10658343_mlIntroduction

The word “asthma” has its roots in Greek, meaning “to breathe hard” or “panting”, and has been described by physicians as notable as Hippocrates and Maimonides. Among the chronic ailments of childhood, Asthma ranks as one of the top chronic diseases affecting our children,1 and the combined costs for medical treatment and lost productivity due to asthma is approximated to be over 16 billion dollars.2 This is no small issue, and it is crucial for the medical community to entertain the possibility that there are options and adjunctive therapies that may be added to the conventional approach to asthma treatment. Rates of prevalence and office visits for asthma have more than doubled since 1980 and remain at the highest rates we have ever seen.3 Emergency department visits have also increased since 1992, and mortality rates have declined since a recent increase in the 1980’s and 1990’s.4 This may be due to better asthma management and/or more effective and easily administered medications. An extraordinary amount of drug company funding to support the research and development of new medications has resulted in many more choices for these patients. These medications do provide symptomatic relief and save lives. However, despite the rapid influx of new medications, asthma prevalence rates remain high. The statistics beg the question: Are we treating the root of the cause or just its manifestations? Conventional diagnosis is largely based on symptoms, so conventional treatment has followed suit to address just that—the symptoms. Concerns of the possible long term effects of these medications have driven parents to seek alternative medicine for their children’s asthma. For example, corticosteroid use in asthma patients is common, and is known to cause decreases in bone density. Considering that teens gain approximately half of their skeletal mass during puberty, some of these patients may be predisposing themselves to an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life, especially at post-menopausal age. A salient point is that those who are currently being treated with corticosteroids may also have had previous chronic exposure to steroid treatment. Asthmatics often have a past history of other atopic conditions such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Treatments for these conditions include other delivery routes of corticosteroids (nasal, topical, oral), possibly compounding long-term effects. Prevalence of interest in CAM for asthma exists internationally and across race and income lines. 5678 Some of the most popular treatments include breathing techniques, botanical medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture.

Read the full report here. There are Alternative Treatment Options for Asthma

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