Tag Archives: children’s health

Coping with skin asthma (Atopic Dermatis)

It’s not easy for my son and my family to cope with his skin asthma.
coping with skin asthma

Nate is in the midst of what could be his worst and longest skin asthma flare-up yet. And it is breaking our hearts to see him itching, oozing, struggling, wanting to do so many things in school, but not being able to do so. Even simply joining P.E. class is hard for him because sweating makes him itch. And sweat on his broken skin  – very very painful. 🙁

Sometimes, I think I’d put a sandwich sign around my son’s neck. It will read:

I have skin asthma.

No, not contagious.

Yes, very itchy. And painful.

Yes, I have meds. Lotions too.

And creams. And ointments.

And salts in my bath.

Nope – chips, candies, chocolate and Coke not allowed.

Yes, a little compassion please.

He’s been getting really bad flareups lately. And things get very frustrating at times. Today, he is absent in school again because the skin on his neck is oozing, and just turning his head is painful.

I really did not need to see the horrified look on that mommy’s face in school when she saw his neck yesterday. Pfffft. Or hear from Nate that some classmates think he looks like a zombie. (That’s rude, kids. But, oh well…)

Continue reading Coping with skin asthma (Atopic Dermatis)

beijing tong ren tang chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine for growth: Beijing Tong Ren Tang

Have you considered traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for growth? We paid a visit to Beijing Tong Ren Tang TCM clinic for my eldest daughter, Patch who seems to have stopped growing three years ago when she was 12.

She loves to play volleyball, and would want to become really good at it. That’s one of the main reasons why she wants to be taller.

I am not sure if Chinoy parents still commonly practice giving tien chit to their kids at puberty. Tien chit is an herbal medicine that is supposed to help kids attain their optimal height. Well, Hub and I have been letting Patch take tien chit for 2 years now. Unfortunately, we did not see any improvement in her height. As it turns out, we may have been buying a sub-standard ready-made version of the herbal medicine. Worst-case scenario: tien chit doesn’t work.

But we’re not about to give up just yet. Besides, tien chit worked for several of our friends’ kids, and hub’s friends themselves when they were younger. One of Patch’s classmates is taking tien chit, along with acupuncture therapy, and this boy who used to be little is not so little anymore. He grew at least 5 inches taller in a span of just over a year!

Growth factors

I’m aware that there are a lot of other factors that contribute to growth, genetics being the major player. On this account, we may have a good case since Hub and I are of average height.

Nutrition and sleep are also major contributors to growth. I’m pretty sure Patch doesn’t lack good nutrition. But sleep – oh yes she lacks. Scientific studies have proven that growth occurs during deep sleep. So I have a lot of convincing to do for her to get more sleep -about 8.75 hours for her age.

Sleep requirements for children (slide for Johnson’s Baby)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

The short of the story is that I brought Patch to Tong Ren Tang where the classmate who grew by at least 5 inches goes for treatment. Yep, we’re exhausting all means. Continue reading Traditional Chinese medicine for growth: Beijing Tong Ren Tang

Oregano leaves for cough | Natural Remedies

Oregano leaves for cough – I’ve seen my mama use it before, but i’ve never really tried it until now.

Manila weather is now transitioning from (relatively) cool to summery warm. And sometimes we’d get both in one day – cool mornings/evenings and uber-hot afternoons! Lately, we’d also get a bit of drizzling. It’s crazy weather we have!

The result: kiddie noses go haywire! And the sniffles so quickly turn into coughing. (Because of post-nasal drip, the doc says – mucus in the nose falls down the back of the nasal cavity and into the throat when one lies down during sleep so, voila, instant cough in the morning!)

I believe in modern medicine. But I also believe that taking too much synthetic drugs isn’t good for the kidneys and liver. So, I try to avoid giving meds to my kids as much as I can.

When the the lagundi cough preparation came out, I gave it a try and found that it works. (Nate gets skin rashes though, so I stopped giving him lagundi.)

There are a lot of natural remedies that we can turn to for simple colds and sore throat. Boiling ginger to make an ale is a common one.

