Asthma Inhalers Can Stunt Child Growth

The headline above comes from a July 18, 2014, article in the International Business Times, and reports on a recent study published in The Cochrane Library, an independent, non-profit research reporting organization. The Cochrane websites explains, “Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health.”

This research, conducted by the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil and University of Montreal in Canada, showed that children who used steroids for asthma had slower growth rates compared to those not using the medications.

An article in the July 17, 2014, Medical New Today reported on the same study and noted that, “Asthma is a chronic lung condition that occurs widely in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 25 million people (about 1 in 12) have asthma. This percentage is much higher in children; around 9.3% of children (6.8 million) are believed to have the condition.”

Lead author of the study, Dr Linjie Zhang, of the Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil, reported that, “The evidence we reviewed suggests that children treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids may grow approximately half a centimeter less during the first year of treatment.”

Several of the articles reporting on the study quoted medical physicians who said it was a “small price” to pay for using these drugs. Whether the obvious pun was intended or not, the remark reflects a lack of willingness to look into other less drastic options. Most of the articles did make a concession by advising that doses of these medications be kept as low as possible.

“It is interesting to note that research like this which would be of interest to so many parents, was not reported in the United States, a country which allows prescription medication advertisements,” stated Dr. Michael McLean, a chiropractor in Virginia and president of the International Chiropractors Association. “Chiropractors have been helping asthma sufferers for years without exposing patients to the harmful side effects of medications. We can only hope that the truth about these types of drug treatments continues to be disseminated allowing the public to make a more informed choice about their health.”

Resolution of Chronic Ear Infections, Difficulty Sleeping, and Hypersensitivity with Chiropractic

In the September 24, 2012 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic comes a documented case study of chiropractic helping a a baby girl with chronic otitis media, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and skin sensitivities to clothes or being held and touched.

Otitis Media is the technical name for what most people refer to as an ear ache. The study notes that it has become the most common infection in children that are sick as well as the number one reason antibiotics being prescribed to children. The study author also reports that roughly 25% of all infants have sleeping difficulties. Skin sensitivities also known as tactile hypersensitivity, is where the child exhibits excessive reaction or irritability to touch or clothing.

In this case a 2 year old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother with the complaints of chronic ear infections, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and skin sensitivities to either clothes or being held or touched. The history showed that her mother had labor induced a week early, and the birth was traumatic causing the child to be born with a broken collar bone.

The study reported that at the age of 2, the child was taking at least two hours to get to sleep and would not sleep for more than four hours at a time. Additionally, the girl has experienced over 20 ear infections, severe allergies requiring a nebulizer, severe behavior problems including temper tantrums and irritability. The girl had been given multiple rounds of antibiotics by her MD with little or no result. She would also have temper tantrums and exhibit aggressive behavior toward her sister and mother.

A chiropractic examination was performed resulting in the determination that subluxations were present in the girl’s upper neck and upper mid back areas. Specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated for the correction of the subluxations as determined by the exam.

The results documented in this study showed an immediate and positive response by the girl to the chiropractic care. After her first adjustment her mother stated that her daughter was a little less aggressive towards her sister. After the third adjustment her mother reported that the girl was able to sleep through the night.

After two months of care it was noted that the girl who previously did not like to be hugged was coming into the chiropractors office and “hugging everyone”. Her mother also reported that there was no longer an issue with clothes with the minor exception of socks. After 4 months of care the girl was no longer suffering from ear infections.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Skills Improved with Chiropractic

A case series study published in the Nov. 3, 2014, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documents chiropractic care helping language skills in two cases of diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. The authors begin by explaining, “Autism is defined as a disorder beginning in childhood marked by the presence of significantly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a distinctly restricted repertoire of activity and interest.”

The study notes that the number of diagnosed cases of autism in the U.S. continues to increase and is now considered at epidemic proportions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 110 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism. In California alone, the rate of autism increased 633% between 1987 and 2007. According to the study authors the current rate of diagnosis of autism equates to one new case being diagnosed every two hours.

