Asthma is a common long-term disease of the lungs that is characterized by bronchospasms and obstructed airflow. It typically managed with bronchodilators (eg. Albuterol), steroids (eg. Prednisone) and in some cases oxygen therapy.
What many people are unaware of, is the fact that there are actually many clinically proven natural treatments for this condition. People are familiar with common remedies, but what is most important is understanding the clinical efficacy of what is being used.
What is Asthma
Asthma is an inflammatory condition that causes the airways to narrow and swell. In many cases, a considerable amount of mucus may be produced as well. This results in trouble with breathing resulting in a cough, wheezing (while exhaling), and shortness of breath. The severity of Asthma can range from mild to life-threatening with severe asthmatic attacks.
Symptoms of Asthma
Symptoms can vary from person to person. Its can also only present at certain times such as when exercising or due to seasonal allergens. In some patients, symptoms can be a daily occurrence.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Wheezing (A whistling sound that comes from the lungs when breathing)
- Chest tightness
- Coughing – this may occur on exertion or when laughing
- Chest pain
- These symptoms can be severely exacerbated by respiratory infections.
If these symptoms start to occur more frequently, it may be an indication that the patients condition is worsening. Therefore, it is important to have frequent check-ups.
Types of Asthma
- Exercise-induced Asthma – Now known as Exercise-induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB). This is actually pretty common and affects 9/10 patients with Asthma.
- Occupational Asthma – This type of Asthma is triggered by irritants found at the workplace such as chemicals, fumes, dust, gases, etc.
- Allergic Asthma – A type of Asthma that is triggered by allergens such as pets, food, mold, pollen, dust, etc. Due to allergens such as pollen, it can be seasonal.
- Non-allergic Asthma (Intrinsic Asthma) – This type of Asthma is also cause by irritants, however, not the types that are typically associated with allergies. Irritants include smoke, air pollution, cleaning products, perfumes, cold air, viral infections.
- Aspirin-Induced Asthma – An uncommon type of Asthma that is induced by aspirin or other anti-inflammatories. It tends to be pretty severe.
- Nocturnal Asthma – Asthma that worsens at night and is usually triggered by things like heartburn, dust mites, or pets.
- Cough-variant Asthma – A type of Asthma that doesn’t present with the typical symptoms, however, there may be a persistent dry cough. If left untreated, it can develop into actual Asthmatic flares that have many of the regular symptoms.
Cause of Asthma
It is currently unknown what actually causes the condition, however, it appears to be caused by a combination of environmental factors and genetics. Vitamin D deficiencies appear to be linked to the prevalence, hospitalizations, lung function decline and increase emergency visits related to Asthma (see study).
In this video, I discuss the use of several nutrients, supplements and Ayurvedic medicines used for treating Asthma effectively.
Choline-rich foods: Eggs, Navy beans, Grass-fed beef, chicken breast
Magnesium rich foods: Dark Chocolate, Avocado, Spinach, Nuts
Remedies For Asthma
As I mentioned earlier, Vitamin D appears to be linked to the prevalence of Asthma and its symptoms as well as an increased need for hospitalizations. Studies have also linked low levels of Vitamin D with decreased lung function and reduced response to medications for treating Asthma. Vitamin D supplementation resulted in a 30% reduction in asthmatic attacks that require steroidal treatment as well as a 50% reduction in asthma-related hospitalizations and emergencies (see study).
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant pigment that gives the red color to foods like tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruit. Its known for its uses in treating benign prostate hyperplasia and reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have also linked lycopene consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and death due to metabolic diseases. In a clinical trial, Lycopene protect against exercise-induced asthma (see study).
Pycnogenol is a natural compound extracted from pine bark and it appears to have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and circulation boosting properties. It appears to be highly beneficial in cardio-respiratory and circulatory health. For example, it is showing much promise for boosting circulation, reducing blood pressure, chronic venous insufficiency, and pain, as well as symptoms of irritable blood pressure, menopause and asthma. In a clinical trial, supplementation with Pycnogenol resulted in enhanced control of the signs and symptoms of allergeic asthma as well as a reduced need for medication (see study).
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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