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Breathing Clearly

Enclosed are scientific references to allow you to make more informed health care decisions. Please share them with your family and friends.

Table of Contents

  • Antibiotics = Childhood Asthma
  • Asthma Flyer
  • Asthma Patients May Benefit from Spinal Manipulation
  • Asthma Study on Benefits of Chiropractic
  • Asthma Study Shows Chiropractic Benefits
  • Childhood Asthma and Chiropractic
  • Chiropractic Restores Health in Asthma Patient
  • Natural Health and Wellness Allergies

Antibiotics = Childhood Asthma?

New Research Shows a Connection

A new study just published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy has added fuel to the concern over the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. It has also begun to address the recent concern of scientists about the increasing occurrence of asthma in the United States.

So, now childhood asthma is added to the list of potential hazards to taking antibiotics. This, along with the increase in antibiotic resistance, should cause patients to think twice about taking antibiotics, particularly where not specifically required.

The study looked at the odds ratio (risk) of children experiencing asthma symptoms based upon if, when, and how often they had taken antibiotics. The most decisive factors were when (before or after the first year of life) and how often. The results are quite sobering:

An "odds ratio" of 1.0 means the likelihood of a particular event occurring is equivalent whether or not a child has taken antibiotics. Thus, a child given antibiotics during the first year of life has an odds ratio of 4.05, which means the child is over four times more likely to develop asthma symptoms than the child who has never taken antibiotics.

Parents (and future parents) should be immediately made aware of this potential risk.

The Truth about Asthma

  1. Asthma is a leading cause of childhood hospitalizations and school absenteeism, causing 10 million school days missed each year. Currently 20 million people suffer from asthma in the United States.
  2. Asthma was responsible for 12,900,000 office visits to physicians per year as of 2001, and 1.8 million visits to ERs for asthma in 2000.
  3. Overall, asthma costs the nation $10 billion a year in direct health care cost and $3 billion in indirect cost such as absence from work.

Does it seem like we are curing this disease?

Medically, there is no known cause and therefore no cure in sight for asthma.

Chiropractically, we know that upper back subluxations inflame the nerves feeding the bronchial tubes and results in inflammation and constriction.

Asthma Patients May Benefit From Spinal Manipulation

The above were the findings of a research project conducted in Australia where 420 patients were studied. On October 5, 2002 at the 9th International Conference on Spinal Manipulation in Toronto, Ray Hayek, Ph.D., head of the investigative team told the assembly that patients afflicted with asthma may benefit from spinal manipulation in terms of symptoms, immunological capacity, and endocrine effects.

The proceedings and report of this study were published in the August 24, 2002 release from the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, (FCER). In that release Dr. Hayek reported that of the 420 patients in the study only those patients in the group which received spinal manipulation showed significant improvement in asthma symptoms, depression and anxiety.

The report also noted that there were positive biochemical and physiological changes that were not necessarily expected from spinal manipulation. The report suggested, "These biochemical changes not only suggest that the effects of spinal manipulation are more far-reaching than commonly believed, but that they may be more long-term as well."

Although the study was not specific to chiropractic care, chiropractic adjustments are the most specific form of spinal manipulation. The findings of the above study, reinforce other studies previously performed that show the benefit of chiropractic care for those suffering with asthma.

Medicine continuing to lose the battle against Asthma

Asthma has become a large health concern for children in recent years. Over the past 20 years the incidence of asthma has doubled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 1998, approximately 17,299,000 people in the United States, or 6.4% of the population, with cases among very young children up 160%. As reported in the June 16, 1999 issue of JAMA, the CDC also noted that between 1980 and 1994, the number of people self-reporting asthma grew 75%.

Chiropractic care attacks asthma at its source

In a study conducted in 1996 by the Michigan Chiropractic Council (MCC), a panel of doctors performed an out-come assessment study to test the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of chiropractic care on children with asthma. The high demand of parents seeking alternative care for pediatric asthma was shown by the overwhelming interest in the study. More than 500 parents called the MCC seeking to get their child involved in the chiropractic study.

The study, which took place during May and June of 1996, examined the chiropractic effectiveness in correcting the cause of asthma in patients from birth to age 17. The average age of the participant was 10 years. "After 30 days of chiropractic health care, patients averaged only one attack, whereas prior to the study they were experiencing more than four attacks," said MCC Dr. Bob Graham, who directed the study. "Medications, which can be costly, were decreased by nearly 70 percent. Finally, patient satisfaction was rated 8.5 on a scale of 10." More than 70 chiropractors from 62 cities in Michigan studied more than 80 children suffering from asthma.

Chiropractic Study Provides 87%-100% Improvement in Asthma Cases

From the November / December 2000 issue of Today's Chiropractic, comes a study report on asthma. The article notes that approximately 14 Americans die each day from asthma. Asthma is only one of three diseases that has shown an increasing death rate in recent years, up 58% since 1979. Presently estimates say that 17 million Americans suffer from the disease, making it the most common and costly illness in the United States today, costing over $13 billion annually. Present asthma causes more hospitalizations of children than any other childhood disease.

In the study, 47 patients were observed for a two year period. These patients had all been medically diagnosed with persistent asthma ranging from mild persistence in 11 cases, moderate persistence in 28 cases, to severe persistence in 8 cases. The care rendered consisted of specific chiropractic adjustments. The range of visits was from 14 to 44, with the average being 26 during the study period. Most patients in the study began care at a rate of 3 visits per week with this frequency being reduced after 4 to 8 initial weeks.

