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Archive for the ‘Anti-Allergic/Asthma’ Category

Albuterol Sulfate (Salbutamol)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###
Other names: Volmax Cr, Vospire Cr
TESTS FOR ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: CHEST X-RAY, BLOOD AND LUNG FUNCTION TESTS
The diagnosis of asthma is usually made from the appearance of a wheezy, distressed child who is short of breath. Both Simon and Julie presented in this manner and as soon as I saw them the diagnosis was obvious. Even if the symptoms are less severe the child’s description of them is usually accurate enough to confirm the diagnosis. However, on some occasions, doubts may still linger in both doctor’s and parents’ minds and certain tests may then be arranged by your GP. The test can have three functions: to confirm the diagnosis of asthma; to rule out other possible types of chest problems; and in some cases to try and determine the underlying cause of the attacks.
Blood tests
These are carried out on a small sample of blood from the child’s arm, and only need to be performed at the initial examination. The tests check there are sufficient cells present in the blood to fight infections. One particular constituent is the white blood cell, which destroys invading viruses and bacteria and forms part of the body’s natural defense system, known as the immune system. There are many millions of these present in every pint of blood. In asthmatic children there may be a marked reduction in these particular cells, leaving the children more prone to infections.
Our blood also contains certain proteins; the levels of one such protein, called IgE, are raised if the person is highly allergic. Children with asthma are therefore more likely to have high IgE levels, and these will show on the laboratory test.
Chest X-Ray
Parents often think that chest X-rays are vital in the diagnosis of asthma, but it is important to realize that in nearly all children the X-ray will be completely normal. The main reason for taking a film is to exclude other, less common causes of wheezing. One possibility is cystic fibrosis which is a rare condition in which the lungs become clogged with thick mucus. Alternatively a small object like a peanut may have been inhaled straight into the lungs. This classically happens when the nut is thrown into the air and caught in the mouth, for at this angle the peanut may pass straight down the windpipe. Chest X-rays may also be of help where an infection is present at the same time as the asthma, as the extent and severity of the affected area shows up clearly.
Lung function tests
Children can be tested for asthma by breathing into a machine which monitors how effectively the lungs are working. The simplest of these is a small calibrated plastic tube, called a peak flow meter. This measures the amount of air that a child can blow out of the lungs in one second. As the airways are narrowed in asthma, it follows that less air can be blown out through them. Thus if they are half their normal width then only half the amount of air can be expelled at each breath. This measurement is recorded by the peak flow meter, which plays a major role in the management of asthma and is discussed in much greater detail in the section on prevention. It is a useful tool in diagnosing asthma as the initial reading may be much lower than would be expected even in the absence of significant wheezing.
*8/211/5*

Flonase (Fluticasone)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###
CHILDHOOD ASTHMA: AVOIDING CAUSES OF DISEASE
Preventing a wheezing attack by avoiding the precipitating causes may seem glaringly obvious but it is amazing how some parents choose to ignore this side of asthma control. A typical example was 10 year-old Ben, who was very allergic to his grandparents’ dog and every time he visited them he developed breathing difficulties, which on two occasions were severe. I told his father firmly that either the visits must stop or the dog would have to go. He frowned at this suggestion and said he didn’t want to upset his own parents! He had the choice really between removing the dog and possibly losing his own son. Now it is always upsetting to give away a family pet but it hardly compares with the life of one of your children. Happily the dog moved next door and Ben is able to visit his grandparents whenever he likes without the fear of an attack.
The irritable airways of the asthmatic child are influenced by a wide variety of triggers, and control can be exercised over some of them. Environmental temperature changes, fumes, fog and similar irritants can be avoided when possible. Infections can be reduced by avoiding close contact and psychological stresses can be anticipated. However, the main thrust of control is focused most sharply on the question of allergies and particularly the house-dust mite.
*22/211/5*

Allegra-d (Fexofenadine, Pseudoephedrine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Allegra-d(Fexofenadine,Pseudoephedrine)
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: MORE ABOUT DISEASE AND ITS TREATMENT
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease. The body produces antibodies which ultimately attack the inside linings of joint spaces. Not only does Rheumatoid Arthritis produce destruction of the connective tissues inside joints; it also involves other connective tissues. The lungs, the kidneys and even the skin all have the potential to become affected.
Classically, Rheumatoid Arthritis causes painful joints which are at their worst after rest. They are sore and very stiff in the mornings. Dreadful abnormalities of shape not infrequently disfigure the affected joints. The process of joint destruction can be remorseless and progressive.
The Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation of Rheumatoid Disease. This alleviation of pain is not to be confused with retardation in the progression of the disease. No treatment yet invented has been shown to halt the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The controversy surrounding the usage of NSAIDS in arthritis also applies to people with Rheumatoid Disease. For them the decision is a cruel one. Relief of pain, versus the production of gastric bleeding and peptic ulceration.
The use of paracetamol, plus or minus Codeine for pain and the provision of a long acting anti-inflammatory drug may be a suitable compromise for many people with severe arthritis like Rheumatism. Drugs which are known to put a wet blanket on the Rheumatic process are Quinine, Gold Salts, D Penicillamine and Sulphasalazine. None of these drugs are without significant side effects of their own and they warrant close supervision.
Anti cancer drugs such as Methotrexate, Azathioprine and Cyclophosphamide are also used in severe cases of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Their side effects are even more significant than the aforementioned long acting anti inflammatory drugs.
Home Remedies
A diet rich in cold water fish provides some gentle relief of the pain and inflammation of Rheumatic Disease. In the absence of a cold water fish intake the diet can be supplemented with cod liver oil, evening primrose oil and linseed oil. Any pattern of behaviour that adversely impacts on the immune system should be avoided. These habits include the intake of nicotine, alcohol, tea, coffee and processed foods.
Advice from and interaction with support groups can be particularly gratifying, so contact the Arthritis Foundation in your own state, Multi disciplinary teams involving nurses, physiotherapists and doctors can also be a mountain of support.
It is always advisable to select footwear that cushions the impact of walking. Buy a good pair of runners and for those who like to dabble on the fringe of orthodox medical care, the herb Fever Few has been shown to reduce pain in association with muscles and joints.
*2/131/5*

