Recently, I was able to read a great book called Asthma Allergies Children: A parents guide by Paul Ehrlich, M.D. and Larry Chiaramonte, M.D. with Henry Ehrlich. My dear friend over at Crazed Mind thought I might benefit from this since my daughter, Princess Emma has allergies and asthma runs strongly in my family.
This book was wonderful! It is chock full of information, good useful information.Everything from why the body responds to allergens to what the medicines are and how they work. It talks about seasonal allergies, food allergies and asthma in a way that is informative but still interesting. Dr. Ehrlich does a wonderful job of explaining things in an understandable way so that you can adapt them into your every day life. There are tons of tips and even nutritional information to help ease a little ones discomfort from allergies of all kinds. Above and beyond that this is written to help children, it would also help adults who suffer from these problems as well. I would definitely recommend getting a copy of this book if you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma.
I also found out the following from this book, Asthma, Allergies, Children: A Parent’s Guide where two of the most experienced pediatric allergy specialists in the country tackle the myths and realities of allergies and asthma and offer up a new manifesto to help parents and children cope with the irritants and hazards of the world we live in. Their easy-to-understand and lively book takes the mystery out of the medicine and pathology, using stories and humor to educate and motivate people to take the right actions.
The allergic process is compared what happens to with the military in a battle or a war.
Initially, the special forces parachute in and do reconnaissance in enemy territory, identifying command centers and strategic targets for attack. Then the infantry lands and there’s aerial bombardment, where the enemy is destroyed, but the surrounding tissue is threatened with collateral damage. Finally, there’s a third phase, with land mines and unexploded bombs left behind, and snipers and saboteurs remain underground while the civilian population struggles to recover.
The culprit is inflammation, the doctors say: “Inflammation is the most dangerous allergic response. Redness, swelling, pain, itching, or heat can all be important symptoms of an allergy. What happens if a cut goes untreated? An alarming infection can set in. Now imagine this happening in your child’s sinuses. Just because you can’t see the inflammation doesn’t mean that your child is not suffering.”
Inflammation in the lungs can cause asthma – a wheezing shortness of breath that can be minor or so severe as to cause permanent damage and even death.
Many physicians have a hard time identifying asthma; it is misdiagnosed 30% of the time. They are even reluctant to use the A-word, because it is alarming to parents. But denial is counterproductive and a wait-and-see attitude is a recipe for chronic inflammation and permanent damage to the lungs.
Parents can use the same checklist of symptoms used by physicians to help diagnose asthma in school-aged children:
Does your child:
· Make noisy or wheezy sounds when breathing?
· Have a hard time taking a deep breath?
· Have a hard time breathing in cold weather?
· Develop coughs that won’t go away?
· Complain about chest tightness or pain after running?
· Wake up at night coughing?
· Have itchy, puffy or burning eyes or a runny, stuffy nose?
· Cough around pets?
In addition, one of the best diagnostic tools centers on a quick evaluation of the child’s quality of life and boils down to three simple questions:
- Do you sleep tight?
- Do you work right?
- Do you play with might?
Each of these questions reflects a key signal of illness and health in the asthmatic child.
All sorts of misnomers and common myths are clarified. Big cities, with a high concentration of pollutants in the air, are a canary in a mine for the rest of the country. But no region is safe; recent research shows that asthma is as prevalent in rural areas as in the cities.
Parents who are fearful of using steroids because athletes have given them a bad name. But this is an urban myth. In reality your child’s medicine is a different thing entirely, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, derived from the adrenal cortex, not the anabolic steroids which turns 97-pound weaklings into the Incredible Hulk, which are derived from testosterone.
Food allergies, particularly, are misunderstood and misdiagnosed and frequently result in malnutrition.
The bottom line? The most important thing that parents can do is to see an allergy specialist. Get a referral or get an appointment, do whatever it takes. Seeing a specialist is to best way to make sure your child gets the best and most effective treatment.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.