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Question
Posted by: Lou | 2003/03/17

CHILD - ALWAYS SICK

Dear Doc
I don't really know if this is your area, but I will post my question to you. My eldest son 8 and half, is alway ill, when he was born and up until 2 years of age always with pheumonia and bronchitis broncial asthma. Ar 2 years old we had his tonsils taken out and from here on no more problems unitl about 6 months ago. I use to live in Pretoria and then when the summer blossoms came out on the thorn trees, I assume this was due to these allergies, I have since moved to Grahamstown, and I have been here for 4 months, in this time, he has had bronchitis 3 times, I feel that all the antibiotics is really bad, but what could be causing his illness? he has always been a skinny boy, and is small I presume to a slow start in life. He wants to be happy and active, but is always ill, sniffing etc, the GP says that on the whole he is a healthy child. But this reoccouring bronchitis is getting to be too much. I know that now were are going into to autum and the grasses are seeding etc. He has loads of phlem on his chest and cannot cought it up. Since moving here, he has been drinking full cream, cows milk, straight from the cow, and has brown wholewheat bread, these are the only two real changes in his diet that he has had, I thought that the milk would help build him up, but I do feel that is has made him worse, do you think that he bread and the milk together is causing this problem to be worse. I know that brown bread is better, but I do feel that maybe he is allergic to the wheat, could this be? on the whole I do feel that he is allergic to the pollen and seeds, but could this really cause such bad bronchitis that the phlem sits on his chest and he cannot breath, run or play properly. I also find it hard to belive that he is more ill here, where we don't have the problem with pollution.
Coul dyou please comment on the above

regards
Lou

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Lou
It is perfectly possible that your son is allergic or sensitive to certain foods such as milk and dairy products, and/or wheat. I would, therefore, like to suggest that you a) consult an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist and have him tested for allergies (foods and grasses, pollen, etc) so that you can obtain a clear cut diagnosis - if you don't identify which foods or other factors are causing the phlegm, you may cut out the wrong foods resulting in deficiencies which will make him even more susceptible to infections b) that you consult a clinical dietitian (phone (012) 998-5650 (mornings) to obtain the name and address of your nearest dietitian), who will assist you to plan a balanced diet for your son once you have determined what is causing these reactions, e.g. if he should be allergic/sensitive to milk, then he will need alternative sources of calcium, etc. The dietitian will also help you to supplement his diet so that he can increase his immunity.
Best regards
DietDoc

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