Singulair Asthma Episode, Food Allergy, Allergy Testing, Artificial Colors, Food Colorings
I first posted about three weeks ago re: my 3 1/2 year old son who was taken off Singulair around the first of September. All the bizarre symptoms (mood swings, itching, tummy aches, etc.) he was experiencing are gone and he is still doing great in that ... more »
I first posted about three weeks ago re: my 3 1/2 year old son who was taken off Singulair around the first of September. All the bizarre symptoms (mood swings, itching, tummy aches, etc.) he was experiencing are gone and he is still doing great in that regard. However, he caught a cold after starting back to preschool (which always turns into an asthma episode for him) and, as expected, we ended up having to use an oral steroid to pull him through. So ... we were happily off Singulair but still needed a method to deal with what would inevitably be more problems from his asthma. I had heard that some asthmatics have success when changing their diet and so decided that we really had nothing to lose and started to research this issue. While we knew that my son was not allergic to the foods that are typically known as allergens (due to past allergy testing), I learned that a food intolerance is totally different from a food allergy, and does not show up with testing. Most all of the food you buy at the store these days is loaded with preservatives, chemicals and artificial colors. I learned that sulfites can be particularly dangerous for asthmatics and that many also react to food colorings. While these things do not cause an immediate reaction in my son, the theory is that when these foods are consumed regularly, they weaken his immune system and thus make him more suscepticle to have an asthma episode when he does get a cold. There is a book called Fed Up with Asthma that explores this theory that was written by Sue Dengate out of Australia. While we have not gone on what she calls a "failsafe" elimination diet (it seems a little extreme for us), we did decide to experiment with buying all organic foods to see what happens and started on that quest about 2-3 weeks ago. Foods that are certified organic are supposed to be free of pesticides, preservatives, colors, etc. Last week, my son got another cold and this is the first time in 3 years that we have not had to use an oral steroid to get him over it. It was just like he was any other kid with a little cold. Another thing that I read about was that many asthmatics have a reaction to milk (which the medical community flatly denies) and the one lingering symptom we had after stopping the Singulair was a persistent cough that was not associated with illness, was not accompanied by a wheeze, and had no obvious origin. We switched my son to soy milk about 2 weeks ago, and the cough is gone. I also have a 17-month-old who is asthma-free (at least so far) but does have eczema, which I have learned is also thought to be affected by the consumption of cow's milk. When we switched from cow's milk to soy milk, his eczema completely cleared up, too. 6 months ago I would have laughed at someone who said that what I thought was healthy food I bought at the grocery store contributed to my son's asthma, but we have just had too many coincidences to ignore what we are seeing. I just figured I had nothing to lose by trying the organic route, and I'm glad I did it. Good luck.