With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life allergen-free.

10 August 2012

Will he grow out of asthma?

Like so many food allergic children, my son has that trifecta: food allergies, asthma, and eczema. Over the past few years, it seems his eczema and asthma have improved. For example, three or four years ago, he used to have trouble running across the school playground without coughing. He has never taken any daily asthma medication but now he can run around for some time, at least when the weather is mild. I wonder when and if he will grow out of asthma.

Dr. Craig Canapari, a pediatric pulmonologist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHFC), was kind enough to answer a couple of my asthma questions and has given me permission to share his answers on Food Allergy Buzz.

Jennifer B: Is asthma a condition that children tend to grow out of?

Dr. Canapari: "Some children but not others. It is difficult to predict but there are some factors that predict remission or persistence.   More likely to go away if: onset in first three years of life .  More likely to persist if: food allergy, or eczema present. Parent or sibling is affected. Onset after first three years of life." 

Jennifer B: Is there anything parents can do to increase a child's chances of growing out of asthma? For example, does exercise help improve asthma?  

Dr. Canapari: "Unfortunately, we do not have any medications or recommendations that change a child's asthmatic destiny. I suspect that exercise improves asthmatic control. One of the most important goals for asthma care in my practice is ensuring that a child's asthma does not prevent him or her from playing with peers or doing sports. There was actually some recent stuff online about the fact that asthma is common in Olympic athletes, and more common in athletes who medal. I reference this on my blog here. http://drcraigcanapari.com/2012/08/02/why-asthma-wont-keep-you-child-out-of-the-olympics/

Thank you to Dr. Canapari and MGHFC for answering our questions! We're so very grateful for your help and all you do for our children.

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children is located in Boston and is part of Massachusetts General Hospital, which ranked #1 in U.S. News and World Report!

More about Dr. Canapari: He is also the Medical Director of the Pediatric Sleep Lab at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Institute and specializes "in the care of children with sleeping and breathing problems." (http://drcraigcanapari.com/about/)  Please take a moment to visit Dr. Canapari's blog.

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