Beclovent (Beclomethasone)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Beclovent(Beclomethasone)
Other names: Beconase AQ
AVOIDING CAUSES OF ASTHMA IN CHILDHOOD: HOSE-DUST MITE
The main allergen to affect the airways is the house-dust mite. This is a small insect which is too small to be visible to the naked eye but can clearly be seen under the microscope. It is called the house-dust mite as it lives in and feeds off household dust. Since the mite congregates wherever there are warm humid conditions and flakes of human skin, it will predominate in bedrooms, mainly on mattresses, bed-linen and carpets. In an average bedroom many millions of these little bugs can be found and rather revoltingly it is their faeces to which sufferers are allergic. Both sets of parents looked disgusted when I told them!
The following steps are important and should be carried out regularly:
1. Use synthetic or cotton sheets and pillow cases. Do not have pillows that are filled with feathers. Both synthetic material and cotton are low allergy materials and house-dust mites don’t thrive in them.
2. Wash the duvet every 2 or 3 weeks and the sheets and pillow cases every week.
3. The mattress should be enclosed in a plastic cover. As a high percentage of the mites will be in the mattress lining, this cover is probably the most important of all the steps against them. The alternative is to wash the mattress regularly but this is obviously not practical. Plastic covers are easy to fit and can be purchased at any of the large chain chemists. It might not seem very comfortable to sleep every night on plastic but it doesn’t worry children at all.
4. Dust daily with a damp cloth on all surfaces.
5. All clothes and shoes should be put away in wardrobes and dressing gowns should not hang behind doors gathering dust.
6. Most books will recommend daily vacuuming of both mattress and carpet to remove the mites but if an ordinary vacuum cleaner is used then it can actually make the situation worse. The retaining mesh on a typical machine will not retain particles less than 8 microns in size. This means that the mites’ faeces which are only 6 microns will be simply blown into the air, greatly increasing the allergic effect. The obvious question if you don’t vacuum is what about the mites in the carpet? Children, however, do not tend to lie on the bedroom floor with their faces buried in the shag-pile so they will not inhale the allergens from the mites. Only if the carpet is vacuumed and the mites are showered into the air will problems then arise. Anyone who is really worried about the bedroom carpet can always replace it with wood flooring or linoleum but I personally have never found this to be really necessary and it is certainly less comfortable.
By following these steps the allergic effect of the house-dust mite can be greatly reduced.
*23/211/5*

Clarinex (Desloratadine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Clarinex(Desloratadine)
CAUSES OF ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: ALLERGY
Both sets of parents were very keen to look into the precise causes of their children’s asthma in more detail, in particular the allergy factor. Simon’s father pointed out to me that although Simon suffered badly from hay fever, which is a pollen allergy, this only occurred in summer, whereas his asthma attack was in winter. I explained that anyone with an allergy to one substance is nearly always allergic to many different ones. Some of these on their own do not produce any symptoms, but when thinking about asthma it is useful to imagine an empty barrel into which the child’s different allergies are being thrown. No trouble occurs until the barrel is full, and it may take many allergens together to reach this point. If another allergic substance is then tossed into the barrel it overflows and problems immediately begin, which in the case of asthma is wheezing and shortness of breath.
An allergic reaction is an abnormal response to a substance which has no effect on normal or non-allergic people. The problem is identifying the factors to which your own child is allergic. While there are hundreds of substances that can cause a reaction, it is often quite easy to identify the ones producing the strongest effect.
Nearly all asthmatic children are allergic to the house-dust mite. This is a tiny insect which lives in household dust, and is invisible to the naked eye. Mites are most dangerous on the mattress when the child is in bed inhaling the allergen all night. Although the mite is also present in the carpet, children do not tend to lie with their faces buried in the carpet for any length of time.
Pollen is another substance which can produce a strong allergic reaction leading to asthma. In the height of summer there is a tremendous amount of pollen released into the air. If a child who is allergic to pollen walks through a field where grass is freshly cut then he or she will inhale a large quantity of pollen grains. As these enter the lungs they provoke coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. An identical situation can arise from the inhalation of animal dander, a mixture of fur, hair, scale and urine shed from pets. Dogs, cats and horses are the animals most commonly implicated.
It is easy to understand how something which is inhaled directly into the lungs can produce a reaction in the breathing tubes. Asthma can also develop from allergic substances which are eaten or drunk. The foods most commonly incriminated are cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, cheese, yeast, fish, pork and peanuts. Unfortunately the picture is further complicated by the preservatives and colorants used by food manufacturers. Many asthmatic children are allergic to the tartrazine in orange squash and cola and in some the reaction is strong enough to make them wheeze.
Sometimes a little detective work is needed to identify your child’s allergies, but this will be very rewarding if it lessens the frequency and severity of the attacks.
The Major Allergic Factors
Inhaled Consumed
House-dust mite Cow’s milk
Animal fur Orange squash (Tartrazine)
Pollen Nuts
Moulds and spores Dairy produce
Feathers Fish
Pork
In my experience nearly every asthmatic child is allergic in varying degrees to all the inhaled allergens and to certain of the consumed ones. Simon had always been upset by cheese and orange squash, and Julie was particularly affected by milk and cola.
*4/211/5*

Atarax (Hydroxyzine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Atarax(Hydroxyzine)
DEALING WITH THE CAUSE OF INSOMNIA: SLEEP AND HABIT
If your insomnia has become severe enough or prolonged enough for you to be reading this book, then it is in part a habit, perhaps alongside some other habits, like not looking after yourself well enough, or postponing dealing with anxieties. And short-term insomnia can become long-term insomnia simply by acquiring the habit of expecting to sleep badly. Human beings are odd creatures: most of us like to think we are independent, free-thinking spirits. Yet a surprising amount of our behaviour is totally conditioned, starting when we are very young. Much of our conditioning is helpful and life-supporting; it would be very inconvenient if every time you crossed a road you had to relearn the desirability of looking both ways, or what red, amber and green lights mean. Unfortunately the mechanical part of our brain absorbs other, less helpful lessons, like associating bed with lying awake.
It’s common these days for the brain to be likened to a computer — a computer more vast and complex than any yet built, and of course with a capacity for original thought, but nonetheless a machine which obediently reproduces whatever programming is fed into it.
Thus a few people are ‘sleep hypochondriacs’; early in life an over-anxious parent has programmed them with the idea that without eight hours’ solid sleep their health will suffer. The computer part of the brain that has accepted this belief reacts with anxiety when those solid eight hours aren’t forthcoming — until the owner of the computer takes a fresh look at the old programme and decides to delete it and feed in new, up-to-date information.
Of course, we are more than our brains, and our brains are much more than computers; but the image is useful in that a computer is amenable to instruction by the person in charge — you. The mechanical part of our thinking is intended as a tool, not a hindrance, and you have the power to change your unwanted programmes for more useful ones.
If your insomnia has an emotional basis, you may need to deal with that too. Meanwhile, how you think and talk to yourself may be creating a habit out of what could be a temporary problem.
*18/169/2*

