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New Findings on Childhood Asthma
by Lynne Sullivan, DC




Editor's Note from Beth Wisniewski: Childhood Asthma is the number 1 reason for kids in the United States to miss school and it accounts for millions of hospital visits each year. Research shows that breast feeding exclusively the first four to six months of life will dramatically decrease the risk of Asthma. If you, or your child, suffer with Asthma it is critical to eat a proper diet and have your spine regularly adjusted by a chiropractor. Spinal adjustments enhance the immune system's function and allow for the innate healing mechanisms of the body to work properly.


Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness.  More than five million children under the age of 18 are affected in the United States today.  Children suffering from asthma often miss 10 or more days of school annually.  Those with severe cases often miss up to 30 days per year.

Between the years 1993-95, children under the age of 15 made three million doctor visits, and in 1995 had 570,000 emergency department visits.  Asthma is the number one cause of hospitalization in American and Australian children.  Its prevalence is on the rise in both countries.

New findings show that children who are exclusively breast-fed for at least the first four months of life have a substantial reduction in the risk of developing asthma before age six.  This and other research was presented by a panel at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference.  A study of 2,834 Australian children found that the introduction of milk (other than breast milk) prior to four months of age was a significant risk factor for childhood asthma.

Wendy Oddy MPH, at the TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health in West Perth, Western Australia, found that compared to exclusively breast-fed children during their first four months of life, those not breast fed exclusively during the same time period were 27% more likely to have doctor-diagnosed asthma by age six.

They were also 44% more likely to wheeze three or more times since the age of 1; 41% more likely to wheeze in the last 12 months; and 74% more likely to have sleep disturbances due to wheeze within the last 12 months.

The World Health Organization recommends that children should be exclusively breast-fed for at least the first four to six months.  In Australia, nearly 90% of newborns are breast-fed initially, but by age three months are no longer breast-feeding exclusively.  In the United States, the statistics are worse.

Breast milk has many benefits, including the transmission of immunity from mother to baby, and increased tolerance to infection.  “In the past year or two, breast milk has shown to be a bioactive, live fluid filled with proteins and lipids so essential for developing infants,” Oddy stated.

Obesity is another factor that can increase a child’s risk of asthma.

A study conducted by Carlos A. Camargo, Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H. of Brigham and Woman’s Hospital utilized 16,862 children of female nurses.  It concluded that the most overweight children had approximately twice the risk of asthma compared with the thinnest boys, and the most overweight girls had 1.5 times the risk of asthma compared to the thinnest children.

Physicians have long assumed that asthmatics become overweight because their breathing problems result in limited activity.  This new study suggests the opposite.

“This study suggests that obesity may explain some of the increase in asthma in Western countries in the last 20 years,” Camargo said.  Obesity and asthma are both increasing in developed nations.  Between 1982 and 1994, the rate of pediatric asthma rose 72%.

Little research has been completed to examine the relationship between asthma and obesity, however, Dr. Camargo surmises that it is possible that being overweight may compress the airways, making them smaller and more reactive.

By educating parents regarding this and other current information, we will empower their health care choices.  If given alternatives, parents will usually choose the least invasive care for their children.

We have helped hundreds of children with asthma.  This condition responds very favorably to chiropractic adjustments.  Children who have suffered with severe asthma for years are regularly asymptomatic after only a short course of chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care allows the body’s normal restorative abilities of health and healing to prevail.  When more children are exposed to the chiropractic lifestyle-including breast-feeding and proper nutrition- the health of children everywhere will improve.



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About the Author

Dr. Lynne Sullivan graduated from Life Chiropractic College West as the class valedictorian in 1986.  She runs a high volume, family/wellness practice.

Dr. Sullivan is a sought-after expert, speaker and media guest.  She has been a college instructor as well as authored many published articles.  She was featured in Chiropractic Economics and Chiropractic Products magazines as an expert in chiropractic marketing.  Dr. Sullivan’s work has been featured in numerous media including newspaper, magazines and TV.  Her work in the book, “The World’s Best Kept Health Secret Revealed” has been a best seller with over 25,000 copies sold.  She has much to offer to the field practitioner.

She is currently a practice coach and her mission is to help chiropractors develop sound systems, procedures and marketing strategies to achieve their goals, reach the practice of their dreams and enjoy life.

She practices chiropractic in Auburn, CA.

Lynne Sullivan D.C,
(530) 718-4102




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