I’m talking about milk!
We’ve stopped drinking it, and when I say we, I mean he.
I can’t remember a time that I haven’t been told that milk causes congestion. Whenever we were sick with any kind of mucus based illness as children we were taken off milk for the duration, I have no idea whether it made a difference to us because as best I know we didn’t ever test the hypothesis, we simply assumed it was true and modified our milk consuming behaviours.
What I didn’t know until recently was that nasal congestion (whatever it’s origin) is able to block the pathways to your ear so sufficiently as to cause a hearing loss. It sounds rather obvious to me now but I guess I just hadn’t had much reason to think about it before.
It became rather more relevant as my son started having what seemed like more than his fair share of congestion, as most young daycare attending children seem to do. To go along with his congestion he has also had prolonged mild hearing loss. It was getting to the point where I was considering our options for intervention until my sister suggested giving up milk.
I was somewhat sceptical that it would have any noticeable impact but I am of the school that if it can’t hurt and its something that you can do relatively easily, I’m prepared to try it. So we did. I decided to start by switching all his cereal and drinking milk and replacing it with Almond and Coconut milk to see if it made any difference and decide from there how strict I was prepared to be about it.
The difference for us was remarkable. His congestion cleared up almost instantly and he has not had any hearing issues since, even when he has had a cold and running nose after returning to daycare this year.
So I’ve never had to get any more strict. He still has milk in other things and even occasionally straight on his cereal when he’s out and about and no alternatives are available.
I see from some basic on line searches that this “wives tale” or “medical myth” is somewhat contentious with many claiming there is no scientific evidence or medical proof that it is in any way beneficial. Despite this it seems that a large proportion of people do believe it and I can now add myself to that list with my anecdotal evidence that taking my son off milk has made a marked difference for us.
I feel like I should make it clear that I am not a doctor and have no medical training and that I am also not making any claims that milk is bad or even a problem for everyone or that anyone else should stop their children from drinking it. I am merely relating my experience and I acknowledge that it may all just be coincidental or developmental.
If however you are at your wits end with congestion I will say that taking milk off the menu might make for an interesting experiment.
* Image from www.tetrapak.com