Friday Links – Emma Stone’s On-Set Attack. Nutrition, Metabolism and Asthma Risk.

When I used to work away from home, every so often I’d face a run of days packed with project deadlines and multiple little tasks but also the kind of minor obstacles and tiny problems that are the death of productivity. Meetings that drag on too long. Phone and email tag with project contacts. Fire drills and hurricane days during my stint at a Florida private school. And office parties. OH, the office parties.

I adore parties and also cake, but sometimes I just wanted to get my work done.

This week’s been a lot like that.

So if there is any corner of the Internet I participate in – including Twitter, blogging, and even my own email – chances are pretty good I’ve been largely absent from it these past few days.

However! I do have links today:

Emma Stone on Her Asthma Attack-Inducing (Faked) Sex Scene in “Easy A”
That final quote in the article implies what, exactly? That only losers have asthma? That only children experience attacks?

Poor Diet and Related Metabolic Issues, Not Obesity, May Lead to Asthma
I link to sources like Medpage Today even though the medical terminology can be a little dense and thorny to work out because it resists misleading headlines like “Kids With Asthma Eat Nothing But Crap.”

I’m exaggerating, but only a little.

The fact of the matter is, this research does suggest poor early nutrition in kids and/or pregnant women can harm kids’ metabolism to the point that the children develop asthma, but it also says,

The researchers acknowledged that parent reporting of asthma may have been a limitation and that the predominantly rural setting for the study may limit generalizability somewhat.

Moreover, the study couldn’t determine causality or the chronological order in which the metabolic, weight, and airway problems arose for the children.

Finally, and this point comes from me for maybe the tenth or twentieth time since I started Asthma Mom: this is a complicated disorder with multiple symptoms and degrees of severity and multiple environmental and genetic risk factors including, possibly, nutrition. If poor diet is someday proven as a firm link to asthma development, that’s a reason for expectant couples and new parents to follow a healthy, nutritious diet, not a reason to assume any child with asthma grew up on candy and junk food during her babyhood and toddler years.

To be even more specific and somewhat defensive, both of my own children eat well, yet one of them has asthma.

Asthma Help at Your Friendly Local Pharmacist’s
Pat Bass over at About.com wants to know what you think about pharmacies offering asthma education and inhaler technique lessons. Assuming any co-pays for these services would cost less than doctor appointments, I think pharmacists could act as a fantastic and more immediately accessible resource for patients to learn more about their condition.

Albuterol as a Multiple Sclerosis Treatment?
Your favorite bronchodilator and mine may offer walking hope to MS patients.

19 responses to “Friday Links – Emma Stone’s On-Set Attack. Nutrition, Metabolism and Asthma Risk.”

  1. Samantha says:

    Yeah I dont know how I feel about that last quote from Ms Stone… Im not sure if shes implying that 20 yr olds dont have asthma, or that people with asthma cant be “a blast”, but either way its wrong and a bit insulting if you ask me…. the diet thing has been bugging me too… it creates yet another situation where it seems like its our fault. And, as a friend of mine called me in panic last night with her asthmatic 13 yr old receiving continuous albuterol and oxygen in the ER.. I had to reassure her that yes, she did do everything she was supposed to, and sometimes even THAT isnt enough…

  2. Sarah says:

    The first article is definitely a case where I’d like to be able to read the interview in its entirity. It could be that she was making light of what I’m sure was a very distressing situation to cope with it (something I do as well). It could be that she honestly thinks asthma is a kids thing. It could be that she was worried she made a bad impression on the film crew by causing the filming to be stopped and slowing productiong. Who knows?

    As for pharmacists giving inhaler technique lessons, I think they should be doing that already (and, actually, my pharmacist does, and strongly suggests that everyone who has a puffer buys a spacer – they’re not prescription-only here, so if you have a puffer, you can just ask for a spacer at the counter). That way everyone with puffers knows how to use them properly.

  3. Amy says:

    Canada really seems to have the advantage over the U.S. when it comes to asthma education and maintenance. I’ve never, for example, understood why my country requires a prescription for spacers – why make it harder to acquire a (non-medicinal) tool that helps patients so much?

    Plus, you guys have the asthma educator system.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think it’s because, since our system is largely government-supported, there’s a lot of incentive for them to be practicing preventative medicine: Thus, a relatively large amount of the health budget (compared to our Southern neighbours’) is spent on education programs for asthma, heart disease, diabetes, healthy living, etc, and there are a lot of resources out there (if you know where to look) for those who want to make a lifestyle change for the better. It makes sense from the financial side of it: Let’s say it costs maybe $500 per patient per education program (I’m pulling these numbers out of the air from what seems reasonable so don’t quote me on them). That’s a heck of a lot cheaper than, say, $20,000 per patient per ICU admission, and it’s cheaper than the sum of several ER visits a year (especially if travelled by ambulance to the tune of $1200 – though that’s about 1/2 patient-pay so the gov’t doesn’t mind it as much), as well.You could have a hundred or so patients go through an education program and if even one is prevented from a catastrophic outcome like that, the program has paid for itself.

    Incidentally, in my city, since the asthma education program started up, asthma ER visits and admissions have dropped by 80%, so it’s probably a lot more than 1% of patients that see real benefit from these programs, if the asthma education program is anything to go by. Contrary to what some people (read: the folks who’d like to axe these programs as being “too expensive” and “impractical”) think, people don’t like the thought of being chronically ill, and if you paint the picture of their future if they do nothing and then give them the tools to help prevent that from happening, a lot of them will help themselves. Not all, obviously, and some will just have the bad luck to have something bad happen even if they do everything right, but still… I’m a firm believer in “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” but I also believe that you can’t take the ounce of prevention if you don’t know what it is!

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. :p

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