Monday, October 13, 2008

Asthma and Eczema

So finally after years of dealing with ugly, dry hands and thinking it was just a chemical sensitivity, it comes that my eczema is back. Sometimes it pays to go to a specialist. I should have guessed myself, I had eczema as a child and I have asthma - duh!
So today we will discuss what? Can you guess?


Lets start with the basics: Eczema is a skin condition with many causes. Eczema results from an increased skin sensitivity, often described as the skin sneezing. Eczema patients are more prone to skin infections. They are also more likely to have seasonal allergies, asthma or penicillin allergy.
For more information visit

While I was given a prescription to relieve the current condition, I don't care to, and can't continue use over long periods of time. So what can I do naturally?
Control humidity - keep humidity at 40% of above
Stay away from pets with fur or feathers
Reduce exposure dust
Food irritants - tomatoes, citrus fruits, raw potatoes - beware of food allergies
Avoid wool, Dacron, and nylon - cotton is best
Avoid overheating
Avoid air-borne irritants - smoke, dander, perfumes, sprays, paints, varnishes
Reduce stress
Use mild soaps throughout your home

These tips should help keep the eczema from returning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Asthma and staying fit

It sometimes seems like Asthma and exercise can't go together, but your wrong. The best thing you can do for your Asthma is to stay physically fit. Routine exercise is of great benefit to your heart and your lungs, which in turn improves Asthma and reduces breathing problems. Switching from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one can be extremely beneficial over time. Exercise alone, without change in diet, can greatly reduce the effects of Asthma even in small amounts.

But we all know how difficult it can be to stay fit and keep in shape. Here are some pointers for you to stay motivated.

Doing what ever you can to increase your motivation to exercise is the first step to overcoming the lack of motivation. Listening to music while running, simply finding out the exercises that you truly enjoy, setting particular times when exercise is the main focus of the day, all help you to stay motivated tand stay in motion. Developing a habit or pattern for exercising is the best way to stay motivated; your body will become accustomed to working out heavy at a certain time each and every time. Your mind posses the ability to create positive ideas that leads to positive actions allowing you to live a strong and healthy life. Positive self talk can do wonders for motivation as well as just viewing the results of previous attempts (i.e. thinner waistline, six pack, etc). Self encouragement is the ultimate motivation. You’ll have no one to thank but yourself.

Fitness motivation is the most essential part of a healthy body, so creating a fitness motivation plan maybe the answer for you. For men, setting goals and providing adequate challenges work best. Changing scenery from indoors to outdoors may be the answer. If you just don’t feel like exercising or feel like giving up on an established routine, constantly reminding yourself that the pay off is great will help. Remaining realistic about your goals will also aid in the fight to stay motivated to exercise. Setting a goal that is too difficult to obtain is depleting and counterproductive. Achieving a challenging appropriate goal boosts pride, satisfaction and will create more motivation. Make the exercise routine fun by adding variety.

If you are not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to fitness issues, you should consider hiring a professional trainer to help you out with your routine. This can take a lot of the mystery out of getting fit, as your trainer will custom tailor exercises and routines for your bodily needs, so as to maximize the results that you see. This is a slightly costly thing to do, so you should be sure about your commitment to exercising before you spend money to hire a personal trainer. You can also use the amazing technology of the internet to tap the brains of professionals. There are many different blogs that are updated daily with exercise routines that anyone can do.

So setting attainable goals, adding things to increase enjoyment of the exercise routine, challenges, and the addition of a buddy to assist are all great ways to stay motivated, stay fit, and most importantly stay moving. You will benefit in the short term, and in the long run as well with physical and mental benefits in almost every way.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fear Doesn't Help - Teach your child these breathing techniques

Having had asthma my entire life, I tend to take for granted the things my parents did for me as a child to assist me with asthma. They never let it get in the way of "our life". I still participated in sports, we still went camping, and had/have pets.

The one thing that stuck out in mind were the classes that I took at a local YMCA that taught me to take control of my asthma and not let it control me. I am not afraid, nor do I get stressed out when I have trouble breathing. To people with Asthma you should understand what I mean.

The main way to deal with an asthma attack and not let it take control over you is the breathing exercises that I was taught. (Asthmatics who undertook regular breathing exercises reduced their preventer medication levels by up to half and reliever use by up to 86%.) These breathing exercises were drilled into my head over and over again from the classes, from my doctors, from my family.

The aims of breathing exercises are:

* to get back the natural and automatic diaphragmatic breathing, and not the thoracic type of breathing
* to concentrate on exhalation especially at the commencement of an attack.
* increasing the flexibility of the chest wall and to relax the accompanying muscles of the respiratory system and
* to correct other problems commonly associated with chronic asthma.

There are now many different forms and versions of breathing exercises for asthma.

Basic breathing exercise for Asthma:
1. Breath in for 10 seconds
2. Hold breath for 10 seconds
3. Breath out for 10 seconds

There are many variations of breathing exercies out there in the world today.

