My son was diagnosed with asthma just under two months ago when he had a severe attack and nearly had to be hospitalised, and since then he's been wheezy once or twice and just had another really bad attack today and this time did go to hospital. I am pretty worried. I had asthma since I was 2 and so I know all too well what he is going through. I have several times tried to cut out wheat and/or dairy but I am faced by the obstacle of my ex, his dad, who has care of him once or twice a week, completely disregarding this and continuing to give him wheat and dairy because he thinks I am a hippie freak ;) Very frustrating, but nothing I can do about it unless he is actually diagnosed medically with lactose intolerance or something, which I doubt is the case as his reactions aren't clearly linked in that way as far as I can see. HIs attacks seem to be triggered by colds, he's always been a 'chesty' sort of child rather than a gastro one - ie whenever he gets ill it goes straight to his chest and he starts coughing. I would like to avoid him getting colds but it seems impossible when he goes to nursery school etc. He still breastfeeds but not much, varies from once a day to every few days. Oh and he is unvaccinated, and there is lots of allergy/asthma/eczema in his family on both sides.
I just hate to see him on all these drugs as we have always followed the homeopathic and herbal route, never used cortisone for his eczema and it resolved naturally etc. But now, when it comes to lack of ability to breathe - and possibility of lungs being damaged - i find myself losing faith in it all, even though I have just as little faith in the allopathic medical approach. He was prescribed oral steroids for three days at his initial diagnosis (as well as the usual reliever inhaler) and this time round he's been prescribed them again, plus now a preventer inhaler as well. I hate the thought of both - esp inhaling steroids day after day. I don't want him to get dependent on that stuff as I have been for years...and i believe steroids do just suppress the symptoms... I know there must be other avenues to explore but I'm stumped. Homeopathy doesnt seem to have helped so far, and I'm seeing a herbalist soon, but I wondered if anyone has any input to share? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
I feel that you are overwhelmed and scared for your child and feel for you as I am also there with my son. He has not been diagnosed with asthma but has had several episodes of wheezing that require short term use of nebulized albuterol. His flares are usually triggered by colds, once by running in cold air, once by eating tree nuts before we knew he was allergic and once by breathing a really strong perfume fragrance. I really don't have time to give you links and such just some thoughts to pursue.... I really believe my son's asthma and allergies are a direct result of gut dysbiosis which I know he has based on lab tests and gastrointenstinal symptoms. The above asthma symptoms were much more common when he was younger (he is currently 3.5y) before we were aggressively treating his gut with diet modifications and probiotics etc... The last couple of colds over the last few months have not involved any wheezing. He also had the flu this winter (my entire house of 7 people did) and his was BY FAR the mildest case and he had no wheezing. I also believe in treating naturally any illness that comes along and overall my family gets sick a lot less than others I know. However, when it comes to asthma, I tend to defer to the pediatrician and treat more aggressively. That is why I use the albuterol. My son has never had to have steriods though (except when he was tiny and had RSV). His symptoms were always managed quickly by the albuterol. I too had asthma as a child and can't stand the thought of him feeling that way.
BTW, I believe that the reason asthma and allergies seem "genetic" or run in families is linked to gut health. In my family....My older 2 girls have some symptoms of poor gut health. The oldest's are very mild then my 2nd slightly more significant (she also has had some asthma symptoms) and my son, who is the youngest, is the worst. It got progressively worse with my kids because over the years my gut flora got weaker and weaker. I did not have a strong gut flora to begin with which is why I had the symptoms I did my whole life. Consequently, I did not have a strong flora to donate to my kids during their passage through the birth canal. This might not have been so bad except, in the case of my son, I also had a severe uti that had to be treated with antibioitics when he was only 10 days old. This is a critical time when a breastfeeding infant gets lots of beneficial bacteria from mom. Mine were being killed by the antibiotics so he did not get these. I was not taking probiotics at the time. This triggered the chain of events that led to bad digestion and poop problems, leaky gut, food allergies (he's IgE allergic to soy, fish, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts) and asthma like symptoms. Again, I offer my thoughts on our situation to you to give you food for thought that you may find some parallel with yours. This has been a long journey for us and we are far from done with it, unfortunately. HTH
Thanks so much for this Jennifer - it's really given me a different angle to consider, and makes so much sense to me because my son was given antibiotics shortly after birth, as well as formula (neither of which I was given any option about), despite my wish to exclusively breastfeed (he stopped the formula after a few days, but basically his gut lining was already messed up). My own gut flora must also have been less than great because of my lifelong history of medication, antibiotics etc. It sounds like an incredibly challenging journey you are on. I would really like to take him to a naturopathic nutritionist - when i went to one years ago, it was the only thing that really made inroads on my eczema, I believe it would have healed completely if I had finished the course of treatment but I ran out of money! There is a complementary health clinic for children in our city which we are v fortunate to have, which is donation-based, but the nutritionist does not work on a donation basis and is beyond what i can afford. I'm trusting that we will be given what we need as we go along. In the meantime I am going to try the wheat thing again and get some probiotics for him, and talk to his dad again about the dietary factors. He is very closedminded though so i don't have much hope.