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#1 of 7 Old 03-31-2013, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that in the grand scheme of things, asthma and allergies(non-life-threatening) are not a huge deal but for some kids, the severity of these conditions deeply affects their lives.  I'd like to preface this post just acknowledging that there are children out there with way worse circumstances and parents getting a lot less sleep than I and I respect that.  I just need a sounding board and there's no better place I believe.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

My daughter is 5 and was officially diagnosed with asthma at 2.  I believe her official term on record is moderate persistent asthma.  We had her on pulmicort once daily from 2-4 1/2 and took her off for last summer and never put her back on.  The triggers we've pinned down appear to be cigarette smoke, any time she's ill, and seasonal allergies/pollen.  This year has been particularly bad.  We've dealt with severe coughing spells after coming in from outside or while playing outside and near constant wheezing for about a month now.  We saw the pediatrician last week and there's no other symptoms to indicate illness(fever, runny nose, etc)  We did a 3 day course of oral steroids that helped for less than 5 days and she was wheezing again.  I'm calling again tomorrow for another sick visit but I'm not sure where to go now.  She also started back on OTC Claritin last week which decreased the wheezing so instead of breathing treatments every 4 hours around the clock it's probably only 3 or 4 times a day.  I'm not sure if this is just to be expected at this time of year for a few months or if we should be medicating more intensely.  I'm doing all the normal things like humidifer, no outdoor line drying, bathing the pollen off nightly, doors and windows shut, cleaning normally for pollen/dust.  We have no carpeting and linens are washed weekly in hot water.  I'm at a loss.  She's on a 7ft leash attached to the nebulizer multiple times a day and the 'roid rage is starting to frustrate me AND her.


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#2 of 7 Old 03-31-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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You don't have to preface this by saying you know this is not a big deal.  It is big deal.  hug2.gif

 

The only thing I have to add would be that if you move, I would move to an area without heavy traffic.  I have read some convincing evidence lately around exhaust and asthma.  


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#3 of 7 Old 03-31-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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My son who's on the spectrum had an asthmatic episode 4 years ago where he was hospitalized.    We've been able to treat his asthma "biomedically" as we have treated his spectrum issues and he hasn't required albuterol, steriods or inhailers of any kind in over three years.

 

We use homeopathy, nutritional supplements and dietary changes to address his various health issues.  Since many children who are on the spectrum have allergies and asthma/eczema, I'd be interested to see if any other parents here have insight for you.  However, I can offer that in our case, my son's environmental allergies abated as well as his asthmatic symptoms, when we took gluten and dairy out of his diet, and when we treated him homeopathically (we love a system created by Tinus Smitts called CEASE which was created for autism but is also useful for allergies/asthma).

 

I know how worried you must be.  I used to time my son's breathing at night while he slept to make sure it wasn't labored.  I have medical grade air purifiers around the house (we love Austin) and I use a Meile vacuum because I do everything I can think of to help him.  I worry too, and do everything to keep him off of medications which have HORRIBLE side effects.

 

If you haven't investigated alternative treatments for your daughter I'd start there. 

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#4 of 7 Old 03-31-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by livinglife View Post

My son who's on the spectrum had an asthmatic episode 4 years ago where he was hospitalized.    We've been able to treat his asthma "biomedically" as we have treated his spectrum issues and he hasn't required albuterol, steriods or inhailers of any kind in over three years.

 

We use homeopathy, nutritional supplements and dietary changes to address his various health issues.  Since many children who are on the spectrum have allergies and asthma/eczema, I'd be interested to see if any other parents here have insight for you.  However, I can offer that in our case, my son's environmental allergies abated as well as his asthmatic symptoms, when we took gluten and dairy out of his diet, 

 

 

 

If you haven't investigated alternative treatments for your daughter I'd start there. 

 

yeahthat.gif  In fact, I'll take it a step further:  our son's absence seizures "disappeared".  

 

We started with dairy, then gluten, then soy, and later corn.  But dairy and soy were the biggest (he had a clear physical problem with gluten, but nothing cognitive that we could definitively tie).  Come to find out 4 years later that 80-85% of people that react to dairy also react to soy.  Who knew?  Not any of our doctors at the time (or us).

 

Our son had a collapsed lung 24 hours post-birth born at 35wks (no in-utero steroids because 36 wks. is "full term" and their ultrasound pegged him at 6lbs which they use as "full term" when they lack clear dates... he was born 4lbs. 6oz.).  He qualified for RSV vax and we declined.  He was then dx'd with IgA deficiency (not severe enough for a MedAlert bracelet or depleted blood, but med exempt from further vaxes).   He had CHRONIC croupe and at just shy of 2yo was dx'd with Reactive Airway Disorder.  We were told we could expect asthma fully in a couple of years and were sent home with Pulmicort for daily use and I think Albuterol for when he was sick.  We declined and used Orapred (the only thing that ever worked on his croup) until we found a homeopathic remedy that took care of the croup for us a year or two later (and he had HORRIBLE croup--labored breathing sometimes even before we got the tell-tale cough).  To be honest, we were simultaneously being told we should put him on anti-seizure meds by the regular ped neuro and Wellbutrin by the developmental neuro out of state (to "rewire his brain" as he was already exhibiting "red flags" of autism--which they couldn't formally diagnose at that age).  It was too much to deal with so we didn't do any of them.

 

He's now 9yo.  Not only does he not have anything close to asthma, he also has failed to be hospitalized the 4x/year they said he would be due to the immune deficiency, has "graduated" to a very mild Asperger's dx (which is a PITA because he looks very NT when he's not), hasn't had an absence seizure in many years, and is doing better than anyone ever imagined his trajectory to be.