Proventil, Ventolin (Albuterol, Salbutamol)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Proventil,Ventolin(Albuterol,Salbutamol)
ASTHMA IN CHILDHOOD: WHAT IS ASTHMA?
Julie is a young patient of mine who experienced her first serious asthma attack one evening when she was 4 years old. I remember visiting the following morning when her breathing had settled and Julie’s parents were able to relax. Neither of them had ever seen anything as frightening before and naturally they asked me to explain the condition to them. It is important to understand what asthma means, its causes and the sequence of events that take place. This knowledge makes it much easier to establish an effective plan for prevention and treatment for your child.
Asthma is a condition affecting the airways of the lungs; the main function of the lungs is to breathe air in and out of the body. Every time Julie inhales, a certain amount of air passes through her mouth and nose into a single tube called the windpipe. This descends downwards into the chest where it divides into the right and left lungs. The bronchial tubes, as they are termed medically, then gradually divide a further twenty five times until they reach all parts of the lungs. At its top end the windpipe is about 2 cm wide and at the extremities the width is reduced to about half a millimeter.
The bronchial tubes are not rigid like metal pipes, but soft and kept open by muscles in the walls. Unfortunately these muscles are not like the muscles in our legs, as we cannot move them of our own free will; if irritated they tend to involuntarily contract. This squeezes the breathing tubes resulting in a narrowing of the hollow area inside, and a consequent reduction in the amount of air which can move through them. The medical term for this narrowing is broncho-constriction.
I explained to Julie’s parents that their daughter’s airways were more twitchy than normal. The reason for this is unknown and may well be some form of development problem before birth. If Julie is then exposed to certain trigger factors the muscles in the bronchi will contract violently, causing marked narrowing of the airways. These trigger factors vary from child to child, although dust and pollen are the commonest. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the bronchi have a delicate inner lining which can become swollen if irritated. In addition this lining secretes a fluid called mucus or phlegm which can clog up the breathing tubes.
In summary, the breathing tubes in an asthmatic child such as Julie become narrowed both by contraction of the outer muscle tissue and by swelling of the inner lining, with an excess amount of phlegm further worsening the situation.
Obviously, once the narrowing of the bronchi reaches a certain severity it becomes difficult to breathe in enough oxygen or blow out sufficient carbon dioxide, and this makes the child short of breath. As I stressed to Julie’s parents, at the start of an asthma attack it is only the muscle contraction that is important, as the swelling of the lining takes a few hours to develop. Therefore the earlier the asthma is diagnosed the less complex it is to treat and the quicker it will settle.
*1/211/5*

Aerolate, Theo-24 (Theophylline)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###
Other names: Quibron-T, Slo-bid Cr, Slo-phyllin Cr, Theolair Cr, T-phyl Cr, Uni-dur Cr, Uniphyl Cr
CHILDHOOD ASTHMA: ALLERGY TESTS IN CHILDREN
Let us see how some tests were applied to our two cases, Simon and Julie. Let us consider Julie first. Julie had two main groups of trigger factors; she had longstanding eczema of the skin which strongly suggested allergies, and any cold or sore throats were often followed by wheezing, indicating that infection was a major precipitant of her asthma. Her parents were both very keen to try and pinpoint the causes for her asthma and actually asked if Julie could have a chest X-ray.
Initially I took a small sample of blood from her arm, which Julie was not too happy about but I assured her it would help us in identifying the reason for her wheezing. Fortunately the levels of the different blood cells were normal, although her IgE level was raised, which confirmed she suffered from allergies. Her mother was worried that the colds were causing infection to spread on to Julie’s chest, so a chest X-ray was arranged at the local hospital. The specialist’s report indicated the lungs were completely normal in appearance with no evidence of any infection or other condition. I carried out simple lung function tests in the surgery using a peak flow meter and this confirmed some reduction in the passages of air in and out of the lungs.
Julie had a cat and dog as pets so these were included in her skin tests. The six tests carried out were to grass pollen, feathers, house-dust mite, and dog, cat and horse hair. All six showed a positive reaction, particularly pollen, feathers and house-dust mite. Julie was very pleased that her pets were not the main problem as they would definitely have been under threat of expulsion!
Before considering the meaning of these test results let us first consider Simon’s situation. We know that the main trigger factors are allergies, emotion, exertion, cold winds and pollution in the atmosphere. His parents felt that their son had gone through a great deal with his asthma and were not at all keen for him to have any tests performed unless they were completely necessary. The diagnosis of asthma was not in doubt as I had seen Simon in a severe attack. On clinical examination he was a good healthy colour so it was most unlikely that a blood test would show up any deficiency. We were already aware that he suffered from hay fever so his blood would be sure to be positive anyway for allergies.
Between attacks his chest was completely clear and there had never been any sign of infection on his chest. Although I suggested a chest X-ray his mum said she wasn’t keen on him having any unnecessary radiation. As far as identifying the allergens by skin-testing I must admit they are not particularly pleasant for the child and Simon always in the past had become most upset at the sight of a needle. We already knew from his hay fever that he would show positive to grass and tree pollen. His mother had previously changed from feather pillows to synthetic and he didn’t have any pets. Furthermore I had to admit that I haven’t yet seen an asthmatic child who hasn’t shown positive allergic reactions to house-dust mite. So, in fact the only test that Simon had was one for lung function and he quite enjoyed blowing into this small machine. It was easy to demonstrate that he had marked reduction in airflow, which was accentuated after a simple exercise of jogging on the spot for a few minutes.
Simon and Julie represent the two extremes when it comes to testing for asthma with Julie having virtually all of them and Simon only one! There are many tests that are available for asthma and many doctors and specialists do still carry out all of them as a sort of blanket investigation. However, some of the procedures, particularly anything to do with needles, are not going to be popular with the child.
So which ones are really necessary? Much depends on how much confidence and faith you have in your own doctor. Actually diagnosing asthma in a child is not difficult for anyone with medical training and does not really need any tests to confirm it. While Julie’s parents accepted their daughter suffered from asthma they had experienced problems with their previous GP so were not keen to rely purely on my opinion. They were quite happy therefore for Julie to have all the tests. In Simon’s case I had looked after the family for many years and had been present at his birth.
*10/211/5*

