Guest Post by Daniele of Domestic Serenity
Many moms can relate to dealing with children's health issues. In some way, we all act as Dr. Mom in treating often minor and manageable illnesses.
Our family has faced ups and downs in sickness, but it wasn't until we dealt with serious asthma attacks that my natural medicine cabinet could no longer keep up.
At first, I was just grateful (and still am) for the level of emergency care available in our country. To race to the hospital, watching your child struggle for every breath and lose energy from fighting, is not a scene I'd wish on any mom. I was simply thankful for the help.
But to also watch him ingest overpowering drugs with known long-term side effects just to breathe? This pushed me to question. Surely, there must be another way; another path to consider?
There was a different direction.
We now have a little boy, hospitalized so many times due to uncontrolled asthma flare-ups, who has been free from asthma attacks for over 18 months! I'll share what worked for our family.
image by deziner02
How We Reversed Asthma Symptoms
I've written a whole series on the topic with plenty of details, so today I'll share highlights. The path we chose could be described in three steps: cleanse, strengthen, nourish.
CLEANSE the Body
We began by eliminating any possible food triggers. Asthma is basically understood as inflammation of the respiratory passages with extra mucus production and spasms of the muscles in the system. Not fun, huh?
Because asthma is often tied in with allergies (food or environmental), it seemed wise to us to take any of these triggers out first. By keeping a journal of what foods we eliminated and when, we could track the effect. You'll find more tips on elimination diets here.
Then one day, I came across an article about the inflammatory effects of hydrogenated oils on asthma -- this was so significant in our journey! We got an oil change overnight and immediately switched to using coconut and olive oil almost exclusively.
The anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 oils in asthmatic children are incredibly beneficial, and we saw this firsthand. Our son's body and breathing began to calm even more just after 2-4 weeks of change. We were hooked!
image by ghindo
CLEANSE the Home
Removing possible environmental triggers was the next step. We concentrated efforts on changing our cleaning products from conventional to natural (often homemade) and to controlling allergens in our son's bedroom.
I started with the bedroom since so much time is spent in there between sleeping and playing. Early in our journey, allergy testing provided information on which environmental struggles we were dealing with.
Dust mites topped the list and so allergen-proof covers for pillows and mattresses helped. Many more steps and tips of cleansing the home can be found at my post.
image by Mae Cheverette
STRENGTHEN the Body
Taking the bad stuff out is great. But to then strengthen the body and replace with extra-good stuff is even better!
Knowing about 75% of our immune fighting ability is in our gut, our next focus was to give our child (and by this point, the whole family!) a strengthened intestinal tract and therefore stronger immune system.
While we didn't do anything such as GAPS diet, simple steps and adding in one specific fruit key for asthmatics to eat often -- we experienced continued major improvements!
NOURISH the body
The journey is not over as we continue to nourish and care gently for our son's body -- by treating any cold symptoms early, practicing some massage techniques, and many other natural approaches.
All of the details, including books, further resources and which natural products we used can be found in this series of posts.
Our hard work (and yes, it wasn't always easy) paid off in benefits of a calmer, happier and less-hospitalized child. Less worry, less scary-crazy moments and many less days of breathing struggles. Not to mention money back in our pocket from less medical bills!