The incidence of asthma has increased more than 300 times in the last 20 years. Currently it affects 7.1 million children in the US and is responsible for a large number of hospitalizations.
What causes asthma?
• A 2007 study linked poor nutrition and lack of vitamin D during pregnancy with the onset of asthma before the age of 5. Low levels of Vitamin D were found in 86% of children suffering from asthma.
• Frequent respiratory infections treated with antibiotics.
• A history of gastrointestinal complaints: colic, stomach aches, diarrhea, GERD.
• Allergic rhinitis, reactive airway disease.
What triggers asthma?
• Second hand smoke.
• Sulfites (dried fruits, meats)
• Foods preservatives and coloring
• Food sensitivities
• Sudden exposure to cold weather.
How to treat asthma?
If asthma in children can be controlled before reaching puberty it may never be a problem again.
Chinese medicine is very effective in the treatment of asthma. Parents don’t always think about bringing their kids in for acupuncture (no needles for children) but acupuncture can reduce inflammation and bronchial constriction; it also strengthens the immune system and increases the resistance to allergens.
An integrative approach combining Eastern and Western medicine is very successful in helping children manage their asthma symptoms.
Acupressure. Massaging specific points on the child’s body helps relieve cough, induce relaxation and decrease wheezing. This massage is recommended to be done on a daily basis to prevent symptoms.
Herbal medicine. Herbal formulas specifically designed for kids strengthen the lungs and open the air passages without side effects.
Nasal rinsing. Regular daily rinsing of the nose and sinuses is very important to remove allergens from the airways.
Vitamin D. There is a reverse association between Vitamin D levels and respiratory infections. Vitamin D upregulates a gene responsible for producing a large number of antimicrobial substances in the body, some of them have the action of a broad spectrum antibiotic. Experts recommend a dosage of 35 IU per pound of body weight.
• Decrease cold foods and drinks.
• Avoid sugar, hot foods, wheat, oats, ginger and garlic.
• Avoid phlegm producing foods, dairy, sugar, peanuts, almonds, and pork.
• Add foods that help to thin mucus like mushrooms, papaya, radishes, potatoes, pumpkin, strawberries, string beans, honey and lemon.
• Add more animal sources of Omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, mackerel, grass fed beef, and lamb, pasture raised poultry and eggs.
• Eat foods rich in Vitamin E. High levels of Vitamin E found in greens, sunflowers seeds, avocados and asparagus reduce sensitization to allergens.
• Air purifier
• Drinking enough water
Robin Green, LAc. www.kidsloveacupuncture.com
Julian Scott, Teresa Barlow. Acupuncture in the Treatment of children.
Dr. Joseph Mercola. www.mercola.com