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Asthma


About
A reversible airway disease caused by the spasms of the small airways of the lungs. There is no cure for asthma at this time, but treatment can help to relieve symptoms and recurring attacks.


Notes
  • Make sure you are taking supplements for overall good health. If you are not taking these basic supplements, we recommend Enfuz from Vitabase. When you take a small packet of pills each day, you get all the basic nutrition you need. Each packet contains a multi-vitamin, CoQ10 (for heart health), Omega 3, Vitamin D-3, a probiotic, and a powerful set of antioxidants to help your body fight off disease.
  • Air pollutants (ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, cigarette smoke, to name a few) can elicit asthma attacks.
  • Articles in the Nutrition Health Review have indicated that anger, anxiety, and depression can be catalyst in asthma attacks. Be aware, however, that these moods can be caused by asthma medication that can cause jumpy nerves, mood swings, and the inability to sleep well.
  • Asthmatics should be closely monitored when using Zanamivir (Relenza) which is an antiviral drug used in treating people with the flu as it cause serious problems for asthma sufferers. Even though the FDA approved the drug, it should be noted that an FDA advisory panel strongly recommended non-approval stating that the drug's overall benefits were minute.
  • Asthmatics that drink coffee or other caffeine-containing drinks typically have one-third less the amount of asthma problems, according to studies that have been done at Harvard and through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to caffeine's dilating effect.
  • In certain people, fish eaten three times weekly or salmon oil capsules taken before each meal may help asthmatics.
  • It is not recommended that people with asthma sleep or use good down pillows or covers and they may excite breathing problems.
  • Children seem to be very receptive to mind and body control training. Asthma specialist Richard Firshein, D.O. in New York City has been working with asthmatic children and teaching them not to panic when they become aware that they are going to have an asthma attack. He teaches them that if they put their minds on pleasant images and smells (i.e. warm sun, hot dogs, or a favorite pet the asthma attack may not occur.
  • In recent years the development of air ionizers to cleanse the air asthmatics breathe has skyrocketed. Wein Products makes an Air Supply personal air purifier that can be worn around the neck. Another unit that is recommended is the Living Air XL-15 unit from Alpine Air of America. Ionizers are useful for reducing the pollutants in the home and office and protecting asthmatics against bacteria, viruses, mold, and other harmful pollutants.
  • It is not unusual for asthmatics to not have enough of certain nutrients. Some of these are vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and selenium. In addition, they may be lacking an particular enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Even their digestive system may be short of normal levels of gastric hydrochloric acid which can properly digest food. Dr. Jonathan Wright, a noted nutritionist, has suggested that there were quite surpassing results when a combination of gastric acid replacement therapy (can come in the most common form of betaine hydrochloride) along with taking supplements of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and magnesium.
  • North Dakota State University did a study and determined that people that take the time and devote 20 minutes a day to relax and write that they exhibited improvement in their condition. There were 70 patients that took part in the study. Of them, 47 percent improved compared to 24 percent that did not without writing. The conclusion was that taking time out to note individual observations on paper may relieve stress and quiet the mind.
  • Regular exercise is believed to be beneficial for some asthmatics. However, some asthmatics could experience an asthma attack when exercising. This could be attributed to an asthmatic inhaling a greater amount of cool, dry air which could stress the respiratory system. Running is just one example of these exercise routines. It may help for an asthmatic to wear a mask while running which could keep the heat and moisture in and reduce the possible consequences of breathing cold, dry air.
  • Should a person with asthma also have high blood pressure, they could experience problems with their bronchial muscles and even cause life-threatening issues should the medication contain beta-blockers.
  • Sulfites can be a source of asthma attacks for those people that are sensitive to food sulfites. Asthmatics have been known to have severe asthma attacks after eating foods that contain sulfating agents. These can be sodium bisulfate, potassium metabisulfite, potassium bisulfate, and sulfur dioxide, all of which are put in vegetables, fruits, and other foods to help keep it fresh.
  • Theophylline is a sustained-release substance under the brand name of Theo-Dur Sprinkle, which has been known to help. To administer this drug to children, a capsule can be opened and sprinkled onto a soft food such as applesauce and having the child ingest the food. Theophylline can have serious side effects, including a rapid heart beat and insomnia. Typically, doctors are likely to recommend inhaled drugs or topical treatments over the use of pills because they directly treat the bronchial tubes and lungs.
  • There are many different types of bronchodilators on the market today that can relieve the bronchial constrictions. A couple of these are Proventil and Ventolin. These bronchodilators can help an asthmatic breathe better but do not treat what is causing the asthma attack.
  • While it has been recommended for many years that cleaning your air ducts within your home can be beneficial, it is now believed that cleaning air ducts may actually stir up even more allergens into the air you breathe.


Advice
  • Check you salt intake if you are having asthmatic attack during exercise.
  • Do not drink cold drinks or eat ice cream due to the bronchial spasm.
  • Eat a high protein low carbohydrate diet.
  • Eat light meals to keep from shortness of breath.
  • Fast with distilled water and lemon juice for 3 days a month.
  • Garlic and onions have been found to release inflammation by the quercetin and mustard oils.
  • Keep a diary of diet medications, and symptoms to help figure out what triggers your asthma.
  • One hour before exercise take 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C to reduce asthma attacks.
  • Painkillers can cause asthma reactions (Advil, Nuprin, etc.)
  • Reduce stress
  • Research by eliminating certain foods that cause asthmatic conditions.
  • Stay away from BHA and BHT in food along with FD&C Yellow 5 dye. Keep away from furry animals and tobacco (smoke) and the amino acid tryptophan.
  • Use bee propolis



Helpful nutrients for this condition.

