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Acetaminophen Warning for Kids: Dr. Christine Anderson Offers Natural Alternatives for Acetaminophen for Child or Adult Patients
Christine Anderson - a Doctor of Chiropractic Christine Anderson - a Doctor of Chiropractic
Hollywood, CA
Monday, January 31, 2011

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Los Angeles based Pediatric Chiropractor Dr. Christine Anderson is not surprised by two recent studies which indicate a possible link, in children, between asthma and the consumption of Tylenol, which like 200 other over the counter products contains the pain reliever Acetaminophen. These studies were reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medi¬cine, with concluding that as many as four out of every 10 cases of wheez¬ing and severe asthma in teens may be linked to Acetaminophen.

?Every pharmaceutical drug has some side effect, and when you?re talking about children it is very easy for their systems to spin out of control from seemingly innocuous compounds. I urge parents to use caution with over the counter medications, even aspirin, and even more so when dealing with prescriptions. Our bodies and natural supplements can achieve better results with no side effects,? says Dr. Anderson.

According to Richard Beasley, MBChB, of the Medical Research Insti¬tute of New Zealand, in Wellington, and his research colleagues using the analgesic even once in the prior year was linked to a 43% greater likelihood of current wheezing symp¬toms.

If acetaminophen was taken once a month or more, the change of have wheezing symptoms was more than doubled.

As part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three, a total of 322,959 thirteen-to-fourteen year-olds from 50 different countries completed written and video questionnaires. Researchers compared data on current symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and ec¬zema, and a variety of risk factors in¬cluding acetaminophen use in the past 12 months. Researchers concluded that ?acet¬aminophen use may represent an im¬portant risk factor for the development and/or maintenance of asthma, rhino¬conjunctivitis and eczema in adoles¬cent children.?

In response to this, Dr. Christine Anderson, who has treated thousands of babies, children and their parents, has listed the most common situation when parents might, but should not, administer Tylenol or other alternatives to acetaminophen. Her belief is that if we can reduce the need for kids to use Tylenol or acetomeniphen, then there will be less chance of kids developing asthma or other side effects.

1) Before or after vaccines in order to minimize reactions, such as fever, redness, or swelling at the injection site. The problem with this is that then the parent won?t have any idea if the child has reacted to the vaccine, therefore they cannot make an educated decision about whether or not the child should receive further vaccines, which may cause more damage, which may be irreparable.

2) Fever: Fever is one of the basic modalities the immune system uses to deactivate and kill viruses and bacteria. The increased temperature makes the body inhospitable and kills off invaders. In my experience, it often prolongs the fever and illness because the body?s attempts to mount an immune response have been thwarted by reducing the fever. Chiropractic can help by making sure there is no interference the nervous system, which controls every system in the body including the immune system. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help by aiding the natural healing process so that the fever is no longer necessary. Homeopathy can also be used: Belladonna if the fever comes on suddenly and the child is red and hot. Ferrum Phos if the fever comes on more slowly.

3) Aches and pains: When a young child has aches and pains, there is usually an underlying reason. Tylenol as an analgesic doesn?t take care of the issue, it masks the symptoms and may delay treatment for a problem that is serious. Chiropractors are highly trained in determining the stressors to the nerves, muscles, and bones, as well as all other systems of the body. They use specific spinal adjustments, exercises, nutrition, and other non-invasive modalites to address the cause of the problem so the body can self heal. It can be effective for headache, backache, sprains and strains. Just as chiropractic is often used by athletes to help prevent and heal from injuries as well as enhance performance, so it can help your child who plays sports. Homeopathy, such as arnica montana can also help the body heal after physical trauma or a tough workout.

4) Teething: It is easy to see how a parent with a teething child in obvious discomfort would do anything to take the pain away. There are some other things to try before reaching for the Tylenol or any other analgesic. Diluted clove oil is a great anesthetic; caution ? never use clove oil straight from the bottle as it could burn your baby?s mouth. Use a carrier oil, such as grapeseed oil and add a little clove oil at a time, testing it on yourself until you feel a numbing sensation but not so strong as to burn. Ice also can be soothing. Wet one corner of a clean washcloth and place it in the freezer. Your baby can then gnaw on the frozen section to sooth their gums. There are also teethers on the market where you freeze water or juice in a mesh bag attached to a holder. The baby can ten suck on the bag containing the frozen liquid. Homeopathy, such as chamomilla can be helpful if one cheek is pink and the other pale or pulsatilla for the inconsolable child who clings.

