I was diagnosed with asthma after a serious bout with pneumonia in 2002. I was working for the same company I work for now, in the same position. My job is basically to sit at my desk and work at my computer, and I was so sick with pneumonia that I didn’t have the strength to sit at my computer, even at home! I was practically bedridden for an entire month. I can still remember having to drive one of those go cart things at the grocery store in the months following; I simply didn’t have the strength to walk through the store and do my shopping. We had just moved out to the country and the first couple of weeks I had to stop by my friend’s home (who still lived in the big city) and take an hour nap before driving home. It was awful. I slowly regained my strength, but my breathing continued to be labored. I was having to use a rescue inhaler on a daily basis.
Finally about six months later, my primary physician suggested I see an asthma specialist who officially diagnosed me with asthma. I thought at the time that the pneumonia must have damaged my lungs and that was why I was diagnosed with asthma. I remember crying and crying at the specialist’s office, and I remember him saying to me, “Ma’am, why are you crying? Of all the diseases there are, if I had to choose one, I would choose asthma because it can be treated. All you have to do is take this medication and you will be perfectly normal in every way.”
That upset me even more for him to say that. I don’t think he understood how devastating it felt to be told your body is not functioning right and now you have to be dependent on medicine! Maybe it was all those Twilight Zone episodes I watched, but I sure hated the thought of having to be dependent on medicine.
Thankfully I had insurance through my job, and my copay was $40 a month for each prescription. In the beginning my doctor placed me on two different asthma medications. I later learned that it was possible to order my medication through mail order and I could buy 3 months worth for the cost of only two prescriptions. So $160 instead of $240. After some time on both, my doctor suggested I taper down off the one, and then he slowly backed me down from the highest dosage to a medium dosage and finally the lowest dosage on the remaining medication. I remained on this one medication. I tried occasionally to taper off, but could not do it.
In addition to the asthma medication, I was also prescribed Allegra for allergies, and Nasonex for nasal congestion. I did not use these prescriptions regularly, and my doctor had told me it was okay to use them “as needed” in spite of the little pamphlet which came inside that said to use every single day. I also had to keep a rescue inhaler with me at all times, in case my asthma flared up. So I had to get these prescriptions filled every few months as well.
And then I started the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, I hoped through healing and sealing my gut lining, I would be able to go off the medication once and for all.
I had done some studying about asthma and found that in almost all cases, if you have asthma, you have adrenal fatigue. Here is a snippet from an article on Adrenal Glands which explains a bit:
This is why epinephrine inhalers are so helpful for asthma sufferers. The bronchodilation, which normally occurs with epinephrine, cannot occur in a person with hypoadrenia. Instead, he gets a bronchoconstriction—a constriction of all the bronchial musculature with subsequent symptomatology. Likewise, the hypoadrenic person does not have the benefit of epinephrine’s action on the pulmonary capillaries and mucous membranes, with a resultant swelling of the mucous membrane and an increase in mucus production or secretion. … Any person who has abnormal lung function, especially asthma or bronchitis, should be checked for hypoadrenia. This is particularly true if the person’s symptoms are relieved by using an epinephrine inhaler. The muscles related to the lungs (deltoid, serratus anterior, etc.) are usually strong in these persons. Many lung problems are related more to the adrenals than to the lungs. The sartorius and gracilis, etc. should be checked in any lung case.
If you have gut dysbiosis it can screw up all sorts of things in your body and I learned I had a good chance of healing my adrenals and in turn healing the asthma, so that I could eventually go off the medication. I tried four months in, but hadn’t done enough healing. After a few more months I decided to try tapering off again, and I was so excited when I realized I didn’t need my medication any longer. That was back in September of 2010. I have been off the medication for almost 10 full months now, and it is so nice not having to worry about ordering medication and paying for it, especially when I learned last week that our health insurance had changed and now the same medication I was paying $40/month for has now gone up to $65. I am also finding that my seasonal allergies are almost non-existent. It is so wonderful being able to breathe freely through my nose without having to use Nasonex for the sinus congestion which used to plague me almost constantly, but not anymore!
I have even had one cold since going off my meds and I only had to use my rescue inhaler two times on one day.
Most people find it is very difficult to think about restricting the foods we eat… And when I was first diagnosed with asthma my mom gave me a book on how to heal myself naturally, but I was so scared to restrict my diet that I couldn’t bring myself to read more than a few pages in the book. So I understand how difficult it is. I was 100% opposed to dieting for fifteen years, because everyone knows diets don’t work.
But those “diets” are usually fads, and gimmicks. The “diet” I am on asks me to eat “real” food. Food that our great grandparents ate and thrived on. I can see myself sticking with this delicious real food for the remainder of my life.
If you are interested in learning more, just check out Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s website where she explains how it all works. I am so glad I decided to give GAPS a chance to heal my body, and so happy that I don’t have to spend $65 on medicine any longer!
So what about you? If you knew by changing your diet you could get off medications, would you do it?