Cough in Children With Asthma

Sadly, many parents are reluctant to accept a diagnosis of asthma, a dilemma which leads to unnecessary pain and suffering, delay in treatment and even loss of life. For parents who can’t come to term with their child having asthma, I have good news: a cough due to asthma quickly gets better with proper medications. Moreover, children can outgrow their asthma.

Why people suffer from asthma

People who suffer from asthma have sensitive, hyper-responsive lungs, in the same way that people who suffer from eczema have sensitive skin.

A sensitive lung can go into spasm or constriction at any time. Spasm narrows small air channels, limiting airflow within the lungs and suddenly making it difficult for people with asthma to breathe. During such an episode of asthma attack, patients can experience shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, fast breathing, and chest tightness or discomfort.

Wheezing is a high-pitched musical sound taking place in the chest of someone who is experiencing an asthma attack. When loud, people nearby can hear it; but at other times it can only be heard by clinicians who listen to the chest with a stethoscope.

Asthma triggers

Catarrh or runny nose with its concomitant viral infection, cold weather, pets such as cats and dogs, dust, dirt, cockroaches, pollutants, paint fumes, perfumes, mold, grass, pollens and cigarette smoke can trigger already sensitive lungs into an episode of coughing and wheezing. Exercise, as well as emotions, also triggers a cough and shortness of breath in people with sensitive lungs.

Cough as a sign of asthma

Cough, a common problem, is one of the many signs of asthma. Parents and caregivers bring children to clinicians when their cough continues for many days and does not resolve with cough syrup. A cough is bothersome to children; it can prevent them from sleeping at night or during the day, can provoke them to vomit, can make them fearful of eating and even cause them to lose weight. When a cough and fever go together in a child, a more sinister illness such as pneumonia comes to mind.

Severity of asthma

When evaluating a child with asthma, it is important to assess the severity of the symptoms. Some children have the intermittent form of asthma, while others have the persistent form.

People with the irregular form of asthma experience symptoms once in a while. Those who have a persistent form experience degrees of symptoms more often, usually on a weekly basis or a daily basis, and sometimes even several times a day.

Examination of children with asthma

Clinicians look for signs of distress when presented with a child with an acute attack of asthma. The in-and-out pulling of chest muscles in a patient, or ‘retraction’, signals air-hunger and agony.

When there is no obvious wheezing, chest retraction or spontaneous coughing, I tend to ask the child, if they are old enough and comfortable, to cough out loud so that I can hear it

By the sound, one can often tell from where a cough is coming: from the throat, or pharynx, or from deep in the chest. The latter would mean that the lungs are the source of the problem, and therefore indicative of asthma. This distinction is important.

Respiratory rates, temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation are some of the vital signs obtained at the time of first examination.

Diagnosis of asthma

Clinicians can diagnose asthma in a patient who has a cough by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. A high-pitched musical sound, known as a wheeze, is suggestive of this condition. When a patient’s symptoms are relieved with the use of a bronchodilator, such as albuterol, the diagnosis is all but certain.

Asthma medications

Drugs for asthma treatment, known as bronchodilators, are targeted to open up the narrowed airways so that air can get into the lungs. Another group of medications called ‘inhaled steroids’ reduces mucus production and inflammation in the small air channels. People with frequent asthma attacks should use both medications. Medical practitioners need to explain details of use.

Asthma control and prevention

Prevention is the key to containing asthma. People who have the condition should avoid known environmental triggers; some of the well-known allergens-dust, cats, dogs, smoke, roaches and so on have already been mentioned. Different asthmatics can have different triggers.

An asthma action plan is a set of steps which, when completed by medical practitioners, guides patients on the use of their medication before and during symptoms, and what to do when symptoms do not improve. There is also a section that tells users how to control things in their environment that make their asthma worse.

Why do people die from asthma?

Two years ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, in the USA reported 187 children under the age of 18 had died that year as a result of asthma.

