When my daughter was 11 months old, she had very severe asthma. We took her to doctors all over the city. Their answer: more medications. Our routine was full of nebulizers, steroid injections and inhalers. Not exactly an ideal childhood. Plus, my daughter was gaining weight, and losing her vitality. She didn’t want to walk, crawl or play. As a mother, it was devastating. But then I met the naturopathic doctor who forever changed the course of our lives. She showed me a way to heal asthma and eczema with nutrition and probiotics.
It’s all about diet
My naturopathic doctor suggested that I remove dairy and gluten religiously from my daughter’s diet for six weeks. By the time those six weeks were up, my daughter no longer required steroid injections (Prednisone), she no longer needed to be awoken at 4 a.m. for nebulization, and we no longer needed to carry a puffer with us every day. Her weight stabilized, she became interested in life, and learned to walk. Her asthma and eczema were both symptoms of food allergies and lack of good bacterial colonization.
That was a turning point in my life. I found my calling in naturopathic medicine. I vowed to help women and children understand nutrition and how it can change our health and futures for the better.
Good food and probiotics can help
Good food is the foundation of treatment. I help patients make smart, healthy choices that fit their lives. Wrong food choices can contribute to all the inflammatory diseases, so if you’re going to spend money on anything, make it good food.
The second foundation is choosing the right probiotics for you and your family. Colonization of probiotics begins in utero, and continues through breast milk that we feed our infants. It is important to continue allowing this colonization to form, as it has been shown that probiotic supplementation can reduce atopy (asthma, eczema, allergies, psoriasis and other skin and allergic conditions) by up to 50%.
Where to find what you need
There are many places in Vancouver to find probiotics, including through fermented food sources such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. My favourite place to find both organic foods and probiotic supplements is Whole Foods. which sells locally made Bio-K, an organic probiotic with 50 billion Colony Forming Units ( CFUs) in fermented rice with wild blueberry flavour.
1. “Prenatal and/or early-life probiotic administration reduces the risk of atopic sensitization and decreases the total IgE level in children but may not reduce the risk of asthma/wheeze. Follow-up duration and strain significantly modified these effects”
2. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):e666-76. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0246. Epub 2013 Aug 19.Probiotic administration in early life, atopy, and asthma: a meta-analysis of clinical trials.
Dr. Jordana Aziz has been a naturopathic doctor for over 6 years, beginning her journey in Toronto. Upon graduation, she moved her family to Nicaragua to learn Spanish, emergency medicine and community life, and finally returned and rooted in her hometown of Vancouver. She is often on the slopes, near the ocean, or walking through the trees with her two independent, powerful, and often rebellious young daughters. Find her at Alliance Wellness