What You Need To Know About Asthma:
There are many natural and holistic methods to relieve the symptoms of asthma. For every conventional approach to treatment, there is a natural method that won’t promote a child’s dependence on medications. Parents should seek consultation with practitioners that practice integrative medicine—use of both conventional and holistic treatments.
First, “what not to do”. Asthma is often triggered by an allergen, stress, cold dry air or upper respiratory infections. So the best way to prevent attacks is to avoid exposure to allergens, especially food-based allergens. Some of the most common are dairy, nuts, wheat, seafood and artificial food coloring/additives. Take notice if your child seems to have attacks after eating certain foods. Children can have mild reactions to foods called “food sensitivities” and these sensitivities can easily go unnoticed. Also, read food labels and try to avoid buying any products with dyes, preservatives, or chemical additives. The rule of thumb is if it sounds like it was made in a lab—avoid it.
Prevention or reduction of attacks can be as simple as increasing your child’s nutrient intake. Vitamins won’t be helpful to your child in the midst of an asthma attack so you should always seek emergency medical intervention during an acute episode. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can help to regulate inflammation as a preventative measure. Good sources of EFAs include fish (especially salmon), and leafy green vegetables. Try to serve fish in forms that promote fun for kids so they are more likely to eat it, like fish sticks made with fresh wild caught fish or fish tacos. If your child won’t eat fish or spinach then we suggest trying a supplement like Carlson’s DHA for Kids or Barlean’s Omega-3 Smoothies. Of all the nutrients, it is most critical for your child to have EFAs to reduce future attacks.
In general, children should take a multi-vitamin & mineral supplement if they are picky eaters or refuse to eat vegetables. Sadly, we can no longer rely on our foods to supply us with all the nutrients we need. Today’s produce is grown in soil that is depleted and stripped of minerals and tainted with pesticides. Plus produce loses many of its nutrients in the shipping process that can take several days. Since kids are constantly growing, they require high levels of nutrients to sustain all the body’s activity. A multi-vitamin can give them the added boost they need. Be sure to find one that contains magnesium, vitamin B5 and vitamin B12; all of which are necessary for preventing asthma attacks.
Teach your child deep breathing, especially if your child plays sports. Most children and most adults for that matter, take shallow breaths all day long. Getting into the habit of taking deep breaths is invaluable for those who suffer from asthma. It strengthens the respiratory system and replenishes the stores of oxygen in the body. It can also help to teach your child how to reduce stress and calm the body. Practice deep breathing with your child. If you’re not sure of the proper technique for slow deep breathing, I suggest watching YouTube videos on yoga.