In this case series, two children who were diagnosed with autism participated in the study. Each of the two children were diagnosed independently by clinical psychologists. The first of the two children was a boy at the age of a 3 years, 8 months. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 years with moderate autism. With this diagnosis, the boy was suffering with severe language and speech difficulties. Additionally, the boy had a history of allergies, ear infections, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, teeth grinding, and sleep problems.

The second child was a girl at the age of 3 years, 5 months, who was diagnosed with autism 2 months earlier. Her autism was characterized by severely delayed expressive and a moderate delay in receptive language skills. In addition to autism, she was also suffering from chronic colds, digestive problems, social interaction difficulties, behavioral problems, and sleep problems.

In these two cases, a test known as the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) was administered every three months to rate any progress in the children’s language skills. Using these tests, the young boy was measured at over one year delayed in language while the girl was even worse and was considered severely language delayed.

Chiropractic care was initiated on both children for correction of subluxations. At the first testing interval, both children showed measurable improvement in the language skills. By the fourth test both children showed significant improvement. The boy actually improved to the point where his language skills were 5 months above the average child his age. The girl, whose speech was worse at the onset of chiropractic care, improved enough to be only 8 months behind her chronological age.

The improvements in these children were observed and appreciated by their families. At three months into care the young boy said “I love you Daddy” for the first time in his life. The mother of the girl reported that her daughter was doing well in pre-school and was even seen helping other children with their tasks.

Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis

Above is the title of a report from the Office of the President of the United States. Calling prescription drug abuse “the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem”, the White House released a four-step plan to fight prescription drug abuse on April 19, 2011.

Statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that prescription drugs were used non-medically by one-third of first time drug users age 12 and over in 2009. The study also showed that 70 percent of the prescription drugs were obtained from friends and relatives.

While there has been a drop in the use of cocaine in recent years, prescription drugs are the second-most-widely abused drug with marijuana being first.

According to an ABC news article on April 19, 2011, Gil Kerlikowske, the White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy said, “We are in the midst of a public health crisis driven by prescription drug abuses.”

The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan targets prescription drugs that are classified as opioids, though other prescription drugs are also abused. The plan first begins with education of the public, and health providers of the growing epidemic.

The second part of the plan focuses on a tracking and monitoring plan for prescription drugs that will be enacted with the combined efforts of the Federal, state, and local authorities.

Third, a disposal plan for unused prescription drugs detailing that the drugs be put into plastic bags with fillers such as coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Flushing unused medications is not recommended unless ingesting the prescription drug could be life-threatening.

Finally, the last step is enforcement of policies to stop unethical doctors from prescribing non-medically-necessary prescription drugs to patients, as well as to prevent patients from “doctor-shopping” to obtain prescription drugs.

The Obama administration summarizes the plan with a call for the Nation to work together saying that no single organization or agency can be responsible for this action. “As a Nation, we must take urgent action to ensure the appropriate balance between the benefits these medications offer in improving lives and the risks they pose” says the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan.

What is a subluxation and what does it mean to me?

In simplest terms, a subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.

How does this affect you? Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly. It is the responsibility of the Doctor of Chiropractic to locate subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This is done through a series of chiropractic adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at correcting subluxations.

Now, the detailed explanation.

Subluxations are really a combination of changes going on at the same time. These changes occur both in your spine and throughout your body. For this reason chiropractors often refer to vertebral subluxations as the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex”, or “VSC” for short.

In the VSC, various things are happening inside your body simultaneously. These various changes, known as “components,” are all part of the vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of components present in the VSC. These five are:

The osseous (bone) component is where the vertebrae are either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing physical changes such as degeneration. This component is sometimes known as kinesiopathology.

The Nerve Component is the malfunctioning of the nerve. Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves can have a profound impact on the function of the nerves. This component is scientifically known as neuropathology.

The Muscle Component is also involved. Since the muscles help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. This component is known as myopathology.

The Soft Tissue Component is when you have misaligned vertebrae and pressure on nerves resulting in changes in the surrounding soft tissues. This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues undergo changes. These changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point of the affected nerves. This component is also known as histopathology.