Allegra (Fexofenadine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Allegra(Fexofenadine)
ECOLOGICAL ILLNESSES: CURRENT TOLERANCE LEVEL
Dr Mackarness says that the body has a ‘tolerance level’ to toxins which is relative to the state of health at the time. If the ‘total body load’ exceeds the ‘current tolerance level’ then the body will become ill and remain ill until this situation is reversed.
Sufferers of food and chemical allergies will always have a ‘total body load’, or TBL, which is in excess of their ‘current tolerance level’ or CTL. As they become progressively overloaded, their CTL continues to fall, whilst their TBL continues to increase, until the immune system is exhausted and severe illness or death results. This whole process can take many years. During this time, the victim is caught up in a continuing downhill spiral of increasing chronic ill health. This situation can be halted, and finally reversed, by identifying the allergic foods and chemicals causing the overload, and removing them from diet and environment. Initially, this will require total avoidance, so that the immune system can recover and the CTL can be raised. From then on it is a matter of avoiding allergens enough, to prevent the TBL from exceeding the CTL.
The study of ecological illness in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, has shown that food and chemical sensitivities arc often multiple. This can make diagnosis complex and difficult. Most doctors are not generally conversant with the concept that ecological illness can produce allergies with non-specific symptoms. A wide range of recurring symptoms, resulting in serious general malaise is often misunderstood.
There seems little doubt that multiple allergies, due to ecological intolerance, present a fast growing problem which could take on mammoth proportions by the end of the century.
*11/106/2*

Lamisil (Terbinafine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Lamisil(Terbinafine)
Other names: Brethaire
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL AND THE PROBLEMS OF ALCOHOLISM
Evening primrose oil works in alcoholism because it is rich in gammalinolenic acid. This means it can avoid the enzyme block which prevents linoleic acid from converting to GLA. It increases the body’s supplies of essential fatty acids, and its store of DGLA, and means that PGE1 levels can be raised.
These properties make evening primrose oil useful in a number of conditions associated with alcoholism.
Withdrawal symptoms. Evening primrose oil can alleviate some of the symptoms usually associated with withdrawal from alcohol. In a series of studies conducted by Dr Iain Glen of the Highland Psychiatric Research Group at Craig Dunain Hospital in Inverness, Scotland, patients treated with Efamol while withdrawing from alcohol did much better than the patients on a placebo.
Efamol was found to reduce the amount of tranquillizers needed by alcoholics in the throes of withdrawal. There was also a marked difference in the essential fatty acid content of the plasma and red blood cells after 24 weeks of treatment on Efamol, compared with the group given a placebo. Efamol also lowered the incidence of hallucinations during the withdrawal phase.
This study on human alcoholics confirms earlier work done on mice by Dr John Rotrosen and Dr David Sagarnick at New York University, who got mice addicted to alcohol by giving them an alcohol-rich diet. They then took away the alcohol abruptly and over the next few hours there was a dramatic withdrawal syndrome, similar to what happens with human alcoholics. The doctors then injected either PGE1 or Efamol into the animals. This dramatically alleviated the withdrawal problems of the addicted mice. Tremor, irritability, over-excitability and convulsions were all reduced by about 50%.
Liver and other tissue damage. A common complication of alcoholism is fatty degeneration of the liver. Another study done by Dr Iain Glen in Inverness, Scotland, showed that Efamol can go a long way towards correcting liver damage due to alcohol. The Alcoholic Clinic at Craig Dunain Hospital conducted a double-blind trial with about 100 patients. No one knew who was taking the capsules of evening primrose oil, and who was taking the identical capsules containing liquid paraffin.
The group taking the evening primrose oil (Efamol 500) did much better than the others. The results showed that evening primrose oil can improve liver function and its biochemistry can return to normal much more quickly, compared with a group of alcoholics who were given the placebo.
Hangovers. Evening primrose oil is highly effective in preventing hangovers. Doctors researching this treatment have tried this for themselves, and found that four to six capsules straight after drinking and before going to bed greatly reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
*35/60/5*

Singulair (Montelukast)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Singulair(Montelukast)
FOOD ALLERGIES: FOOD ALLERGIES IN CHILDHOOD
A major study conducted in the United Kingdom and reported in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, examined children suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea, colic, abdominal pain, eczema and urticaria (hives). It found that 40 per cent were sensitive to cow’s milk, with the remainder being affected by a wide range of other intolerances.
Dr W. Allan Walker of Massachusetts General Hospital, has found that chemical substances from the mother, passed to the infant in breast milk, will prevent foreign substances from passing through the baby’s underdeveloped intestinal wall. Babies are extremely vulnerable during the first few weeks after birth and are unable to make the protective substances that guard their intestinal and respiratory tracts from foreign invaders. Particularly during the first few days of life, it is essential that a baby receive colostrum from its mother, which coats the intestinal wall and acts as an undercoat protection. Without colostrum, and other antibodies in the mother’s milk, infants will invariably be badly affected by foreign particles entering the bloodstream, to wreak immunological havoc in their tiny bodies. The resultant damage is very often permanent. Cow’s milk is the most common foreign protein to cause damage and, in recent years, it has been realized that many people, who are now adults, have been damaged during their infant feeding. The result is often a lifetime sensitivity to cow’s milk and other foods and chemicals.
Dr Paul Buisseret, of Guy’s Hospital Medical School, London, in a study of seventy-nine allergic children, found severe behavioural problems in at least a third of the children studied. Once cow’s milk was withdrawn, these problems gradually subsided over a period of some weeks. Even babies being fed on breast milk are not always free of cow’s milk allergy. Dr Irene Jakobsen and Dr Tor Lindberg, of the University of Lund, Sweden, described eighteen mothers of infants who suffered from colic. The colic disappeared when the mothers were put on diets free of cow’s milk. Evidently, proteins in the cow’s milk were getting to the baby through the mother’s breast.
Food allergies can commence during the first six months of life. If children are introduced too early to cow’s milk, cereals, orange juice and other substances, such as those contained in manufactured baby food, there is a great danger that they may become intolerant to those foods, and will remain so, for the rest of their lives. This paints a bleak scenario for the child. It will mean that throughout childhood, he will be encouraged by well-meaning parents to eat foods which are semi-poisonous to him. As a result, the child will develop chronic medical symptoms. In some fortunate cases, the symptom or symptoms may be easily linked to a specific food. For example, the child may react quickly, after eating an orange or drinking a glass of milk, with a hay fever attack or vomiting. More often than not, however, the child will exhibit a continuous range of symptoms such as irritability, lethargy, respiratory infections and catarrh, to name but a few.
The well-meaning parents then proceed to consult doctors and specialists throughout the early life of the child. In time, they may be advised to remove a food from the child’s diet to see if there is an improvement. Sometimes there is and the problem is solved — luckily for the child. However, often it is not so simple. The child, having been exposed to several foreign substances too early in his development, may have developed more than one allergy. The removal of one food may not cause the symptoms to go away, as this allergy is masked by the others. This results in the child being allowed to recommence eating a food, which, amongst others, is making him ill. Eventually, the child is classified, by doctors and parents alike, as ‘prone’ or ‘delicate’ and his activities are restricted accordingly.
The problem is further complicated by the child appearing to ‘grow out’ of the symptoms at some future stage in his development. There could be several reasons for this. Firstly, as the child gets older and stronger his system becomes more robust and, for a while, may overcome the allergenic poisoning being done to him. However, it may be just a matter of time before other illness or injury may overstress the immune system, causing it to break down again. Secondly, he may, through a change of diet and habits simply stop eating the offending food. This can happen when the child has become old enough to assert himself. If addiction to the allergen has not set in, he may be in a position to reject instinctively the food as being bad for him. This rejection would be strengthened in his subconscious by the resultant immediate improvement in health.
Parents should take note of a child’s constant rejection of a known allergy-causing food. This is often the first sign that the child has some sensitivity to it. The child, after being forced to eat the food for a while, will most likely overcome his instinctive aversion and, instead, develop an addiction to it. Whilst the parents may think that their child is finally co-operating, he has in actual fact, become ‘hooked’ and a masked addiction/allergy process, with a range of perplexing symptoms, has begun.
*45/106/2*

