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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.

Treating asthma naturally

(41 Posts)
MistyB Fri 13-Sep-13 23:54:34

Does anyone have any tips, positive stories to share?

Well, there's the usual dust-banishing steps; hard floors, decluttering, bedclothes-nuking. That can help a lot. Otherwise, pretty much Ventolin here.

Oh, and never, EVER feather pillows.

Theas18 Sat 14-Sep-13 00:05:08

honestly? proper diagnosed asthma not viral wheezing?

I could I guess find better words but don't muck about with placebos for and illness that can and does kill children, yes even in the UK today.

take the inhalers!

viral wheeze... use what you like because actually orthodox medicine isn't sure what, if anything works when you look at evidence, and it will get better.

either way no smoking at all its a pretty" natural" thing to help.

weblette Sat 14-Sep-13 00:09:28

Everything Theas said. I'm actually posting this from a bed in a children's ward next to ds3 who's been admitted for breathing difficulties relating to asthma so I'm a very firm believer in 'just take the meds'.

If I'd followed the 'advice' of a homeopath I consulted about my older asthmatic child he'd probably have died.

EsTutMirLeid Sat 14-Sep-13 00:11:48

Can you clarify please OP? You cannot 'treat' asthma naturally. It's a killer - take the medication. Without ventolin and seretide I daren't imagine how many times I could have died.

There are natural ways to prevent attacks if you have known triggers. The thing that changed my life was ripping up every single carpet in our home... Wood floors all the way. Damp dusting is excellent. Not having pets. Get DH to do the jobs that may trigger attacks e.g. Emptying the Hoover.

EsTutMirLeid Sat 14-Sep-13 00:13:47

And definitely as a previous poster said... No feather pillows or duvets.

Wash curtains regularly.
Avoid harsh chemicals with strong smell.
In my case avoid outdoor exercise when the weather is very cold.

I'm sure there's loads more but I've forgotten because they are natural to me.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 14-Sep-13 00:15:00

I use the medication given for DD's asthma.I agree with what others said - asthma in children needs to be taken seriously and well controlled through medication.

For my asthma there is the buteyko technique (I think that's what it's called) which I looked into briefly when I was having problems a couple of years ago.
I found that the breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth was one exercise that really helped me.

I have identified my triggers and avoid them.

DancingLady Sat 14-Sep-13 00:17:45


Hearst died during an attack when I was 8, and this was with treatment beforehand.

There are things you can do to prevent an attack or decrease the likelihood of one (as pp have mentioned) but, like diabetes, you can't "treat" it naturally.

DancingLady Sat 14-Sep-13 00:18:13

Hearst?! Nearly!!

stayathomegardener Sat 14-Sep-13 00:26:43

Come on there is a fair bit you can do all the tips above plus dehumidifier,washing everything especially bedding above 60 degrees,freezing soft toys,steam floors/furnishings. Butako (spelling?) method if breathing is wrong.
Avoiding triggers is the key for me and you could say using the above natural methods have prevented me having an attack for the last 6-7 years.

I think it's great you are looking at natural methods.

But yes the proviso is always Meds as and when.

sallysparrow157 Sat 14-Sep-13 01:19:03

I have looked after children who have died of asthma and children who have been so severely brain injured during an asthma attack they can no longer talk or walk.

There are loads of non medical things you can do including getting rid of carpets and curtains, hoovering and dusting religiously, not having pets, avoiding smokey environments, encouraging regular exercise to improve lung capacity, recognising triggers and avoiding them. But asthma kills. I'm a paediatric intensive care doctor, I ventilate children. Asthmatics are amongst the hardest kids to manage once they get to the level of needing intensive care, when I worked for a service that transported critically ill kids to intensive care units asthma was one of only 2 conditions that the most senior doctor on had to go to.

It is fantastic that people look at the natural and environmental things that can be done to minimise asthma symptoms. But it cannot be entirely treated naturally and the drugs really bloody work!

goforthejobular Sat 14-Sep-13 04:10:05

No feather pillows or duvets? What do you use instead?

