been given multiple rounds of antibiotics, which kill off all friendly bacteria in the gut but not the fungi! This means the fungi are free to proliferate, unchallenged by friendly bacteria. Remember, inside us is a large and veritable garden that must be kept in balance or disease lurks! There are a number of probiotics on the market but not many inhabit the human gut well, so many are a waste of money. I often use a brand called "Multiflaura."
The Aerobic Life colon cleanse kit will pull much garbage from your son’s body and can be a good first line attack on parasites. I use oral kits first because they also clean the small intestine, which colonics can't do. After this procedure is completed, it is likely that the following will need to take place:
- A strict rotation diet must be followed.
- He MUST be metabolically typed.
- Specialized supplementation to heal the gut will be needed. I recommend you consult one of the physicians who teach my NLC program with me. (Dr. Kalish at www.drkalish.com or Dr. Oliver at 858-272-2333).
- A gluten free, dairy free diet is a must for a minimum of six months. At that time, gluten and dairy can be challenge tested, but I doubt he'll ever be able to eat these items by the sound of his current condition and my experience with such cases.
- Any offending medical drugs that may irritate the gut must be replaced with non-invasive natural alternatives. You will need one of the doctors I recommend to help in this regard or someone qualified as an ND.
- I recommend (highly!) that you test your son on Doug Kaufmann's anti-fungal diet (see his book "The Fungus Link."
Finally, I am suspicious that your son may have a parasite infection. While I suspect his cracked, dry and bleeding lips are from mouth breathing, I doubt it. I've treated untold numbers of mouth breathers in my career, and lips typically don't degenerate like that unless there are nutritional deficiencies/imbalances. Your son's tonsils and adenoids being removed merely indicate that his immune system is overloaded and now, even more so. Tonsils and adenoids are lymphoid aggragates (much like lymph nodes), and their removal treats a symptom, not a cause, thus leaving the immune system further debilitated!
When the body is weakened from all the things we've discussed here, particularly if there is a fungal infection (athletes food, jock itch, dandruff, finger or toe nail fungus are all indicators he has one), parasites begin to take control of the body and steal all the nutrition from his food before he can get it! I have seen patients eat all organic diets yet, due to parasites, they suffer sever nutritional deficiency syndromes that could only be rectified by killing the parasites.
Killing parasites is a complex process and must be done with the guidance of an expert. While the doctors I've recommended can assist you, the most effective person I know at eliminating parasites is one of my NLC Instructors, Emma Lane, who can be reached for consultation by contacting her through her web site at www.correctiveexercise.com (she is in England). Since there are about 1,000 parasites that infect humans, the current tests are of limited value as many come back negative. A broad spectrum herbal protocol is what I begin with, but I always clean the colon first. Here are some other suggestions that will help his breathing:
- See a good Alexander Practitioner (check the phone book or do a Google search for F.M. Alexander, locate their headquarters and contact them).
- A good Rolfer can do wonders to get his body better aligned, facial structure working more efficiently and improve breathing mechanics.
- I've sent several of my patients to singing lessons to learn how to breath. Since this is a right brain activity, it often serves a double purpose in that it encourages creativity. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and has many far reaching beneficial effects.
I'm sure if you follow the overview here, you will see rapid and beneficial improvement.