Asthma Treatment May Put Children At Risk
Being a very common medical condition with millions of sufferers worldwide – asthma is largely manageable with the right course of professional asthma treatment. Every individual with this condition should regularly use a Salbutamol Inhaler (Ventolin), alongside a steroid-based treatment when the signs of an asthma attack become apparent.
However, a new study conducted by the Danish National Birth Cohort appears to indicate a link between glucocorcitoids, the standard form of inhaled steroid for asthma sufferers, and defects in the health of newborn children. Should pregnant women continue to use their budesonide inhalers? What are the implications of this study on the long-term health of children?
The Link Between Asthma Inhalers and Birth Defects
In the study, researchers examined more than 65 thousand mother and child units to look at the relationship between various variables in pregnancy and the health of the child in its infancy. Of this large group, approximately 6 percent of the expectant mothers were sufferers of asthma who regularly used a glucocorticoid steroid inhaler such as budesonide.
This selection of 4,100 women were monitored during pregnancy, recorded the frequency of their inhaler use, and allowed their child to be tested for common health conditions through the first several years of their lives.
According to researchers, the use of steroid asthma inhalers resulted in a slight increase in the likelihood of endocrine and metabolic disorders. An endocrine disorder refers to an imbalance of hormones within the body, which is some cases can result in no noticeable symptoms, although in other instances can lead to more serious illness. A metabolic disorder is one that affects the way in which the body breaks down food. These can vary from diabetes and disorders of insulin regulation to Gaucher’s Disease, which affects the body’s use of fat.
Metabolic disorders and endocrine disorders can, in theory, be very serious. However, in the majority of the cases studied the resulting conditions were very mild, leading to no long-term health concern for the newborn child.
The impact of common medicine is a key area of study within the medical community. However, the most significant risk factors to any child remain general health factors such as Obesity.
Asthma Treatments For Pregnant Women
For any mother who is expecting the birth of her child, the fear of causing harm or injury can be a constant struggle during pregnancy. On the surface, the notion that asthma medication may cause medical conditions would make any woman think twice about using her usual inhaler.
However, it is more important to consider that the health of the mother has a direct influence on the health of her child. A doctor’s ongoing goal is to prescribe the right treatment for his or her patient, taking into account risk factors and the severity of your symptoms. There is no evidence that steroid inhalers cause any serious illness or disease and, as a result, maintaining good respiration remains of upmost importance to a pregnant sufferer of asthma.