Does your child have food allergies or asthma? maybe both?
Our daughter was diagnosed with food allergies before she was 2 years old. She had anaphylaxis to a pine nut when she was about 15 months old. Our journey with food allergies has been a long one and I have talked about it extensively on my blog.
When she was 4 years old, she began to have mild symptoms that included sneezing and coughing. Within just a couple of days of those symptoms, it progressed to her not being able to breathe well. We immediately took her to the emergency room. This was not an unfamiliar place to us due to food allergic reactions, and it quickly became a place that we frequented even more.
The ER doctor said "this is asthma, has she been diagnosed with asthma in the past?"
And this is where our asthma story begins.
We told the ER doctor how we just recently bought a home, but it's an attached dwelling. We live in a 4plex, and we've had issues with our neighbors scented laundry detergent filtering into our home. The doctor said clearly this is a trigger for her.
Years later, our daughters main asthma trigger continues to be artificial fragrances. Her asthma can also be triggered when she gets a cold, during times of high pollen, smoke (camp fires, wood burning stoves, wild fires) and certain foods.
The reality that we live with is that she has asthma and severe food allergies. She is also an amazing human being. My husband and I are so proud of her resilience and strength.
This road is not an easy one, but as a family we have learned to navigate it to the best of our abilities. We have learned to cherish each other more, for life is so uncertain.
For a while it seemed that our daughter's asthma was well-controlled, but then it suddenly became very chronic. We tried so many different things, both pharmaceutical and natural. Nothing worked well enough, and our daughter was bed-bound having intense asthma exacerbations at least 2 weeks out of every month.
When we visited her pulmonologist, we were told what we already knew.. her asthma could no longer be considered well controlled. It was chronic and severe... and something needed to be done, immediately.
They ran tests and did x-rays, ruling out other causes of her chronic respiratory distress. The end result was that it is asthma, solely, and we haven't been controlling it with our current protocol.
We were told to increase her dose of Flovent, an inhaled steroid. This would keep her off the stronger oral steroids that can cause systemic issues in the body. Her pulmonologist also suggested Singulair (a drug prescribed for asthma and allergies) but we declined.
Her pulmonologist explained to us that if this protocol is not effective, the next step would be to start talking about asthma medications with black box warnings. Drugs, the doctor said, that can have lasting effects on the heart.
This is where the epiphany happened for both my husband and I. We looked at each other and knew what our next step would be. We thanked the doctor and left.
We left knowing that we would do everything in our power to keep our daughter off of those harmful drugs, and that the increased dose of Flovent inhaled steroid would be temporary.
A year later, all of this happened. She is off of the Flovent entirely, and the reason is because of dedicated effort. 5 times a week, I take my daughter to salt respiratory therapy. This is a natural and effective way of managing asthma, other respiratory challenges, nasal allergies, sinus issues.
It truly is a lifestyle choice. We would rather spend money and time on something that not only manages symptoms, but overall promotes health and wellness.
Does she still have asthma? Yes. Is it well-controlled? most definitely. We just went through the winter season, and for the first time in many years she did not experience intense respiratory issues. She still had some respiratory challenges in response to sickness but they were not as frequent, severe or long-lasting. She is thriving more than she ever has.
Managing her asthma went from needing intense steroids and daily use of albuterol, to not needing steroids and using the occasional albuterol. We also use natural remedies that we found to be very effective for her seasonal allergens. All of the changes that we made for our daughter was done under the care of a doctor that specializes in asthma and allergies.
Asthma is a serious life-threatening condition and people with this condition should always be under the care of a doctor. I am not a doctor and I am only sharing our story, not offering medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before making changes to your treatment protocol and never stop using life-saving medication without consulting your doctor.