Diagnosing and Treating Kawasaki Disease Effectively

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  • Currently, there’s no known cure for Kawasaki disease. Once it develops, you will simply have to let it run its course. Instead of curing the disease itself, treatment is focused on managing the symptoms so you’ll feel as comfortable as possible while you get better
  • Aspirin is usually administered to reduce inflammation, blood clots and fever. To prevent aneurysms, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) may be administered. Potentially life-threatening cases are subjected to these methods right away

According to Mayo Clinic, there is no specific test that will help identify Kawasaki disease, making it difficult to diagnose. Instead, the process involves various examinations to rule out possible illnesses before settling with Kawasaki disease as the final diagnosis. This is because Kawasaki disease may be confused with other illnesses that produce similar symptoms, such as:1

Scarlet fever

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome

Measles

Certain tick-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Doctors will check for classic symptoms of the disease, as well as look into your child’s cardiovascular health to check for heart or blood vessel damage.2 Common diagnostic methods include:3

Echocardiography — This test uses soundwaves to create images of the heart and coronary arteries, allowing the doctor to look for damage in the cardiovascular system.

Electrocardiogram — Electrodes will be attached to your child's skin to measure electrical impulses in their heartbeat, as  Kawasaki disease is known for causing heart rhythm complications.

Blood tests — An elevated white cell count is one blood test that could indicate the likelihood that your child may have Kawasaki disease; other blood work may also detect anemia and inflammation, which also can be symptoms of Kawasaki disease.

Since Kawasaki disease mainly happens among children, pediatricians are often the ones conducting these initial examinations.

How to Ease Kawasaki Disease Symptoms Safely

Currently, there’s no known cure for Kawasaki disease. Once it develops, you will simply have to let it run its course. Instead of curing the disease itself, treatment is focused on managing the symptoms so your child will feel as comfortable as possible while they get better.4

Traditionally, hospitalization is a requirement once the symptoms are confirmed to be a result of Kawasaki disease, so the cardiovascular system can be monitored closely for potential complications. Aspirin is usually administered to reduce inflammation, blood clots and fever. To prevent aneurysms, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) may be administered.5 Potentially life-threatening cases undergo these interventions right away.

You can supplement the ongoing treatment with home remedies. Some methods you may try to ease Kawasaki disease symptoms include:

Essential oils — High-quality essential oils can help lift your child's spirits while providing immediate relief for chronic and acute pain. Depending on the oil you choose, you may massage it directly to the painful area, add it to bathwater or put in a diffuser. Essential oils you should try include lavender, spruce, clove, marjoram, chamomile and fennel.

Acupuncture — A popular application of acupuncture may help treat chronic pain without relying on drugs and other methods that could be unsafe. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, acupuncture has been found to be an effective alternative option in helping relieve pain.6

Herbs — If your child develops conjunctivitis as one of the symptoms of Kawasaki disease, certain herbs may help relieve swelling around the eyes. One particular example is Euphrasia, commonly known as “eyebright” because it is well-known for helping with eye infections. Mix five drops of Euphrasia tincture in a cup of boiling water, cool it to room temperature and then apply a drop of it to the affected eye.7

A Healthy Diet Plays a Role in Managing Kawasaki Disease

A key component of helping treat inflammation — which can play a significant role in Kawasaki disease — that many people neglect is proper nutrition. Certain foods contain strong anti-inflammatory compounds that may help provide relief from the pain of the disease.

For example, black tea contains tannins that may help reduce itching and inflammation in the eyes. Omega-3 fats obtained from wild-caught Alaskan salmon and other fatty fish may also help fight inflammation throughout the body. Dark leafy green vegetables contain various antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C to help fight against cellular damage.

Removing processed food, sugars, grains and trans fats from your child's diet is also key to helping manage inflammation properly because they can contribute to making inflammation worse. Also, new information reveals that children with high soy consumption, such as that derived from soy milk or other soy products such as tofu and edamame,8 significantly increases the risk for them getting Kawasaki disease.9

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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