Asthma in children can be a very distressing condition both for the child and for the parent
Asthma In Childrenwitnessing it. Presently childhood asthma is thought to affect approximately 10% of children but this figure is continuing to rise steadily.
Whilst there are many known factors which increase the risk of asthma in children including a family history of the illness or of other allergies, exposure to tobaco smoke or other atmospheric pollutants such as vehicle fumes, a low weight at birth and having frequent respiratory infections, researchers in the USA have now discovered that smoking when pregnant pregnant can change the structure of the childs DNA, weakening the immune system through a normal biological process known as DNA methylation.
Other factors increasing risk of childhood asthma include being male and being raised in a low income enviroment, obesity, inflamed sinuses and heartburn. Asthma in children can cause problematic symptoms that interfere with school, play, sports, and sleep.
Diagnosis of Asthma in Children
Whilst asthma in children is the same disease as that which occurs in adults it is often experienced by children in a much more challenging way.
Children are more likely to experience panic with the symptoms, the increased stress levels adding to the reaction, it may also cause loss of school attendance which could if not handled senstively by the school or parent, result in the child developing feelings of inferiority or isolation.
Other complications include loss of sleep and more seriously a permanant narrowing of the airways.
So what can you do if you suspect that child may be suffering from childhood asthma?
Well the first action to take is have your child tested and properly diagnosed as there are other common childhood conditions that can be mistaken for asthma.
These include: sinustis, bronchitis, hay fever and other allergies.
The tests for asthma in children are basically the same as for adults with a lung function tests (spirometry) which measures how quickly and how much air your child can exhale which may take place both at rest and following exercise and also allergy skin tests. In very young children, lung tests are unreliable and diagnosis will be more dependent on close observation of the child rather than tests.
If you suspect your child has asthma, its important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can prevent disruptions from daily activities such as sleep, play, sports and school. It may also prevent dangerous or life-threatening asthma attacks.
Treatment of Asthma in Children ~ Conventional
Conventional treatment for childhood asthma is designed to prevent attacks and to treat attacks as they are occuring. Frequently a child may be placed on a long term medication and carry an inhaler to dispense a quick acting medication designed to open the airwayand relieve breathing. Carrying an inhaler can often give a child a sense of security and confidence.
Conventional medicine will claim that childhood asthma is incurable (which is true but only from the standpoint of allopathic medicine) and will prescribe the long term use of drugs for the control and treatment of the symptoms.
Such drugs include Leukotriene modifiers, inhaled corticosteroids and combination inhalers. All of these may help in the control of the symptoms but they also come with side effects which may range from slowed growth to psychological reactions, such as , hallucinations, agitation, depression,aggression, and suicidal thinking. Prolonged use of long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) have actually been linked to severe asthma attacks!
Alternative Treatments and Cures
Alternative medicine usually considers asthma to be not merely a disease of the lungs but of the immune system.
There are several alternative approaches to treating asthma in children which may be effective both in allieviating and even curing the disease by stimulating the bodies own intrinsic healing abilities.
They include acupuncture, Buteyko breathing technique, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements and homeopathy.
The last two offer perhaps the most effective opportunity for long term results.
We live in a society which is both overfed and undernourished at the same time
Supplements of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and other foods, selenium, magnesium, vitamin C and foods with a high antioxidant content may all help to bolster the immune system.
Homeopathy can also be also highly effective in reducing or even entirely eliminating asthma in children sometimes achieving quite startling results. If you decide to go this route do make sure however that you use a properly qualified and registered homeopath.
Regardless of which approach you choose and you may opt for a mixture of both, such as using an
Asthma Free Children inhaler for short term emergency use and alternative methods for long term cure, you should through close observation get to understand the particlar triggers which bring on an attack in your child and reduce or eliminate exposure to these wherever possible. Asthma in children need not be allowed to spolil their childhood.