Alternative medicine providers like acupuncturists and homeopaths often claim to treat asthma and allergies with little real proof that their treatments do any good, report Canadian researchers who analyzed 392 alternative medicine clinic websites. In some cases the treatments they offered were merely not backed up by scientific evidence; in others they were actually dangerous.
New Guidance on Peanut Allergy
Updated guidelines from the National Institutes of Health suggest new ways to avoid the development of peanut allergies in infants deemed at high risk for the condition because they also have eczema. Bottom line: feeding them peanuts in the right amounts at the right time may help keep the allergy from developing.
Symptoms Alone Can't Effectively Diagnose Asthma
One in three people who have been diagnosed with asthma may not really have the condition, find investigators from Canada who looked at spirometry test results in 600 adults diagnosed with the disease. Spirometry is the objective measure used to determine if someone has asthma, but in these patients, it was only used in about half of the cases. Instead, doctors relied on symptoms alone to make the diagnosis, and those diagnoses did not always match spirometry results.
Childhood Asthma Linked to Obesity
A new study out of California found kids with asthma were 51% more likely to become obese than those without asthma. But those who used their asthma inhalers when they had an asthma attack fared much better: they were 43% less likely than other kids with asthma to develop obesity. The study was conducted among children taking part in the Children’s Health Study.
Education Is Key
Teaching kids about their asthma and what to do when they feel like it is getting worse may help prevent asthma attacks. That’s the take home message from British researchers who developed a 30 minute educational program for kids that drove home five key points aimed at helping children identify the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack and how to deal with them. Scores on a test of asthma knowledge rose from an average of 42% before the program to 92% after, and the children retained that knowledge for up to five months too.