The number of asthma cases keeps on growing. Can you believe an increase of more than 300% over the last two decades? Asthma affects an estimated thirty million Americans including many children. This inflammatory condition, typically of the upper airways, results in symptoms of chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. When the symptoms are especially severe, it can be extremely stressful for the sufferer.
How is asthma treated medically?
Asthma can be treated with two types of pharmaceutical medications: long-term control and quick-relief medicines.
- Long-term control medicines help reduce airway inflammation and prevent asthma symptoms.
- Quick-relief medicines relieve asthma symptoms that may flare up.
A cause for concern
If you have asthma, you probably spend a lot of time using various inhalers and nebulizers. Often, these contain glucocorticoids (steroids) which can have major side effects when used long term. These side effects include: cataracts, osteoporosis, adrenal insufficiency, weight gain (with a possible dramatic increase in abdominal fat), Type 2 diabetes and behavioral changes such as extreme anger.
In addition, other inhalers contain drugs which dilate the bronchi allowing more air in but, at the same time in many users, these drugs cause very rapid heart rate, tremors and insomnia.
What are other safer ways to improve asthma symptoms
Triggers for asthma include allergies, certain drugs, pollution and severe stress.
Some sufferers are finding that their symptoms respond well to natural treatments for asthma.
- One natural alternative is inhaled glutathione an antioxidant which is usually deficient in those suffering from asthma. The body produces its own glutathione unless a poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation have depleted your reserves, leaving you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and more.
- Testing for gluten intolerance and/or other food allergies as it has been found that many with asthma also have a gluten or other sensitivity. In such cases, their immune systems are so busy fighting their food, that they don’t have left over immune resources to fight the environment.
- By increasing the intake of animal-based omega 3 fats and by reducing the intake of omega 6 fats – the ratio between these two fats is very important. If the balance is distorted it can lead to the type of inflammation that causes asthma.
- By getting regular exercise especially out in the fresh air. Research has shown that exercise in asthmatics leads to an improvement in maximum ventilation and maximal oxygen uptake; in work capacity; and in maximum heart rate.
- By testing your vitamin D levels. Most important of all is that if you get your levels to about 60 ng/ml or higher, there’s a strong likelihood you may not experience the symptoms of asthma any more.
The vast majority of today's population is vitamin D deficient – that is below 30 ng/ml - so that even the medical community is beginning to realize the importance of raising vitamin D levels to protect against a large number of diseases and health conditions including asthma. You can raise your levels by exposing as much skin as possible to sunlight during the 2 hours either side of noon (with no sun block) for as long as it takes for your skin to turn a light pink. The darker your skin, the longer you need. Do this as often as you can. You may still need to supplement with vitamin D3 and the suggested optimal dose is 8000 IUs per day until you reach above 60 ng/ml. You will then need to maintain that level.