The patient results were very good with all 47 of the study patients showing a marked improvement ranging from 87 to 100 percent. "Patient observed improvement" was measured by both improvements in their symptoms as well as a decrease in their usage of acute asthma attack medication. Even more impressive, was that all of the patients in the study reported maintaining their improvement after a two-year follow up.

"General Population" Study Posting Staggering Numbers on Childhood Asthma

It is estimated that up to 15 million people suffer from asthma. Of those, 14.8 million are children under the age of 18. In 1993 alone, there were 198,000 hospitalizations for asthma. In that same sample year, 342 people under the age of 25 died due to this problem. In money terms, the direct cost of managing a patient with severe asthma has been estimated at more than $18,000 per year.

The following statistics about asthma come from the Better Health & Medical Network.

  • Asthma has increased 46% from 1982-1993 with an 80% growth in children under 18.
  • In the 5-17 age group, asthma causes an annual loss of more than 10 million school days per year.
  • Asthma accounts for more childhood hospitalizations than any other childhood disease.
  • Children with asthma spend approximately 7.3 million days per year restricted to bed rest.
  • In 1990, there were 7.1 million physician visits for asthma.
  • Health care costs for asthma were estimated to be $6.2 billion, which is almost 1% of the total US health care costs.
  • More than 5,200 Americans died from asthma in 1991.

Would you like to improve your odds tremendously?

Recent articles in publications such as "The American Chiropractor", and "Today's Chiropractic" describe strong links between people who suffer from these conditions and nerve interference from subluxation. Subluxations are when bones in the spine pressure or irritate nerves causing abnormal nerve function. An article appearing in "The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research" Vol. 1 No. 4, also demonstrated the positive effects of chiropractic care on 81 children with asthma.

According to Richard Pistolese, research assistant for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, "Based upon information currently available, chiropractic care represents a safe non-pharmacological health care approach, that may be associated with a decrease in asthma-related impairment, reduced respiratory effort, and a decrease incidence of asthma attacks." Pistolese goes further to say, "The correction of vertebral subluxation is a non-invasive procedure, which could reduce or eliminate the need for medication, and potentially ease the severity of the asthmatic condition."

Chiropractic Restores Health in Asthma Patients

In the May, 1995 Chiropractic Pediatrics, a study found that a reduction in asthma symptoms in a group of children correlated to the correction of Vertebral Subluxations in the children's spines.

According to the study, "All participants showed measurable improvement on radiographs (x-ray films) which correlated with an improvement in asthma symptoms in seven of eight cases."

The study also reported that after the 10th Chiropractic adjustment, an overall increase of 25.38% occurred in the mean average peak flow meter reading which tests breathing and lung capacity.

Parents of the children involved in the study reported there was a significant reduction in the need for medications to control asthma symptoms. "Seven parents stated that chiropractic adjustments on their child reduced the need for medication. Four parents stated that their child did not require any medication to control their asthma symptoms. Additionally, two parents stated that their child did not need to use the inhaler type medication that they had previously needed on a daily basis."

The authors go on to state, "The obvious clinical importance of this study is that children will benefit by having vertebral subluxations reduced/corrected that could interfere with normal respiratory function, especially lung capacity."

Allergies: Culprits and Correction

"Natural Health and Wellness Allergies"

By: Michael Epitropoulos, DC, PhD, and Cal Streeter, DO

Several seasons of the year seem to affect allergy victims more than others. Symptoms range from upper respiratory problems, with burning, tearing, swollen eyes and sinus congestion, to bronchial spasms with asthmatic episodes. Occasionally, there may even be skin reactions with itching, swelling and hives. There are even gastrointestinal symptoms with upper-GI upset and diarrhea in rare instances.

The cause of such aggravating events varies from person to person, although most allergists assume that a histamine response from the individual body's immune system reaction to "allergens" is the culprit. Everything from candida to leaky gut syndrome to inherited immune response is considered a culprit.

The real culprit in many allergies can be traced to the immune system and its invasion and affectation by foreign materials during infancy, namely the administration of immunizations before youngsters weigh 25 pounds and are able to handle invasion of their immune systems. We know that the DPT vaccine has been responsible for upper-respiratory infections and Otitis media within days and often hours after its administration. High temperatures; runny noses; irritability; seizures; and pneumonia are not uncommon. The use of antibiotic therapy begins a seemingly endless cycle of trips to the pediatrician or family practitioner for repeated treatments; referral to an allergist; scratch testing; dietary restrictions; allergy shots; antihistamines, etc.

The antibiotics in our milk and commercial foods, along with the preservation and processing of these foods, may also contribute to the allergies we experience. Combine these with the pesticides, herbicides and chemical pollutants to which we are exposed in our industrialized world, and we see how the body reacts to it all.

As chiropractors, we try to emphasize to our patients that the body has an inherent ability to heal and repair when given the right opportunity. One opportunity, of course, is through vertebral subluxation correction. We can also discuss the reduction and elimination of dairy products and gluten; the detoxification of the liver and colon; improving digestive function through the use of digestive enzymes, and drinking plenty of water (reverse osmosis or microwater). "Plenty of water" means to take half of one's body weight and drink that number in ounces of water.

In addition, we mention the importance of taking 2,000mg of vitamin C and adding one-half to one teaspoon of raw honey to begin alkalizing the body, improving lymphatic drainage, and the addition of natural antihistamines and adrenal extracts.

Negative ion emitter ozone air purifiers can also give relief to people by precipitating out most allergens, while placing ozone in the air and giving lungs access to more oxygen.

As natural health practitioners, we owe it to our patients to educate them on the ability of his body to heal, repair and rebuild.