 

Needless to say, we are converts. shy.gif


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#5 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She was also born a bit early.  She was a 33 weeker but without significant breathing problems until she was a few months old.  She was never even intubated.  Her stay was 2 weeks and quite uneventful in the NICU.  Born 4lbs 12oz.  She was diagnosed with reactive airway by a year old and asthmatic at 2years old.  I did not state it in the original thread but we went dairy-free 2 months ago and I haven't seen significant changes in her asthma though it could be just because it's still fairly new.  She's been getting eucalyptus oil in her vaporizer as needed for years and elderberry tincture daily for 4months now.  I am quite anal about secondhand smoke and wood smoke because they are triggers for her.  I'm not sure about diet and food allergies but I receive NO support from her father regarding dietary limitations(or even feeding our children an occasional fruit or veggie while they are at his home) so I can never get her 100% off ANYTHING.  I can do everything I can at my house but I can't even get him to give them fresh fruits and vegetables, much less make sweeping dietary changes that will make his life harder.  I felt pulling her off dairy as much as possible at home was worth it but the little research I've done says that any wheat contamination will negate the effects of a wheat-free diet and so I never went that far knowing I couldn't implement it 100%.


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#6 of 7 Old 04-01-2013, 06:40 PM
 
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My allergy/asthma kid was diagnosed with asthma around age 2. It was cough variant initially and now is the wheezing sort. He does Singulair and Zyrtect for the allergies and that does control it pretty well for him. He does use albuterol before going outside when he's in his outdoor allergy season. We shower when we come in too which is a pain. I use HEPA units in the main play room/living space and his bedroom. For him controlling allergies is key to controlling his asthma.

But I really identify with the struggle you wrote with my other child. He started with asthma like you're describing after an episode of pneumonia this fall. His asthma has been harder to control. It's triggered by even the mildest virus. There may be an allergy component, which is a surprise to me given we've never felt he was an allergy child. He seems to possibly be reacting to my parent's house--we recently moved and are spending more time there. I don't see allergy symptoms but we do see asthma flairs. I have him on Zyrtec now to try to control that part of it.

He has had a couple of rounds of oral steroids. We were told one day of those is equal to a year of inhaled, maintenance steroids. So I've decided that, if we find ourselves there again, we will go the inhaled route. So far I've managed to control the asthma better and avoid the need but I'll go there if that changes.

Things I'm doing that are helping:
Pycnogenol at the doses described in this study daily. It has been key in reducing his asthma flairs and severity. Missing even a dose sets us back though so it looks like it's going to be a continual need. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12639402 I had found pediatric studies with it as well but, for some reason, I'm not finding them to link when I search. This article refers to one and quotes findings. http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Pycnogenol-may-help-children-manage-asthma

I am using Tumeric (just one tsp a day) too. I don't seem to need this one unless we're triggered. But it does help in those situations and helps a lot. Actually, we're using it daily now as a cold virus flair snuck up on me and we had a rough time period and I don't want to repeat that.

I am doing albuterol when I first see a virus rearing to try to stop the cascade. The most I've needed it is every 4 hours for about 24 hours and that is a vast improvement from where we were--every 3-4 hours around the clock for months. Most viruses he hasn't even needed that much.

You are going to need to address controlling the allergies component. I'd start with zyrtec if you're comfortable. If she doesn't tolerate that or it doesn't help enough move to another. Singulair may help with that component of her asthma. It really helps my asthma/allergy son. The other child reacting poorly to it (emotionally) but those symptoms left when we took him off. I don't regret trying it and it does help his twin with no side effects.

Right now your daughter, like my son was, is not well controlled. The key is using albuterol more than one 24 hour day in a flair (or needing that more often than once a week or two weeks for actual asthma symptoms if I recall). If she doesn't respond quickly to additional measures you might take I'd consider going back on the inhaled steroid. You want to avoid needing those oral steroids!

It is ok, and a good idea, to give it before you expect symptoms as a preventative--so before going outside, exercising, at the onset of a virus, etc.--her known triggers. Preventative is ok. It's the responsive, pulling her out of symptoms and needing to do that every 3-4 hours too often, that is indicating the lack of control.

I feel for you. I was just dying with that round the clock albuterol. It's stressful. My son has autism, ADHD, and a metabolic condition. That didn't make the asthma issue any less stressful. It was horrible! It still is when he has a flair. But I feel better about it now. I hope the same for you.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#7 of 7 Old 04-02-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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It is so a big deal.  I have suffered from allergies & allergy induced asthma my entire life.  Both my kids have it as well, although my son has grown out of the asthma (or we are just much better at controlling the asthma).

 

So the most helpful explanation I have ever been given is this:  You allergies are like a bucket.  Sometime you have a little reaction and put in a medicine cup full of water, sometimes a coffee cup (and with anaphylaxis a whole bucket).  The problem is, no matter how small the reaction, eventually you bucket is filled and you have a bad reaction.  I highly recommend formal allergy testing by a board certified pediatric allergist.  It changed my life.  They did testing.  We went through what I could avoid (i.e. eliminating things from my diet, getting rid of things in the house), and I went through desensitization (allergy shots).  We also worked on a plan using pulmonary function tests, peak flow, and meds to get my allergies & asthma under control.  It took a while, but I would only do inhaled steroids daily during peak pollen season, and then wean off.  I learned how to avoid environmental triggers as well (i.e. do not play on the end of the playground with the lagustrom bushes, because you are highly allergic to them).

 

Neither of my kids are bad off enough yet (read it does not affect their daily life) to require testing.  DS has very seasonal allergies we control with Allegra and Benadryl.  DD is on Singulair, Flovent, & Xopenex.  I am on benadryl and Xopenex as needed, but usually only seasonally.


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