My guess is that the numbers of children who die of asthma every day within the inner cities of underdeveloped countries such as Onitsha in Nigeria, where pollution is at every street corner and people breathe air mixed with smoke, dirt and dust, are countless.

Simple measures such as avoiding asthma triggers and prompt use of asthma medication would prevent many unnecessary deaths. Failure to recognize the illness is the most heartbreaking and obvious reason for the high numbers. Furthermore, lack of access to much-needed medication as well as a delay in seeking expert medical intervention is often to blame.

About Puzzle Bracelets to Autism

Since April is designated as Autism Awareness Month, use this opportunity to raise awareness among families, friends, and local communities. There are ways to show your support for this noble cause but using customized puzzle bracelets is among the best of them because they are enormously popular. Families living with autism often need moral support.

Autism treatment and research receive less than 5{df16b7182c78c8f70188289622ab585a7d58308ba8caad9fd3b1d5fb4854c6af} of the public funding contributed each year to fight all major childhood diseases. There are plenty of initiatives you can organize to get financial support.

Include your co-workers, speak about autism and bring personalized puzzle wristbands to work. Collect as much donations as possible and send them to a charity organization.

Form a team together with your family, neighbors and friends. Organize a marathon walk in support of autism. Give your team a unique personality – wear customized bracelets with an inspirational autism message.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Etsy and Twitter are the perfect tools for promoting a cause you truly believe in. You can also use photo-based sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Autism puzzle bracelets can help spread the word and show support for people living with the disorder. The official awareness color is royal blue with multi-color puzzle pieces. The idea behind puzzle pieces is to reflect the mystery and complexity of the autism spectrum disorder. Each piece is different in some way and each one accurately represents the beautiful diversity of the individuals living with it.

You can get these wristbands online or directly from stores. But before placing your orders, spend a few minutes of your time to see which one best fits your purpose. These products come in a wide range of colors, fonts and patterns.

Defeat Asthma

Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Asthma is an inflammatory reaction to allergens and irritants. Before we can deal with the inflammation it’s important to start the process of treating your asthma naturally by analyzing your environment.

Remove all allergens and irritants that may trigger an asthma attack: chemicals, aerosol sprays, animal dander, certain medications, molds, perfumes, pollens, sulfites, to name a few.

Jane had asthma since she was 5, (61 years ago) but had it well controlled until about 14 years ago. Then in spring she would have to wear a filter mask when she walked her dog or end up with an asthma attack. This went on for 3 years. After learning how toxic the indoor air was in her home, she removed all chemical allergens and have not had to use a filter mask or had an asthma attack in 10 years. She credits not having the chemical allergens in the house to compound the outdoor allergens.

Jane made one change to her environment and as you can see it made a dramatic difference in her breathing and ability to go outside without having an asthma attack.

Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Our diets are one of the main sources of inflammation that we face daily. We eat at least three times per day, and that repetitive level of inflammation needs to be addressed if you are ever to get off some of your medication and breathe more easily.

Eat more anti-inflammatory foods like: apricots, cruciferous vegetables, onions, papaya, pumpkin and tomatoes. Foods to avoid: Citrus fruits, dairy products, dyes and preservatives, sugar and wheat.

Asthma (Natural Treatment)

People with asthma need to pay particular attention to fats because good fats are anti-inflammatory. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, while Omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation. We tend to eat foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Good examples of omega-3 fatty acids are those in fish. Increase your intake of fish (or take a high quality fish oil supplement), nuts, olive oil while decreasing the amount of canola oil, and processed food of any kind.

Food Allergies

Allergies can be of different types. Environmental allergies, for example, include pollen, ragweed, mold, and other elements found in the environment. People are also allergic to pets and medications. Food allergies can range from lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity (often reactions to hormones and antibiotics in milk or pesticides contained within wheat), to known foods such as shellfish and peanuts.

