Treating Asthma Naturally

Asthma is a disease characterized by affecting of the airways that carry air to and from the lungs. The internal walls of airways of a person suffering from asthma are swollen or inflamed. This swelling or inflammation makes the airways enormously receptive to irritations and increases the body’s vulnerability to an allergic reaction. As swelling or inflammation results in the narrowing of the airways, less air passes through them, both to and from the lungs. People who suffer from this chronic condition which may be long-lasting or recurrent are known to be asthmatic.

Different types of asthma are:

Child Onset – This type of asthma begins during childhood and it happens owing to child’s sensitivity to common allergens in the environment which is most likely because of genetic reasons. In this condition child becomes atopic which is a hereditarily determined state of hyper- sensitivity to allergens present in environment.

Allergens may be any substances widely varying between people and usually are animal proteins, fungi, pollen, house-dust mites and some kind of dust. The body treats these allergens as a foreign body that triggers an immune response. When the child is exposed to certain amount of an allergen, the airway cells being sensitive to that particular allergen instigates an asthmatic response.

Adult Onset – This type of asthma occurs in people after they attain 20 years of age. It is much less common and affects women more as compared to men. Similar to child-onset, this type is also triggered by some allergic material or an allergy. According to statistical estimates, up to 50 percent of adult-onset asthmas are connected to allergies. Though, a considerable share of adult-onset asthma does not appear to be instigated by exposure to allergen(s). This type is known as non-allergic adult-onset asthma or intrinsic asthma. Some of the causes of adult-onset asthma can be exposure to a particle or chemical present in certain plastics, metals, drugs or wood dust.

Exercise Induced – This type of asthma begins when a person shows symptoms such as cough, difficulty in breathing or feel out of breath during or after exercise. However, it also depends upon individual’s level of fitness, for instance, a person who is out of shape and runs fast for few minutes will obviously feel out of breath. If a person continues to cough, wheeze or pant which makes no sense then this could be a sign of exercise-induced asthma.

Similar to other types of asthma, exercise-induced asthma is caused due to swelling of the bronchial tubes or airways and extra mucus. Thus, the person with this type of asthma will also experience difficulty in getting air in and out of the lungs. Majority of people suffering from other types of asthma may show symptoms during exercise; however several people who have exercise-induced asthma do not show any symptoms while they are not involved in any physical exertion.

Cough Induced – This type is diagnosed with most difficulty as the doctor has to first diagnose for other possibilities such as bronchitis, post nasal drip caused by hay fever or sinus. In cough-induced asthma, coughing can occur alone without showing any other asthma-type symptoms and coughing can start at any time and can disrupt sleep if starts at night.

Occupational Asthma - This type of asthma can be triggered by various factors that prevail in the work place of patient such as chemicals, vapors, gases, smoke, dust, fumes or other particles. Other factors can be virus or flu, molds, animal products, pollen, humidity and temperature or stress.

Nocturnal Asthma – Nocturnal or nighttime asthma is usually triggered by allergens present in the home like dust and pet dander or is caused by sinus conditions. It happens between midnight and 8 in morning and may show no daytime symptoms. The patient may experience difficulty in breathing or short breath when lying down and these systems may persist until patient is awoken by them in the middle of the night. Nocturnal asthma may happen only occasionally or frequently during the week.

Steroid Resistant Asthma - Many patients suffering from other types of asthma respond normally to regular inhaled glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy, while there are some patients who are steroid resistant. Since inflammation of airway and immune response play a vital role in chronic asthma, latest fundamentals of asthma therapy have therefore been focusing on the anti-inflammatory therapy, mainly inhaled glucocorticoids (GCs) to cure asthma. Though, people suffering from steroid resistant asthma show greater levels of immune activation in their airways as compared to people with steroid sensitive asthma.

Treating Asthma Naturally

Asthma is a disease that continues for lifetime however, treatment of asthma can regulate it and allow patients to enjoy an active life. Mostly asthma is treated with short and long-term medications and with environmental monitoring and alterations. Patients respond differently to these treatments and type of environment or possible problem. Several alternative medicines are there for asthma and in some cases these treatments are much more successful than the inhaled glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy. Unconventional asthma therapies are diet management, yoga and breathing exercises.

Diet Management

An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle are very important for complete revival from these conditions. Anti-inflammatory foods aid in regulating the immune system and monitor it to not to over-inflame when stimulated. Avoiding processed and refined foods of all kinds, sugars as well as food allergens is the key to get relief from asthma. Additives and preservatives such as sodium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sulfur dioxide commonly used in several foods have led to intense asthma attacks in patients. Other highly inflammatory and mucous forming foods are pasteurized dairy products, gluten containing grains, soy products, and peanuts.

People with asthma generally have a dysbiotic gut that is impaired and releases out undigested food particles. This is to some extent accountable for the elevated immune sensitivity. Therefore, it is important to stabilize the gut and this can be done by ingesting high quality fermented foods like red cabbage sauerkraut, kimchee, coconut kefir, raw milk kefir and amasai.

Other sources of anti-inflammatory foods are coconut products, berries and natural whey protein from grass-fed cows and goats. This protein source is also packed with L-glutamine which increases cellular glutathione reserves, vital for both rejuvenating the gut and de-inflaming the body. Other powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. They de-inflame the body by restoring natural balance to the lipid wall of the cell membrane.

Apple Cider vinegar is also very effective as it provides useful enzymes and reduces mucous formation. Drinking a glass of clean water with 1 to 2 teaspoon of ACV during the day can reduce mucous formation and provide beneficial enzymes that help in reducing inflammation.

Herbal Treatment

Anti-inflammatory herbs that prove to be effective in curing asthma are turmeric, ginger, boswellia, cinnamon, rosemary and oregano. These are all safe and should be used as much as possible.

Modern research has supported the use of butterbur root extract to decrease the severity, frequency and duration of asthma attacks. The caffeine in coffee works in a similar way as that of asthma drug theophylline so drinking coffee can help relieve asthma attacks. Red onions and garlic are full of sulfur compounds and the anti-oxidant flavonoid quercetin which aid in inhibiting an inflammatory enzyme linked with asthma and other inflammatory disorders.

Ginkgo Biloba contains several different anti-inflammatory chemicals and seven natural antihistamines and aids in relieving asthma and allergies. Lobelia herb is useful in bronchitis and asthma as an expectorant and stimulant of the respiratory system. A tincture made by adding three parts lobelia to one part cayenne pepper blended in water can help stop asthma attacks.

Breathing exercises

Asthma patients suffer from abnormal breathing patterns, thus, several breathing exercises that focus on breathing patterns are believed to heal breathing abnormalities. One should try breathing exercises as long as one is comfortable. Breathing deeply helps remove toxins from the cells, and also boosts immunity. These exercises can best be learnt with the aid of practical demonstration from an instructor; performing advanced yoga breathing exercises without enough assistance can lead to injury.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a safe and easy remedy for treating arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain and carpal tunnel, allergies, asthma and many other respiratory problems, anxiety, insomnia and stress. A study conducted on 192 people with bronchial asthma discovered that acupuncture improves bronchial permeability. Another study reveals that the quality of life for patients with chronic obstructive asthma can be improved by combining conventional care with acupuncture. Consequently, acupuncture can aid in reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.