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:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, will feature Chr. Hansen, Inc (CHR ... air fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your ... Chr. Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a groundbreaking discovery of how to industrialize ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... and related services to families and business owners in and around Lackawanna County, ... benefit senior citizens in the area. , Meals on Wheels of NEPA provides ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... All-Star Insurance, a family managed agency that offers insurance management assistance and personal ... of a new charity drive to benefit women in the area diagnosed with breast ... estimated 252, 710 new cases of invasive or high risk breast cancer will be ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... in the Houston area with access to asset protection and financial planning services, ... event aimed at improving the lives of children with cancer and other chronic ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Plastic Surgery Associates is proud to report that ... Each year, research and information firm, Castle Connolly, releases their list of the most ... marks the 3rd time that Dr. Canales has been recognized by Castle ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/1/2017)... BELL, Pa. , June 1, 2017 ... (PRN) and Veterinarian Recommended Solutions (VRS), and KD Pharma ... investment in Nutriceutical Holdings by KD Pharma Group. KD ... Holdings with the option to acquire the entire company. ... partner in KD. They are committed to growing the ...
(Date:5/29/2017)... 29, 2017  Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... enables the functional selection of stem cells, today provided ... first quarter ended March 31 st , 2017. ... in the first quarter of 2017," said Dr. Shai ... announced the treatment of the first blood cancer patient ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Calif. , May 23, 2017  Leaf ... most innovative medical devices for pressure ulcer prevention, ... the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, National ... May 22-25. The Leaf Patient Monitoring ... specifically for the hospital environment.  The system seamlessly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: