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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm 20 weeks pregnant. i just got back from the super crunchy naturopath, who wants to put me on an Albuterol inhaler! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> i have the flu, possibly H1N1, and am apparently wheezing (don't feel it yet, but they hear it on the stethoscope). they did the airflow meter thingy and my lung capacity is apparently 60%. she's really cautious and crunchy, but she seems to think the inhaler is necessary to keep things calm so it doesn't develop into a big problem.<br><br>
she also told me to up my CLO and take a ton of quercetin, both of which are good for reducing inflammation.<br><br>
i do NOT want to use this inhaler. but i am also going for a home VBAC and i want to avoid complications that could make that harder to achieve.<br><br>
thoughts?
 

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My thoughts are that if your blood oxygen levels are low, so is your babys, as their oxygen intake is dependent on yours.<br>
60% of your typical peak air flow is a big problem, and that is the point where I am taking my asthmatic son to hospital for oral steroids and enough nebuliser treatments that his peak flow readings get back to 75% or more: generally, they won't discharge us with less than 80%. This can cause permanent scarring in your own lungs and there is the very real possibility that the diminished oxygen levels can do lasting damage to your child. Please don't mess about with this.<br>
I'd actually go further and suggest that an ER trip would be in order so they can check your oxygen SATS, nebulise you and possibly prescribe relenza in addition to the albuterol. This is potentially serious stuff, mama. If you aren't breathing, neither is baby.
 

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You were 60% of your own peak flow or averages? It should be your own peak flow.<br>
My kid is always well off average for his age because he has asthma. Say average is 160 and he's typically 135. The 135 number is his peak flow. He doesn't need albuterol unless he drops 20% from the 135 number, not the 160. If you're 60% of your own average peak flow you'd be in serious resp. trouble. I'm not saying you don't need the albuterol. And it's true your baby needs to breath. Infants take albuterol. I'm just not sure your midwife gave you good information regarding peak flows. Can you consult a pulmonologist (allergists offices often have a pulmo.)?
 

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I say take the albuterol. Getting enough oxygen is paramount for both you and your baby. Albuterol has a long history of safety. Even young children can use it. If your naturopath is super crunchy and she is recommending the albuterol, I think that means you can feel comfortable taking it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it was the naturopath, not the midwife. and i'm not having any respiratory issues <i>that i notice.</i> i'm not wheezing, feeling at all short of breath, etc. i AM breathing, and fine.<br><br>
we did the peak flow measurement thing and it was 340, and she told me what it should be for someone of my height and weight and said this was about 60% of what it should be. but i don't know exactly what the numbers mean.<br><br>
i don't want to mess around with it. but i'm certainly not going to the ER when i'm not even having any troubles. i wouldn't know there were any issues, except that i went in mostly because i have a UTI (separate story) and she listened to my lungs as a part of the routine check.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JoyMC</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14750829"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it was the naturopath, not the midwife. and i'm not having any respiratory issues <i>that i notice.</i> i'm not wheezing, feeling at all short of breath, etc. i AM breathing, and fine.<br><br>
we did the peak flow measurement thing and it was 340, and she told me what it should be for someone of my height and weight and said this was about 60% of what it should be. but i don't know exactly what the numbers mean.<br><br><br><br>
i don't want to mess around with it. but i'm certainly not going to the ER when i'm not even having any troubles. i wouldn't know there were any issues, except that i went in mostly because i have a UTI (separate story) and she listened to my lungs as a part of the routine check.</div>
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Ok. My understanding from my son's pulmonologist is that it doesn't matter what the average is for your weight or height. Your average is what matters. You weren't 60% of your peak flow or you would be having trouble and know it.<br><br>
What would be important (in terms of baby/your oxygen) would have been a pulse ox numbers, not percent of some average peak flow. I imagine your oxygen sats were/are fine.<br><br>
You asked for helping to avoid albuterol and I don't know of a way to avoid it/an alternative for a rescue inhaler when a person is having an asthma attack. I would use it during pregnancy if I needed it. Infants use it directly.<br>
That said, I don't know whether or not you would benefit from albuterol but I feel that you were <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> at 60% of your lung capacity. I don't think the naturopath communicated the situation well to you.<br><br>
And I want to stress that none of this means your/baby oxygen level was compromised--I know the naturopath didn't indicate that either.
 

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I would focus on healing your gut: <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1096747" target="_blank">Where to start? Help 101</a><br><br>
There are nutrients to add to your diet to decrease inflammatory responses. Eliminating dairy (and wheat) are first steps for many people with asthma.<br><br>
Classical homeopathy can help asthma significantly also.<br><br>
Pat
 

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I would use the rescue inhaler if I needed it. Lifestyle changes are a slow process and it certainly wouldn't clear up asthma in time to prevent a serious reaction.<br><br>
If someone wants to work on natural methods by all means, but that isn't something that can happen between breaths.<br><br>
You can always fill the prescription and not use it. An albuterol inhaler is just to be used "as needed" not all the time. If you have trouble breathing in the middle of the night, that is what it is for.<br><br>
I took my asthma meds during pregnancy. I also have to take them in the winter, cold is a trigger for me.<br><br>
I don't usually need daily asthma meds when it is warmer.
 

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I agree with the idea of using the albuterol if you need it. Can you get your hands on a peak flow meter (I don't think they're very expensive, and my insurance covered mine)?<br><br>
I have moderate asthma, but it's kept mostly under control with Advair (which is way more scary than albuterol, I think). I usually blow about a 400 on the peak flow meter, and my MW wants me to be checking it at least weekly to make sure it doesn't start to go down.<br><br>
I wonder why, though, if you're not having any difficulties breathing, and no wheezing she wants you to use the inhaler? I only use mine if I'm having trouble. Did she (or he, sorry, can't remember) listen with a stethoscope and hear something concerning?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rhiOrion</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14754084"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wonder why, though, if you're not having any difficulties breathing, and no wheezing she wants you to use the inhaler? I only use mine if I'm having trouble. Did she (or he, sorry, can't remember) listen with a stethoscope and hear something concerning?</div>
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I'm not the OP, but when my asthma was diagnosed (in my teens) I was down to regularly blowing only 50% of what I should have been on the peak flow meter -- and I had no idea I was so incapacitated. I never wheezed. But I was really, truly underoxygenated and had been for some time. I probably had gotten so used to the increased tightness in my chest slowly over time that I didn't even recognize it. I probably have permanent issues from this.<br><br>
To the OP: If your alternative care practioner is so worried about your oxygenation that she's recommending your albuterol, I would take that very seriously. I wasn't having asthma trouble by the time I got pregnant, but every single HCP I talked to was very, very clear that it was important that if I started having symptoms I use my rescue inhaler, because you do NOT want your baby suffering from insufficient oxygen for any length of time. I'm sure that there will be time to heal your gut later, but it isn't going to improve your lung capacity fast enough to suit your baby
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks, everyone.<br><br>
i did fill the prescription and would ABSOLUTELY be using it if i was having difficulty breathing. but she told me to use it every 4-6 hours even now when i'm not noticing a problem. that's what causes me concern. but she emailed me today with more urging. she said my peak flow was low enough to put me in the "yellow zone" zone for asthma treatment and management, and even with naturopathic treatment protocols they would bring an inhaler on board to prevent any life-threatening breathing issues.<br><br>
they did hear a wheeze on exhalation when listening with the stethoscope, and i've had a couple colds in the last couple months, which concerns them. i think there's also additional concern about pregnant women w/lung issues now, what with the H1N1 scare.<br><br>
as for healing my gut, i've been doing tons of probiotics for years, do daily homemade kefir and kombucha and cultured veggies. i'm kind of on that, so i'm not sure how much more i could do. i have done various elimination diets for various reasons, but now i'm fully Weston Price, so we do dairy and wheat, but raw (dairy) and sprouted (wheat).<br><br>
it's what's so frustrating - i DO all the right things w/nutrition and supplements and i'm still in this position. grrr. and i'm hyper concerned about the baby because my first daughter was born with all sorts of toxicities and we have spent 4 years detoxing her. so i'm just really careful (and emotional) about what i expose this little one to.
 

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I would do Epsom salt baths, vit C, magnesium and methyl- B12 along with molybdenum, in addition to the probiotics. No kombucha with the mercury toxicity.<br><br>
Come on over to the Allergy forum where we are discussing heavy metal detoxification as it relates to nutrient deficiencies, MTHFR polymorphism and food allergies.<br><br>
ETA: adequate iodine and selenium are critical too. But, don't go adding a bunch of either while pregnant.<br><br><br>
Pat
 

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Being pregnant and possibly having H1N1 puts you into a HUGE risk category. If things go bad, they could get bad quickly - your naturopath wants to safeguard you and your babys health. I'd take the albuterol.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flapjack</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14750768"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My thoughts are that if your blood oxygen levels are low, so is your babys, as their oxygen intake is dependent on yours.<br>
60% of your typical peak air flow is a big problem, and that is the point where I am taking my asthmatic son to hospital for oral steroids and enough nebuliser treatments that his peak flow readings get back to 75% or more: generally, they won't discharge us with less than 80%. This can cause permanent scarring in your own lungs and there is the very real possibility that the diminished oxygen levels can do lasting damage to your child. Please don't mess about with this.<br>
I'd actually go further and suggest that an ER trip would be in order so they can check your oxygen SATS, nebulise you and possibly prescribe relenza in addition to the albuterol. This is potentially serious stuff, mama. If you aren't breathing, neither is baby.</div>
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This. Breathing is essential to life. Essential to your baby's life. This is not a time to try and maximize the crunch. It's time to maximize your ability to breath.<br><br>
It's great you feel fine but you are wheezing. Breathing can go south very very very fast. Don't mess around.<br><br>
Or at least seek empirical data that's better than a peak flow meter such as an arterial blood gas or pulse ox reading and perhaps a chest x-ray (if they can manage one while pg).<br><br>
Also, if you are out of the first trimester, inhaled steroids can be used--if you use a spacer they'll hit pretty much just your lungs and stay out of yoru blood stream. I would question why if they think you need albuterol every 4-6 hours they wouldn't bring in a steroid to really nip this in the bud.<br><br>
V
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WuWei</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14754460"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would do Epsom salt baths, vit C, magnesium and methyl- B12 along with molybdenum, in addition to the probiotics. No kombucha with the mercury toxicity.</div>
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i'm doing most of those. but I'M not mercury toxic. i've been tested multiple ways by one of the biggest names in the autism/environmental medicine field and i'm clear. it's bizarre. but i think my daughter detoxed me, since you dump so many toxins into your unborn child, and i have had so much less pain since she was born.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Violet2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14754496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also, if you are out of the first trimester, inhaled steroids can be used--if you use a spacer they'll hit pretty much just your lungs and stay out of yoru blood stream. I would question why if they think you need albuterol every 4-6 hours they wouldn't bring in a steroid to really nip this in the bud.</div>
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because an inhaled steroid really lowers your immunity a lot. they're trying to avoid that during pregnancy and flu season.
 

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You are an perplexing and informed mama, come join us <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1168112" target="_blank">on the Happy (Holi)Days are here again!! Chat! thread.</a><br><br><br>
Pat
 

