How We Reversed Asthma Symptoms in our Family

 

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!

Is anyone dealing with asthma issues in children? Have you found other things to be helpful?

 Top image by istockphoto

About Daniele

Daniele is a homeschooling Mama of five kiddos and a voracious reader of books. Passionate about her faith, home and family, she blogs about the intentional lifestyle at Domestic Serenity and writes for other online and print publications. Daniele thinks life is made more enjoyable with a cup of herbal tea in hand!

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. Greetings Daniele, I just want to THANK YOU for your post and encourage you to keep up your diligent efforts in treating your son/children’s asthma naturally. I’m 54 (but in denial) and have had severe asthma for 40+ yrs., and boy do I wish I had known all this much sooner. Meds & inhalers have been my lifeline almost every day of my life since ’72 and athough I’m thankful for them, they are not kind to my blood pressure or heart health and if I had to do over again with what I am learning, I surely would. I have long known that sulfites trigger my asthma, and over the years have learnt/known that food additives & preservatives (like BHA, BHT, MSG) were also triggers, but didn’t really get serious about eliminating all of that until a couple months ago when I decided to go on an all God-Made/natural diet, and now when I have anything that is off-diet, my asthma lets me know about in within minutes – literally! Thanks for the heads-up on hydrogenated oils — I didn’t know that! We switched to olive oil & esp. coconut oil, and homemade organic butter (easy to make in a food processor) a while back and I now make practically EVERYTHING by scratch (it’s amazing what all is in store-bought food), but your article has inspired me to be even more diligent. (hugs) I just started using essential oils about a month ago which is helping me too. Dust is a way of life here on the farm, even though I keep a tidy home, but it will be spring allergy season sooner or later (our daughters have seasonal allergies) and I hope to combat that better this year as I continue to learn. I’ll be looking up all your links! Thank you for the information! ~ Blessings to You & Yours ♥

  2. Daniele, this is a very informative article on how to manage and keep asthma symptoms under control. I know almost all of these steps which you have mentioned as I too have asthma and learning how to prevent it has save me a lot of money as you said. I am now educating people on how to keep their asthma under control by sharing some of the most basic things they should know, which is similar to this article together with my own experience.

    Treating asthma in a more natural way is definitely the way to go. I wish for your son to live a fulfilling and asthma free life!

  3. Amanda S says:

    Thank you for this information! My son has had asthma triggered by cats and horses. Horses especially. For the most part we have been able to control it by simply avoiding the allergens. But occasionally he is exposed to a horse we don’t realize (he can’t even be second or third hand exposed). I will try some of the foods you listed as we haven’t done much of that, we do drink kefir though.

  4. I really appreciate this post. I bookmarked the full series on your blog to read soon. My daughter has serious allergies and eczema, and we fear that the asthma is beginning to rear its head. We haven’t had very serious problems yet, just a persistent, exhausting cough. But I though I’d share a supplement that’s helped us a lot. It’s Aller-Ease liquid supplement and you can find it on Amazon and Vitacost. It’s full of Vit C, anti-oxidants, quercetin, bromelain and herbs known for their mucous regulating properties. This has been our second year with the early spring allergy cough and both times this stuff has helped all but silenced her cough in just a couple days.

  5. AJ Skelly says:

    I gave up dairy years ago because my nursing infant seemed intolerant. Months later I was casually jogging and then stopped short in shock. I suddenly realized I hadn’t used my inhaler since I gave up dairy. In fact, I didn’t even know where it was! I haven’t need it since (6 years later). But reading your post I realize I was also giving up hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and moving toward a more whole food diet so maybe it wasn’t soley diary :)

  6. Asthma is often associated with mouth breathing. Reminding your child to close their mouths to breath throughout the day is very helpful. We also found the herbal supplement Respiractin to be very helpful.

  7. Thank you for this post! I have two kiddos under 4 that have been diagnosed with asthma and I’ve been thinking a lot about the xopenex and plumacort they were prescribed. It seems that my kids only have asthma episodes when the get sick. A cold turns into wheezing, shortness of breath and sometimes hospitalization within a few days. Do you think doing the elimination diet would be beneficial to our situation? I am obsessive about vacuuming and dusting my house and we’ve drastically reduced our dairy intake.

    • Hi Rebecca! One of my other children had this sickness induced asthma as well. I tried to treat and catch colds very early and made them REST and be still as much as possible (so the lungs don’t have to work so hard). The elimination diet worked much better for my son who dealt w/asthma on a more regular basis though.
      But giving the body a break for a while is not a bad idea! Maybe try for a few weeks and see? After dairy, wheat is the next biggest culprit for asthma issues.

  8. Thank you for your post. I was diagnosed at 5 with asthma and have struggled all of my life. I am amazed at all the environmental/food related factors involved!

