A recent article in the Journal of Maternal & Family Health reported on an 8 year old male child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth who received chiropractic care over a period of 18 months.
Following the study, the child showed a reduction of cystic fibrosis signs and symptomatology as determined by objective and subjective findings. Spokane-based Dr. Pat Dougherty, D.C., who follows health and wellness issues closely in professional journals and other publications, was not surprised by these findings. “Studies of a similar nature have been conducted previously with similar outcomes,” said Dr. Dougherty, “but more research needs to be conducted in order to evaluate the precise connection between chiropractic care and cystic fibrosis.”
Cystic fibrosis is defined as a serious autosomal recessive disorder with no cure that occurs frequently in Caucasian populations, with a prevalence of 1 in 3500 live births. The prognosis for this condition involves a shortened life span, recurrent infections and imposing medical costs. In the United States, the current median predicted age of survival is 37 years.
“The health of the lungs is of particular importance to the CF patients.” Dr. Dougherty related. “These individuals produce thick, sticky mucus that can block small airways, leading to acute inflammation, chronic respiratory infections and airway obstructions.”
In this study, an 8 year old Caucasian male presented at a chiropractic office with his parents interested in improving, “the quality of life” for their son. The areas of major concern included recurring infections, the lack of ability of the patient to participate in age-related activities, and an inability to sleep. The patient was diagnosed with CF at birth and was confirmed at 30 days old using the sweat test.
“The patient’s father said his son was hospitalized on an average of 3 times a year due to infections and respiratory distress, totally between 2-8 weeks of hospitalization per year,” said Dr. Dougherty. After 1.5 years of continuous care ranging from 1-2 adjustments per week, there was a significant alteration in physical findings and in the patient’s lifestyle. The patient significantly increased his physical activity, demonstrated by his actively seeking and attaining a black belt in karate.
He was free from hospitalization for over 8 months, had reduced absences from school, and increased in both height and weight. Long-standing cold symptoms, including respiratory distress, have ceased according to the patient’s care providers and to the attending medical physician’s’ notes of care. There was also a decrease in the number of hospital visits and improvement in the child’s sleeping ability throughout the course of care.
“This is just one study,” explained Dr. Dougherty, “but chiropractic care has been previously reported to have a positive response in autonomic function in long-standing diseases, so further research and investigation is merited.”
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Dougherty, whose office is located at 2110 N. Washington Street, Spokane WA (telephone 509-327-4373).