Navigation Links
Alternative Therapies Can Be Safe, Effective For Children
Date:4/6/2009

U-M pediatrician suggests what's worth trying, what to avoid

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, more children than ever are being treated with complementary and alternative therapies. Recent studies indicate that about 30 percent of healthy children and up to 50 percent of children with chronic disease are using some kind of alternative therapy.

"There is a huge place for complementary and alternative medicine in pediatrics," says Dolores Mendelow, M.D., clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Complementary and alternative therapies are becoming a more prevalent treatment for children. If individuals follow the directions of their physicians, these treatments are a safe and effective way to get and stay healthy, Mendelow says.

While certain types of complementary and alternative therapies are safe for children, there are many therapies that could potentially be dangerous. Mendelow notes that parents should always consult their children's pediatrician before beginning any new treatment.

Alternative therapies can be successful against many illnesses - including the common cold or skin rashes - when over-the-counter medications do not have immediate success. For instance, honey can be used for coughs related to the common cold - just not for children less than one year of age.

"In terms of complementary medicine, we're using acupuncture, dietary supplementation and herbal or botanical therapies," Mendelow says.

Some types of therapies that may be beneficial for children:

Yoga. Experts suggest that pediatric patients participate in yoga as a form of therapy. Yoga, when combined with medicines prescribed by a physician, can be used to help asthmatic patients learn to practice and use deep breathing and remain calm when faced with shortness of breath. Yoga also helps reduce stress in teens and adolescents.

Tai chi. Research shows teenagers encounter a lot of stress, which puts them at risk for depression. Mind and body therapies, such as tai chi, help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Tai chi and yoga help to decrease blood pressure and sympathetic activity in children. This allows for a sense of relaxation and calmness.

Probiotics. These live bacteria, similar to those found in the human stomach, can be found in dietary supplements or in food, such as yogurt. Used to treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea, controlled studies have shown probiotics are safe for children. Using probiotics can reduce diarrhea by one to two days, allowing children to go back to school or day care sooner.

Probiotics are not recommended for children on any immunosuppressive drugs or those who are immuno-compromised. Always consult a doctor first.

While there is strong evidence that these complementary and alternative therapies are safe for children, Mendelow advises parents that other complementary and alternative medicines can have serious consequences for children and adolescents.

Some types of therapies that may be harmful to children include:

Ma Haung. Ma Haung, a popular Chinese medicine used to control asthma, is an ephedra compound, a stimulant often used to boost athletic performance. Using this type of boosting agent in a child can lead to heart palpitations and other cardiac-related events, all extremely dangerous for a child.

Creatine. Creatine is another supplement that should not be used in a child's diet. "Creatine is used for a lot of body building and we know that it can have adverse side effects for kidneys," says Mendelow.

Other supplements. Children that are on anti-coagulants should avoid certain complementary and alternative therapies, including ginkgo biloba or high-dose fish oil. Anti-coagulants increase the bleeding time as do these two supplements, so that children are more prone to bleeding. Before taking any supplement, always check with your physician if you're on other prescription medication to make sure it's safe.

Chiropractics. Mendelow advises against high-speed spinal manipulation. "The children's spines are probably not fully developed until they're about 18 to 20 years old and you can actually do more harm than good," Mendelow says.

Resources:

UMHS Alternative Medicine Database: http://tinyurl.com/bq2qfc

UMHS Integrative Family Medicine Clinic:

http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/about/index.htm

American Academy of Pediatrics:

http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/complementarymedicine.cfm

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

http://nccam.nih.gov/

American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/ETO_5.asp


'/>"/>
SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Data from Patient Subsets of e-HEALING, a Worldwide Registry, Support Use of OrbusNeichs Genous(TM) Bio-Engineered R Stent(TM) as Alternative to Drug- Eluting Stents
2. FDA Seeks to Regulate Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Products Such as Vegetable Juice Could Be Restricted for Medical Use
3. GladRags Introduces the Moon Cup - An Environmentally-Sound and Safe Alternative to Disposable Feminine Hygiene Products!
4. Trade-offs reveal no clear favorites in alternative energy market
5. Clinical trials present better alternatives for dialysis patients
6. New Technology at Unitrin Direct Gives Customers an Alternative to Waiting
7. Stem cells in adult testes provide alternative to embryonic stem cells for organ regeneration
8. Natural Alternatives International, Inc. Announces Late Filing of its Annual Report on Form 10-K, Revenue for Fiscal 2007 and Guidance on First Quarter of Fiscal 2008
9. After Infant Gripe Water Recall Scare, Homeopathic Medicine Offers Safe Alternative
10. Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator - A Parents Alternative to Medicines on the Verge of FDA Ban
11. Paramedics can provide an effective alternative to standard ambulance service in the community
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care ... of America (HCAOA). This agreement allows HCAOA members to receive special pricing on ... on Accreditation University (AU) educational resources that help prepare HCAOA members for ACHC ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) announced today that ... as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned that the company’s rating ... “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon is committed to being ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Ushio America ... lamps offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most instant-start ... ballasts. These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving labor ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... , ... The Texas Cord Blood Bank (TCBB), a program of nonprofit biomedical ... Women’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg for their outstanding efforts in collecting umbilical cord ... donate. , “Women’s Hospital at Renaissance has been a collection partner for the ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... Bill Howe ... industry in the coastal communities. After Tina Howe joined the team, the Bill Howe ... employees, honest services at affordable rates, and giving back to the San Diego community ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Vivify Health, the pioneer and market leader of remote ... significant patent for the advancement of healthcare delivery from ... health.  This landmark patent provides the company with broad ... position as the leader in remote care.  ... to apply consumer mobile devices, wireless biometrics, EMR integration ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics during the Forecast ... ... USD 20 Billion in 2015 to around USD 26 Billion by ... Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of Complex ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies ... ... was valued at US$ 7,167.6 Mn in 2015, and is ... a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2024. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: