Childhood Asthma: Medications vs. Supplements

What is Asthma? According to the CDC, “Asthma is a chronic disease that affets the airways in the lungs.  During an asthma attack, airways become inflamed, making it hard to breathe.  Asthma attackes an be mild, moderate, or serious–and even life threatening.”

FACTS:

  • 1 in 11 children have asthma
  • 1 in 12 adults have asthma
  • The average cost for a child with asthma (2009) is $1,039
  • Roughly 9 people die daily from asthma
  • 1.9 million ER visits occur annually due to asthma-related issues
  • 1 in 5 children with asthma are seen in the ER
  • 3 out of 5 people with asthma limit their physical activity

How was Lenna-Grace diagnosed with asthma?
I have to admit that in the summer of 2011, I was shocked to learn that my 2-year old daughter was being diagnosed with asthma.  No one in my family or my husband’s had this disease.  However, I was also relieved to find out what has been wrong with her for the past 12-15 months.  She was constantly sick with pneumonia, broncitis, ear infections (prior to having tubes put in), and always coughing.  Once the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, it was a challenge to find the right medications to manage her asthma (remember she was only 2.5-years old).  After four months, here was the final prescriptions that we used that controlled her coughing.  This did not keep her from getting sick still, but it did control the horrible, painful sounding cough.  She would hack all night long!

asthmainhalerpic

What Medications were prescribed for Lenna-Grace?
Flonase – nasal steriod (1 spray in each nosil twice a day)
Flovent – Inhaled corticosteroids (2 puffs twice a day)
Zyrtec – allergy medication (1 tsp twice day)
Singulair – Leukotriene modifiers (1 tablet once a day)
Albuterol – Short-acting beta agonists (2 puffs immediately before bed and if needed for attack)

WOW….2.5-year old with all these medications

Did you know the following?

  • Organic pollutants, found in many common cleaners and even air fresheners, are present at levels 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than out.
  • Common cleaners give off fumes that potentially can increase the risk of kids developing asthma, the most common chronic childhood disease.
  • If your home is anything like the average U.S. home, you generate more than 20 pounds of hazardous household waste each year (the EPA designates toilet cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, oven cleaners, and bleach as hazardous waste).

What are the alternatives?
In May 2012, I began exploring “Green” cleaning products.  What I learned was that many allergy-related issues are caused by the horrible toxins I am putting in my home–my cleaners (laundry detergent, Lysol, toilet bowl cleaner, clorox, etc.).  After about three months of using Shaklee’s natural Fresh Laundry and Basic H2 All-Purpose cleaner, I noticed Lenna-Grace’s nose was not so runny.  I took her off her Zyrtec medication at this time.  Nothing got worse, so I tried to remove another medication–her flonase.  A couple weeks passed and she was doing great with no nasal related issues anymore.  After a few weeks of playing with her medications, I was able to take her off her Flonase, Zyrtec, and Singulair.  We continued the Flovent and Albuterol.

Later, I read a testimony of a mother who was able to take her son of asthma medications by using supplements and an immune system builder.  So, I thought….”why not?”

In February, I ordered a child’s multivitamin, vitamin C, and Nutriferon (immune system builder).  And I quit asthma medications, cold turkey!

Did it work?
I am happy to report that for two months now my 4-year old, who was diagnosed with asthma, has been medication free!  We went on vacation one week and I forgot the supplements.  You know what….she was back to coughing and I had to break out the albuterol.  As soon as we got home, we went right back to the supplements.  No more meds!  AND…..my daughter who USE to get sick constantly, has not been in two months!

What Exactly Does She Take?
Children’s Multivitamin (Incredivites)
Chewable Vita C
Nutriferon (1/2 tablet daily)

asthmavit

Didn’t you just trade one drug for another?  She’s STILL taking something for it!
Yes, she still has to manage the asthma by taking supplements.  BUT….it is not the same as the medications.  Let’s take a look at what she was taking.

  1. Flovent is an Inhaled corticosteroids. “Long-term use of these medications has been associated with slightly slowed growth in children”  The most common side effects are cold or upper respiratory tract infection, throat irritation, headache, fever, diarrhea, ear infection.  Those are common and listed on the Flovent website.  Maybe that is why my daughter was always sick–her meds made her sick!
  2. Flonase is a corticosteroid inhaled through the nose.  “Should be used with caution with children….may stunt growth.”  Rarely, it will get in the bloodstream and cause an overdose, but “these side effects are more likely in children.”  Common side effects are runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  3. Singulair  is a Leukotriene modifier.  “In rare cases, these medications have been linked to psychological reactions, such as agitation, aggression, hallucinations, depression and suicidal thinking.”  WOW!!  Actually, we used this only when Lenna-Grace was sick or asthma was really acting up.  She would wake up screaming in the middle of the night and saying someone was there.  She was VIVID.  And it only happened when taking it!

Is there really any need to continue??

Can everyone come off Asthma medications?
I cannot answer that!  I am not a doctor.  However, our doctor did not think I would be able to get Lenna-Grace off medications with the use of supplements!  I did monitor Lenna-Grace and still do.  Her rescue inhaler is always around just in case.  By for now….I am very happy!

In January and February, we spent $876 on doctor visits and medications for Lenna-Grace alone.  She had strep throat twice, the flu, and her asthma medications.  Yes, you read that number right….$876 and I have insurance!  Now, we spend very little on Get Clean Products to keep toxins out of our home.  And the cost of her supplements are here:

Incredivites are $29.70 (member price) for a 2 month’s supply
Chewable Vita C is $23.30 (member price) for 300 tablets
Nutriferon is $39 (member price) for 60 tablets

Daily cost for her dosage: $0.91 (x 30 days) is $31/month.  Plus…we’ve not been to the doctor for illnesses!!  (Her monthly prescription medication, with insurance was $197)

If you would like to know more or want to see the testimonies from parents that influenced us, just email me at ja.robinson29@gmail.com

Be sure to check out the previous post on Children’s Vitamins and Why Shaklee’s are different!

 

 

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