From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: INFANT ASTHAMA/ECZEMA, STEROIDS AND HOMEOPATHY
Date: 07 May 1995
In <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Ballantyne)
>In article <0031BAEB.email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul Iannone)
>> > > There is no evidence here that homeopathy hasn't 'worked.' It is
>> > > not an overnight cure, but a process that takes years.
>> > Of course there is no evidence that homeopathy hasn't worked - the
>> > kid isn't any better, but that's not evidence. If he eventually
>> > `grows out of it', then this will be taken as evidence that it worked
>> > even though it isn't, of course.
>> Ideology. If someone __can__ grow out of asthma, they didn't need
>> homeopathy to begin with. Chronic illness is what doesn't
>> spontaneously disappear. There is plenty of that around, and
>> homeopathy can cure a lot of it.
>Where have you been? Kids `grow out' of chronic asthma all the time,
>and that's one of the reasons people with fully functional mental
>equipment are so annoyed with your homeopathic drivel on this
>I have a cousin who had chronic asthma up to the age of 12 or 13 and
>hasn't wheezed since - he was treated with all the horrors of
>`suppressive' medicine, and 20 years later is happy, successful and
>active, and never has a hint of trouble. What would homeopathy have
>done for him? Bupkis...
Yep. I had terrible asthma for the first 5 years of my life in
Austin, Texas, requiring hospitalization several times. Then my family
moved to Utah and I never had another wheeze from that day forward.
Since then I've been back to Austin as an adult and never had a wheeze.
I just outgrew it.
An yes, this is a well-known phenomenon, which you can read about in
any text on asthma.
Steve Harris, M.D.
From: email@example.com (Steven B. Harris )
Subject: Re: Atropine-like SE's of Antihistamines
Date: 24 Sep 1995
In <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Matthew)
>I just heard that Benadryl is contraindicated in asthmatics because
>antihistamines have atropine-like side-effects which can cause drying up
>of bronchial secretions, thus plugging up the airways. I have two
>questions about this:
>1. What is the mechanism of atropine-like side effects of antihistamines?
>I had never heard of this. Given the hypersensitivity mechanisms of
>asthma, you'd think antihistamines would be an appropriate treatment.
>2. If an atropine-like side effect is what we don't want, then why isn't
>this a concern with ipratropium?
> Matt Beckwith, M.D.
> Jacksonville, Florida
Heh. Good questions. I think that many antihistimines bind
directly to muscarininic cholinergic receptors. I assume they would be
oday in conditions where ipatropium is okay-- chronic bronchitis/COPD
with lots of fluid. They are often used in allergic asthma where the
antihistamine effect overrides side effects. I suppose it's mostly
intrinsic asthma where there is inflammation but no allergic-histaminic
component, that antihistamines don't carry their weight. The idea that
asthmatics cannot ever use antihistamines is probably in large part
Steve Harris, M.D.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org(Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Steroids and Asthma
Date: 29 Apr 1998 04:13:19 GMT
In <1998042816223600.MAA28518@ladder01.news.aol.com> email@example.com
>However I agree with Scudmores post on several points. Being asthmatic at
>times myself....I've been fighting with my doctors against taking thoses
>steroid inhalers. Like Scudmore says gluco-steroids are a powerful type
>of medication and should be used as a last line of defense, unfortunately
>it seems alot of doctors prescribe inhaled steroids like candy
At this point you should be coming to the conclusion that if
Scudamore says it, the truth is probably 180 degrees away. This case
is no exception.
Asthma is fundamentally an inflammatory problem. The treatment
must be fundamentally anti-inflammatory. Until last year, that meant
an inhaled steroid FIRST, for all cases in which quality of life was
being disrupted (and for which lung function was significantly
That may have changed recently with the advent of the two
leukotriene drugs zafirlukast/Accolate (the safest) and ziluton/Zyflo.
Possibly, inhaled steroids are now down to being #2 drug if you have
chronic asthma (we do not know for sure at this time, but that would be
the conservative order, since even inhaled steroids can do a few really
nasty things). But asthma is nothing to mess with. If you don't at
least treat the problem (inflammation), you allow the disease to
continue the damage. Inhaled steroids are intended as a preventive,
and are used properly in just that way. Other drugs work on asthma in
general about the same way that nose sprays work to open up your nose
when you have a cold. They're treating the symptoms, but they're not
getting close to the root of the problem.
In asthma, we don't KNOW what the real root of the problem is, in
most cases. But we do know in what direction it lies.
Anti-inflammatory asthma medications (as above) are the key.
So far as nutrition goes, you should try it first, since it might
help and can't hurt. Those nutrients which make sense from what we
know of the disease process, are those which are anti-inflammatory:
vitamins E and C primarily. Flax oil has been suggested from theory,
but in practice makes many asthmatics worse (as does fish oil).
Magnesium should be taken by all asthmatics, for though its effects are
mild, so are its side effects. Among the herbs, your best bets are
ginger and turmeric, which actually work on inflammation. Ma Huang and
ephedra are simply symptom treaters, like nose spray. If you're going
to go that route, there are much safer inhaled drugs, like albuterol,
which do the same thing.
The most important thing with asthma is: see an asthma specialist
who is (at least) an M.D. or D.O. (whatever else he or she does is
fine, but make sure you're not getting somebody who doesn't write you a
prescription because they think it won't do you any good, not because
they CAN'T). The second most important thing is get a spirometer so
you know what's working and what isn't (a specialist will set you up).
Once you know what's happening to you (as with a spirometer) you can
try anything you like, so long as your doc agrees on the dose. You can
even try acupuncture, but get the meter first. Meters don't lie, but
sometimes "health practitioners" do.
>.Is it no wonder so many AIDS patients die of some kind of Pnemonia?
>I told this to Peter Duesberg....or you listening Dr.Harris? How about
AIDS patients died of pneumonia long before there was any treatment
for AIDS. Duesberg knows that Kimberly Bergalis was in the hospital
with Pneumocystis pneumonia before her AIDS was even suspected. But he
won't tell you that in his book. What does that say about him?
Steve Harris, M.D.
From: David Rind <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Steroids and Asthma
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:40:00 -0400
> Are Steroid inhalers intended as a preventative...?
> [Quoting package insert:] Vanceril Inhaler is not indicated;
> For the relief of asthma which can be controlled by
> bronchodilators and other nonsteroid medications.
It's a really bad idea to rely on package inserts as a source
of medical information, particularly about indications. Many
drugs are prescribed in the US for indications other than those
approved by the FDA -- companies don't typically bother to resubmit
for additional indications once a drug has been approved for any
In this case, there has been a major shift in the last decade
in the medical community. It is generally believed now that anyone
who is frequently needing a beta agonist for asthma should be
on an anti-inflammatory drug such as a steroid inhaler. People
can die from asthma when they control their symptoms for too long
with beta agonists while the underlying inflammation is not being