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Following on from my social media post last week about my daughter having to visit hospital for the third time this year with sporadic asthma, I had an overwhelming response from mums sharing their words of wisdom and offering support, ideas and their tried and tested methods on managing respiratory illnesses. Even though i’ve been running my blog for almost five years, I still pinch myself when I have women from all over the globe wanting to connect with me and unite. So first and foremost, thank you! I posted about the asthma on my #InstaStories at around 5am on a Sunday morning having been awake all night, and by 7am – I felt mums all over the globe sending my a big cyber hug and felt an intense wave of support and love! I was feeling a little lost as a mum and almost like I had let my daughter down – getting sick (I know, can’t be helped! But when you’ve been awake all night and had her gasping for air / breathing short fast breaths and crying – it was hard not to feel helpless and a little lost as a mama!) So your messages always count. Thank you.
My little lady is doing much better and we’ve been given an official asthma management plan (cue, Mummy actually knows what to do now!). However, my inquisitive mind wanted to delve a little further and find ways that may reduce the number/severity of the asthma episodes. So, I’ve been on a mission for the last week non-stop researching, talking, reading reviews and talking with naturopaths, natural health specialists, other mums to put some new measures in place to help my little darling manage it as much as we can..(You know those mum moments when you’re like a detective and you’re given a case and every spare moment you have, you’re thinking about it, researching it, trying to piece the puzzle together! Yep, well, times that by 50! As I was the head of my investigation, awake until 1am some nights reading, reading, reading, researching, researching, researching!)
As i always say, my blogs are about sharing my own personal views and experience, not clinical or professional advice. I’m sharing this one today as I had so many mums asking me ‘what everyone was recommending and saying’ from that one social post, so here tis’! These are purely a few health and lifestyle measures i’ve put in place for my family over the Winter months, in particular for my little one with asthma. Seek medical advice and guidance if you or anyone you know has a respiratory concern.
A few things i’ve implemented over the past week to help reduce the severity of her asthma and set some foundations to help beat the Winter blues;
We’ve always been a low-dairy family (dairy is a high mucus forming food / not ideal for one suffering from respiratory issues) and ‘most’ of the time opt for coconut milk, almond milk, vegan ice-creams, coconut yoghurt etc but I’ve never been super strict on ‘no’ dairy at all. But for the next 4 weeks, i’m getting strict and cutting out all dairy from her diet and will then re-introduce certain foods a few days at a time to see how they sit with her. For me personally – i can’t stomach cows milk or yellow cheese. My stomach instantly bloats, my skin flares up the next day and I feel very flat after the smallest amount. But – a natural greek yoghurt and small amount of white / soft cheeses is completely fine for me! It took me a while to work out what sits well with me and what my body had to work ‘too hard’ to digest for (and gave me those unwanted symptoms). So, it’s her turn now! We’re eliminating the dairy and re-introducing small amounts of different varieties over a few days at a time to test it out. I’ll keep you posted!
To naturally purify, cleanse and detoxify the air (lessening the chance of allergy drivers such as dust mites, pollen etc), i’ve been using a salt lamp in her bedroom for a week and already, i’m noticing a difference! Mainly in her coughing at night time, it’s dramatically improved! I moved her bed away from the window as well and put the salt lamp on from about 4pm in the afternoon and turn it off around 10pm. You can read up on all of the amazing benefits of a salt lamp (make sure you invest in a ‘real’ one as there are fakes out there) but for me the short answer is – they purify the air and work wonders for your airways.
In addition to the Salt Lamp, we’re heading off next week for our first Salt Therapy treatment in a salt room / salt cave! Similar benefits to the above, but on a more of an intense level in terms of cleansing the airways and helping improve the respiratory system. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes! This is probably something I’ll do at the first sign of a runny nose / cough next time a virus strikes, but we’re going to test it out and find out all about the treatment – meant to be amazing for asthma.
https://www.himalayansaltfactory.com.au/ (Salt lamps + salt cave)
To limit the chances of picking up a virus, I’m ramping up all of the kids immunity by giving them a regular dose of Bio Ceuticals Arma Force, for Juniors. It tastes like orange juice when mixed with water and you can sweeten with honey and add some warm water for a lovely breakfast drink. Check out the powerful ingredients (link below) but for me – i simply wanted a powder with Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin A in it to strengthen immunity and reduce symptoms of a virus when it surfaces. My little lady with asthma is having this daily over Winter and the twins just at the signs of the onset of a cold/virus.