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I wanted to mention that if we don't do albuterol regularly with my son when he's starting a flair of asthma he sometimes needs steroids to bring things under control (as in oral/systematic/not what you want pregnant). So I'm thinking the naturopath recommended the regular use of albuterol so you don't get to the point of needing something more. I wouldn't worry about albuterol toxicity honestly.<br><br>
Have you ever had vitamin D3 (25 OH D) levels checked? I had adult onset asthma (colds only) when my vitamin D levels were low. The doctor felt the two were connected. Vitamin D won't fix asthma but if it's a factor correcting the levels makes sense. Low levels have lots of bad impacts on people (and babies) anyway so worth getting checked.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sbgrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14750917"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ok. My understanding from my son's pulmonologist is that it doesn't matter what the average is for your weight or height. Your average is what matters. You weren't 60% of your peak flow or you would be having trouble and know it.<br><br>
What would be important (in terms of baby/your oxygen) <b>would have been a pulse ox numbers, not percent of some average peak flow. I imagine your oxygen sats were/are fine.</b><br>
You asked for helping to avoid albuterol and I don't know of a way to avoid it/an alternative for a rescue inhaler when a person is having an asthma attack. I would use it during pregnancy if I needed it. Infants use it directly.<br>
That said, I don't know whether or not you would benefit from albuterol but I feel that you were <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> at 60% of your lung capacity. I don't think the naturopath communicated the situation well to you.<br><br>
And I want to stress that none of this means your/baby oxygen level was compromised--I know the naturopath didn't indicate that either.</div>
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Absolutely this. Please get yourself to ER so you can find out what is going on. I am saying that your baby's oxygen level can be compromised. If you aren't getting enough oxygen, baby CANNOT, and at this point your baby is not mature enough to survive outside the womb. Please go, get some more tests done and find out WTH is going on. There is no way of being sure that baby is not compromised without adequate medical help right now.
 

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I agree with the PP, you can be so used to the lack of oxygen that you honestly don't realize how much trouble you are having until it starts getting easier.<br><br>
I'm supposed to take a puff of albuterol if I know I'm going to be around cigarette smoke, if I'm going to be exercising in cold air or if I'm going to be arround a known trigger before I need it. It can be a preventative as well as an emergency usage.<br><br>
That said, since I live overseas and my back up inhalers have malfunctioned, I"m without an inhaler until I get to the US, a month from now, and I have been without an inhaler for about 2 months. Not a good situation, but since I can't get it mailed and they are unavailable here, I've been experimenting with alternatives.<br><br>
Cooking Asian pears in water in the crockpot with ginger and honey helps a lot. Really open up breathing passages.<br><br>
Infusions of red clover, chamomile, rose petals, ginger, and honey help some. Soothing for an irritated throat and lungs more than anything else.<br><br>
Chicken broth with astragalus, garlic and ginger opens up my lungs.<br><br>
Adding several drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus eo's to my showers to breath in the steam is good.<br><br>
And, in an emergency, steam bath if possible (usually not) and sips of any steaming hot liquid.<br><br>
But, I would prefer having the albuterol inhaler. It works so much better than any of these in an emergency and having an asthma attack without the inhaler causes problems for over a week and makes it more likely that I will have numerous repeats. If you need it, please don't hesitate to take it.
 

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Another asthmatic mama chiming in...<br>
You can go to the ER with "shortness of breath", and they will put you on a pulse ox meter for a few minutes as part of the triage/admitting process. I've actually gone in and just said, "I'm pregnant and asthmatic and concerned about oxygen levels", and they've hooked me right up. Then you usually have to sign yourself out AMA, which is a pain, but you do what you gotta do.<br>
Would using a peak flow meter, taking a dose of albuterol, waiting 15-20 minutes and then using it again be an option? If the albuterol is effective/your airways are compromised, then the peak flow numbers would increase. If they don't, then obviously the albuterol isn't what you need.<br>
I also wanted to point out that, while asthma meds are obviously not something to seek out in pregnancy (or any other time, really!), the risks are waaaaay lower if you are properly medicated and managed than if you are unmedicated and have uncontrolled symptoms. Also, albuterol is actually used in some instances to stop/slow premature labour. It works to relax the uterus a bit. I don't endorse meds, in any way, but as far as meds go, I'm very comfortable with albuterol. Although, I would be a lot less comfortable with taking it every 4 hours...
 
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