DD was diagnosed with asthma- help please - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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My dd just turned 7 in April and the last few months she's been showing obvious symptoms of asthma.  I always knew there was a big risk, I was diagnosed at her age and have battled severe asthma for years, she has several sensitivities related to her eczema (milk, soy, dogs).  It started with coughing fits following running around with her friends, evenings were worst.  Within weeks she was wheezing  after running, and shortly after she was experiencing extreme shortness of breath after running and needing ventolin.  I was really surprised by how fast this came on- she's never wheezed once in her life before a few months ago, now all of a sudden she can't go anywhere without a puffer  as she seems to get an attack pretty much every time she runs around now- indoors or out.  She also has woken up in the night on humid nights a couple times complaining of shortness of breath.  Anyhow, brought her to the doctor and was not surprised but disappointed in the non-thorough diagnosis.  Based on her symptom history, family history, and the wheezing she presented with, he quickly diagnosed her with asthma, prescribed puffers and discussed her treatment briefly.  No tips or explanations.  That was it.  Drug her up and be on your way.  Surprise, surprise. *rolling eyes*


He prescribed Flovent 2 puffs twice daily indefinitely and Ventolin preventatively before she's going to be really active, and as needed.  He said it only went into the lungs and didn't get absorbed into the blood, the risks are very minimal, there are tons of people on asthma meds so it's safe, etc etc.  He suggested I could give her 1 puff twice daily and see if that works for her, since I was not comfortable with as much as he originally said.  I use Symbicort myself, have used Flovent in the past and found it to be a pretty strong med, though it didn't work as well as Symbicort.  I only use my steroids during flare ups, which, after years of managing my asthma I am pretty good at pinpointing when I will have a flare up and can get it under control with just a week or two of the steroids, instead of being on them constantly. 


I'm afraid she's going to end up like me.  I eventually had to drop out of all the sports I was in as a kid 15-20 years ago due to my asthma- swimming, soccer, hockey and lastly softball.  I missed lots of school, spent lots of time in the hospital making my mom go gray, got pneumonia frequently, collapsed lung from time to time, had horrible pregnancies, and struggled with my weight once I started on steroids as a kid.  She's a tiny little thing- just under 50 lbs and she is usually pretty active- what side effects could these drugs have on her?  I tried everything to avoid my kids' developing my asthma- ate healthy, natural births, breastfed exclusively, delayed solids, extended BF, cloth diapered, etc.  She's got asthma and my youngest is severely allergic to several foods (milk, soy, peanuts, eggs).  She's already off milk, as it affected her eczema so she's never really had much of it. 


What supplements should she be on to help her?  Are there any exercises she can do to strengthen her lungs and endurance?  Should we have an air purifier?  We use wood heat, should we switch to oil?   Thanks for any help.

Jewels & Jon (Married 11+ yrs)- Homeschooling, No Circ, BF, CD Mama to:
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
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#2 of 6 Old 07-04-2011, 08:51 PM
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I'm replying as I searched "flovent" and found your post - DD is on it right now and I'm also wondering about what options we have.  Technically she doesn't have asthma yet as it's only be dx'd once as reactive airway disease, but my gut tells me her coughing after running around in the past is related and it's probably asthma.


anyway, would love to hear ideas.  even hearing your experience is helpful.  I'd love to be not using meds but I don't see a satsifactory alternative - her nearly immediate reduction/lack of coughing at night has indicated their usefulness.

blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!

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#3 of 6 Old 07-10-2011, 09:00 PM
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you might want to check out the Buteyko Method - basically a series of breathing exercises that helps asthma. it's helped me (still working at it) and i could not take any standard asthma meds due to diary and peanut allergies and developed allergy to albuterol. i've started my dd doing the exercises (as much as i can get her cooperation) because she's started to show some symptoms. the cheapest source that i could find for learning was http://www.buteykodvd.com/ and he has some free video segments on his website.

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#4 of 6 Old 07-18-2011, 03:16 PM
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Mama, I feel your worry... been there.  My sis had severe childhood asthma and it runs rampant in my family {though I don't have it}.  My 3rd child, my baby boy, had his first wheeze at 11 months.. This, after I had birthed and was raising 2 girls so successfully with whole food, herbs, etc.  I was frantic, took him to every natural practitioner, etc.  Everything helped a little but nothing made a huge difference..  


I had to accept the medical regimen because a. it works and b. breathing is pretty important.  Think of it this way: asthma is an overall syndrome and the goal is to minimize the severity and frequency of attacks, because attacks cause scarring in the lungs.  


My boy will be 11 this fall and has used "Pulmicort" in the nebulizer once daily and then "Flovent" inhaler once daily as a maintenance med {corticosteroid}.  I can not deny that this absolutely minimizes his symptoms.  He uses albuterol when he gets winter colds because that is what makes him tight, and that helps..  However, the steroid based inhaler makes his albuterol use very minimal.  


It is scary, and no one likes the idea of giving a young body regular medication..  Believe me I did everything to resist it.. and my boy just wheezed.  11 years and counting, he is thriving, strong, able to run and play, very active.  


He eats well, minimal sugar, very little junk food, etc.  Just wanted to say, don't fret or beat yourself up over using the meds..  I feel for this they are warranted, and there is no substitute.  

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#5 of 6 Old 07-19-2011, 12:55 PM
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Hippiemom, thanks for this.  Your experience is very helpful.  hugs!

blessed Catholic mommy to DD 10/07 and DS 2/09, little one due 8/12!

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#6 of 6 Old 07-25-2011, 05:05 PM
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My nephew has struggled with asthma since he was little.  I just want to encourage you to continue looking for and trying out different models and methods of care and treatment besides the drugs.  If your dd needs them to breathe so she can get enough oxygen to be healthy, by all means, use them, but keep doing what you can with other therapies to support healing.


Basil baths really helped my nephew.  Steep fresh basil in hot water (like tea) for 15 minutes and add it to her bath, also save out a little for her to drink.


Another Mayan remedy is raw garlic honey.  Crush garlic cloves and steep them in honey for a few days -- give the honey to your child.  This is a little iffy to my sister and me because sugar tends to make asthma worse, so it seems like it might not be a good idea to have all that sweet.  Local honey has the added benefit of helping with pollen allergies too.


I think what's helping my nephew a lot right now (he's 16) is that he's been going to Allergy Associates allergy clinic for a year or so.  It seems to be really helping him (and my mom who also has asthma).  They do an alternative therapy of giving some kind of drops (not pharmaceutical medication, but allergen drops or something).


Dn was always very sensitive to chemicals too, so he would get worse sometimes because of being at school where they used harsh cleaning chemicals.  I would definitely work on cleaning up her diet (sounds like it's pretty clean already) and remove all chemicals from your household/garage/yard.


Besides dairy, sugar is a major trigger for asthma, and for what it's worth, both my mom and my nephew suffer from asthma and both are gluten intolerant.


Best of luck.  I know it's really hard and frustrating and you just want to KNOW what's going to help.  Just hang in there and keep advocating for your child.  You'll do great.

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