I’m always looking for ways to increase my kids veggie intake – particularly at this time of year. I’ve been using Nutra Organics products for a number of years, I buy the little kids natural superfood chocolate bars for home and I add in a sprinkle of this superfood kids veggie powder to our Bolognese sauces, mango smoothies, muffins, chicken nugget crumbs, sprinkle on quiches, in sandwiches etc! You sprinkle it just like a seasoning and it packs a powerful punch of organic veggie nutrients!
Find more on this secret mama ingredient head over here for a looksy : Nutra Organics
I consider my kids to be fairly good eaters, they love Kombucha (which I’ve since heard contains a histamine which can trigger asthma, so again – i’m cutting out but will re-introduce to see if it’s trigger for her personally), even sauerkraut and of course love their green smoothies etc daily, so I’ve never been completely sold on having them on supplements, however as I said – i’m trying to get on top of this asthma and limit colds this Winter so i’ve got them all enjoying some ‘healthy lollies’ – which is what these biotics taste like – which are pre and probiotics. So again, in an effort to build up immunity, gut health and reduce symptoms of colds, we’re having a tablet (lollie!) a day! Mrs Flannerys stocks the Bio Ceuticals range (as do most health food stores and a few of the online stores).
Now this was a big one online through my channels!!! 95% of the 150+ messages i got in the first 4 hours after mentioning my daughter’s asthma on my stories was showing overwhelming support for the use of essential oils in the home! So while i’m still experimenting, I will say that yes – i have also noticed a difference to the ‘clean’ feeling in the air and calming, therapeutic benefits of having my diffuser on daily for a few hours at a time. At the moment, i’m just using doTerra’s Easy Air – which is helping with her coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes – and the bonus is, it’s also helping with my hubby’s sinus / intolerance to dust mites and the dry, cold air at this time of year. I had a chat to the lady i purchased the oils off (i’m not going to include a link, because I know there are so many amazing women selling these oils independently and even though I was offered so many free oils, I couldn’t just choose one of you and sometimes find it easier to buy it myself and not be treated as anyone special (!!)Anyway, there is a wealth of info on essential oils online and in particularly on insta. You’ll find a mama willing to have a chat and guide you through the ins and outs of the oils and where/how you can purchase). It is important to learn HOW to use the oils, dosages, when to use etc. I just use a diffuser in my home and the oils are quite a low dosage as the kids are obviously breathing them in, so chat to a professional rep and learn how to use them. I’m super excited to try some new blends!
We took a break from swimming lessons over Summer – because the reality was, my kids were swimming every day in the pool or at the beach! And then well, winter hit…. and like most, we thought we’d take a little break. BUT we’re going to stick it out and my little lady is doing two sessions a week to build up the strength of her lungs. One of the doctors told me that when asthma strikes randomly with young kids, it’s often due to their lungs still being too immature to deal with the virus. So – we’re back in the pool! This is an easy one, because I swear my kids are part fish. They would swim for hours on end!
Now, i’ve just ordered some new cleaning products and will share them with you when they arrive. But chemicals are another big trigger for asthma and while i’m conscious of not using too many – I still have commercial cleaners in my cupboard. But, i’m officially making the switch! My dear cousin (a naturopath) recommended the Ecover laundry & bathroom range + handsoap (hoping they arrive soon!) and for a general surface spray around the home – has encouraged me to soak orange & lemon peels in vinegar for 24 hours, strain and pour the liquid in spray bottles! Combine with a microfiber cloth and bingo – natural, homemade surface cleaner! Now, i haven’t done this yet, it’s on my to-do list for this weekend and I’m pumped to get started! Wanted to share this advice with you also. I’m also going to try some more essential oils here too, so I’ll keep you posted!
So, i know that sounds like a lot in a week and typing this out, certainly feels like it – but for us, they’re small additions to diet and lifestyle and are important ones for my little lady and the family. I’ll do another blog in about a month’s time to give you an update, but in the interim – wanted to share the additions i’m including as i know so many others were interested.
The other services I was informed about that apparently can make a real difference to asthma in kids is acupuncture and kinesiology. So they would also be worth doing some homework on and visiting a local practitioner. Of course, a kids naturopath would also be a great contact to help guide you in making some lifestyle and diet additions as well!
Stay tuned for more….!