Pulmicort (Budesonide)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Pulmicort(Budesonide)
Other names: Entocort, Pulmicort Inhaler, Rhinocort
ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: MANAGING SEVERE ATTACKS
I would like to mention how the child should be managed when the attack subsides. If the attack has been mild then normal activities can be resumed straight away. In more severe episodes it is important to take things easy for a couple of days. This not only allows the body to recover its strength but also lessens the risk of another attack developing. Research shows that it does take this amount of time for the blood gases and metabolism to return to normal. The most troublesome symptom in the aftermath is a cough, as there is always an accumulation of thick, sticky sputum. During an actual attack coughing is often suppressed as it may increase breathlessness to an intolerable degree. Unfortunately, as the attack lessens, coughing still seems to exert a narrowing effect on the airways which makes it impossible for the sputum to be brought up.
In the older child a simple method of helping is to breathe out against slight resistance; that is, by pursing one’s lips as if to whistle and then breathing out in a slow and determined fashion. This technique helps to bring up sputum to the point at which it can be gently coughed up without difficulty. Another way of clearing the mucus is to gently blow one’s nose.
I always advise children to avoid violent coughing at this stage as it will increase exhaustion and can actually cause minor damage to lungs that are already very sensitive. In general I have found many of the medicines available which claim to enhance the coughing up of sputum to be of very little value.
I have explained the treatment of a severe asthma attack using only the medications that are absolutely necessary. These do not actually involve many different drugs, really only a bronchodilator to relieve muscle spasm and a cortisone preparation to settle any swelling of the airway lining. It is the amount and method of administering them that is so important.
I would like to describe the situation of a 6 year-old girl called Kate who was an asthma sufferer. She had just joined my list as her family had recently moved from another part of the country. I asked whether she was on any treatment and this is the list her mother gave me. She was on Ventolin syrup for the muscle spasm, a cough medicine, a sedative medicine to calm her down, an antibiotic to prevent infection, a long-acting bronchodilator tablet, a laxative to counteract the constipation that this tablet was causing, vitamin tablets, a Ventolin inhaler, a Becotide inhaler, an Intal spinhaler and a Bricanyl inhaler in case the Ventolin made her shake. This made eleven preparations in all. I am surprised that Kate could remember which she was supposed to take at what time and I am certain that with this many drugs there was some interaction between them.
I stopped all the medicine by mouth and also her Intal and Bricanyl inhalers immediately and without hesitation. This left her with a Ventolin and Becotide inhaler out of the original eleven. I added a volumatic to make the two inhalers more effective if she became slightly wheezy and her parents agreed to buy Kate a nebulizer. I also prescribed her a course of cortisone tablets to keep at home so they could be used in an emergency. Thus, instead of the original array of medicines and tablets, Kate was managing solely with Ventolin and Becotide which could be given in three different ways depending on the severity of the attack. Hopefully the cortisone tablets would never be needed. Kate had never even heard of a peak flow meter let alone been shown how to use one, so her parents had no way of managing their daughter’s condition. Three visits to the asthma clinic at my surgery soon changed that and when I saw Kate a month later I could immediately sense a much greater self-confidence in her. I am sure that there are many other children on the same ‘notch potch’ of treatment that Kate was on originally which is far too complicated and totally unnecessary. If your child has asthma it is wise to be under the care of a doctor experienced in the management of this condition. By following this complete treatment plan it is most unlikely you will ever need to summon medical help, but it is always comforting to know it is there if really needed.
*54/211/5*

