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Asthma - the natural support

Posted on 16/07/2014 by Healthwise Clinic

Asthma is very common, it is estimated that over one million Australians have asthma.

It is very important to realise that the treatment of asthma requires effort on a lot of levels involving diet, relaxation/stress reduction, herbal/nutrient supplementation and overall care of all the body's systems. 

The following information is given to complement your medication for asthma, not as a replacement.

The initial aim in treatment is to start strengthening the organs that are weak in the body and that are contributing to your asthma. This requires patience and perseverance.  If your doctor has prescribed any medical drugs, please allow the doctor to monitor these drugs for you.  

With progressive treatments you should experience a decrease in attacks, both in frequency and severity.

Asthma is a condition characterised by coughing, wheezing and difficult breathing. It is frequently, but not invariably associated with a family history of allergy.  Therefore allergy may be a common cause.  Infections of the sinus or bronchial tubes may also be important factors.  Asthma patients are adversely affected by such "non specific " factors as air pollutants, cold air, cigarette smoke, fumes and stress and emotion. 

Asthma may begin at any age. If neglected it tends to recur and become chronic.  An asthmatic tends to have overly reactive smooth muscle in the bronchial tree.  Muscle constriction, mucus secretion and swelling of the lining of the air passages all contribute to attacks. 

Intrinsic Asthma – Environmental

The various stimuli which can trigger environmental or intrinsic asthma include allergens (often a family history of allergies is present), such as airborne chemicals, pollens, pesticides, dust mites, moulds, animals and cigarette smoke. 

Extrinsic Asthma – Immunological

Also called atopic asthma, this is considered to be IgEmediated.  Infections, allergens, digestive disturbances, and hot, cold, or dry air stimulate extrinsic asthma.  Bowel toxicity, exercise and emotions/stress can also trigger the release of chemicals, which cause constriction of the airways (bronchospasm), inflammation and excessive mucus production.

A)  Mechanisms involved in Asthma: 

  • Stress/Emotions/Adrenal depletion
  • Exercise
  • Antigen challenge
  • Immunological mechanisms
  • Neural mechanisms
  • Parasympathetic control
  • Sympathetic control
  • Peptidergic control
  • Genetic factors

B)  Inflammatory mediators involved in Asthma:

  • Histamine
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA)
  • Prostaglandin “2” series
  • Leukotriene “4” series
  • PAF (Platelet activating Factor)
  • Kinins eg bradykinin

 

Herbal Treatment: Many herbs can support asthmatics and assist in reducing symptoms.

Stress/Emotions/Adrenal depletion -

Emotional triggers are common with asthma. Severity of asthma attack is directly related to the amount of fear and anxiety felt by the patient which can cause further bronchoconstriction.  Most asthmatics know of the anxiety of a forgotten asthma spray, and how just the absence of one can trigger an asthma episode.  Therapy should be directed to reducing anxiety and supporting the adrenal glands.

Treatment revolves around using nervines, adaptogens and adrenal tonics.

Exercise – Spasmolytic and Adaptogenic herbs

Antigen Challenge – Anti-allergic herbs 

Immunological mechanisms – Immune enhancing and Immune suppressant herbs 

Neural mechanisms - Parasympathetic control, Sympathetic control and Peptidergic control 

Genetic factors – Antiallergic, Immune enhancing, Mucous membrane tonics  and Adaptogenic herbs

Inflammatory mediators - anti-inflammatory and immune modulating herbs 

Treatment of severe asthma attacks must be treated promptly by your doctor.

It is important to live a normal life and not let the asthma limit one's enjoyment of life.

For support with managing your asthma visit Healthwise Clinic for an appointment with our practitioners.

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