Archive for asthma
In Utero And Perinatal Factors May Influence Asthma Risk in Children
There are many people who want to blame genetics for much of todayâ€™s chronic diseases, but I firmly believe that environment is the bigger player. As more and more studies come out implicating factors at the beginning of life in health, I feel confident that my viewpoint will become even more cemented.
Allergy 2001;56:491-497 Complications during pregnancy or delivery, illness during the first week of life and low birthweight appear to be associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma. To establish whether there is a link between asthma and events in pregnancy and early life, Dr. Isabella Annesi-Maesano from INSERM in Villejuif, France and colleagues collected data on 4065 children of 2583 mothers from the National Child Development Stud. The children, who were born in 1958, were followed into adulthood and were last interviewed in 1991, according to the report in the June issue of Allergy. Childhood asthma developed in 10.1% of the cohort. Overall, asthma was more common among children with mothers who had complications during pregnancy. The researchers also found higher rates of asthma in subjects with illness or health complications during the first week of life and birthweights below 2.5 kg. Early or threatened labor and the malposition or malpresentation of the fetus were significantly related to the development of childhood asthma, Dr. Annesi-Maesanoâ€™s team reports. â€śThese findings among the offspring of a nationally representative birth cohort obtained after controlling for potential confounders provide further epidemiologic evidence that the risk of developing childhood asthma may be influenced to some extent by events in pregnancy and delivery,â€ť Dr. Annesi-Maesano and colleagues conclude.
Evidence That Daycare Protects Against Diabetes Is Still Equivocal
I have a theory on why this works. We know that daycare exposure is believed to protect against development of asthma and atopic disease by a healthy stimulation of Th1 immunity and balance of Th2 immunity. It is not unreasonable to assume that, when nature takes its course and an infant gets an infection, that the resultant reaction of the immune system will be more balanced than that of an artificial stimulation such as with vaccines. And to those stay at home momsâ€¦exposure to healthy flora as well as avoidance of antibiotics would most likely have the same effect.
Dia Care â€” Abstracts: Kaila and Taback 24 (8): 1353
Reduction of exercise-induced asthma oxidative stress by lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant found in red fruits such as tomatoes and watermelon. Lycopene is the substance in tomatoes that recent evidence suggests may protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. This study uses an extract containing high levels of lycopene. Remember that the whole food will contain numerous other substances that may very likely increase the effectiveness of the lycopene.
Cytokines in peripheral whole blood in atopic, nonatopic asthmatics
This article touches on the importance of Th1/Th2 cytokine balance. Iâ€™ve actually come up with a good description of these two balances. Th1 is the bodyâ€™s attack system, attacking invaders that make it into the body. Th2 is the defense system, trying to keep things from getting in. A Th2 dominant state will overreact to invaders, thus leading to atopy and asthma. There are natural ways to help balance the Th1/Th2 ratio.
Mode of delivery and risk of allergic rhinitis and asthma
More info to pile onto the â€śprobiotics are essential for human health and we indiscriminately destroy them with antibiotics without regards for downstream negative health effectsâ€ť stackâ€¦
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Online
Butterbur, a herbal remedy, confers complementary anti-inflammatory activity in asthmatic patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids
This is a wonderful example of how mainstream medicine and natural medicine can work together to enhance each otherâ€™s effectiveness.
Anti-leukotrienes as add-on therapy to inhaled glucocorticoids in asthma
Canâ€™t help but see those smiling adds for Singulair on TV, can you? Geez, with all that money going into advertising, this drug must surely have been proven in clinical trials, right? The correct answer would be NO. I donâ€™t remember seeing that mentioned in the commercials, though. This meta analysis shows a lack of efficacy in this treatment. Funny how strong the double standard is in medicineâ€¦
bmj.com Abstracts: Ducharme 324 (7353): 1545
No Association between Antibiotics in 1st Year of Life and Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis, or Eczema at Age 5 Years
I have included this report just to show how fair and unbiased I am in my research. Okay, so Iâ€™m actually just including it to better set up the next articleâ€¦
AJRCCM â€” Abstracts: CeledĂłn et al. 166 (1): 72
Adrenocortical Suppression in Asthmatic Children on Inhaled Steroid
This study used serum DHEA-S levels as a marker to determine that the adrenal glands are suppressed by inhaled steroid use. First of all, I prefer to use salivary levelsâ€“much easier to obtain and it measures the physiologically active form of the hormones. Next, this article should raise some major alarms in anyone concerned about what weâ€™re doing to out children. Adrenal suppression in children can have major deleterious effects as that child develops. And rememberâ€“these were with INHALED steroidsâ€¦
JCEM â€” Abstracts: Kannisto et al. 86 (10): 4908
This is not the first time I’ve written about the wonders of drops for allergies for different conditions. But drops for asthma…this is new…
A large chunk of the population deals with the discomfort and limitations of allergies and asthma here in the US.Â This allergy season seems to have hit patients particularly hard.Â Worse, rarely do I see that commonly used medications like Advair, Allegra and Zyrtec do more than make life a little easier.Â Resolution or complete control is not the norm.
While the medications to treat allergies and asthma may be slightly different, I have always lumped them together because the immune system imbalance is the same (Th2 dominance, in case you’re curious).Â This also means that the early-life risk factors are similar, such as:
- Antibiotic use
- C-section birth
- Formula feeding instead of breastfeeding
When asked what organ plays a critical role in allergies and asthma, few would answer that it is the gut that drives these types of problems.
Why the gut?Â Because 2/3 of the immune system is centered around the gut; so designed because the vast majority of foreign material that you are exposed to comes from the stuff you shove in your mouth.
So what if the stuff you were putting into your mouth was very carefully crafted to trick the immune systemÂ around your gut into behaving the way it is supposed to?Â Sounds pretty cool, right? That is the goal of sublingual immunotherapy, otherwise known as drops for allergies.
This approach to allergies here in the United States, however, lags far behind Europe.Â Here in the states, these drops are off-label use because the FDA has not approved its use.Â But certainly not for lack of research, as we can see from this particular review.
Researchers looked at the data on drops for allergies and asthma across 63 studies with over 5100 participants total.Â What did they find?
- Strong evidence supports that sublingual immunotherapy improves asthma symptoms, with 8/13 studies showing 40% improvement.
- Moderate evidence supports that drops for allergies decrease rhinitis or rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms, with 9/36 studies showing greater than 40% improvement.
- Medication use for asthma and allergies decreased by more than 40% in 16/41 studies.
- Moderate evidence found the drops improve conjunctivitis symptoms (13 studies).
- Evidence found that drops improved the combined symptom and medication scores (20 studies).
- Evidence found that disease-specific quality of life was improved (8 studies).
- Local reactions were frequent, but severe allergic reactions were not reported.
Overall, I would have to say that the FDA is WAY behind Europe on this one. Sadly, many allergists dismiss drops for allergies as not having any research to support its use.Â You have to be avoiding an awful lot of medical literature to not notice 63 studies IN YOUR FIELD that deal with this approach.
Maybe it’s time to find a new allergist (luckily for those of you in our clinic’s area, we offer drops for allergies).