The life of a child with diagnosed asthma is full of limitations and inconveniences. Scientists are trying in every possible way to find a way to control the disease and, if possible, return children to the normal course. Of course, in order for the baby’s quality of life to remain at its best, it is necessary to strictly follow the medical instructions: observe a hypoallergenic life, take the necessary drugs on time. Although there are currently no medications that can completely cure asthma, there are auxiliary medications that can help.
The value of vitamin D in a baby’s life is difficult to overestimate: its effects are being actively studied by scientists around the world. A deficiency from a very early age can lead to a decrease in intellectual abilities, a decrease in the background of mood and depression, a disruption in the development of bone tissue, a decrease in immune defense and other adverse effects. Some scientists even call it a hormone, because it actively interferes with the metabolism of almost all processes in the body.
In relatively early studies, it was found that a clear vitamin D deficiency correlates with more frequent and severe asthma attacks. The researchers decided to investigate this phenomenon in more detail. What have they identified and what can parents learn for themselves ?
What do advanced scientists say?
This fall, the UK hosted the next session of the International Congress under the auspices of the European Respiratory Society. Of all the reports, the report of Professor Adrian Martino from the Center for Applied Research at the University of London stood out. Dr. Martino and colleagues analyzed data from seven studies involving 435 children and two studies involving 658 adults. All these people suffered from mild or moderate severe form of bronchial asthma and all received subsidies of vitamin D in doses of 500-1200 IU / day several times a week.
After a certain amount of time, the following results were evaluated: how often seizures developed, how many times hospitalization was required, and how often patients sought emergency care. It turned out that taking vitamin D significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization in the hospital: among the studied, the indicator decreased from 6% to 3%. Note exactly two times: two times less than the suffering of the child, two times less than sick leave for parents.
The need for steroid treatment for an attack of bronchial asthma has decreased, but this is very important in the management of children with this disease. Although the need for glucocorticoids is vital, therapy is not without some serious side effects. If there is an opportunity to somehow reduce the dosage of steroid drugs and the frequency of their use, this opportunity should be taken.
Researchers also noted a decrease in the need for emergency care, as the risk of life-threatening asthma attacks and asthmatic status was reduced.
How does the drug work?
Vitamin D is known to reduce allergic sensitization of the body. It is worth noting that vitamin D does not improve lung function indicators, which are studied in evaluating the function of external respiration. That is, of course, basic therapy for a child with bronchial asthma is absolutely necessary and cannot be canceled. Vitamin D is also not able to improve the daily symptoms of bronchial asthma: the patient may experience symptoms of shortness of breath and coughing.
However, due to a certain decrease in the excessive reactivity of the immune system, an additional intake of vitamin D can prevent the development of severe attacks, which, of course, is an undeniable advantage for a small child.
Practical conclusions for parents
Parents whose children have the misfortune to fight with the manifestations of bronchial asthma should keep in mind that in addition to the standard generally accepted (and mandatory!) Therapy, there is a full-fledged auxiliary agent in the form of vitamin D.
If a child has constant exacerbations of bronchial asthma, it will be advisable to assess the level of vitamin D in the blood: a decrease of less than 50 mmol per liter indicates a clear deficiency, a decrease of less than 75 mmol / l indicates a lack of vitamin D.
The amount of vitamin D for oral administration should be discussed with your doctor (pediatrician or pulmonologist), since the dosage regimen will vary significantly firstly, from the blood counts of the child, secondly, from the time of year, and thirdly, from the age of the small patient.
If parents do not exceed the recommended dosages, the risk of side effects from taking the drug is extremely small.
Moreover, since in the cold season the natural production of vitamin D in the body is reduced due to a shortage of sunny days, taking the drug will be useful not only for children, but also for adults, to improve performance, strengthen the immune system and improve mood!