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Could Your Child’s Asthma Meds Permanently Stunt their Growth?

Elizabeth Renter
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September 14th, 2012
Updated 11/01/2012 at 10:17 pm
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asthmagirl2 235x147 Could Your Child’s Asthma Meds Permanently Stunt their Growth?

You don’t have to look long to find a commercial, whether online or on television, that extols the virtues of the latest and greatest prescription drug, right before they announce the laundry list of negative, and even sometimes possibly fatal, side effects. One common asthma drug for children has joined the trend, adding permanently stunted growth to their own list.

Permanently Smaller – “Thank You Asthma Drugs.”

Budesonide, marketed under brand names like Rhoinocort and Pulmicort, has been found to stunt growth permanently when used by children. It’s an inhaler, and according to many online sources, stunted growth aren’t the only side effects.

We found multiple sites listing side effects for budesonide including:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Buffalo hump
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Easy bruising
  • Swollen ankles

More than a decade ago, researchers warned that although the drug was “safe and very effective,” those children that used it were about a half-inch shorter on average than kids who received other asthma medications. The latest study, published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found those results to be permanent.

Scientists recommend that parents work with their physicians to find the lowest possible dose that is effective. This, they say, could prevent the permanently stunted growth.

Another idea, however, is to explore natural options for asthma treatment. Dr. Weil, a well-known health expert makes the following suggestions:

  • Use plant protein as much as possible in place of animal protein—reducing protein overall to 10 percent of daily calories.
  • Eliminate milk and milk products completely from the diet (plenty of dark green vegetables are rich calcium sources).
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eliminate trans-fats and polyunsaturated fats like those in vegetable oil and margarine.
  • Minimize environmental irritants like smoke, dust, molds, and chemicals in the home.
  • Use ginger and turmeric to help with inflammation.

Of course there are a number of other ways to fight and prevent asthma, and seeing as asthma drugs have been shown to kill more people than the condition itself, it’s easy to see why natural solutions should be turned to. If you’re looking for how to prevent asthma without the harmful pharmaceuticals, look no further than dietary and some environmental changes. In addition to the dietary tips above, apples, apple cider vinegar, and an herb called khella have also been shown to be effective at treating asthma.

Lastly, avoid those that things that may be triggering your asthma. Trans fats, chemicals and pollutants like smoke, dust, molds, air fresheners, and soda should all be avoided.

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