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olistic Healthcare for Children

Better Treatment for Pediatric Asthma and ADD

© Randall Neustaedter OMD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Holistic Healthcare for Children by Randall Neustaedter OMD. View all columns in series
I am dismayed by the unnecessary drugging of children, and the tendency to prescribe more drugs for kids on an ongoing basis. With the obvious ineffectiveness of cough suppressants for children’s ailments, more children are being put on inhaled steroids, often for an indeterminate and interminable amount of time. An infant or preschooler develops a persistent cough, and a quick diagnosis of asthma will often lead the pediatrician to prescribe daily steroids to prevent further episodes of coughing and wheezing. The other situation that ends in a permanent prescription is the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. And schools are pressuring parents to get drug treatment for kids who have difficulty sitting still or staying focused in the classroom.

The really unfortunate part of these scenarios is that effective, non-drug treatment for both of these conditions is readily available to parents through holistic pediatric methods. Asthma in children can be significantly improved and even cured through a combination of one or more holistic treatments that include nutritional support, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathy. Holistic pediatric training is available for professionals at and, including a specific course on asthma treatment (Healthy Child Holistic Natural Parenting Alternative Medicine). A directory of holistic pediatric practitioners in your area can be found at There is no reason that children need to take steroids on an ongoing basis, with the risk of their attendant side effects (growth delays and immune suppression), if they receive holistic pediatric care.

Similarly, the conventional drugs used for the treatment of ADD and other behavior problems represent only short-term symptom relief for these problems at best. These drugs may also cause significant side effects, including sleep problems, loss of appetite, weight loss, and tics. A much safer and more permanent solution exists in the methods of holistic and functional medicine, including homeopathy, Chinese herbs, nutritional supplements, and evaluation of neurotransmitter function. Biofeedback systems may also help these children, depending on their age.

I encourage all parents to investigate these alternatives before putting children on these drugs, and to consider transitioning children who take conventional medications to more effective and curative methods of treatment. If you know family members or other parents whose children are dependent on these medicines, you may also want to offer them these alternatives.

For more detailed descriptions of asthma and attention disorders go to my website, and search for these terms.

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About The Author
Dr. Randal Neustaedter has practiced holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, as well as education director of the Holistic Pediatric Association, author of Child Health Guide and ...more
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