If it seems to you that food allergies have a high profile, you are not mistaken. Supermarkets, restaurant chains, and websites offer a variety of allergen-free products. There is even a law that requires that potential allergens be listed on food labels. Schools are especially affected, as they have to accommodate the specific needs of highly allergic children and prevent the potentially serious health threat exposure to certain allergens can precipitate. Having an epi-pen on hand at schools is now required, in case of an anaphylactic occurrence. The tripling cost of epi-pens has distressed parents across the country.

There is no group in the population that is more affected then the youngest amongst us. Recently, there has been a 400{df16b7182c78c8f70188289622ab585a7d58308ba8caad9fd3b1d5fb4854c6af} increase in the incidence of food allergies, stated in the book Unhealthy Truth. Private insurance claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions rose 377 percent from 2007 to 2016. Allergies are the 5th largest category of diseases. Author Robyn O’Brien states, “food allergies are not a niche, it is a growing epidemic that is challenging how we think about our food and how it is made. Genetic factors don’t change this quickly, environmental factors do. Are we allergic to food or to what’s been done to it?”

The Journal of the American Medical Association states that the costs of food allergies, from medical care to food to pharmaceuticals is $4,184 per child per year, costing our economy $25 billion, including lost productivity. Emergency room visits due to food allergies are estimated at 40,000 a year and account for at least 300 deaths annually. This statistic doesn’t not include the convenient neighborhood Urgent Care centers.

Many children who suffer from food allergies sometimes present a variety of different symptoms that are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. This can lead to repeated unnecessary rounds of antibiotics and even surgery that do not resolve the underlying issue, which is an allergy. I’ve seen many children with a mold allergy be diagnosed with asthma. This often leads to unlimited use of inhalers and medications. While any item can cause an allergic response, the main food culprits are milk, wheat-gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and eggs. Typical symptoms include breathing difficulty or wheezing, recurring infections, nasal congestion, swelling, nausea, and pain. When you see a child having an allergic reaction, is gasping for air, and you feel helpless to stop it, then you understand the seriousness of allergy.

If you experience symptoms that do not have an explanation, chances are that you might be reacting to a food in a delayed matter. Often the pain symptoms don’t appear until the next day! Food allergies can have serious consequences. They can co-create autoimmune problems and chronic conditions such as eczema, ADHD, asthma, as well as digestive system damage. There are over seventy auto-immune diseases and gluten in wheat is linked to everyone.

Currently, there are no medications or shots that address food allergies. The official prescription requires that the patient avoid the intake of the food item, usually for the rest of his or her life. This can be extremely difficult.

Thyroid Problems

Whether it is from being exposed to mold toxins, lack of nutritious food (our top soil is majorly depleted in the United States making it hard to get vitamins/minerals from the food you eat), heavy metals from amalgam fillings, everyday toxins from chlorinated or even fluoridated water supplies as well as toxins from commercial cosmetics, deodorants and soaps it is hard for the body to handle the stressors over time.

So what it comes down to is the thyroid is likely challenged with toxins and/or it is not getting the adequate nutrition it needs to optimally function.

What then is the goal to thyroid health?

The goal is to eliminate the stressors, cleanse the body and rebuild with the essential nutrients needed for it to work.

What happens then?

The body has super intelligence and it will begin to work its miracles since it has been given an environment to thrive.

So how can you do that?

Well first you start with clearing out your colon.

You open the main gateway for the toxins to leave.

If the colon is plugged up with undigested food and a life time of improper food combining, processed foods and GMO’s the body will not feel safe to release toxins.

These toxins then get stored in the fat and you create a protective layer or layers of fat to keep the organs safe.

Then you can clean out your kidneys by using specific herbs to help clear stones, cysts and other particulates like heavy metals. You might have to do several rounds of these herbs to get this channel of elimination flowing and strong.

