Asthma on the Rise
Asthma is on the rise, especially in Western countries like the United States. On average, 8% of adults and 10% of children have been diagnosed with asthma, and this number continues to grow every year. To put that into perspective, that means about two to three children in every classroom in America experience asthma. That’s pretty staggering when you think about it like that, especially when you consider how much of impact asthma has on daily activities. Symptoms of asthma include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing – especially at night, during exercise, or while laughing. If not treated, asthma can be fatal.
Theories About Why Asthma Cases are Climbing
There are several theories about why there has been such a steep increase in the number of people with asthma since the 1980s. The most prominent hypotheses include:
- Increased household cleanliness, which may ultimately be suppressing children’s developing immune systems and making them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases like asthma and allergies.
- Increased acetaminophen (Tylenol) usage in children. Children are more often given acetaminophen now than aspirin due to the known risk of Reye’s Syndrome in children from aspirin use. The problem with acetaminophen is that it lowers levels of the naturally occurring antioxidant, glutathione, which helps protect the lungs against damage. One study of over 200,000 children ages six to seven years old found a 46% increase in asthma when children are given acetaminophen during their first year of life.
- Decrease in overall physical activity. Many people – children and adults alike – are more sedentary, and this trend continues to become more problematic every year. A sedentary lifestyle leads to obesity and an overall negative impact on lung strength, among others.
- Vitamin D deficiency in mothers during pregnancy, which has a negative impact on lung growth and development even after birth. Vitamin D is vital for lung and immune system development in utero but can have far-reaching effects even after a child is born.
- Increased use of spray cleaners in the home. The ingredients in many spray cleaners, even natural ones, are lung irritants. Breathing in the fine mist created when cleaning has led to a 50% increase in asthma cases in adults, research shows.
Chiropractic Care for Asthma
With how severe asthma can be, you may be wondering how chiropractic care can help? To understand this, it is helpful to know how chiropractic adjustments work. When you come in to see your chiropractor, they do a series of gentle spinal manipulations meant to put your spine back into proper alignment. In doing so, they are also freeing up pinched or obstructed nerves which were not functioning correctly. Blocked nerves no longer send complete or appropriate signals to your brain. While most people notice this because they begin experiencing pain, these “broken” signals can also impede the natural function of organs. In the case of asthma, this means the lungs may not be expanding as they should. In addition to their regular asthma treatments, many of our patients report that breathing is more comfortable after a chiropractic adjustment, and the severity and frequency of their symptoms are reduced with continued care.
Frank E. Kaden, D.C. Chiropractic Inc. can help you manage your asthma and live a fuller, more active life. We pride ourselves on helping you live life in ways you may not have thought possible due to pain or medical conditions. Contact us today at (310)251-0862 to schedule an appointment!