Abstract: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neuropsychiatric disorder in children and is increasing in prevalence. There has also been a related increase in prescribing stimulant medication despite some controversy whether ADHD medication makes a lasting difference in school performance or achievement. Families who are apprehensive about side effects and with concerns for efficacy of medication pursue integrative medicine as an alternative or adjunct to pharmacologic and cognitive behavioral treatment approaches. Integrative medicine incorporates evidence-based medicine, both conventional and complementary and alternative therapies, to deliver personalized care to the patient, emphasizing diet, nutrients, gut health, and environmental influences as a means to decrease symptoms associated with chronic disorders. Pediatric integrative medicine practitioners are increasing in number throughout the United States because of improvement in patient health outcomes. However, limited funding and poor research design interfere with generalizable treatment approaches utilizing integrative medicine. The use of research designs originally intended for drugs and procedures are not suitable for many integrative medicine approaches. This article serves to highlight integrative medicine approaches in use today for children with ADHD, including dietary therapies, nutritional supplements, environmental hygiene, and neurofeedback.
Abstract: In the face of excellent survival rates for pediatric and adolescent cancer, preserving the opportunity to have biological children is an important component of long term quality of life. Yet, modern chemotherapeutic regimens continue to pose a threat to fertility. The only fertility preservation methods available to pre-pubertal children of both genders is cryopreservation of gonadal tissue, a highly experimental intervention, or shielding/re-location of reproductive tissue in the setting of radiation. These techniques are available in the post pubertal population as well, but post pubertal patients also have the option for cryopreservation of gametes, a process that is much simpler in males than females. For this reason, prior to the initiation of therapy, sperm banking should be considered standard of care for males, while consideration of embryo or oocyte cryopreservation should be limited to those females at risk of developing ovarian failure. Attention to reproductive health and fertility preservation should continue after the completion of therapy. Establishing programs that streamline access to current fertility preservation techniques will assist in ensuring that all eligible patients can avail themselves of current options.
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) primarily describes two distinct chronic conditions with unknown etiology, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). UC is limited to the colon, while CD may involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. These diseases exhibit a pattern of relapse and remission, and the disease processes are often painful and debilitating. Due to the chronic nature of IBD and the negative side effects of many of the conventional therapies, many patients and their families turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for symptom relief. This article focuses on the current available evidence behind CAM/integrative therapies for IBD.
Abstract: Chronic pain is a growing problem in children, with prevalence as high as 30.8%. Acupuncture has been found to be useful in many chronic pain conditions, and may be of clinical value in a multidisciplinary treatment program. The basic principles of acupuncture are reviewed, as well as studies exploring basic mechanisms of acupuncture and clinical efficacy. Conditions commonly treated in the pediatric pain clinic, including headache, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, juvenile arthritis, complex regional pain syndrome, cancer pain, as well as perioperative pain studies are reviewed and discussed. Areas in need of further research are identified, and procedural aspects of acupuncture practice and safety studies are reviewed. Acupuncture can be an effective adjuvant in the care of pediatric patients with painful conditions, both in a chronic and an acute setting. Further studies, including randomized controlled trials, as well as trials of comparative effectiveness are needed.
Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and functional dyspepsia (FD) are common problems in the pediatric population, with up to 7% of school-age children and up to 8% of adolescents suffering from epigastric pain, heartburn, and regurgitation. Reflux is defined as the passage of stomach contents into the esophagus, while GERD refers to reflux symptoms that are associated with symptoms or complications—such as pain, asthma, aspiration pneumonia, or chronic cough. FD, as defined by the Rome III classification, is a persistent upper abdominal pain or discomfort, not related to bowel movements, and without any organic cause, that is present for at least two months prior to diagnosis. Endoscopic examination is typically negative in FD, whereas patients with GERD may have evidence of esophagitis or gastritis either grossly or microscopically. Up to 70% of children with dyspepsia exhibit delayed gastric emptying. Treatment of GERD and FD requires an integrative approach that may include pharmacologic therapy, treating concurrent constipation, botanicals, mind body techniques, improving sleep hygiene, increasing physical activity, and traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
Abstract: There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that nutritional status during treatment for cancer has a significant impact on treatment-related toxicities and outcomes among children and adolescents with cancer. The effects of nutritional status appear to extend into survivorship with a large proportion of survivors at risk for a variety of nutrition-related morbidities. The influence of dietary intake on overall treatment outcomes and long-term morbidities is largely unknown. In adults, evidence suggests that greater adherence to cancer prevention dietary guidelines improves long-term health outcomes among survivors of cancer. Surveys describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer have found that most survivors are not meeting the recommended guidelines for many dietary nutrients and this may have an unfavorable effect on nutrition-related outcomes. However, more research is needed in this area so that well-designed clinical trials may be developed and tested. This review presents an overview of the existing literature describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer, the clinical implications of reported dietary behaviors among survivors, and identifies areas for future research.