Atrovent (Ipratropium Bromide)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Atrovent(IpratropiumBromide)
TREATMENT FOR ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: HOMOEOPATHY AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES
While homoeopathy and acupuncture are my preferred methods of treatment for asthma, there are many other alternative therapies. While it would be perfectly possible to describe them all it would be far too confusing and make it almost impossible to choose the most effective method. There is, however, one story of an 11 year-old called Mandy who is the daughter of a farming couple who always treat their ailments with herbal remedies.
Until the turn of the century the majority of healing throughout the world had a herbal basis and the reason for turning away from herbs was both political and religious. Fortunately some of the great herbalists joined together and published in simple language their knowledge of herbs and healing so that all who read it might seek, find, apply and heal. If a few errors of judgment accumulated here and there it was mainly because of limited knowledge of the condition. Culpeper, in the seventeenth century, produced his Complete Herbal which greatly enraged his colleagues at the time as it provided health for the poor; they could go out and search for the relevant herbs freely without having to worry about cost. Herbalism is one form of healing which is virtually impossible to control because anybody nowadays can venture out and collect the plants, make the medicines and take them.
So it was that Mandy was treated with herbs, as her farming family had taken them through several generations. The mixture they gave her was based on the herb Coltsfoot which was originally known as Tussilago Farfara. The name Tussilago translates into ‘cough dispelled and Coltsfoot has been justly named as ‘Nature’s best herb for the lungs’. The leaves are actually the basis for British Herb Tobacco although many additional leaves are combined with it including Buckbean, Eyebright, Betony, Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender and Chamomile which are used and smoked for the relief of bronchial troubles like asthma. This tobacco is most beneficial and without the injurious effects as is the case with ordinary tobacco. I mention this purely out of interest and am not suggesting of course that you should give your child something to smoke!
Mandy had her medication prepared as an infusion in the following manner. Her mother mixed together half an ounce each of Coltsfoot, Horehound, Thyme and Grindelia and brewed this with two pints of boiling water, just as you would when brewing tea. To this was added one teaspoon of tinctured or powdered Ginger and thirty drops of Peppermint essence. This was allowed to stand until cool and could then be heated up to drink in acute attacks or taken cold if preferred. To vary the flavour liquorice root or juice, honey or molasses can be added. I am sure that Coltsfoot is the main benefit in this mixture and I know one patient of mine who found she had plenty of Coltsfoot growing near her home so collected it carefully, dried it and then drank an infusion regularly in place of ordinary tea. She continued with this herb alone instead of any other drink and after six months was completely clear of her asthma. Certainly Mandy’s condition improved quite dramatically when she took the herb infusion regularly. Her parents had great faith in the herbal mixture and no doubt this belief was passed subconsciously on to Mandy. However it worked it saved her having to take conventional drug therapy. A herbalist friend of mine has also found that Elecampane is effective in asthma in children. This is one of our largest herbaceous plants which is found all over Europe and is widely distributed throughout Britain. It is also called Scabwort or Wild Sunflower. Many years ago it was sold as flat round cakes which consisted of the herb roots, sugar and cochineal colouring. A piece was eaten each night and morning to treat asthma, while it was customary when travelling by a river to suck a piece of root to prevent poisonous exhalations and bad air. The herb is rather bitter for children and is best combined with wild Thyme which makes it far more palatable.
It is exciting that alternative medicine is proving beneficial in treating mild asthma attacks. Certainly the preparation Ipecacuanha has proved effective in treating my own son Ross. Always, however, have the stronger conventional medication to hand in case the breathing deteriorates. Hopefully you will never need to use it.
*59/211/5*

Deltasone (Prednisolone)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Deltasone(Prednisolone)
PROBLEMS OF WEIGHT CONTROL: WEIGHT BALANCE, CAUSES OF OVEREATING AND UNDEREATING
Balancing one’s weight
Gaining or losing weight is simply a question of balancing food calories with the body’s need for calories. One kilogram of fat is equal to about 7500 kcal. Thus, if you have 500 kcal every day above what your body needs, you will gain about 1/2 kg (1 lb) in a week. If your intake is 500 kcal below your needs, you will lose about 1/2 kg in a week.
Let us take another example. Suppose you need 2000 kcal a day, but your daily diet averages 2100 kcal. In 30 days this excess adds up to 3000 kcal. You would gain about 0.4 kg or 0.9 lb in that month (3000:7500 = 0.4).
Perhaps this does not seem like very much gain, but in one year it amounts to 5 kg (11 lb).
To keep in balance you would need to eliminate the surplus calories from your diet. You could also avoid gaining weight by increasing your activity. By walking a mile a day the average adult uses about 100 to 125 calories; so this increase in exercise would help to avoid weight gain.
Causes of overeating and under-eating
Too often we assume that obese people simply eat tremendous amounts of food. In fact, however, obesity more often results because of the little extras day by day; perhaps an extra pat of butter, a second roll, a snack, a second piece of candy, or a rich dessert each day rather than a low-calorie dessert.
Not all obese people eat more than normal-weight people. Several recent studies have shown that many obese boys and girls actually eat less than normal-weight boys and girls. However, they were found to be much less active. Failure to get enough exercise meant that their diets, which seemed quite normal, furnished too many calories for them. Likewise, many adults probably do not eat large amounts of food, but they are so inactive that their intakes are excessive for them.
*8/234/5*

Phenergan (Promethazine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Phenergan(Promethazine)
FOOD ALLERGIES: FOOD ALLERGIES IN ADULTHOOD
It has become evident that many people in the Western World are developing chronic illness as a result of too many years on the over-refined Western diet. It appears that, although people who were fed wrongly during infancy are particularly prone to developing this problem, most people, in fact, will develop some form of ecologically-caused food intolerances during the course of their lives. The fact that this problem has not emerged en masse sooner, in our society, is probably because it is only during the past thirty years that manufactured and artificially processed foods have become the bulk of our daily diet.
The process of ecological illness can span years, even decades. That incredible mechanism, the body, can put up a very good fight for a very long time. The individual, being a fighter, keeps plugging along, coping with repetitive ailments, little realizing that he is inexorably developing a condition that will ultimately wreck his health. These days, once a person moves past thirty-five, it seems that a range of repetitive ailments, from backache to indigestion, have to be accepted as part of the ageing process. The fact that the body is becoming increasingly overloaded and is giving out warning signs, does not often appear to be recognized nor understood. These warnings are often the first signs of a weakening immune system, which if unheeded, will lead to complex food and chemical allergies, causing a further breakdown in health.
Dr Allen G. Grant of Charing Cross Hospital, London, reported, in the Lancet, on the study of sixty migraine patients. It was found that 78 per cent were allergic to wheat, 65 per cent to oranges, 40 per cent to tea and coffee, 45 per cent to eggs, 37 per cent to chocolate and milk, 35 per cent to beef, and 33 per cent to corn, cane sugar and yeast. Dr Grant found that, if these foods were eliminated from their diet, 85 per cent became free of headaches and the rest showed significant improvement. This work was supported by research at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, in London, where it was found that at least two thirds of severe migraine sufferers were allergic to certain foods. When these foods were removed from the diet, the headaches stopped.
Many elderly people, nowadays, are showing signs of ecological illness because their immune systems are less robust than a younger person’s and the effects of the past thirty years have hit them first. They are told by their doctors that they must accept their recurring symptoms and their chronic fatigue, simply because they are getting old. They are not advised to examine their diet or eating habits and, accordingly, their later years are unnecessarily burdened with ill health. It has been shown overseas that a clean diet, free from processed and allergenic foods, can rebuild the immune system and, within a dramatically short time, restore elderly people to robust good health. Nathan Pritikin’s now famous Longevity Centre, at Santa Monica, California, has been enormously successful in this field.
As time goes on, many younger people are beginning to show signs of the ecological allergy syndrome. Doctors’ waiting rooms are evidencing increasing numbers of young people in their twenties and even younger, with recurring symptoms and health problems. Why is the percentage of young patients higher than, say twenty years ago? It seems that a growing intolerance to our artificial Western diet is the answer.
*46/106/2*

