Ever the science nerd, I love learning about new things. In fact, when my kids see me watching Frontline or another show on PBS, they say, "Looks like Mom is on Nerd Watch again."
I'll take that as a compliment!
My colleague is an epidemiologist in an asthma program and sent a link to a video from PBS News Hour.
The video talks about how stressful childhood experiences can actually CAUSE asthma.
Now, I knew that stress could cause (or trigger) an asthma attack
But I didn't realize that stress could actually cause kids to develop asthma in the first place!
Experts at the National Institutes of Health say,
"The exact cause of asthma isn't known. Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, most often early in life."
In our case, it's genetic. It runs on both sides of the family. I have allergies and asthma, as do all 3 of our kids. Many family members on Hubby's side of the family also have allergies and asthma.
The video is only 8 minutes, it's worth watching the PBS News Hour video, "Can stress trigger asthma in children?"
It's sad to see the stress that these poor little kids are under. (Grab a tissue when you watch the video!) Some are homeless and others have witnessed trauma. The description of the videos says:
"Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found about 2 of every 3 Motor City children face “adverse childhood experiences,” such as household substance abuse, exposure to violence and extreme economic hardship that can trigger asthma."
The video says that too much stress can cause your cortisol and adrenaline glands to kick in to high gear. It also says that when your body is in overdrive like that, it can cause a variety of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.
It sounds hopeless, but there are people trying to make a difference! The Henry Ford Health System has 2 mobile clinics (bright blue buses) that go into the neighborhood and offer health care through the Children's Health Project of Detroit. They also have school based health centers.
After all, if the kids are living in poverty and experiencing trauma, they may not be able to have a car or money to go see the doctor. So, the doctors and nurses come to them!
It's worth your time to watch the video. I feel sad for all the kids in the video but I am glad that there are people out there trying to help them.
Although I already have asthma, stress can sometimes be a trigger for my asthma attacks. Today is one of those days at work. Guess I better eat some chocolate and do some deep breathing!