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Asthma in children

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  • Asthma in children

    I have been primal (without dairy) for about five months now (best decision I ever made!). I have been making adjustments to my three children's diets over the past couple of months. They are gluten-free anyway due to food allergies. Dh is a vegetarian who eats no meat and no fish and is unwilling to contemplate any change (his loss!).
    My middle child was diagnosed with asthma a year ago, a few months before her 6th birthday. She is on a steroid inhaler twice a day and has Ventolin as needed. My nearly-two-year-old has just had a dreadful weekend with her breathing (very frightening) and is now also on a steroid inhaler four times a day at the moment plus Ventolin for when she is struggling to breathe.
    My aim is to get all three children eating as primal a diet as posible anyway, but I'm now after any experience/information about this lifestyle enabling people (children in particular) to ditch their inhalers. The thought of my youngest being on inhalers from here on in is horrible!
    They are all fit and active children so the asthma can be very limiting to their activities.
    I know CW says that allergies and asthma go hand-in-hand, but seeing that their food allergies are mainly to non-primal food groups (wheat, dairy, soya - plus one with an allergy to oranges and raw apples and another with allergies to some nuts and shellfish), I don't think the link needs to apply!
    Any experience/advice much appreciated. Thank you.
    Last edited by Kace; 10-18-2011, 10:55 AM.

  • #2
    At 7 months my daughter was put on inhaled steroids 2xday because she had a chronic cough. She also had a constant runny nose. It was accepted hat she would develop full blown asthma as she got older. Since going primal (we still have dairy) her symptoms have disappeared. On the couple of occasions where she has wheat, the cough has come back.

    My 6 year old daughter is a different case though. She has severe asthma and has been ventilated and in ICU on numerous occasions. But, she is completely asymptomatic when she is well. You would never know she had asthma. As such I can't convince her to give up wheat because there is no difference for her to see. I don't have family on my side either. She sees her specialist soon and I will be asking her opinion on the matter.
    Became Primal August 2011

    SW - 84kg / 185lb
    CW - 60kg / 132lb
    GW - 60kg / 132lb


    • #3
      Thank you, Athenasey. Sounds promising! I have just read yoru journal, too. I emphathise with the uncooperative dh!!! Mine isn't overweight (in fact he's probably on the low side of normal), but won't even consider trying meat for 30 days (he's been veggie for nearly 30 years, so it's not a passing fad...). He cut out wheat earlier in the summer and feels better for it, so that's a start! I have various articles printed off about vegetarians-gone-primal and Mark's thoughts on the matter in case dh shows an interest!

      My 8-year-old ds is intolerant of large quantities of wheat, but apart from slight hayfever, a penicillin allergy and a cat hair allergy is fine on the allergy front.

      My 6-year-old dd1 has asthma (on steroid inhaler twice daily and on Ventolin when bad - nearly ended up being ventilated the other week, but managed to get it under control with the 10-puffs-of Ventolin trick recommended by a friend who is asthmatic) and is allergic to wheat, oranges and apples (has outgrown a tomato allergy this past year).

      Dd2 who is nearly 2 is allergic to wheat, dairy, soya, some nuts, shellfish and lentils (and has outgrown allergies to egg, almonds and chickpeas). She is also allergic to most of the anti-allergy formula, which is why I am still feeding her. Has turned out to be a great thing because after a year and a half on a very restricte diet, switching to primal was amazing in terms of energy levels, etc. As I said in my initial post, dd2 has only been on the inhalers since the weekend when we were up at the hospital with her twice because she was struggling for breath so much. From your experience, it sounds as if a fully primal diet would really benefit her (her non-primal foods are oats, corn and rice).


      • #4
        N=1. As a kid I had exercise-induced asthma (don't know if that's the medical term but one reliable way to trigger an attack was to do a hill sprint) that I mostly outgrew (somewhere around 12 maybe) but I would still get slight constriction when doing anything that really got my heartrate up.

        These days after 11 months of Primal eating and living I don't have that problem anymore. I'll still get winded due to the oxygen debt but the airway constriction is gone. This is only my experience so nothing you can absolutely rely on but I've definitely experienced fewer inflammatory symptoms since doing this.


        • #5
          I don't have any direct experience, but my advice would be to keep the kids eating as little processed food as possible (especially Soy) and make sure they get lots of probiotic exposure.


          • #6
            I dealt with asthma via medication for 30 thirty years. Then I gave up simple starches at the start of last year to try to combat acid reflux. That worked... then a couple of months later I realized my asthma had also subsided. It's the wheat for me. As of Halloween I will have been off daily asthma medications for six months. I do, however, now find that I must be VERY careful about wheat. Even a LITTLE bit will trigger problems. For example, I ordered an "Irish coffee" because all the desserts on the menu had wheat. IRISH whiskey gives me no trouble - usually barley-based. Apparently they used AMERICAN "grain-based" whiskey. I didn't think to ask! I was wheezing severely within two hours.

            In any case, as long as I *strictly* avoid wheat I have no problems. I particularly enjoy running for miles with no sign of "exercise-induced" asthma.

            Good luck!
            Life is short: Void the warranty.


            • #7
              Get their Vitamin D tested. I needed to supplement to get my blood level at 80 ng/ml to completely clear my asthma.

              Gut health is key for clearing food allergies/inflammation. Kombucha or other fermented foods can help. You may want to look into the GAPS diet.
              Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
              Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
              Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


              • #8
                I have been on ventolin and steroid inhalers for years, until I cut out wheat, all grains but white rice occasionally, and totally cut out seed oils (Omega 6 reduction strategy!). Massive improvement, and I was able to completely stop steroid inhalers and the steroid pills.

                The next great improvement was when I started eating lots of oily fish and lard / beef fat. This year even the seasonal triggers - grass pollens, early tree pollens and autumnal moulds / spores - haven't affected me.

                If I DO eat wheat / grains, I usually wake the next morning (or in the night) wheezing. Also, if I don't have oily fish and enough sat fat for a few days, I can feel a tightness coming back. So - I'd check your childs' fat intake is good too!


                • #9
                  I can't really add anything to anyone's responses here other than as another example of cutting out inflammatory foods resulting in lessing/no asthma symptoms. As long as I stay away from gluten, soy, dairy and seed oils, I'm able to completely eliminate my asthma symptoms. Gluten is the big one and if I eat something with it I will wheeze within an hour or two and it will last up to a week, depending on the level of exposure. I also supplement with 5000 IU's of D3 and 1000 mg of magnesium daily. If I don't take magnesium regularly I don't wheeze but my breathing seems somehow harder.


                  • #10
                    I was an asthma kid. It sucked. I still struggle with asthma when I try to sprint, but it is mostly under control.

                    In addition to diet, please consider environmental factors. Get rid of perfumes and harsh cleaning products. A vacuum with a hepa filter is helpful. If you can afford it--get rid of carpet all together! It also doesn't hurt to have your home tested for mold if the little ones inside are struggling to breathe. It is worth the investment -- even if they don't find any (you get peace of mind).
                    Last edited by Yvonne PHX; 10-18-2011, 10:11 AM.