Serevent (Salmeterol)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Serevent(Salmeterol)
CHILDHOOD ASTHMA: DIET IN CHILDREN
‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I could always eat exactly what I want?’ exclaimed my son Ross one lunchtime when he was none too happy about the meal before him. It certainly seems at times that everything we like is bad for us but this is only because we have been brought up on foods that are far too sweet, with their appeal artificially enhanced by flavorings and colorants. Most food manufacturers have not the slightest interest in the effect of their goods on your body, merely on whether they have a pleasant taste and therefore will sell well. The immune system is no different from any other part of the body in requiring energy to function efficiently and it will not gain sufficient energy from ‘junk’ food. Furthermore there is plenty of scientific evidence to show that all these chemical additives have a direct depressant effect on the bodily defenses.
One of my children recently had a friend to tea and we served up a plate of spaghetti Bolognese which he refused to eat. On asking what sort of food he eats at home the reply was beef-burgers, sausages and chips. Beef-burgers and sausages are very often made with low quality meat disguised with flavorings and colorants. I was not surprised to hear that the child was absent from school the following week with a bad cold!
The general principle of healthy eating is that it is whole-food with no additives. There should also be a reasonable intake of carbohydrate and protein without excessive amounts of fat. Whenever I suggest this to parents it always evokes the reaction that this is impossible to achieve in children. This is partly because many people misunderstand the term ‘whole-food’, which simply means foods that have nothing added or taken away from them. They are not processed or refined and are near as possible to their natural state. Whole-meals are important as they contain the nutrients children need in a form they can use. A classic example of this is whole-meal bread, which is made from unrefined flour and contains natural wheat bran, which is a type of fibre. It is also packed with В vitamins and several minerals. To make white bread the flour is refined and in this process it loses most of these vitamins, minerals and fibre. My own son, Ross, used to eat slice after slice of fibreless white bread, whereas now he has switched to whole-meal and is satisfied after only one or two. A diet of refined foods results in children who are overfed and undernourished with a highly inefficient immune system.
Personally I find most books on diets, although describing excellent recipes, are not really designed for day to day living and are difficult to apply to children. So let us consider in practice how this can be approached. Two children, Simon and Julie, both had problems with their diets.
Simon’s in particular was not at all healthy, starting with a sugar-coated breakfast cereal with full cream milk. Lunch was usually at school which was chips with everything and a fizzy drink. He would often have a packet of sweets on the way home and for tea would have a fry-up or a meat pie with tinned peas and baked beans. The deficiencies were fairly obvious and the changes reasonably easy. He liked porridge, which is a healthy start to the day and did not notice the change from full cream to semi-skimmed milk. Soon he came to enjoy a packed lunch for school especially when he could have the sandwiches of his choice as he loved mashed banana in brown bread. It is the main meal of the day that often creates the problems but if it needs to be prepared quickly then pasta is very simple. Even I can prepare a Bolognese sauce to put on top which all my own kids love and I am sure it is true of most children. On evenings and weekends when there is more time, then a meat dish like chicken served with potatoes and fresh vegetables is more nourishing than fried food. Children love yogurt, so either this or fresh fruit makes an excellent dessert.
Julie’s diet was healthier than Simon’s but the main faults were that it contained very little fresh food and she had a tendency to drink squash and eat sweets. There is a general principle that if you want to eat whole-foods then never open tins, as there are automatically additives in them. Sweets and squash are loaded with chemicals, all harmful to the immune system. Chocolate in moderation is much healthier.
It is impossible to make all these changes at once, but if you introduce them gradually then your child will develop a much healthier immune system, which will then more easily fight off any tendency to asthma attacks.
*18/211/5*

Astelin (Azelastine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Astelin(Azelastine)
AVOIDING CAUSES OF ASTHMA IN CHILDHOOD: FOOD ALLERGY
During her infancy Julie had suffered quite badly with cracked dry skin, a condition called atopic eczema, and her mother had read that this can be caused by an allergy to milk. Does this then play any part in her asthma? There is no doubt that for a proportion of children with asthma, allergic reactions to foodstuffs are important as a cause of their condition. The foods most commonly incriminated are cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, cheese, yeast, fish, pork and peanuts. Some children are sensitive to the preservatives or colouring agents used by food manufacturers and in particular tartrazine and quinoline in squashes and cola. While it is often difficult to identify the aggravating foodstuffs it is worth eliminating each one in turn from the child’s diet to see if there is improvement.
Atopic or allergic eczema as in Julie’s case is indeed associated with a milk allergy. This could be strongly suspected by a careful history of her progress through infancy and by seeing if she had suffered any of the following symptoms:
• Colic
• Irritability
• Repeated vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Snuffled nose
• Poor sleep pattern
• Persistent nappy rash
Taken in isolation many babies have one of these symptoms, but if your child has at least three of these then a milk allergy is a strong possibility. Julie, in fact had suffered from all of them at different times and her mother kept her off milk for six weeks. During this time Julie seemed much happier and livelier without any sign of wheezing. It was reasonable to assume therefore that milk allergy was certainly playing a part in her asthma.
Both Simon’s and Julie’s parents asked about desensitizing injections. This arose with particular reference to the house-dust mite, as although it is possible to keep the bedrooms clear of dust in their own houses what would happen when they went to stay with friends and relatives or were away on holiday? In these circumstances the rooms would not be free of the dreaded mite and consequently breakthrough asthma could well occur. In an attempt to overcome these sorts of problems researchers developed a method of stimulating the body’s defense system to produce more of the cells which cope with individual allergens. Unfortunately, this method, although having the potential for curing asthma, has two major drawbacks.
First, the stimulating solution has to be given by a series of injections which are administered once a week for eighteen weeks and repeated each year for three years. Secondly, it is unusual in asthma for there only to be one allergic cause. We have already seen that Julie is allergic to both house dust and milk and no doubt there are others, so there seems little point in desensitizing her to only one of these. Mixing two or more allergens in the one treatment always brings disappointing results as it seems the immune system can only deal with one allergy at a time.
Consequently I never now recommend desensitization as it is cruel, if not barbaric, to subject a child to weekly injections. If there was a guarantee they would work then a case could perhaps be made, but not otherwise. Both Julie’s and Simon’s families seemed relieved when I rejected the desensitization approach.
*26/211/5*