Now it’s time to fine tune your liver. The liver is responsible for filtering toxins and regulating hormone production. If this filter is clogged with bacteria, yeast, stones and parasites there is no way the body can function correctly.

Think of the fluids of your body for a moment. Would you rather them be like a murky, stagnant pond or a crystal clear river flowing effortlessly to each area of the body including your thyroid gland. With a healthy lymphatic system, vital minerals can be transported to the organs that most need it and the gut bacteria becomes balanced to help keep your immune system strong.

Toxic Shampoo and Foods

These cannot be avoided but we need to be aware of what we are putting on our skin, our hair and in our mouth. Protection from these harmful toxins come from vitamins, herbs and phytonutrients.

Some shampoos for example have a toxin in them called Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This makes the shampoo foam when we mix it with water but it is also a degreasing agent which is why grease comes off easily when you wash your hands with soap. The problem is that when you’re putting this on your hair it is also entering the blood stream through your skin. Once this is in your blood stream it circulates to your organs and increases their toxicity. This can cause irritation in the eyes, affect your reproductive system and cause cell mutations.

Your skin does not protect your body because when toxins are absorbed by the skin they bypass the liver, enter the bloodstream and tissues directly. Also you are probably also using the shampoo in a hot shower which has opened all your pores in your skin and it becomes absorbed more easily.

When eating toxic food our body’s natural defences can help to break down some of the toxin. Enzymes in your saliva and stomach breaks them down and they go through your liver and kidneys to be left in the toilet but when something enters through your skin this does not happen so your shampoo may be poisoning your body.

There can even be a problem with natural shampoos as they tend to leave a residue on the hair that can make it look dull and feel unclean. They are also not always as pH balanced as you think, can damage the ends and they don’t lather as well so you don’t feel as if they clean properly.

Some shampoos and cosmetics can have what’s called dioxane in them and this can be linked to breast cancer. Diethanolamine or DEA is another ingredient in both shampoos and some cosmetics in concentrations that are often not safe. It reacts with preservatives and creates nitrosodiethanolamine which has also been known to cause cancer. This can stop you from absorbing Choline, which is one of the B vitamins important in development of the brain and during pregnancy. Parabens also found in shampoos can affect your hormones which maintain and regulate all functions in your body. Parabens are often disguised as Propylparaben, Parahydroxybenzoic acid, propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid and several other names all containing the words benzoic acid or the word paraben at the end so start to read labels to see what is in your shampoo.

Another poison we may be putting into our mouth is called MSG which is commonly found in soups, sauces and other packaged foods. It could also be in your shampoo disguised in the form of glutamic acid or amino acid. Propylene Glycol found in antifreeze, tyre sealants, paint and varnish could also be in added in there because it acts as a solvent. It can irritate your skin and affect your liver and kidneys. Some side effects such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness and in some extreme cases even death can be caused by these poisons.

So your seemingly harmless bottle of shampoo, soap or washing up liquid from the supermarket may not be as harmless as they look. Start to read labels and take your vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, drink enough clear filtered water and eat three fruits and three vegetables daily as well as at least one serve of protein. If you don’t protect yourself from these substances that pollute our world you may find one day it’s too late and you need to take a whole stack of prescribed medication for the illnesses these toxins and our polluted food and air have given you.

Eliminating Mattress Fumes

1. Talk with the manufacturer about the chemicals that are in the mattress and could be off gassing. Ask them to hold it in the warehouse for several weeks before delivering it to give the chemicals time to off-gas. And ask them for their recommendations about dealing with the fumes.

2. Take a ride with the mattress. This may seem like an incredibly silly idea, but this can make a huge impact on getting rid of the odors. Put the mattress in an open truck and take a ride with it. Having air blow through the mattress has proven to get rid of the smell quickly and permanently. You can also do this as you take delivery of the mattress.

3. If the mattress is already staring at you in your bedroom, try using a box fan in an open window (weather permitting). Turn the fan so that it pulls air from the inside of the room to the outside. Close the door to the rest of the house. Although this is a temporary solution, it might possibly help keep the air in the rest of the house tolerable.

