Natural Asthma Treatment Cumberland RI
Women & Infants Hospital
Medical School: Brown Univ Program In Med, Providence Ri 02912
Graduation Year: 1994
Hospital: Women & Infants Hospital
Accepting New Patients: Yes
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Practitioner's Corner - About Kids
By Janet Zand, n.d., l.ac.,
About one in every six kids in the United States has allergies, and rates of childhood asthma, which is often triggered by allergies, have skyrocketed. So I hear from a lot of parents who are looking for natural ways to treat these illnesses. I start by saying that if they’re going to try these remedies, they need to make them part of a strategy that includes conventional treatment—especially for asthma, which can be life-threatening. If your child is gasping for air, you shouldn’t reach for anything but a bronchodilator.
That said, there are some effective natural strategies that can lessen the chances of an attack. Both allergies and asthma result from the immune system overreacting to generally harmless substances and—in the case of asthma—triggering inflammation of the lungs. Natural therapies can help get the immune system back in balance and calm the inflammatory response.
Here are some of the most common questions I hear on these topics. Q: What is the most effective natural way to control childhood asthma?
A: Sometimes asthma is triggered by substances the child is allergic to, so one of the most important things you can do is figure out what they are and keep your child’s environment as free of them as possible. Common triggers include pollen, animal dander, dust, feathers, mites, and household chemicals. (For tips on allergy-proofing your home, see the next question.)
Foods can also bring on attacks. Citrus and whole wheat can be a problem, especially when combined with food dyes and sulfite additives. It’s not uncommon for kids with allergies and asthma to have a tendency to get dehydrated, so parents need to make sure they drink lots of fluids.
As far as keeping inflammation in check, essential fatty acids, which are found in evening primrose oil, borage oil, and fish oil, are very effective. You can get all these in supplement form; read the label to figure out the age-
appropriate dosage for your child. (If there’s no specific dose information on the label, phone the manufacturer to get it.) With fish oils, make sure to choose a brand that’s certified as “molecularly distilled,” which is less likely to be contaminated with mercury.
Supplementing with magnesium, which dilates the bronchial tubes, can be helpful, too. The downside is that too much magnesium causes a loose stool, so you have to monitor the child carefully. Try giving 100 milligrams three or four times a week for three months. All these natural medicines work best if you rotate them. Try something for a month, see how it affects your child, then try something else.
You might also want to consider your child’s emotional state, since childhood asthma often comes along with emotional trauma. Homeopathic remedies can be helpful with this end of things, but I’d recommend a visit with a homeopath, who can tailor the remedy specifically to the child’s needs.
Another option, which many kids don’t get nearly enough of these days, ...
Author: Janet Zand
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