Stress can actually CAUSE asthma???
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This falls under the category of “You learn something new every day.”

I’ve always been a science nerd, and when my kids see me watching a science show on CBS, they’ll say, “Looks like Mom is on Nerd Watch again!” Funny. They need to remember that I feed and cloth them….so they better be nice!

My friend is an epidemiologist for an asthma program and she sent a link to a video from PBS News Hour video called, “Can Stress Trigger Asthma in Children?”

I knew that stress can cause (or trigger) a sudden asthma attack.

But I didn’t realize that stress could actually CAUSE kids to develop asthma in the first place!

Genes, stress and asthma

I know that one cause of asthma is genetics. My kids were doomed from day one. I have allergies and asthma (as do many of my relatives.) Hubby has many family members on his side with allergies and asthma too. So, that meant that all 3 of our kids inherited asthma from us. Sorry kids….

The National Institutes of Health says:

“The exact cause of asthma isn’t known. Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, most often early in life,”

The PBS video highlights a study about what happened to Detroit kids early in life. Many have had too much stress and trauma and developed asthma. Why? The study shows that when you are under constant stress, your body release cortisol from your adrenal glands.

When that happens, your body kicks into overdrive, and that can cause you to develop diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity. A description of the video on the Youtube page 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.”

Grab a tissue, because it’s hard to watch those cute little kids suffering from so much stress and trauma. The video is only 8 minutes, but well worth the time to watch it!

Hope

There is hope for these kids! The Henry Ford Health System has 2 mobile clinics (bright blue buses) that visit neighborhoods through the Children’s Health Project of Detroit. They also have school-based health centers. So, the kids and their families can get help at their school or at home when the medical bus comes by.

Asthma has always been a bit of a mystery since they can’t fully explain who gets asthma and why. But this is just another piece of the puzzle.

Although I already have asthma, stress can trigger an asthma attack for me. Today is one of “THOSE” days. So, I better have some chocolate and read a good book.

Or watch one of my Nerd Watch shows on PBS.

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