About 1 in 12 people (about 25 million) have asthma, and the numbers are increasing every year. Asthma cost the US about $56 billion in medical costs, lost school and work days, and early deaths. Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. It can limit a person’s quality of life. We don’t know why asthma rates are rising. Asthma rates are about 50 times higher in Western countries than for example, rural Africa. Why are these numbers so high? Experts aren’t exactly sure, and there is likely no one answer or cause, but there are some leading theories that researchers tend to agree on.
What is Asthma?
Thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.
Leading Theories for the Rise of Asthma
- Hygiene Hypothesis: According to the “hygiene hypothesis,” the problem with extremely clean environments is that they fail to provide the necessary exposure to germs required to “educate” the immune system so it can learn to launch its defense responses to infectious organisms. Instead, its defense responses end up being so inadequate that they actually contribute to the development of asthma.
- Increase acetaminophen use in place of aspirin for children: More than 20 studies have produced results in support of the acetaminophen theory, including a large analysis of data on more than 200,000 children that found an increased risk of asthma among children who had taken acetaminophen. In November, Dr. John T. McBride, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio, published a paper in the journal Pediatrics arguing that the evidence for a link between acetaminophen and asthma is now strong enough for doctors to recommend that infants and children who have asthma (or are at risk for the disease) avoid acetaminophen.
- Rise in sedentary lifestyle and obesity: Sedentary lifestyle may have an effect on lung strength. Also obesity increases inflammation in the body, which experts theorize may also play a role.
- Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D is linked to lung and immune system development in Utero, and a deficiency in the mother may impact lung growth after birth.
- Use of Spray Cleaners: Studies have shown that weekly use of cleaning sprays increase risk of adult asthma by 50 percent. The spray mist from household cleaners and air fresheners can irritate the lungs when inhaled. This increases the risk of asthma.
The Chiropractic Connection to Asthma
While an asthma attack is definitely a good reason to visit the emergency room, regular chiropractic care can often improve asthma symptoms and severity, potentially making the last minute hospital trips a thing of the past. When combined with a medical management program, chiropractic care has been found to reduce asthma severity in as little as just three months of treatment…especially for children with this chronic condition. This means less reliance on an inhaler and more enjoyment while participating in activities that you enjoy. It also means fewer high speed trips to the ER in the hopes that you’ll get there “fast enough,” which is a bonus in anyone’s book.
Our doctors will provide top-notch chiropractic care regardless of where your pain started. We are devoted to improving our patients’ health and putting your body and nervous system in optimum health.
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About All Star Chiropractic
Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, All Star Chiropractic and Rehabilitation emphasizes improving your health in an effort to reduce the risk of pain and illness in the first place. Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could. This is one of the main reasons for the big surge in the popularity of our wellness center.
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