Welcome Guest Blogger, Becky Schmitz of Newbridge Clinic
Another night of coughing, another night in the ER with the oxygen meter wrapped around my little guy’s finger, another day with my son’s new best friend (his inhaler), another waking night for me wondering what else I could be doing to heal my son. This is how our life used to be.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation, asthma is “a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by wheezing, breathing difficulties, coughing, chest tightness, and other possible symptoms.” According to me, “asthma was an ugly debilitating monster” that had overtaken my son’s life.
We started out on the traditional path of healing: managing his symptoms. We did allergy testing and found out he was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and a multitude of environmental allergens, so we did our best our avoid those triggers. We tried many different versions of inhalers, allergy medications and steroids and spent a considerable amount of time with the fish mask nebulizer. His symptoms improved a little with these methods, but we still had those scary out of control asthma attack moments and it was getting old!
So, I did what any Mom who loves her son would do, I didn’t give up! I researched anything and everything that could help him and learned that treating his symptoms wasn’t enough; we needed to address the underlying root cause of his asthma triggers. So we decided to embark on the GAPS diet, a healing nutritional protocol to heal and seal the gut lining and to see how to treat asthma without medication.
According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, “The reason for allergies and food intolerances is a so-called “leaky gut”, when the gut lining is damaged by abnormal microflora, foods do not get the chance to be digested properly before they get absorbed through this damaged wall and cause the immune system to react to them. Once the gut wall is healed, the foods will be digested properly before being absorbed, which will remove many food intolerances and allergies.”
Two weeks into the GAPS diet we were playing outside and my son said, “Mom, we’ve been playing outside for a half hour and I haven’t coughed and I can breathe! I can breathe Mom!!!” That is a moment I will never forget! A month later, he was back at gymnastics and didn’t need to use his inhaler once. Not even once! Since then, his body continues to heal and we continue our “weird” lifestyle because being able to breathe (and sleep at night!) is far more precious than following the societal “norm”.
If your child has asthma, here are some things to consider:
- Find out what is triggering the asthma: Stephanie Belseth CPNP at Newbridge Clinic (www.newbridgeclinic.com) can help you with food allergy and food intolerance testing so you know what triggers to avoid.
- Move towards healing the underlying cause of the triggers: Switch to a whole foods diet. Say NO to packaged/processed foods, foods with additives or colorants; basically anything in a bag, box or can. Eat fresh, organic, unprocessed foods. Remove gluten and dairy from your diet as these can increase inflammation. Implement a healing diet such as GAPS.
- Probiotics: Boost the immune system by building up the good bacteria in the gut with a good quality probiotic. My family uses Bio Kult as recommended in the GAPS book, but other stronger prescription strength probiotics can be very effective. Eat probiotic rich foods such as lacto-fermented pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc.
- Reduce or eliminate toxins in your home: Visit www.ewg.org to find healthy cleaning solutions, soaps, and personal care products.
- Don’t give up!
Rebecca J. Schmitz is a Certified Holistic Health Coach at Newbridge Clinic who helps families implement healing diets and lifestyle changes. To schedule your FREE 25 minute Healing Diet Strategy Session with her call 612-730-2237.
Newbridge Clinic is a Holistic Pediatric Functional Medicine Clinic in Edina that specializes in healing chronic conditions. To learn more about their personalized approach to healing with their Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Certified Holistic Health Coach, or Registered Dietician or to attend their GAPS support group, visit www.newbridgeclinic.com