I didn’t know I had a pot of oregano plant in the small garden. Apparently, ate Josie got a stem from a neighbor and  stuck it on some potted soil. The stem is now a full plant that’s healthily growing.

I remember reading somewhere about the use of oregano leaves for cough, so I gathered some leaves and boiled them to make oregano tea (for myself, I was unsuccessful into getting the kids drink it). It wasn’t so bad; I loved the minty taste. I would have added some honey if I had some.

oregano leaves for cough

Oregano leaf extracts/juices are said to be good for asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough and rheumatism. Oregano tea (a decoction  of oregano leaves) is taken to relieve sore throat and to prevent degeneration of the  joints (“rayuma” or osteoarthritis).

I haven’t attempted juicing oregano leaves yet. But I just might try it one day soon.

Natural remedies are safer options for simple aches and pains that parents can consider. Besides, being on-call nurses (will I dare say quack docs? haha) to our own kids is probably one of the more challenging health care jobs one can have.

What natural remedies do you have in your home “infirmary”?

Milk for healthier, taller kids

One morning a few months ago, I woke up to find this –

It was an easy mystery to solve because the suspect left his footprints all over the crime scene!

It was the first time that Nate did this – sneaking to mix his own milk by himself. Hilarious!

Nate is now over 4 years old, but I am glad that he still takes his milk. Though he eats regular food (except allergenic ones) that the rest of the family does, I don’t think Nate is ready to give up milk just yet. I’m not in a hurry, though I’d love it even more if he’d give up the bottle and start drinking from the glass.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t really a milk-drinker. Husband also regrets not drinking  milk regularly as a child, and blames that for his not-so-tall stature.

Having realized our mistakes, and for fear that our kids won’t grow very tall (uhh, genes from hub’s side of the family… ssshhhh), we strongly encourage our children to drink two glasses of milk every day.

Patch, who is now 13, doesn’t need much convincing. She is sooooo into volleyball, actually dreams of playing in college, so she wants to grow taller some more. At 13, she is 5 feet tall – not so bad, I think. But she hopes (and well, we – hub and I – hope) she will grow a few inches more. She never misses her two glasses of milk, no matter how late at night it already is.

V, on the other hand, loves milk – she drinks it, eats it even. At least twice a day, sometimes up to three times! Continue reading Milk for healthier, taller kids

Atopic dermatitis update: flare alert!

Nate has skin asthma (atopic dermatitis) – he’s had the condition since he was a baby. But his allergy episodes seem to have gotten worse at the start of this year, and then after typhoon Ondoy struck.

It must be the air. You know, how there are more allergens (molds, mildew) in the air when it’s rainy, damp or cold.

We have taken out eggs, fish, chicken, chocolates, cheese, nuts and processed food such as hotdogs and chips from his diet. Recently, I have been minimizing his intake of cookies and crackers that may have wheat (a possible allergen) and preservatives. (WOW! It’s a wonder that he is big and heavy despite all the restrictions!)

Nate is also on maintenance meds – montelukast 4mg tab, and desloratadine 5ml every single day!

But he still gets these rashes. He has had severe episodes several times since the rainy season began in early June. Unfortunately for Nate, this year’s rainy season has extended well into the current month. 🙁

Severe as in weeping lesions on the scalp and dry, itchy skin all over the body. It really is so frustrating when I see him scratching all over, and I can only offer an extra pair of hands to help him.

Anyway, we’ve been seeing a new allergologist. She seems to be managing Nate well. We went on our second visit today. Last week, on our first visit, Nate had an active allergy episode, so she prescribed meds and gave specific skin care instructions.

I am happy that the episode is resolving. Today, the doctor noted remarkable improvement of his skin – smoother and more hydrated than last week.

And here is better news: we got the green light to re-introduce freshwater fish, egg yolks and white chicken meat! *wooohooo*

Of course I will be doing this gradually – one type of food at a time; observe for 3 days; if no flare-up, proceed to next food item.

I am so glad things are looking better, and I found a doctor who is working with me and Nate to manage his atopic dermatitis.

Let’s see in a couple of weeks when we go back for another follow-up with the doc. I hope by then, I would have successfully re-introduced fish, chicken and egg yolks to Nate. Wish us luck! 🙂