  9. This is really good. I recently had a severe resurgence in alleriges and asthma. Haven’t had a problem since childhood. It took years to track it down to an intestinal yeast infection. The yeast infection had no intestinal symptoms but was manifesting itself in my nose and lungs. Go figure. After lots of powerful probiotics and a couple rounds of natural Candida battle , things are MUCH better. Clean the gut, cure the asthma.

  10. This is very interesting. I have asthma, though it hardly ever requires medication, and I’ve never really heard of natural approaches to treating it. One concern I have though is if asthma is so severe as to require hospitalization then it seems dangerous to not be using medicines. My grandmother did not use asthma medicine (though she probably did not take as many steps as you did to treat it naturally!) and as a result she has damaged lungs in her older age. But I do believe that asthma is mainly caused/triggered by things in your environment so the changes you made are very good and really are steps we all should take!

    • The last thing I’d want is to put my children’s {future} health in jeopardy. For us, we worked along with our allergist and made changes while weaning off meds. I was so grateful for medication and great hospitals. I am also incredibly grateful we are free from needing those on a regular basis.

      And yes – some of these changes are good for us all, asthma or not!

  11. I was thrilled to see the subject line of this article. My son also suffers from long-term, scary at times asthma, and is on those awful inhaled steroids. I was just saying to my husband the other day that I wanted to find ways to reduce the inflammation in his lungs, because I felt like he was on the verge of being more controlled and there might be ways to do this naturally, since we hate the idea of those drugs! I feel like we do many of these things anyway, but perhaps not as stringent? When you eliminated the wrong types of oil for him, did you did it COMPLETELY, no special treats, no exceptions, etc?

    • Jessica – it was hard at first, but yes…I changed all of the oils fairly immediately. There are several shelf snacks w/o hydrogenated oils, maybe check out your store? I just began making substitutes for the things he was used to eating (the whole family changed diet). And for a little while, I kept the foods simple until it became easier to deal with all the changes.

      I have to say – changing the oils was the biggest food contributor to his improvement!

  12. Thank you so much for this post. Our 7 year old son has struggled with asthma since he was born and had been in the hospital many, many times. He’s also been on preventative medicines as well as on the spot meds. He also suffers from several environmental allergies and couple food allergies (egg & peanut). We recently took him in for his yearly check up with his asthma doc and was able to back down one of his meds and completely take him off another. I believe part of this is due to the fact that we changed our diets about 7 months ago and started avoiding GMO foods and processed foods as much as possible. It’s also been a year and half since his last hospital stay, Praise God! We’re on the right track, keep up the good work for your son as well!

  13. Our family is blessed with not having any asthma or other allergies (other than my current gluten intolerance which I hope to heal). My chiropractor said his allergies went away after regular chiro adjustments. My kids and I get them so I hope it’s just another safeguard against possibly developing them in the future (we’re in GA so pollen is king…).

  14. Honestly, about two years ago I probably would have scoffed at this article. However, my husband and I have slowly been trying to overhaul our diet and have eliminated hydrogenated oils, most sugars and most dairy and are eating a mainly whole foods diet. It wasn’t until our last change of eliminating all grains that my husband’s exercise-induced asthma almost completely went away. He never could make it through a workout before without using his inhaler and hasn’t had to use it in almost two months! Since we had already eliminated most foods from our diet, I’m assuming it was the grains. What a relief for him and he feels so much better! The “magical” healing powers of food are pretty amazing.

  15. Daniele,

    This is a great post! I’m going to check out your site for more info. I thought you would like to know the link in your bio at the top leads me to a Godaddy page, not your blog.

  16. Hi Daniele!
    So glad to hear your successes in treating asthma. Wow! What a time you’ve had. Have you ever tried essential oils? We are finding them to work remarkably well. I’d love to share with you anything I can that might help.
    Thank you!

  17. I LOVE this post, as we have been on a similar journey. We have done many of the same things you suggest, but we saw the most significant difference when we began chiropractic care. My son went from having regular attacks to having them once a month to having them rarely. In fact, he recently had a bad cold and didn’t have any asthma at all!! I was so incredibly grateful. You are doing a wonderful job with your child; keep it up!!

  18. Hi Daniele! Thanks so much for sharing your story.. It is yet another testimony to the fact that what we put into our bodies impacts what we experience on the outside.. I am SO glad that you and your family could find and fix the triggers for your son’s asthma!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How We Reversed Asthma Symptoms in our Family from Keeper of the Home [...]

  2. [...] Links: Papamoon!: Simcha Fisher (This post about our new Holy Father made me so excited!) How We Reduced Asthma Symptoms in Our Family: Keeper of the Home (Natural methods of helping asthma. We already do some of these things to help our [...]