May 31, 2011
Exhaling Asthma Away
If ever a disease were misunderstood by modern medicine, it is asthma. Although doctors finally have begun to accept that asthma may be caused by an allergy, they assume that a disease involving the lungs must be caused - or at least aggravated - by inhaled pollutants. In fact, many studies demonstrate that food allergies can be just as likely triggers. It's also the case that allergies may have nothing to do with asthma. Some research into alternative treatments for asthma show that it may have an emotional cause, or even be an accident of modern medicine. Preliminary evidence suggests that asthma can be brought on by either vaccination or suppressive drugs used for other diseases.
Because of this complicated etiology, alternative medicine, with its emphasis on individualized treatment, is particularly well suited to treating asthma. Many therapies have impressive scientific records of curing or significantly alleviating asthmatic symptoms.
Young people with asthma are turning their backs on conventional treatments and instead are using complementary medicine and spiritual practices such as prayer to control their symptoms.
Up to 80 per cent of young asthmatics are using some alternative or complementary practice, say researchers from the University of Cincinnati. Children as young as 11 years are employing some ‘alternative’ method.
A survey of 151 adolescents revealed that they are using a wide range of alternatives that are helping them control the condition. Participants cited relaxation, prayer, guided imagery, relaxation, meditation, yoga, massage, herbs and dietary changes among the practices they were using.
Inhaled and topical steroids are every bit as dangerous as their oral cousins. Even low doses of inhaled beclomethasone (Becotide) have been shown to reduce bone formation (The Lancet 6 July 1991). They've also been known to cause psychiatric symptoms, cataracts or glaucoma.
If the health risks don't scare you, here are a few other reasons. Steroids can cause a fat abdomen, buffalo hump, stretch marks and moon face.
Make sure you get under a highly competent doctor when coming off the steroids, should you decide to get off it, since sudden withdrawal of these drugs can be fatal.
(Source: Proceedings of the National Conference in Pediatric Psychology, San Antonio, April 14-16, 2011).
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