Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our child has asthma: What can we do to help manage it?

Hi Gary,

We took our 2 year old to our GP today after his cough (which he's had for a week or so) kept him awake on and off last night. We realise there's not much you can do for a cough except keep warm, get lots of rest, eat well, etc so going to the GP was more of a safety check to make sure there wasn't something more sinister brewing.....well it turns out he has Asthma and has been given a raft of medicines including an inhaler.

With little or no history of Asthma in the family (we also have a 4 year old) we were quite surprised by this diagnosis.

You mention in an article (Nov 8 2007) a list of actions and regime changes to help with eczema and asthma - do these apply equally to both conditions or should be concentrating on certain things to help with the Asthma?
Thanks, Andy


Gary Moller comments:
Eczema and asthma are essentially the same disease expressed with differing symptoms. In my family, we either have eczema or asthma. For one child, the eczema was terrible and for another the asthma caused hospitalisation on two occasions. We discovered that the natural health solutions for one works for the other. We have been able to reduce the need for medications to a big ZERO. Children also rend to grow out of asthma as a simple result of their airways growing larger and therefor less prone to clogging with phlegm.
With regards to your child you do need to determine whether or not the breathing problems are an acute reaction to the cold or an infection or the result of an allergy. If it is an acute reaction, then the need for ongoing medication should be queried. Medications for asthma are not without their nasty side effects when used long term, including osteoporosis and adrenal damage.
You should be using a peak flow meter daily to measure your child's breath flow. Your doctor should have measured this at the clinic and can provide you with a peak flow meter to take home. The protocol for use should have been carefully explained and demonstrated. The idea is to measure his peak flow before and after taking his blue asthma inhaler. If there is some brochial spasm (asthma) then there should be a significant improvement in peak flow. If not, then you should review his condition, including medication with your doctor.
The same query of the need for ongoing medication can apply to an allergy once the allergens have been identified and minimised. If an allergy, such as dust mite, is suspected, then ask your doctor about getting your child tested for allergies. This is a simple skin reaction test. If you get a positive with your child for dust mite or animal dander for example, then the next step is to identify sources in your environment such as a pet or an old carpet and then deal with them.
Nutrition is an essential factor for ongoing management - medication or not. This centres about ensuring there is a rich supply of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and the essential fatty acids. One of the best sources of these is raw full-cream A2 milk which is the only milk we have in our house. Sadly, this is not easy to come by.

You could add cod liver oil to your child's diet (You can get cod liver oil here) as a rich and safge source of vitamins D and A. Wheatgerm oil is a rich source of natural vitamin E. Waihi Bush Flax Magic is a rich souirce of the omega3 oils for children that is definitely beneficial for asthma and eczema. Butter is a good source of essential fats and fat soluble vitamins, principally vitamin A. Stay away from the synthetic versions of the fat soluble vitamins.
The other measure is to teach your child how to diaphragm breathe. If a child breathes shallow, then asthma and anxiety is inevitable.

Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.
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