Bromelain
Importance: Very High
Comments: Boosts immune system. To maximize results, use with quercetin.
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Flaxseed oil or Primrose oil
Importance: Very High
Comments: Provides essential fatty acids. Helps with inflammation.
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Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
Importance: Very High
Comments: Alleviates stress.
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Vitamin A
Importance: Very High
Comments: Helps immune system. Builds up tissue.
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Beta carotene
Importance: Very High
Comments: Antioxidant. Forerunner of vitamin A.
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Carotenoid complex (Betatene)
Importance: Very High
Comments: Antioxidant. Forerunner of vitamin A.
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Vitamin B complex
Importance: Very High
Comments: Boosts immune system.
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Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Importance: Very High
Comments: Beneficial for allergies and asthma. Injections under a physician's care are recommended.
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Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Importance: Very High
Comments: Beneficial for allergies and asthma.
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Vitamin B12
Importance: Very High
Comments: Clears inflammation in the lungs during an attack. Best to use lozenge or sublingual form.
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Vitamin E
Importance: Very High
Comments: Powerful antioxidant.
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Vitamin C
Importance: Very High
Comments: Decreases infection. Eases inflammation and boosts air flow to the lungs. Preserves lung tissue.
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Coenzyme Q10
Importance: High
Comments: Counteracts histamine.
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Magnesium
Importance: High
Comments: Expands the bronchial muscles. Could help stop an asthma attack by raising the vital capacity of the lungs. Chelate or asporotate forms are recommended.
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Calcium
Importance: High
Comments: Expands the bronchial muscles. Could help stop an asthma attack by raising the vital capacity of the lungs. Chelate or asporotate forms are recommended.
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Multivitamin and mineral complex
Importance: High
Comments: Boosts immune system. High-potency formulas are best. Kills free radical that come from pollutants in the air.
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Helpful herbs and supplements for this condition.

Ginkgo biloba
Type: Internal
Purposes: Ginkgo Biloba tea is made from the ginkgo leaf and contains ginkgolide which the Chinese use as lung fortifiers. Studies have shown this herb to be beneficial for treating asthma.
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Lobelia
Type: Internal
Purposes: Lobeline, the principle alkaloid in Lobelia stimulates deeper breathing. This herb has been used as a stimulant for spasmodic asthma. Also has been used to expel phlegm from the lungs, and relieve congestion that is typically related to asthma and bronchitis.
Cautions: Due to its strong actions, taking Lobelia internally should be done only under the supervision of a physician.
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Mullein
Type: Internal
Purposes: Mullein Tea is recommended by herbalists for asthma. The leaves and flowers are used as a remedy for the respiratory tract, particularly for bronchial coughs and congestion.
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Pau d'arco
Type: Internal
Purposes: Also known as Lapacho and when made as a tea this has proven to be a powerful antibiotic and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Dosage: 3 cups daily
Cautions: May cause some nausea when first drinking this tea.
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Shuan Huang Lian
Type: Internal
Purposes: In China this mixture of herbs is used in hospitals to treat respiratory illness such as asthma and acute bronchitis. Doctors are still experimenting with this herb to see how it works. This herb is made up of at least twenty-nine components.

The herbs that directly support Ayurveda are as follows:                Vasaka, Boswellia, and Tylophora
Type: Internal
Purposes: Vasaka (adhatoda vasica) -Juice of the leaves and roots is used to asthma, bronchitis and chronic cough. Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) - used to treat bronchitis when used with steam inhalation. Also known to have anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce pain. Tylophora (Tylophora indica) - Has a strong anti-inflammatory action and in certain regions of India it is used to treat bronchitis and asthma.

Echinacea and Goldenseal
Type: Internal
Purposes: Echinacea and Goldenseal combine well to help fight asthma.
Cautions: Echinacea is not to be used if you have an auto-immune disorder. Goldenseal should not be taken for more than one week at a time. Do not take Goldenseal if you are pregnant or lactating.
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Licorice
Type: Internal
Purposes: Is an expectorant and anti-inflammatory herb that when used as a syrup or tincture can help to reduce asthma attacks.
Cautions: Usage of this herb should not exceed a week. Do not use if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
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Ephedra (ma huang)
Type: Internal
Purposes: The stems of Ephedra contain the alkaloid ephedrine which is very beneficial in the treatment of asthma.
Cautions: Not to be taken if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant or lactating.

Juniper berries
Type: Internal
Purposes: Juniper Berries have been found to reduce congestion and helpful in treating asthma.
Cautions: Do not use this herb if you have a kidney infection.
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Slippery Elm
Type: Internal
Purposes: Slippery Elm has compounds called oligomeric procyanidins which have shown antiseptic and anti-allergic properties that are found in the treatments for asthma and bronchitis. Herbalists use this herb to treat coughs and inflammations.
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