4. Research the mattresses on the market to find out which ones use fewer chemicals. Since 2004 the Consumer Product Safety Commission has required that any mattress sold in the United States be able to withstand an open flame for 30 minutes. This sets the safety bar wonderfully high in an attempt to prevent us from dying from a fire in bed. However, make sure that you are aware of the chemicals being used to prevent that fire. So before you throw away the old mattress make sure you have all the information on the new one.

Some Tricks for Good Night Sleep

– Be proactive and deal with any stressors, then park them until further input’s required. Try to avoid replaying situations in your mind. Be disciplined and calm your ‘fight or flight’ approach to stress. Take regular breaks, eat healthily and schedule fresh air and exercise; adopt a positive approach to work/life balance and getting a good night’s sleep.

– Dedicate quality time to family, friends but also schedule ‘me time’ for things that are important, but which may not include others. Be more assertive and say ‘no’ sometimes to requests and demands. Be firm about how much time you’re prepared to compromise.

– Home-workers often have an office in the bedroom. Screen it off after work so that’s it’s not always in your line of sight. Change out of your work clothes, go for a walk and ensure your bedroom becomes a peaceful, relaxing place. Minimise clutter and excessive technology.

– Turn your phone and laptop off two hours before bed, so avoiding the temptation to check in ‘just once more’. Designate times for going online and use your time more efficiently. Turn your phone to silent and keep it away from the bed as it can affect the quality of your sleep.

– Avoid having meaningful, important or stressful conversations before bed. When you’re busy, preoccupied or over-tired they’re not productive and can constantly replay in your mind, hence disrupting your sleep. Agree to discuss serious matters at a better time and ensure that they actually do take place.

– Many people have work that requires either mental or physical effort, resulting in tiredness in one area but not the other. Find balance by committing to quizzes and crosswords, or walking, swimming, the gym, so that you’re fully exerted both physically and mentally.

– Wind down before bed with a relaxing bath or shower to wash away the days’ stresses. Read, enjoy a hot, milky drink, meditate, listen to relaxing music or practice some yoga, all ways to let your mind and body know that it’s preparing to go to bed and have a good night’s sleep.

Being committed to a positive bedtime routine is a great investment in supporting a good night’s sleep. Then you’re ready for each coming day, feeling refreshed and recharged.

Vitamin D Affects Thyroid Conditions

Vitamin D Production

Vitamin D is unique compared to other vitamins, because it is nearly impossible to get what you need from food. Instead, your body produces it naturally in the skin when you’re exposed to natural or artificial UVB light.

Once your body produces vitamin D or you take it as a supplement, it’s sent to the liver. The liver transforms vitamin D into 25(OH)D and sends it various areas of the body and activates it. Once activated, it is ready to perform its duties.

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system treats a person’s healthy tissues and cells as a threat. When this happens, their body produces an immune response and attacks. This response can cause damage, inflammation, and chronic pain in many parts of the body.

Vitamin D deficiencies may reduce the body’s ability to fight infection and may link to or cause autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.

Clinical Studies

Several 2014 studies presented at the annual meeting of the Thyroid Association are of special interest. Researchers from Nanjing, China evaluated 34 patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and 32 with Grave’s Disease against 52 healthy patients. Researchers measured many thyroid-related factors including vitamin D3.

Vitamin D is actually a group of compounds classified vitamin D1, D2, and D3. Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of the vitamin, and the most biologically active.

Researchers found patients with autoimmune thyroid disease had significantly lower vitamin D3 levels than the healthy controls. Patients with high thyroid peroxidase antibodies the body produces in thyroid autoimmune disease also had lower vitamin D levels. This suggests vitamin D insufficiency could link to or cause autoimmune thyroid disease.

