What is Asthma?
Treating asthma naturally is a goal patients with asthma and allergies should aspire to. Asthma is a chronic lung disease causing inflammation in the lungs and bronchial tubes; this, in turn, affects the amount of air that enters and exits the lungs. While common in children, people of all ages have asthma. In a 2013 study of Asthma published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports that an astonishing 75 percent of adults with asthma have at least one allergy, because of this, many of our patients who come in to be treated for allergies are likewise suffering with asthma.
Some of the symptoms of asthma include:
- Chest tightening or pain.
- Shortness of breath.
While asthma is a chronic condition, many patients experience acute flare ups. The sources of these flares or triggers are often difficult to avoid. The goal for the patient and treating physician is to develop a plan to prevent flares and lessen the inflammation that accompanies the condition.
What Triggers Asthma?
Controlling asthma, often means limiting your exposure not only to allergens, but also to other triggers. These triggers vary from person to person and often include the following:
- Airborne substances, including pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, pollution, fragrances, and other environmental irritants.
- Physical activity.
- Cold air which causes your airways to produce a substance called histamine, the same chemical your body makes during an allergy attack.
- Respiratory infections including the common cold or bronchitis.
- Stress and anxiety may make you feel short of breath and cause your asthma symptoms to worsen.
- Sulfites and preservatives added to food and beverages.
- Medications including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and interestingly, new research also shows a link with antacids.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD.)
- Bad weather, especially high humidity and heat waves. High humidity increases the likelihood of mold causing asthma symptoms. Hot weather causes pollutants to create ground level ozone triggering ozone alerts for people with lung conditions
- Occupational asthma caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job.
As you can plainly see, avoiding asthma triggers completely can be nearly impossible. Below are some hints to help prevent an attack.
As mentioned above, avoiding asthma triggers is difficult, here are some practical ideas to start with while you develop an action plan to cope with a diagnosis.
- Identify triggers and treat allergies with Dr. Cushing’s AllerCease™ Technique.
- Learn to recognize warning signs of an oncoming attack.
- Treat attacks early.
- Use an air conditioner.
- Cover your nose and mouth when out in the cold.
- Stop smoking or vaping, and try to avoid smoky situations.
- Avoid artificial dyes, preservatives, aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDS.
- Develop a plan with your healthcare team to manage attacks.
Treating Asthma Naturally
Most importantly, the treatment of your asthma should include a whole person approach, not one which is solely focused on your lungs and restricted airways. Each patient has a unique chemistry, energy field and symptom picture. Working within a holistic, whole body framework will help determine the cause of your particular case of asthma is, and the best way to treat you individually.
The natural non-pharmaceutical treatment of asthma reduces and treats allergic reactions, reduces the sensitivity of the airways of the lungs, corrects nutrient imbalances, and balances the inflammatory pathways in the body. Dr. Cushing’s AllerCease™ Technique non-invasively diagnoses and eliminates allergies/sensitivities. Along with eliminating your allergies, other steps should be taken to treat your asthma.
Treating the spasticity of airways with the use of mineral and herbal supplements can help to relieve symptoms and start healing. Some examples include:
- Magnesium well known for its ability to relieve muscle spasms.
- Green tea.
- Lobelia the active ingredient of Lobelia is the alkaloid lobeline, known for its beneficial effects on the function of the respiratory tract.
- Mustard oil helps during an asthma attack by relieving pressure and opening up the passageways leading to the lungs. Massage warm mustard seed oil onto your chest multiple times until you feel relief and the symptoms subside.
Reducing Overall Inflammation Aids Asthma
Reducing overall inflammation in the body is essential for good health, and especially for asthma. Some of the most important anti-inflammatory substances include:
- Omega 3 oils found in fish and flax seed..
- Pycnogenol, a natural element that comes from the bark of a European Pine Tree. Is thought to be an antioxidant and helps prevent cell damage.
- Bromelain an enzyme found in pineapples, has been found to help with inflammation in the nose and sinuses.
- Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree, and has been used for centuries in non-western medical traditions.
Proper Nutrition and the Treatment of Asthma
Along with addressing triggers, treating allergies, and fighting overall inflammation in the body, it is essential to add the proper nutrients into your diet that will aid in reducing inflammation and promote whole body good health. Foods and nutrients that are especially helpful in the fighting asthma and inflammation are:
- Vitamins C, B6, B12 found in leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, squash, tomatoes and peppers.
- Minerals such as selenium, and molybdenum which are found in Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, pork, beef, chicken, tofu, whole wheat pasta, shrimp, and mushrooms.
- Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient found in sources such as chicken, fish, eggs, beef, beans, low-fat milk, broccoli, and green peas.
Gut Health and Asthma
Addressing your gut health is essential to treating asthma along with overall good health. Many patients with asthma fail to produce enough stomach acid, which may lead to food allergies and sensitivities, along with deceased nutrient absorption. As noted above, proper nutrition is imperative for good health, and undiscovered food allergies and nutritional shortfalls are impediments to even the best care plans. Improving your gut health is addressable and treatable with appropriate testing and supplementation.
Breathing Exercises Help Control Asthma
Belly breathing exercises may help keep asthma symptoms under control. This technique strengthens the diaphragm and helps reduce stress. This breathing technique is the basis for many meditation practices. You should practice while you are not experiencing an asthma attack and are calm and relaxed. This will make the technique second nature in times when you need to control your breathing due to an asthma trigger, or stressful time. Here are some easy to follow instructions to begin a breath exercise practice:
- To start sit with a straight back or lie flat.
- Relax your shoulders.
- Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose for about two seconds. You should experience the air moving through your nostrils into your abdomen, making your stomach expand. During this type of breathing, make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains relatively still.
- Purse your lips (as if you’re about to drink through a straw), press gently on your stomach, and exhale slowly for about two seconds.
- Repeat these steps several times for best results.
Finally, an asthma diagnosis, while scary, is a condition that is treatable, and can be treated in a natural manner. First, never stop any prescription asthma medications without seeking a doctors advice; second, do not start a holistic supplement regimen without the supervision of a holistic doctor trained in natural supplementation, asthma relief and allergy treatment.
Read Dr. Cushing’s biography