Supernanny, Jo Frost was diagnosed with exercise-induced bronchospasm and asthma at the age of five and with the help of her pediatrician and parents was able to sustain a normal childhood. With over 30 million people in the U.S. who have EIB, Nanny Jo stopped by to offer tips and suggestions on how both children and adults alike can lead normal, active and healthy lives with not only EIB but asthma as well.
Candace Rose: You were diagnosed at the age of 5 with EIB and asthma. Can you tell us about the experiences and challenges you've faced and how they've affected your life?
Jo Frost: "Basically becoming diagnosed with asthma and EIB and having allergies as a child certainly made me become more aware of understanding my medical symptoms and it really wasn't an obstacle in my household. You know, my family were very aware of the symptoms, we we had a healthy dialogue with my pediatrician. I certainly had medication that allowed me to manage the asthma and living along side it and understand the importance of knowing when I was going to become physically active and to remain physically active as a child as well, what was incredibly important because it led me to have a very positive attitude as an adult with regards to looking at the activities that I do. We know literally that 80 to 90% of children and adults certainly have EIB if they have asthma, so the importance of being able to bring awareness about exercise-induced bronchospasm is what allows us to be able to prevent those symptoms.
Now, for myself as a child, my chest would get tight, I would wheeze a lot; excessive coughing; and so all of that was incredibly important in being able to prevent and as an adult I use a quick relief albuterol inhaler. I take a couple of puffs of my ProAir 15 to 30 minutes beforehand and I'm off. I'm able to do the activities that I love to be able to do and I think it's incredibly important with the summer around the corner and adults getting more active and getting outdoors; and kids going off to summer camp and having sleepovers and play dates here, there and everywhere that we become more aware of this, so that our kids can be the kids that we want them to be – just active, happy, having fun and socializing with other children. And for adults – to not feel like you have to exclude yourself from certain challenges that you personally have or activities that other adults are doing around you, that you become a part and you don't alienate yourself from that."
CR: What are the signs and symptoms of EIG and how is it different from asthma?
JF: "Exercise-induced bronchospasm happens during and after exercise and those symptoms of wheezing, coughing, tightness of chest; whereas asthma can be triggered by other things like household products, dander, tobacco, smoke and certainly extreme weather, colds. They're two completely different conditions."
CR: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
JF: "I would. I'd love for people to go onto the website which is EIBActive.com and load down all the information there. There's an asthma action plan, more information on exercise-induced bronchospasm and certainly I blog on there as well, so people are able to receive far more information about the symptoms, the awareness and how we prevent and then move on and enjoy."