Kawasaki Disease Cannot Be Prevented, but It Can Be Managed

children exercises

Story at-a-glance -

  • According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, patients who exercised after recovering from Kawasaki disease (regardless of coronary artery status) had normal maximal oxygen consumption
  • There is currently no known prevention for Kawasaki disease and according to the American Heart Association, approximately 1 in 100 children may have a second attack

There not only is no known prevention for Kawasaki disease, but, according to the American Heart Association, approximately 1 in 100 children may have a second attack. While there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, there are things you can do to make your child’s treatments manageable should symptoms appear again.1

Certain Foods May Help Promote Healthy Blood Vessels

A diet rich in nitrates may help promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Commonly found in vegetables, nitrate turns into nitric oxide (NO) when digested, helping support normal endothelial function and protecting your mitochondria. In addition, NO acts as a vasodilator, helping your blood vessels relax and widen.

NO helps with healthy blood flow, which is crucial for transporting oxygen throughout your body. Furthermore, NO may help prevent red blood cells from clumping together to create blood clots,2 a complication closely associated with Kawasaki disease. The best way to increase the production of nitric oxide in your body is to consume leafy greens, such as:

Arugula

Rhubarb

Cilantro

Butter leaf lettuce

Spring greens like mesclun mix

Basil

Beet greens

Oak leaf lettuce

Swiss chard

Bok choy

Mustard greens

Chinese cabbage

Spinach

Broccoli


Aside from the leafy greens mentioned above, nitrate can be found in other vegetables, most notably:

Carrots

Winter melon

Eggplant

Parsley

Leeks

Turnips

Cauliflower

Artichoke

Garlic

Onion



Exercise Can Also Produce Nitric Oxide in Your Body

For those who have endured a bout of Kawasaki disease before, exercising is a beneficial option for promoting healthier blood vessels. For those who have endured a bout of Kawasaki disease before, exercising is a beneficial option for promoting healthier blood vessels. For children entering adolescence, pediatricians will make recommendations on physical activities requiring high endurance, such as competitive sports, after determining your child’s coronary status through various tests to see how well their heart functions under high stress.3

If you’re an adult with apprehensions about exercising after having had this disease, you may want to reconsider, as research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that all Kawasaki disease patients, both children and adults, should be encouraged to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. While some patients with coronary artery obstruction may have some exercise restrictions, adults who demonstrate no ischemia or arrhythmia in their stress testing do not require restrictions.4,5

Additionally, according to an earlier study in the same journal, patients who exercised after recovering from Kawasaki disease (regardless of coronary artery status) had normal maximal oxygen consumption.6

So, if your doctor gives the go-ahead for rigorous exercise, you may want to try the Nitric Oxide Dump, a high-intensity workout devised by Dr. Zach Bush. The main goal of this exercise is to release the NO stored in the linings of your blood vessels, providing benefits such as:

Improving age-related decline in muscle mitochondria

Triggering mitochondrial biogenesis to remedy decline in mitochondrial protein quality

Helping promote weight management by activating major muscle groups

Improving VO2 max, an indicator of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can handle while exercising

The Nitric Oxide Dump does not require any fancy equipment. All you need is yourself and an open space. Once you’ve stretched and warmed up, do the following maneuvers in rapid succession:

Squats

Alternating arm raises

Non-jumping jacks

Shoulder presses

Beginners can start performing each movement for 10 repetitions each, ideally three times a day. As you get better, you can work your way up to 20 repetitions. This exercise is also an amazing time-saver, as it only requires three to four minutes per session. But, as mentioned, always check with your physician before engaging in this or any exercise, to make sure your heart is ready for it.

MORE ABOUT KAWASAKI DISEASE

Kawasaki Disease: Introduction

What Is Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

Kawasaki Disease Treatment

Kawasaki Disease Prevention

Kawasaki Disease Diet

Kawasaki Disease FAQ

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