What everyone else said OP - take the meds. Asthma kills people every day. Do not take chances.

brettgirl2 Sat 14-Sep-13 06:50:18

Hardly any pillows/ duvets are feather these days confused

Just with ref to dh not a child but more years experience as a result.
- Use meds particularly preventer to keep it as well controlled as possible. Make sure you have flu jab to avoid issues.
- Move to a modern new build house
- Lots and lots of exercise (he runs half marathons).

Cheryzan Sat 14-Sep-13 06:54:59

Research the buteyko method. That's how I treated my asthma, which I now no longer have.

It's breathing exercises. And it does not encourage you to get rid of your inhalers.

However over time you will find you won't need your inhalers anymore.

MistyB Sat 14-Sep-13 07:42:23

Thank you for all your answers. I am not suggesting I would ignore medical advice but wondering if there are ways to reduce the impact of triggers.

Does sensitivity to dust / animals / feathers etc ever decrease? There is a thread on the allergies section that seems to indicate that people who have animals become desensitized but this goes against my instincts.

Trazzletoes Sat 14-Sep-13 07:46:40

I think (and I could be wrong) that a reasonable proportion of children "grow out" of having asthma.

EsTutMirLeid Sat 14-Sep-13 07:51:47

Not IME the triggers I have have not diminished since I was 7, I'm now 36. I cannot even go into a house that has a cat (even if the cat isn't there). Within minutes the symptoms will start. My parents had a dog which they got when I went to uni, they assumed because I wasn't there for long anymore it would be okay, it wasn't and I spent every holiday suffering.

lljkk Sat 14-Sep-13 07:59:53

yes always ways to reduce impact of triggers, but it's risk reduction not guaranteed prevention. I'm sure sensitivities can vary, but that means they can decline or get worse. You can only try.

EsTutMirLeid Sat 14-Sep-13 08:03:24

With my experience of asthma...
What I would do if my child developed asthma would be... Say goodbye to all pets (sad but I would), rip up all carpets and replace with laminate or wood. Wash all soft furnishings regularly. Get rid of all but the most loved teddy bear. Damp dust frequently. Get allergy tested (if possible). Take a preventer as recommended and have a few ventolins in supply.

Nospringflower Sat 14-Sep-13 08:17:09

Just wondering about viral wheeze and Thea saying it is different. My son has been in hospital twice for viral wheeze and needed steroids and nebuliser plus inhalers and oxygen while he was in so not sure that it is good advice to say it resolves on its own. Maybe a mild viral wheeze does but it can still be serious. I think the advice is to take any breathing difficulties seriously.

Sirzy Sat 14-Sep-13 08:27:42

I am glad you have clarified that your not wanting to replace the inahlers.

Nospring DS was the same with viral wheeze, for some children it can cause more problems and whatever the cause of the wheezing it can be scary. I don't think Thea meant the type that gets that serious though. If your DS keeps on having trouble do talk to the GP about a preventer inhaler to stop it getting so bad.

ivykaty44 Sat 14-Sep-13 08:33:10

my daughter is triggered by cats hair, but it isn't really the cats hair it is the saliva that is on the cats hair that effects her.
We found that if she was in a house where there were cats she would have an attack but if the house had wooden flooring then she didn't have an attack even if cats are in the room.

The carpets in houses harbour everything that helps cause an attack so either having a very good allergy hoover or wooden floors is helpful

MistyB Sat 14-Sep-13 08:40:02

DS is triggered by people who have dogs, or have been around dogs, even if the dog is not there.

Faverolles Sat 14-Sep-13 08:45:37

I've found acupuncture to be really helpful.
Two times in my life my asthma has been out of control, meaning several trips to hospital, steroids etc. the only thing that has got it back under control is acupuncture. The same goes for ds.
Of course we still take our inhalers, that goes without saying, but we are both taking less since having acupuncture.

Sirzy Sat 14-Sep-13 08:45:40

Have you tried asking about a daily antihistamine? might help stop him reacting or decrease the impact of that reaction. DS take citrizine daily which has certainly helped him

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