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Rattly chest

(12 Posts)
Clover Mon 11-Feb-02 15:44:51

My son is 2 and has had a rattly-sounding chest on and off for over a year. He was first prescribed antibiotics that did nothing and then he was given an inhaler and I was told it may be childhood asthma. He is now inhaling steroids twice a day - which I'm not that happy about - and his chest still sounds congested some of the time. My son is not at all unwell and seems unaffected by the rattle - he is not short of breath at all and runs around and is very lively. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Should I stop the steroids? Even the doctor mentioned something about steroids stunting growth! Any advice appreciated as doctors very unhelpful.

SueDonim Mon 11-Feb-02 17:29:04

All four of my children were/are asthmatic. Unless your son is having extremely high doses of steroids, a steroid inhaler is highly unlikely to affect his growth. You could contact the National Asthma Campaign for more help or maybe your GP surgery runs an Asthma Clinic where the staff have special training. HTH

robinw Mon 11-Feb-02 18:56:07

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Amanda1 Tue 12-Feb-02 08:15:04

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Clover Wed 13-Feb-02 14:06:50

Thanks for all your comments and reassurances about the steroids. I suppose I'm also concerned about giving them because he doesn't actually have attacks as such or get breathless, which I thought were the prime symptoms of asthma. Does he have a very mild form maybe or is this just the beginning?

HFK Wed 13-Feb-02 14:30:25

I'm in the same situation as Clover, my son has a chesty cough and his breathing is so loud you can hear him breathing for some distance. He just had a chest infection, but because he has been diagnosed as having asthma before, I was advised to give him preventer inhalers twice a day. The trouble is that in between coughs and chestiness, he is ok, so I am reluctant to give a perfectly healthy child steroids to keep the ashtma away, even when they are not sure for definate if he has asthma or not. So everytime he gets this chesty cough, I am on egg shells that he might get an attack, and feel awful that I didn't give him the preventer before (it takes two weeks for it to kick in). I have also been reassured that it wont stunt his growth, in fact one doctor just told me that his growth is more like likely to be stunted by not using them because there isn't enough air getting through the airways - which does make sense.

I know that they are low dose, but so is the cream for exczema, which used short term is ok, but long term can have all sorts of side effects -and once you stop using it the exczema just comes back anyway. (Speaking from experience with the same child.

I am totally confused about the whole thing and feel damned if I do and damned if I don't. So like Clover, I would be grateful for anyone who has maybe gone through all of this already, or if there are any other ways to deal with this - bearing in mind that I use homeopathy already on my children, so any other tried and tested complimentary therapies would be gratefully received.

SueDonim Wed 13-Feb-02 15:07:23

Asthma doesn't always manifest as attacks or with breathlessness. It can just be a persistant cough, such as in my DD's case, where she had a night cough. Steroids should be used even when the child is well because they can help prevent the next cold/sniffle turning into a major asthma attack. Taking steroids when the cold has already developed is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The main action of the steroid is to calm the inflammation in the lungs and tubes of the chest. It's much easier to do that if the lungs are not already inflamed.

You probably think I'm a bit evangelical about this but having had my son admitted to hopsital with a punctured lung and knowing that he has permanent irreversible chest damage from asthma because treatments weren't available when he was younger makes me thankful we hopefuly won't ever go through those traumas with my DD.

I'm not sure you can make a correlation between steroid creams and inhalers. AFAIK, steroids can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin but very little passes through from the lungs into the bloodstream, hence the low likelihood of side effects from inhalers. BTW, my son who was on steroids for a number of years, once their value was realised, is now 6'3" and takes a size 13 shoe!!

Clover Tue 26-Feb-02 14:03:16

HFK and Suedonim, I was interested to read both your messages. HFK - you seem to have exactly the same dilemma as me. We have slipped into giving my son one dose of preventer a day as a compromise but my husband has suggested stopping it when this inhaler runs out. I just don't know what to do!! Suedonim, I was very reassured about your message about the steroids as my son is the smallest at his nursery, so it is a little bit of a worry.

shiv Wed 27-Mar-02 21:16:47

My 2 yo ds also has a rattly chest, but I've taken him to the doctor when it occurs and it always just upper respiratory. the only time i've ever needed to give him antibiotics was when I used steroid cream for his eczema, I currently take him for acupuncture once a fortnight and for his skin moisturising cream ++++ seems to work better than anything else.

trudles Thu 02-May-02 22:16:39

please dont stop giving your son his preventer its really important that he continues. Ive been caught out as I stopped giving my daughter her preventer, she developed a cold, followed by a severe asthma attack( during which i was giving her salbutamol inhaler every ten minutes) I then had to rush her down the doctors surgery where she was given a nebuliser and a weeks course of high dose steroid tablets and an even stronger steroid inhaler. Shes now absolutley fine running around like a toddler should be. I should have known better being in the nursing proffession, but I think I was in a bit of denial. She has her preventer twice a day and touch wood theres no more nightime coughing and wheezing. A colleage once told me that nightime waking up and coughing was more harmful to growth than steriods as growth hormones are released during sleep.

sian85 Sat 11-Jul-09 10:18:43

my son is only 2 and a half months and he keeos getting a really rattly chest. i took him docs when he were 6wk old with it and we got taken to hospital, we stayed in over night and they diagnosed it as brontilintis(excuse my spellin) and sent us home with no medication. it has now come back again and like last time he is off his milk and not sleepin i am startin to worry it could b alot more then they first thought. this time u can telll he is in pain with it as i can hear it in his cry. i dont think it is asthme because it is very different symptoms then when my eldest daughter got diagnosed. im not sleepin very well because i keep listening out for him in case he stops breathin as sometimes his breathing becomes very short does anyone have any advice? also as i said before my eldest daughter got diagnosed with asthma at 2 and she is now nearly for and has grown out of it before. i gave her her inhaler like i was ment to and her growth is fine. so i wouldnt worry to much. the doctors wouldnt give it to them if it would harm them. xx

L3na Wed 19-Aug-09 10:18:35

My grandsons Doc told us that you cannot be diagnosed at such a young age properly with asthma? its called 'noisy breathing'
my grandson has always (from birth) had a rattley chest he was given an inhaler just before his first birthday.
Doc says there are so many different types of asthma and noisy breathers

activity induced
weather induced
illness induced
allergy induced

my grandsons is illness induced, he is teething at the mo and his chest is bad but inhalers (brown and blue) give him a good nights sleep, without he'd be up all night coughing.

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