Hum breathing exercises for asthma:
1. Hum as you exhale slowly, trying to prolong the breath without straining.
2. Then repeat, but this time make a buzzing sound. Notice when the sound changes and when you become breathless.
3. Stop breathing for a moment then breathe in gently. If you need to gasp for breath you are trying too hard.
4. Breathe in, purse your lips then breathe out in a series of little puffs. Work against the pressure of your lips and cheeks, contracting the abdomen not the chest as you blow.
Blow out an imaginary candle. Again your abdomen not your chest should contract as you blow. Your attempts to blow out the candle should be fairly quiet. You should be breathing in naturally at the end of the blow.
5. Repeat as many times as is comfortable but stop if you begin to feel breathless.

Baby Breaths
1. Sit on the edge of a chair. Feet flat on the floor. Back straight. Rest your hands on your thighs.
2. Take some "cleansing breaths" first. Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Gently. Follow the breath all the way down to your belly. Slightly part your lips and allow the breath to exhale. Gently. Do this 3 times.
3.Adjust your posture. It is important that you are sitting up straight so that your lungs are fully open. Continue breathing as in the "cleansing breaths". But, this time, stay conscious of the breath. Follow it to the belly, watching it rise, then draw it up and out through your nose. Keep your mouth closed.
4.Do at least 10 of these. Less if you get dizzy. Stop if it is making you sick or causing any asthmatic symptoms. Work your way up to 10 during the following days.

Lung Lights
1.Start with the same posture as before.
2.Again, begin with cleansing breaths.
3.This time, close your eyes, draw the breath in through your nose. Follow it into your lungs and down to your belly.

There is no evidence to favor one breathing technique over the other. Instead any form of breathing exercises were associated with a dramatic reduction in reliever use. Using any form of breathing exercises for asthma was effective in markedly reducing the use of reliever medication.

For more on Asthma without Drugs check out

Diagnosis: Asthma

Well many of you may have read about my really bad Thursday a few weeks back. If not you can read about it here.
What a morning

So last Tuesday we had our follow-up visit with our family doctor. I was a little nervous about the appointment. I knew something needed to be done for my son, but most doctors nowadays don't want to "label" children at this age (21/2). I also had my checkup scheduled at the same time, so over all it wasn't going to be a good visit.

Well for all my worrying and trouble, the appointment for my son went better than planned. My doctor agreed with my personal diagnosis and agreed to putting my son on medication. We are trying out singulair - which is what I am on. The doctor said just like heredity of diseases, heredity can hold true for treatment also. Plus I really didn't like the idea of using a steroid for daily use, although growing up that was all that was used on me.

Along with that she gave me a nasal spray for those times we know we are going to be spending more time outside.

So there we have it. I have been doing some research online, asthma treatments have change alot since I was a kid. I do miss the days of just getting a shot of adrenaline (haha). We will see what I come up with.

I am looking into a no drug theory current, it would be great for myself and my son if we didn't have to take drugs - oh and save some money too. We will see.

So it starts

Somehow I knew today would not be a good day, I just didn't expect this. Since my younger son was born, I have been convinced that he is going to be the one that gets my Asthma. I have had it my whole life and thanks to my parents have always been able to handle it and whatever it may bring. There have been a few signs here and there, running noses on a regular basis, very sensitive skin - which now has developed into a mild case of eczema. But since the spring has started this year he has really been showing some signs, that no one else wanted to see or as the doctors state they don't want to label him. He gets a stuffy nose that eventually turns into wheezing. The first time it happened I had taken him to the doctor for the cold that turned into a bad cough, after getting home and starting the meds he started wheezing. I called the office and they told me to wait it out. The second time it happened I waited it out but ended up spending half my night in the bathroom running a hot shower (the steam clears your lungs) just so he could get some sleep. So this week when he started the runny nose - I knew what was coming.
Jump to today now
This morning my son wakes up at 6 am wheezing and very labored breathing. This time I'm not letting just going to sit there and watch my child be unable to breath. The immediate care center by us opens at 8, so we hang out till then. I pack up the boys and off we go. I was in such a rush to leave that we didn't have breakfast and all I grabbed for the boys were their milks. I really didn't expect to be gone long. They checked him out and while we were there gave him two breathing treatments and an x-ray. The wonderful doctor make the treatment fun, he called it making dragon breath, so we had a little fun with that. Anyone who has used a nebulizer knows the fun they are not. After the second breathing treatment and he is still wheezing we are sent to ER. Luckily Dad shows up with some rations for us. There they end up having to take a new x-ray and he was given a third treatment. When were finally able to go home, he is not 100%, but he is feeling better and in much better spirits. Then off we go to drop off prescriptions to keep this under control until we can get back to our family doctor. So finally 5 1/2 hours later we are home, and boy am I behind.
I will have to say every person that we dealt with today was great with me and my son. It is so nice to atleast have people who take into consideration that they are dealing with a 2 yr old. Not to mention I had my 3 yr old.