An Integrative Approach to Treating Asthma
Oct 31, 2019 04:25PM
By Shannon McKenzie
Today we're living longer, but we're sicker than we've ever been. Asthma, for example, is a condition that affects one in eight children. It is considered by many to be a lifelong diagnosis, but with an integrative approach, it's possible to decrease symptoms or even resolve them altogether.
Asthma is a serious condition involving the narrowing of airways and excess mucus production, leading to wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. In traditional medicine, inhaled steroids are used to keep inflammation in the lungs at bay. While inhaled steroids are effective and often necessary, they only treat the symptoms, not the underlying root cause. Asthma stems from inflammation driven by five main triggers: food; environmental allergies; environmental toxins; stress; and infectious disease.
We have the most control over food, so that is a great place to start when decreasing inflammation. The top nine foods that contribute to food allergies and sensitivities are dairy, soy, wheat (gluten), corn, eggs, peanuts/tree nuts, fish/shellfish, citrus and sesame. Now, this doesn't mean that a child should stop eating all of these foods, but if they are dealing with asthma, it's a good idea to take a closer look at these foods.
In one study, 13 children eliminated dairy and eggs, and nine were in a control group. Researchers found that asthma symptoms decreased, and pulmonary function tests improved in the children that eliminated dairy and eggs.
The best medicine is about combining both conventional therapies with natural and nutritional therapies to get the best possible outcome for the child. If we couple our conventional treatment of asthma with the integrative approach where we decrease inflammation, focus on nutrition and heal the gut, we see a huge improvement in symptoms.
Sheila Kilbane, M.D., owner of Infinite Health, 2201 Park Rd., Ste B, in Charlotte, is a board-certified pediatrician who trained with Andrew Weil, M.D., in integrative medicine. For more information, call 704-626-6771 or visit SheilaKilbane.com.