Our oldest son was diagnosed with asthma when he was just two and a half. That was four years ago and every doctor that we’ve gone to see about it has given us the same two medicines as treatment. One is a daily inhaler, flovent, to take during the times of the year when he has the hardest time with the asthma, which for him is winter and late summer. The second medicine is albuterol, which is an inhaled medicine to be taken as needed to ease his attacks. Both medicines help tremendously but I’ve always wondered if there was a better way to ease his breathing. Maybe there was a way to get rid of the asthma, rather than just live with it and treat it with these medications. This winter he needed to use his inhaler a great deal, which concerned me. That fact, combined with meeting our town’s naturopathic doctors (the wife is in my mother/baby group) gave me the push to make an appointment to see if they could offer some help.
The first visit was a long and thoughtful one. The office was very warm and inviting, unlike most doctor’s offices and Dr. Porrino really listened to what I was saying and asked good questions about my son’s symptoms and health history. He explained that asthma is like a cup. That your body is built with a ‘cup’ in it that fills up full of irritations and inflammation. Seasonal allergies fill the cup, daily stress, food allergies and sensitivities, colds, sicknesses, all go in the cup. And when your cup overflows you begin to have asthmatic symptoms. The difference between all of us is that some of us have been given large beer stein sized cups at birth and others, like our son, were given small shot glass sized cups. So the idea is to keep that cup as empty as possible.
Given that we already know what environmental allergies our son has (dust, cats, grasses) we focused on food sensitivities. Apparently sensitivities are different than food allergies. The doctor gathered five drops of my sons blood onto a special card and sent it to the lab for testing. When the results came back (and on this very nice, colorful chart, I might add) his charts looked pretty good, but it did show a high sensitivity to eggs. The recommendation was to cut eggs out of his diet for about four months to see if this makes a difference. Really bad news when you have six laying hens, I’ll tell you! That trial along with adding in a daily dose of a good probiotic and a teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil to boost his digestion and immune system and hopefully we should see some improvement.
As I went home I started to lament the idea of keeping eggs out of his diet – no ice cream, mayonnaise, and baked goods! As it works in a small community, as soon as I shared this news with one friend, she told me of a mutual acquaintance who’s son has an egg allergy. I contacted her and she told me that in baking you can substitute 1 T. vinegar + 1 T. liquid + 1 t. baking powder for each egg.
As soon as I learned this I pulled out our very favorite oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie recipe and gave it a go. Would you know, they came out perfectly delicious? The only change I noticed was that the cookie was slightly crisper than normal, which was just fine.
Hopefully all this sacrifice of irritants and the addition of good supplements will help our little guy out. Nothing is harder than watching your child struggle with taking breath. And hey, now we know we can at least eat cookies along this journey.