Brazilian researchers studied 54 Hashimoto’s patients, compared to 54 healthy controls. They also found vitamin D deficiency in 63.2{df16b7182c78c8f70188289622ab585a7d58308ba8caad9fd3b1d5fb4854c6af} of the patients. Those with low vitamin D levels also had higher thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and a larger thyroid.

Lack of Vitamin D

Normally, the skin produces sufficient vitamin D when exposed to adequate UV light. However, the risks of skin cancer or melanoma now mean many people use sunscreen and cover their bodies. We also spend more time indoors for work and entertainment.

Since more clinical tests show a link between vitamin D and thyroid function, many physicians now recommend vitamin D testing as part of thyroid evaluation and care. Nonetheless, functional practitioners and doctors following the medical model may treat you differently based on your results.

Medical Model vs Functional Model

The medical model recommends 400 International Units per day of vitamin D. They also define a sufficient serum 25(OH)D level as over 50 nmol/L as it “covers the needs of 97.5{df16b7182c78c8f70188289622ab585a7d58308ba8caad9fd3b1d5fb4854c6af} of the population”. The test used to measure vitamin D levels in the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test.

The medical model usually recommends supplementation to increase low vitamin D levels. However, the functional approach to care recognizes multiple reasons may cause low vitamin D levels. Consequently, recommending supplements before looking at overall health and other possible issues can be ineffective and counterproductive.

Supplements don’t always correct low vitamin D levels, because they do not address underlying problems. The vitamin D receptor in some autoimmune patients cannot activate due to variations in their DNA sequence. Consequently, they need higher than normal blood levels of vitamin D to avoid vitamin D insufficiency.

Vitamin D is fat soluble, and some patients with thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have low stomach acid and poor fat absorption. Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease also make the immune system work overtime, which depletes the body’s stores of vitamin D. Therefore, addressing gut and digestive issues and modulating the immune system are of primary importance before considering vitamin D supplementation.

A highly qualified functional practitioner will look at your gut and digestive health and if they’re satisfied, they may order a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test for your vitamin D levels.

Your practitioner may recommend supplementation to reach between 60 and 80 nmol/L. This is still well below the 125 nmol/L threshold where a patient might experience adverse effects. After several months, they’ll retest. If their serum level rose to an acceptable level, the doctor will adjust vitamin D intake so serum levels stay between 50 and 60 nmol/L.

Info of Autism and Technology Education

When the Bureau of Labor Statistic estimated that more than half of all the jobs require some sort of technological skills, it emerged as a problem for people with autism spectrum disorder. Natalie feared that her students would be destined for either low-wage or menial positions, or worse still, get no jobs at all.

Natalie identified an opportunity in teaching through autism apps like “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences”. She started using project-based learning and technology to impart key technical skills and also foster abilities for analytical thinking, problem solving and independent living.

Natalie soon quit her job to develop a curriculum for teaching special needs children. She included the “Math on the Farm” and “Make Sentences” apps in the program. Initially it was focused only on autistic kids, but soon expanded to include special needs children and those with cognitive disabilities. The program has won acclaim from experts and special educators alike. It’s being extensively used in the Louisiana school district and in some other neighboring states.

Natalie’s program is just one of the ways by which organizations and individuals are working to lend autistic children a better scope to succeed later in life at the workplace with high-skill jobs. The efforts range from promoting technological education to companies broadening their outlook on how to hire neglected talent. These efforts help in dispelling the misconception that autistic children suffering from intellectual disabilities can’t be accommodated in a technological space.

The initiatives by people like Natalie address a genuine problem. The rate of unemployment for people with disabilities, according to US Labor Department, is almost twice compared to that of people without disabilities. For people with developmental and cognitive disabilities, like Down syndrome, chances of landing a job are much worse.

Most people want to get employed in a meaningful job. People with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder are no different. Notwithstanding the millions of dollars being spent on technical and educational programs to reach better outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorder, the needle hasn’t moved much.