Ventolin (Albuterol)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Ventolin(Albuterol)
ASTHMA IN CHILDREN: CHOOSING TREATMENT FOR SEVERE ATTACK
Two years ago one of my asthmatic patients called Robert, who at that time was 14 years old was asked to write an essay at school on the subject of illness. He chose to write about an asthma attack he had experienced a few weeks previously.
I woke up totally unable to breathe. I was in bed, panting away, concentrating totally on how I could get enough air into my lungs. I was not in control of my breathing as this had become totally automatic and I had not been able to slow it down. I realized this was the worst attack I had ever had and the worst I had ever heard of. I was unable to get out of bed and did not have the breath to shout my parents. After another few minutes the attack had shown no signs of subsiding, I suddenly realized that I was in danger. I remember thinking to myself if this goes on much longer I am going to die. I prayed for God to help me and pull me through. At that moment I seemed to become detached from my body and was looking down from the ceiling. It was almost as if someone was telling me I would be alright if I managed to get to my nebulizer. At that moment my mother came in, as she had heard me cry out, and gave me my machine. I quickly recovered and always have the machine at my bedside now in case it happens again.
This description shows how important it is to know the correct treatment to give for a severe attack of asthma. The child is often in a very distressed state and as a parent coherent thought is very difficult.
*51/211/5*

Flovent (Fluticasone Propionate)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Flovent(FluticasonePropionate)
CHILDHOOD ASTHMA: TREATMENT OF ASTHMA ATTACK USING NATURAL THERAPY
We live in a changing world and one of the most pleasing aspects is that many people are now trying to treat their ailments by utilizing the body’s own healing power, rather than relying on potentially toxic drugs. This is a principle on which I am very keen and would certainly recommend natural therapy whenever possible. The only reluctance I have concerning natural treatment of childhood asthma is that in its severe form it can be life-threatening, so it is vital that the treatment is going to work quickly. Natural therapy does tend to be more gradual in onset and therefore I would not advise using only this when the wheezing is very marked or if the child’s condition is deteriorating.
Clare is a 7 year-old who has only ever had mild attacks of asthma but these had recently become much more frequent so that her chest never seemed clear. Her mother was reluctant to put her on regular conventional treatment and asked me which alternative methods I would recommend for the attacks. I have dealt with prevention using natural means, but Clare really needed something for when she was actually wheezy.
Briefly I reinforced the methods of self-help:
• Turn off the central heating in Clare’s bedroom, as it creates currents of air which circulate allergenic particles which Clare would inhale when asleep.
• No smoking by anyone in the house at any time.
• Avoid furry pets and cage birds.
• Take up a sport which will exercise and strengthen the lungs. Swimming is excellent for the development of the rib cage and the secondary muscles of respiration.
• Encourage Clare, who was keen on music, to take up a wind instrument to establish good breathing habits.
I decided to treat Clare with a mixture of acupuncture and homoeopathy as I have found this combination particularly effective in asthma. This means part of the therapy is carried out by a trained specialist as it is obviously an impossibility to carry out acupuncture on yourself; the rest can be your own responsibility by taking the relevant homoeopathic preparation.
*55/211/5*

Periactin (Cyproheptadine)

Friday, November 6th, 2009

###table###Periactin(Cyproheptadine)
CHILDHOOD ASTHMA: STRESS IN CHILDREN
It is now generally accepted, even in the most conventional medical circles, that stress in adults can precipitate illnesses. Recurrent minor afflictions often seem to occur when you are under the most pressure. Even more serious conditions like heart attacks and cancer can often be traced back to a major stressful event, of which a bereavement is the commonest. This tendency to illness is undoubtedly because of the depressant effect of stress on the body’s immune system. This lowers our defenses, allowing ill health to take over. Children, however, are just as liable to suffer from the effects of stress as adults and their immune systems are equally vulnerable. Obviously they do not have the same sorts of stress as their parents, as they are not concerned with balancing the housekeeping or wondering how to keep up with the mortgage payments.
Many specialists on asthma will maintain that it is the over-protective attitude of the parents that causes the tension in children which brings on an attack. It is natural, they claim, to do all you can to protect your child from environmental allergens, from catching cold and from the mockery of school fellows; but most parents take this too far and their child becomes very nervous and fearful of the slightest wheeze. To this I would say ‘What a load of rubbish!’ Obviously these so-called experts’ own children have never suffered from asthma so they can only rely on theory and not on practical experience. My wife and I, like most parents I know, have never over-protected our own asthmatic children. In fact, we tend to do the opposite as we are keen that they should be able to lead normal active lives.
Certain children just seem more prone to suffer with stress in the same way that some adults do. Simon was a classic example, in that he was a natural worrier. At the age of 9 he would worry about practically anything but was at his worst at the end of school holidays. He liked school very much but for some strange reason a few days before the start of a new term would become very concerned, mainly at the thought of a new teacher. Once his parents realized this situation, they were able to reassure Simon that there was nothing to be worried about. This was in no way being over-protective. Stress in children is very common and can suppress the immune system in a very short period of time, perhaps taking only a day or two. An asthma attack can quickly follow. It is up to parents to recognize when their children are anxious or concerned and then to deal with this by massive reassurance. It is amazing that once their problems are shared then the stress is relieved and the immune system quickly recovers.
Just occasionally, stress in children persists even though the parents exert a calming influence. While tranquillizers are available I would very rarely recommend these and prefer to try a more natural approach. Sarah was a lovely 10 year old who was very shy and used to worry continuously about going out to new places. Often trips out would have to be cancelled at the last minute when Sarah became wheezy. I suggested to her mother that we should teach Sarah the technique of self-hypnosis which would enable her to relax at times of stress. Her parents were very wary to start with at the thought of their young child being put ‘under the influence. However, they soon saw how effective it was as Sarah became much more settled. Not only that but it did her confidence a world of good to know she had an effective method of stopping her wheezing.
I always think of the cells of the immune system as an army of soldiers who will march off to war against any enemy invaders. If these soldiers are kept in tip-top condition then they will be able to cope with virtually anything. Applied to asthma, all the viruses and allergens will not be able to gain a hold if the system is functioning efficiently. To do this it is necessary to boost it with a healthy diet, the correct supplements, regular exercise and as stress-free a life as possible. No parent wants to see their loved ones fighting for breath with asthma so you owe it to them to make the necessary changes in their lifestyle. You will be amazed how quickly and easily your child will take to them. If the immune system is kept strong you will go a long way to preventing any further asthma attacks.
*21/211/5*