Helplessness. Panic. Fear. An asthma attack can elicit these emotions in both the sufferer and their parents or other loved ones. The muscles surrounding the bronchial passages in the lungs constrict during an asthma attack. This obstructs the outflow of stale air, giving the victim a sense of suffocation. Asthma symptoms include chest tightness and difficulty breathing, which is frequently accompanied by wheezing and coughing.
Asthma is on the rise, affecting about 18.9 million Americans (as of 2013). The dramatic rise in asthma appears to be related to increased levels of air pollution and other lung irritants. For example, in Mexico City, the world's most polluted city, up to 50% of children may suffer from asthma.
This respiratory disorder is frequently unpredictable, which is what makes it so frightening. It causes bouts of breathlessness that can occur suddenly during times of stress, anxiety, exercise, low blood sugar, laughing, temperature changes, extremes of dryness or dampness, or exposure to allergens such as dust, animal dander, smoke, mold, or food additives. Asthma attacks can last from minutes to hours and can come daily or annually.
Everyone's lungs will react to irritants by inflaming, swelling, producing mucus, and coughing. However, in the case of an asthmatic, these reactions appear exaggerated or hyperactive. Swelling and inflammation in the lung tissue cause spastic reactions, which further constrict the airways. As air becomes trapped in the lungs, excess carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, giving the sensation of suffocation.
Asthma is commonly treated with antihistamines (substances which reduce allergic reactions), anti-inflammatories (substances that reduce swelling and inflammation) and bronchial dilators (substances that relax the bronchial passages, allowing air to escape). These therapies are effective for symptom relief and can reduce the severity of attacks and even save lives. They do not, however, help to alleviate any of the disease's underlying causes. Consider the following underlying causes:
Food and Respiratory Allergies
Most individuals who experience asthma notice that it is prompted by substances such as pollen, dander, smoke, cold air or excessive exercise. Along with the dust, mites, molds, and pet dander that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks, diet has also become a factor.
Dairy and wheat have been identified as contributing factors. When these allergens are removed, most asthma sufferers experience significant relief. Dairy, in particular, contains the protein casein that generates mucus. Wouldn't it be preferable if a victim's body was not insulted with mucus-forming foods during an asthma attack?
A variety of home remedies can also be used to alleviate allergic reactions. HistaBlock is extremely useful. Other possible treatments include burdock, which helps to stabilize mast cells, and cordyceps, which is especially beneficial to asthmatic athletes.
Adult asthma tends to be most prevalent in women. Many physicians believe this to be hormonally related. The rising number of asthma cases could be attributed to the presence of xenoestrogens (estrogen-like chemicals found in pesticides and plastics) in our environment. Women who are estrogen dominant (have too much estrogen relative to progesterone) have more asthma symptoms than those who are more hormonally balanced.
Progesterone is an estrogen balancer that can be applied topically in a progesterone cream such as the Pro-G-Yam cream. This has helped to ease symptoms in some women. Synthetic progestins, on the other hand, have shown no such benefit.
Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
Epinephrine, an adrenal hormone, acts as a bronchial dilator. Forms of it can be injected or are used in bronchial inhalers in order to halt asthma attacks. Epinephrine is a sympathetic neurotransmitter and an adrenal hormone.
Asthma is also treated with corticosteroid medications. These drugs are mimics of another adrenal hormone, cortisol, which reduces inflammation in the body.
This points to a link between stress and adrenal fatigue in asthma cases. Anyone who has ever participated in any type of organized athletics is bound to have met someone with exercise-induced asthma. These people, like others who are under chronic stress, have generally exhausted their adrenals and are lacking the naturally produced steroids required to prevent these attacks.
Rebuilding the adrenals is therefore critical to overcoming asthma. The problem is that the drugs commonly used to treat asthma contribute to adrenal fatigue. As a result, the best approach is to begin rebuilding the adrenals while gradually tapering off the medications.
A variety of nutrients can aid in the rebuilding of the adrenals. Nutri-B-complex Calm's and vitamin C combination helps to rebuild the adrenals. It also contains herbs that help to relax tension and relieve stress. Pantothenic acid is essential for adrenal function and can aid in the regeneration of exhausted adrenal glands. Another excellent adrenal rebuilding agent is Nervous Fatigue Formula.
Licorice root helps to maintain cortisol levels (the adrenal hormone that reduces inflammation) and can help to rebuild adrenal fatigue. The answer is yes. Many asthmatic children can benefit from taking this herb on a regular basis to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
When rebuilding the adrenals, it is critical to avoid refined sugar and caffeine-containing foods and beverages, as these substances tax the adrenals. Licorice root or Mineral Chi Tonic can be taken to reduce caffeine and sugar cravings and maintain energy levels without these addictive and harmful substances.
Most asthmatics have a hiatal hernia, which restricts diaphragmatic movement and contributes to poor protein digestion, which causes mucus congestion. Asthmatics are prone to food allergies, leaky gut, and lymphatic congestion.
Begin by repairing any hiatal hernias that may exist. Taking digestive enzymes, such as Protease Plus or Proactazyme Plus, can help reduce allergic reactions to foods that contribute to asthma.
Cleaning the liver and colon also has significant benefits for lung healing. Therefore the Tiao He Cleanse or CleanStart may also be beneficial. Blood purifiers like Enviro-Detox or All Cell Detox have also proved helpful in some cases.
It may also be beneficial to take medications that help clear mucus from the lungs. ALJ and CC-A with Yerba Santa are two remedies to consider. Yerba santa, as an expectorant and nervine, aids in the relief of most allergic or asthmatic conditions.
Natural Bronchial Dilators
To stop asthma attacks it is necessary to dilate the bronchials to let in more air. Lobelia has long been used to treat asthma attacks. It can be applied topically as a tincture or taken orally to relieve chest tightness and coughing while maintaining expectorant properties. Lobelia is a powerful bronchial dilator and antispasmodic that can be used in place of inhalers. Lobelia extract can be given in doses of 10-20 drops at one to two minute intervals from the start of the attack until it subsides.
This therapy may occasionally cause the person to vomit. However, the attack nearly always subsides as soon as the person expels the contents of the stomach (which interestingly enough often contains a large quantity of mucus).
Another herb that can help to stop asthma attacks is black cohosh. Although lobelia and black cohosh are not commonly used for this purpose by modern herbalists, eclectic physicians at the turn of the century used both for asthma. During an asthma attack, Distress Remedy taken internally and Tei Fu oil rubbed on the chest have also been used to open the bronchials.
Asthma is a serious condition, but it is one that can be effectively treated naturally. It will however take some determination, study and a commitment to a generally healthier lifestyle.