Asthma from Colds
Robert was four years old when I first saw him in November of 2008. The chief complaint was asthma-type attacks of coughing and a tight chest whenever he got a cold.
The family had recently visited relatives in Newfoundland, staying in a damp basement. Robert got very sick and coughed terribly for ten days to the point of gagging. He can barely sleep with those coughs due to the gagging. The cough is worse lying down and worse with fresh, cold air.
It can get so bad that he loses his breath. He may have reactions to mold and mildew as he is also worse at the daycare which has a musky smell.
His doctor has prescirbed inhalers but they increase his heart beat, making him feel sick. Eukalyptus rubs for his chest work better.
Love of Sausages
Robert didn't sleep through the night until he was almost four. Sometimes he perspires a lot at night, all over. He talks in his sleep every night and often laughs, too. He sleeps on his back with his arms behind his head and still needs a diaper at night, although he was potty trained at age two during the day.
I ask him about dreams: "I dreamt of a golden cow that ate all the food in the world, it was so hungry. There was nothing to eat in the barn, but out in the world there was everything. It had black and white stripes on its leg."
Food: He loves sausages very much (3), if they travel to Europe that is all he wants to eat. He also likes bacon (2), ketchup (2), sushi, chocolate ice cream, gnocchi and pasta.
His stools are regular but really soft and often explosive, since forever.
He perspires on his head.
The pregnancy was normal, labour was induced.
Robert is described as easy going. He's only had 20 tantrums in his whole life. He can be sensitive is a jokester. He has a fear of ghosts.
He had very bad diaper rashes as a baby, just raw. His cousin was the same way.
His father has a history of bad bronchial problems and also gets asthmatic coughs with colds. His paternal grandmother has had multiple sclerosis from a young age.
Diagnosis and Plan
Diagnosis: A child with recurring colds causing asthmatic coughs.
Plan: My goal was to help prevent colds so he would not develop the asthma attacks, as well as teach the mother what to give him as soon as he would get a cold to prevent it from triggering an attack.
I recommended Thymuline, a homeopahtic preparation of thymus gland, which helps to improve immune system function, an herbal immune support formula and oscillococcinum in case he developed any cold symptoms.
Once he would get a cough I instructed the mother to continue the immune support and add Breathe Easy tea with honey and onion poultices on his feet.
Due to his chronically loose and explosive stools I also recommended a good probiotic.
As a constitutional remedy I gave one dose of Medorrhinum 200CH, to repeat in two weeks. I really didn't have a lot of indications for this remedy other than the asthma and the history of diaper rashes as well as his sleep position with his arms under his head.
I thought of Tuberculinum because of the family history of bronchial problems and Robert's strong desire for sausages, which can be a key note for Tuberculinum.
Follow-up December 2008
His whole school was wiped with the flu but Robert didn't get it. His mother is very happy! His bowel function is much improved since the probiotic, his stools are formed for the first time. He has not been sweating at night.
Follow-up January 2009
Robert just turned five. His mother tells me that his temper is coming up, he is now talking back to her, telling her "I'm gonna do it anyway!" He got in trouble at school for behaviour for the first time yesterday. He is also more resistant to going to bed now.
Bowel function has been great, appetite, too. No colds, breathing is fine. He's got lots of energy, is happy, singing and laughing all day. Overall he is more active, running more in the house, too. He is talking less in his sleep, but last week he was grinding his teeth at night and even during the day for the first time.
He still needs the diaper at night.
He is doing really well. His bowels are normal, he is not perspiring at night like before, his temperament is more normal, he was actually too mild before. He is more active and has not had a cold.
I decided to repeat the Medorrhinum and again considered Tuberculinum as he was now grinding his teeth at night.
Follow-up March 2009
He started to get a cold a few days ago but it hasn't gone to the chest. He developed a skin rash on his hands. He is sleeping with his arms above his head again, this had actually changed. He has a new desire for pancakes and wants them every day.
I decided to repeat the Medorrhinum again, 200CH one dose as his sleep position has relapsed.
The skin rash cleared withing four days but he got another cold the next weekend, this time with an ear infection. The doctor thought he may have had Fifth Disease.
He did get a cough with the cold. Now he mostly has sinus trouble, with thick green discharge. I repeated the Medorrhinum again and gave kali-mur tissue salts for the sinusitis.
Follow-up February 2010
It's been almost a year since I've seen Robert. He has been totally well!
The mother is bringing him in because he had a strep throat and possibly scalett fever, diagnosed in a walk-in clinic. (By the way, these conditions can also be nicely treated with homeopathy, I've seen a lot of strep throat and a few cases of scarlett fever over the years.)
The doctor gave an antibiotic and now Robert is having an allergic reaction with intense itching and swelling of the face, throat and ears. He also has a rash with started on his palms and soles of the feet. The mother had called the nurses help line and been giving him Benedryl.
I gave him Apis, a homeopathic remedy made from bee venom which can be wonderful for intense allergic reactions.
He was fine in a few days.
I continued to see the mother for some of her own health issues for the next two years, but Robert never got the asthma problem again to everyone's great relief.
This case nicely illustrates the need to monitor such cases for about a year to address the deeper roots of the disease with homeopathy. If only all children had access to good homeopathic care, a lot of chronic health conditions could be treated and prevented.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic and Homeopathic Doctor, Victoria, BC
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Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders. Cases are all from her practice, names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education only.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician
West Sooke, BC, Canada
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