The Chemical Component is when all these components of the VSC are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. These chemical changes can be slight or massive depending on what parts of your body are affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemicalabnormalities.

Chiropractors have known about the dangers of subluxations for over one hundred years. Today, more scientific evidence is showing the dangers of subluxations and the health benefits of correcting them. To be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Our goal is to allow your body to return itself to the highest level of health possible by correcting VSC. Chiropractors are the ONLY health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the VSC.

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Breastfeeding Linked to Lower Risk of SIDS

The above is the title of a Reuters news article dated Jun 14, 2011, reporting on a scientific study showing that breastfeeding lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The study published on June 13 in the journal Pediatrics showed that infants who were breastfed were less likely to die from SIDS than infants who did not receive any breast milk.

SIDS is the sudden and unexplainable death of an infant occurring several hours after having been put to bed. In the United Kingdom, these incidents were known as “cot death”, while in North America, they were called “crib death”. Statistics show that in the US, about 2500 infants, or about 7 infants per day, die from SIDS every year.

In this study, researchers reviewed 288 previous studies done on breastfeeding and SIDS between the years 1966 and 2009 to see if there was a correlation over time in a large number of studies. Lead researcher, Fern R. Hauck, MD, MS, from the Department of Family Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, noted, “Breastfeeding is the best method of feeding infants.” She continued, “Benefits of breastfeeding include lower risk of post-neonatal mortality. We found a protective effect even after controlling for factors that could explain the association.”

The study results showed that even a short duration of breastfeeding was associated with a 60 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS. The largest benefit was with mothers who exclusively breastfed for 2 months or more, where researchers found a 73 percent decreased risk of SIDS.

“There’s lots of reasons that breast-feeding is the best form of feeding infants,” said Dr. Hauck. “This study provides even further reason to breast-feed.” Hauck and the other researchers made the recommendation, “Ideally, breastfeeding should be exclusive (no formula) for at least four to six months and should be continued until the infant is at least 1 year of age.”

In the study’s conclusions, the authors summed up their results and what they feel should be done by saying, “Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive. The recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction messages to both reduce the risk of SIDS and promote breastfeeding for its many other infant and maternal health benefits.”

Baby with Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease Helped with Chiropractic

From the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics comes a case study published in the March 2014 edition that reviews the case of an infant with gastro-esophageal reflux disease improving while under chiropractic care. The author, Dr. Andrew Chuang, a chiropractor in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, notes that prior to this study available literature discussing the use of chiropractic for cases of gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) was sparse with a limited number of case reports showing up in scientific literature.

Dr. Chuang begins by highlighting the frequency of these problems by reporting, “Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is common during the first year of life, peaking at 4 months of age.” In noting a prior study he writes, “Regurgitation of at least 1 episode per day was reported in half of 0- to 3-month olds.”

In this case, a 4-month-old female infant was brought in for chiropractic care by her mother. According to the infant girl’s mother, her baby had been vomiting after feedings for the past 2 months. A prior visit to her MD yielded a diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The medical doctor then recommended the infant be placed on Ranitidine for the condition. Her mother was hesitant to start her baby on medication at such a young age, and chiropractic care was sought as an alternative.

A physical examination revealed no physical abnormalities in development, except the child had not gained any weight in the past two months. A chiropractic examination which included a postural examination as well as static and dynamic palpation of the spine was performed. From this chiropractic examination, it was determined that the child had multiple subluxations in her neck.

Specific chiropractic care was begun to correct the spinal issues. The mother reported that after the first adjustment, her infant girl had a large bowel movement, and slept for a longer period of time than normal. The study further noted that over the next 3 weeks both the number of episodes of vomiting and reflux per day decreased, and the number of days with vomiting decreased. After 4 weeks of chiropractic care, the mother reported that her baby was no longer having any episodes of reflux and vomiting.

In his conclusion, Dr. Chuang wrote, “In the case described here a 4-month-old patient’s GERD resolved while under chiropractic care. This study suggests to the possibility that similar patient groups may benefit from chiropractic treatment.”