Does Your Child Have Asthma or Allergies?

Asthma or allergies are both very common in children, but the symptoms of both can be very similar since both conditions involve your child’s airway. In today’s article, we’ll go over signs your child may have asthma, allergies, or both and what to do about it.

Childhood Asthma

Asthma happens in about 1 in 10 children, and it happens when the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, get inflamed and swell, making it harder to breathe. Your child may experience symptoms every day, once a week, or even less frequently. Common symptoms include:

  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Coughing (often at night or with exercise)
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest

Childhood Allergies

Childhood allergies are also fairly common in children, and they are triggered by your child’s immune system response. Their immune system works to detect viruses and bacteria that may be harmful, but with allergies, the immune system goes a little overboard, reacting to things like pollens, grasses, mold, dust, pet dander, and more. Sometimes allergy symptoms may be seasonal, but if your child has an allergy to things like dust, pet dander, or other environmental allergens, they may have symptoms more often. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Dry cough
  • Scratchy or sore throat

Allergic Asthma

It is possible for your child to have both allergies and asthma, if they have allergic asthma (also known as extrinsic asthma) rather than non-allergic (or intrinsic asthma). If their asthma is allergy induced, they may be triggered seasonally, but it could flare up at any time, since some environmental allergens are present year-round.

When to See a Doctor

If you are noticing any of the above symptoms are persistent and not going away, particularly if your child is having trouble breathing, make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. From there, they may refer you to an allergy and asthma specialist and work to create a treatment plan for your child.


Common Health Problems Affecting Women and How to Prevent Them

In honor of National Women’s Health Month this May, we wanted to break down the five most common health problems affecting women and how you can prevent them. Read on to learn more!

Heart Disease

Heart attacks and heart disease are not just a concern for men. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and while there are risk factors out of your control like family history, being post-menopause, and having started mensuration early, there are lots of risk factors you can control and work on managing in order to lower your risk. Some of these include:

  • Quitting smoking (or never smoking).
  • Controlling blood pressure levels.
  • Controlling cholesterol levels.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Being physically active.
  • Managing or lowering your risk of diabetes.

Taking steps to lower your risk factors with the above tips can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent! Additionally, knowing the signs of heart disease and heart attack in women is very helpful as they can be different from signs in men, and people are often less likely to recognize them in women.


Breast Cancer

While survival rates have drastically improved in breast cancer, it is still the most common type of cancer in women in the United States. Much like heart disease, there are risk factors for breast cancer you can’t control like hormones and family history, but there are also changes you can make to lower other risk factors including:

  • Limiting or not using alcohol at all.
  • Not smoking.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating healthy.

In addition to controlling the risk factors you can, it’s also important to regularly perform self-breast exams and get mammograms once a year after the age of 40 (or sooner if you have a family history and your doctor recommends it). This can be a crucial step in catching the disease early and treating it before it progresses.

Ovarian and Cervical Cancer

After breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer are two other types of cancer that affect women and while survivorship has increased with these types of cancer as well, it’s still important to lower your risk wherever possible. Again, with both cervical and ovarian cancer, there are risk factors outside of your control. Additionally, some things that are a risk factor for one may actually lower your risk for the other. For example, never having been pregnant can increase your risk of ovarian cancer, but multiple full term pregnancies can increase your risk of cervical cancer. The best things you can do to lower your risk of  both include:

  • Not smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Getting screened regularly.

Depression and Anxiety

Both depression and anxiety are conditions affecting your mental health, and for whatever reason, they seem to affect women more frequently than men. Environmental, mental health, physical and inherited factors can all play a role in anxiety and depression. Medication for anxiety and depression can be very helpful, but there are also other steps you can take including:

  • Exercise
  • Cut out caffeine and nicotine.
  • Stay away from alcohol and other illicit substances.
  • Practice stress management techniques like mediation.
  • Ask for help.
  • Talk with others.

If you are suffering from anxiety and depression or know a loved one who is, it’s important to know that there is help available. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Reproductive Health Issues

Approximately 1 in 5 women have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Infertility is usually defined as not being able to achieve a pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex, but if you have irregular periods, are over 35, or have a known cause of infertility, it’s recommended to you seek help after six months of attempting pregnancy.

Certain factors of infertility are out of your control, like your age, medical problems you may have, or prior medical treatments. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, exercising, not smoking, and limiting or cutting out alcohol can make a big different. Additionally being able to quickly identify and treat or management sexually transmitted disease can help prevent infertility as can limiting your exposure to toxic chemicals or treatments.


Healthy Maple Blueberry Zucchini Muffins


  • 1 1/2cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel
  • 1/2cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4teaspoon almond extract
  • 2tablespoons olive oil (or sub melted butter)
  • 1/3cup unsweetened applesauce (or apple butter)
  • 1egg
  • 1/4cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work)
  • 1cup fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with muffin liners. Either way I recommend using nonstick cooking spray. This guarantees that they muffins will not stick to the liners or the pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, add the following wet ingredients: shredded zucchini, pure maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract, olive oil, applesauce, egg and milk; mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Even distribute batter among muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 22-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 12 muffins.