During my daughter’s first six years, she used to get mild wheezing and chest infections 2-3 times a year. She used to get frequent colds too. The pediatrician we used to see was keen to label her as asthmatic, but I refused to do so. I have seen asthmatic people with heavy wheezing, and my intuition told me that my daughter does not have it.
“But she was wheezing so heavily that we all could hear her last time when she came here (imitating heavy breathing sound)” Told her doctor.
“Ummm. That’s not my daughter. Every time she gets it I never hear it, only if I place my ears close to her chest and listen” I responded.
“But if anyone gets wheezing three times a year we consider them as asthmatic” The doctor said realizing that she mistook her for someone else.”
She then handed an alphabet book that started with A for Asthma to my daughter. I returned it saying “No thank you.”
Now this recent study out of Canada will shock you:
“One in three people with recent physician-diagnosed asthma did not have active asthma when evaluated using spirometry and serial bronchial challenge, and more than 90% were able to stop treatment without harm.”
This study, “Re-evaluation of Diagnosis in Adults With Physician-Diagnosed Asthma,” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Around 25 million people in the United States have Asthma, and these study results mean that MILLIONS need to go for second opinion now. My daughter was indeed misdiagnosed! I am glad I said no to daily steroid medications for her.
Now, I am not asking you to do what I did for my daughter who was probably having asthma-like symptoms but not real asthma. You know your child or your body better. Asthma can be deadly, so patients should never go off their medication without speaking to a doctor first. If you suspect the symptoms are mild and not frequent, you should be asking more questions to your doctor. Also if you express your concerns about strong or daily medications, many doctors work with you and suggest alternatives. Because even if you do have asthma, not all asthma requires daily steroids or the same amount or type of medication. Some doctors also have tendencies to continue medications even after healing so when you express concerns they always work with you. If not, change your doctor. Another option is to work with integrative medicine doctors who look at root causes and overall wellbeing. A good doctor always tells patients to wait until the acute condition gets better, and then test for asthma.
“We need to educate physicians and the public to get the diagnosis right in the first place,” said Dr. Shawn Aaron, Lead author of the study and senior scientist and respirologist at Ottawa Hospital in Canada. “Patients who have difficulty breathing should ask their doctor to order a breathing test (spirometry) to determine if they might have asthma or even Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Similarly, if patients think they may have been misdiagnosed with asthma or that they no longer have asthma, they should ask their doctor for a spirometry test. ”
I also want to stress the importance of eliminating processed foods and eating clean for giving the body the chance to heal. Many doctors may not agree, and it was hard for us too but eliminating or reducing dairy products helped us a lot. Dairy is very mucous forming and especially not a good idea during the times of respiratory infections. Reducing sugar to build up immunity is also a key factor to recover or prevent respiratory infections. I did use inhalers on her during that time but I was able to reduce the puffs and dosage and was successful in eventually discontinuing them in a short period of time. Vitamin Cs, Echinacea and other natural remedies helped too but keep in mind that if you don’t eat healthy or don’t take care of root causes, these remedies do not work well.