5) Earaches: No doubt about it, earaches are painful and usually make it hard for a child to sleep due to the pain, so it is easy to see how It would be tempting for a parent to want to give acetomeniphen to try and alleviate the pain. Hot compresses are great to use, especially if it is impossible to get to your health care provider right away. Soak a cloth in hot water and place over both ears and the throat for 5 minutes. A heat pack (use a towel around it) or hot water bottle can also be used. Repeat every 3 -5 minutes for a maximum of 30 minutes.

For better results, simultaneously put your child?s feet in a hot footbath. Repeat the treatment 2-3 times per day. Chiropractic adjustments and craniosacral therapy can help with otitis media, or earache, as misalignments, or subluxations, of the vertebrae in the neck will cause muscles to spasm and prevent the drainage of fluid from the head, causing fluid to back up into the ear canal. The Eustachian tube, or ear canal, in kids is more horizontal, making fluid harder to drain. Using craniosacral therapy to release the temporal bone, which makes up the floor of the ear canal can also help restore balance and help the fluid drain. Homeopathic remedies may also be helpful for earaches. In general, belladonna is helpful, especially for right sided earaches and when the ear is red and bulging.

Try sulphur for left sided infections. Hepar sulph is indicated if the earache extends to the throat. Try aconite if the child is fearful, wakes around midnight with the earache, is thirsty, and after getting chilled. Mercurius, bellis, and ferrum phos, and pulsatilla are other remedies that may help earache. If a homeopathic remedy doesn?t seem to be helping, then it is probably not the right remedy and you should seek out the assistance of a practitioner trained in homeopathy. It is imperative that you have your child?s ear examined before putting anything it it! Warmed oil containing extracts of mullein, garlic, and St. John;s wort is often soothing for the child with an earache, but is contraindicated for the child whose eardrum has perforated.

Tylenol is currently the most popular painkiller in the United States. Americans take over 8 billion pills (tablets or capsules) of Tylenol each year. Acetaminophen is the general (generic) name for Tylenol, which is a brand name. Although acetaminophen is contained in over 200 medications, most of them do not have the name "Tylenol" on their labels. Acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined, and is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for 39% of cases. While it occurs through overdosing, even recommended doses especially combined with even small amounts of alcohol, have caused irreversible liver failure.

A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006 suggests problems even in healthy people taking the pain reliever as directed. Healthy adults taking maximum doses of Tylenol for two weeks had abnormal liver test results. Dr. Neil Kaplowitz of the University of Southern California, co-author of the study, said, ?I would urge the public not to exceed four grams a day. This is a drug that has a rather narrow safety window...?

Too much Tylenol can be a very dangerous thing, for kids and adults. So much so that the Food and Drug Administration is considering banning infantTylenol as part of its efforts to reduce the risk of potentially fatal liver damage. Bernard Dreyer, a pediatrician who studies how parents use children's medications had a surprising discovery: Those little plastic dosing cups that come with Tylenol are very hard to use accurately, and as a result, 5 to 10 percent of parents give twice as much of the medicine as called for.

About Dr. Anderson:

Christine Anderson, a Doctor of Chiropractic, has been practicing in Hollywood since graduating Summa Cum Laude from Cleveland Chiropractic College (CCC-LA)in Los Angeles in 1989. As an intern, Dr. Anderson was on the faculty at CCC-LA and also assisted the head of the radiology department in the clinic. Dr. Anderson completed a 3 year post graduate program which gives her diplomate status and Board Certification in Chiropractic Pediatrics and Pregnancy (DICCP). She received her Diploma in Homeopathy (DiHom) from the British Institute of Homeopathy in 1996 and completed Craniosacral Therapy I and II training from Upledger Institute in 2002.

Dr. Anderson has lectured and presented papers at the yearly ICA Council on Pediatrics Conferences and at the 2002 Rome Symposium. Dr. Anderson has contributed articles on various health issues for local newspapers and magazines, as well as chiropractic publications. She was consulted for the book, I Got Pregnant, You Can,Too, by Katie Boland. She developed the pre/post natal exercise program at the Hollywood YMCA, continues to teach classes there, and has produced the 90 minute DVD Dr. Christine Anderson`s Dynamic Prenatal Yoga. She also does community outreach, talking to parents and kids about health issues.

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