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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

20 month old - asthma?

(17 Posts)
Cloverhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 09:19:17

My DD was admitted to hospital on Monday with breathing problems. It's the 5th bout since she was born but this was the worst.

She's home now on steroids and 4 hourly inhalers / nebs but she's not getting much better. Her breathing's easier than it was and she's more active but she's still incredibly wheezy, coughing constantly and not sleeping for more than half-an-hour at a time because of the coughing. She hasn't eaten properly since Sunday and is visibly losing weight.

She doesn't have any eczema. Her older siblings don't have asthma or eczema either. I however had terrible asthma as a child and spent a lot of time as in inpatient until I was about 15 years old.

The doctors are saying they won't diagnose asthma yet which I can understand. Her chest X-ray was clear so no infection. Maybe a virus as she did have a high temp while she was in hospital but she doesn't anymore.

My question is, what else can I do for her? I'm loathe to give her the steroids (she's on 25mg a day) because I had such awful side effects from them as a child.

I have an appointment with a friend who's a homeopath this morning - hoping she might be able to do something.

Because I'm asthmatic we already have a home largely free of soft-furnishings, use anti-allergy bedding etc.

Anyone else found something that helps at this age??

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 11:21:06

Your Body's Many Cries for Water: A Revolutionary Natural Way to Prevent Illness and Restore Good Health by Dr F.Batmanghelidj

read this book, there's a chapter on asthma

maybe you can get it from the library, but I bought it and found it very useful

amillionyears Thu 15-Nov-12 11:28:23

20 years ago, my children were not given the official diagnosis of asthma until they were past 2.
Like yours they had about 5 bouts each of what doctors would call it, which was bronchilitis.
Sounds like nothing has changed since then.
Have founf nothing helped except staying as far away from colds within reason, else it often ended up as yet another asthma attack and possible hospital visit.We did used to, for example, not visit relatives if they had a cold or thought they had a cold coming on. This even included Christmas one year.
They always now drink daily a good quality orange juice [Tropicana in their case] as this does help to reduce colds in them.

Sirzy Thu 15-Nov-12 11:41:46

Although giving steroids isn't ideal it's much better than the alternative.

Is she on a preventer inhaler? If not I would push for that.

They aren't keep to diagnose under 5 (although Ds was diagnosed at 12 months) they can still treat the presenting symptoms.

Cloverhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 12:10:48

No, no preventative inhaler. Ridiculously the first paed we saw in the hosp said yes, pretty certain it's asthma. The next one we saw said, probably not asthma!

Will mention it when we go back. I would much rather she be taking inhaled steroids than oral.

Seen the homeopath now and DD's taken the first 'remedy'. Fingers crossed that helps. Will def try the orange juice.

Thank you.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:01:48

please read the book I suggested, all you will need to do is increase water intake - I can't explain it well, but asthma can be a physiological reaction to simply being dehydrated!
so water instead of medicine is definitely worth a try

Sirzy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:08:35

I would be getting an urgent appointment to get proper treatment. Untreated asthma can be very dangerous please focus on getting her stable before considering alternative treatments.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:11:11

Did any doctors mention bronchiolitis or croup? My ds had lots of these during his first winters, which was very scary, though I do remember the doctors saying that they don't diagnose asthma until a child is older.

Keeping hydrated is important. Sitting in a steamy room to clear chest sometimes advised? Sleeping on a hard pillow to keep her head above her chest is worth trying. I used to let my ds sleep upright but inclined in his buggy for part of the night, as he slept better there.

Hope that she feels better soon.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:13:32

Also, keen an eye on her breathing. If she starts 'pulling in' ie gets indentations in her neck or under her ribs when she breaths in, appears to be struggling, or has any sort of blue tinge around her mouth call an ambulance immediately.

My ds was pronounced to be fine by a doctor one morning, then admitted via A & E that evening by the same doctor. Breathing conditions can change fast.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:26:46

I agree with most advice above, but I wouldn't put a child his age in a buggy to sleep, they could get strangled in the straps...
it did happen to someone my MIL knows, kid left in the buggy to sleep in the garden, must have tried to get out when he woke up - very tragic

yellowsubmarine53 I'm sure you did it safely as yours was a baby, just saying, at 20 months I wouldn't recommend it. smile
they are very capable at that age, we had to get rid of high chair when DS5 was 13 months, as he kept on getting out proper Houdini style, no matter what we did.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 15-Nov-12 14:34:19

amazing, babies and toddlers sleep in buggies all the time. I didn't recommend leaving a child in a buggy unattended (I can't imagine for a moment that OP is leaving her child to sleep in a separate room let alone a garden). I had a Maclaren and took the straps out at night, although I sort of thought OP could figure that out for herself, as she was asking for advice about breathing difficulties not buggy safety.

TBH, I consider your advice about 'water instead of medicine being worth a try' to be extremely dangerous and unhelpful in the case of a toddler with acute breathing difficulties and sincerely hope that OP has the sense to take no notice of it.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 15:07:01

yellowsubmarine53 I said I was sure you did it safely and I know kids sleep in buggies all the time, and in car seats and wherever, no need to bite my head off!

Of course, all breathing difficulties need to be looked at and treated and medication used if needed, but I said read the book which explains the connection between ASTHMA and DEHYDRATION!

Medicines can make some asthma conditions worse as they further dehydrate the body, thus extending the need for medication (stronger doses and/or longer periods of time) fact.
some people depend on inhalers for years, but their condition is not improving or gets worse! fact
Simply increasing water intake can help to gradually reduce the use of inhalers/medication as the patients health improve. fact

read the book, so you know what I know

I didn't say a child with ANY breathing difficulties (due to whatever reason) should be treated with water instead of medicine, I'm not an idiot, so please don't put words in my mouth!

I also said I agree with most advice, and I wasn't attacking you.

cloverhoney I hope your child gets better

Sirzy Thu 15-Nov-12 16:06:35

I don't think one book which is probably biased anyway makes you an expert on anything. I would love to see the peer reviewed research which suggests that water is a better treatment for asthma than inhalers, or that they dehydrate you.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 15-Nov-12 16:47:53

You gave this advice so water instead of medicine is definitely worth a try to someone with a child with acute breathing problem.

I think that's pretty unhelpful.

amazingmumof6 Thu 15-Nov-12 20:20:53

ok, stop arguing and riding on the one thing I could have phrased better.

read the book is my advice, no need to be rude.good luck to you all

Cloverhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 22:00:59

Thanks Yellow - it was the pulling in that made me take her to hosp. And yep, I've been getting her to sleep in an inclined buggy - it does help.

Think she's improving. She slept for 3 hours straight this afternoon; first time since the weekend!

Amazing - I will order the book!

yellowsubmarine53 Fri 16-Nov-12 13:09:43

Oh, good. Sounds like she's definitely on the mend.

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