What’s worse than seeing your child gasping for breath?
Every mother who has a child suffering from asthma knows how heartbreaking and terrifying this can be; especially the frequent visits to the emergency room and hospitalisations. Asthma affects 1 in every 10 children and there is an increasing death rate among children below 15 years old, which is quite alarming.
In this article, you will find out about the causes (triggers) and symptoms of childhood asthma and 5 simple tips to prevent your kids from having recurrent asthma attacks.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory (lungs/airways) condition characterized by narrowing of the airways and excessive production of mucus (phlegm), which results in shortness of breath, nagging cough and wheezing (whistling sound when you exhale/breath out). Some kids have silent asthma; they do not manifest any breathing related symptoms. Others may not have wheezes, but are frequently coughing.
Allergens like animal dander, pollen, molds, and dust mites commonly trigger an asthma attack. Sometimes physical activities induce asthma in some kids. Other asthma triggers include air pollutants (smoke), common cold, cold air, stress, strong emotions, and food preservatives.
Why Do Mothers Need to Keep Their Eyes on Asthma?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2.3 million Australians have asthma. This disease can affect all ages. However, 1 in every 10 children has asthma and the increasing death rate among children below 15 years old is alarming.
Most, children are active, running around as if they have boundless energy and never seem to get tired. On the other hand, children with asthma have difficulty keeping up with physical activities, complain about shortness of breath and become tired very easily. This illness interferes with your child’s recreational activities. It is sucking the fun out of their childhood, in terms of the physical limitations that asthma symptoms may impose.
Your child’s sick days may also affect your work and even increase the number of days absent from school. Frequent visits to the emergency room and hospitalizations during severe asthma attacks are even worse. It’s traumatic for both you and your child. That look in their eyes asking for help because they can barely breathe is just too much to handle.
Indeed, there are palliative medications, which means they relieve the symptoms but do not cure asthma itself. Asthma has been known for ages as an incurable breathing disorder. However, figuring out the underlying cause and triggers of asthma is the most effective way to fight back and prevent recurrent asthma attacks.
5 Simple Tips to Help Your Kids Prevent Recurrent Asthma Attacks
When dealing with childhood asthma, you should not focus only on relieving the symptoms. Your goal must be to prevent future and recurrent attacks. Here are five simple tips to keep you guided:
Tip #1 – Avoid environmental asthma triggers
There are many toxins indoors and outdoors including cigarette smoke, toxic fumes, pollens, animal dander, mold, household cleansers, scented toiletries, and other chemicals. As much as possible, minimize exposure to these triggers. Avoid smoking areas and you might want to think about installing an air purifier at home. Be aware that most environmental allergens are asthma triggers.
Tip #2 – Stop feeding your kids with factory-farmed meats and conventional dairy products
Factory-farmed meats and conventional dairy products are often loaded with unhealthy additives including nitrites and sulfites, which are often clogging up the airways. Likewise, most of these are pasteurized and homogenized foods, which mean they have less nutritional value and are harder to digest.
Remove all dairy foods and dairy-containing products (cheese, milk, ice cream, bread, cookies, etc.) from your family’s diet. You may also eliminate the most common foods that your family eats daily, particularly wheat and sugar products for two weeks. Replace them with the less common ones. Then, see if your child still has recurrent asthma attacks. If there’s less frequency of asthma attacks after doing this, it means there’s an underlying food allergy that triggers your child’s asthma.
Tip #3 – Use cotton bedding
Your child spends almost one-third of their life in the bedroom. Thus, it is worth checking for asthma triggers. Most mattress and pillows are stuffed with foam. It emits formaldehyde and often contains pesticide and fire retardant chemicals that are harmful to the health and could be triggering your child’s nighttime asthma.
To protect your children from these nasty chemicals, wrap each mattress with a heavy cotton mattress pad or cotton blanket to diminish outgassing. Cotton pillows are better than foam-stuffed pillows too.
Tip #4 – Add more fruits and vegetables in the diet
Fruits and vegetables are ideal to help decrease episodes of asthma attacks. They are packed with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, which help reduce swelling and irritation of the lungs and airways caused by pollutants and free radicals. Some of the top foods for asthma relief are avocado, parsley leaf, fresh garlic, kale, apple, turmeric, chi seeds, and bananas.
Tip #5 – Probiotics
Probiotics are also recommended. These are food and drinks, such as yogurt, kombucha, and kefir that contain good bacteria. Knowing that molds and yeast, which are fungi, are common asthma triggers, it is best to boost your child’s gut health with the help of probiotics. The good bacteria maintain the integrity of the gut and regulates the population of bad bugs, particularly Candida albicans, within the intestine to a non-harmful level.
Naturally, we all have the yeast, Candida albicans, in our body. When there is an overgrowth of these bad bugs in the gut, either due to intake of antibiotics, environmental factors, underlying illness, parasites, and other causes, your child will never stop wheezing. Besides, these yeasts reside in the gut, which means your child carries them wherever they go. These bad bugs cause swelling in the gut lining, which may later result in leaky gut. When the intestine (gut) becomes more permeable, toxins and food allergens may get into the bloodstream. As a response, your immune system will attack these bad bugs in the gut, as well as toxins and food allergens in the blood, which may result in an asthma attack.
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