What is Asthma and how do you treat it?
Asthma is a condition in which your airways (bronchial tubes) narrow, swell, and produce excess mucus in your lungs. This condition affects approximately 25 million Americans, including 7 million children. Asthma attacks occur in response to certain triggers such as exercise, cold air, air pollutants, or allergens like mold or pollen. The severity of asthma can vary over time and symptoms may vary between each person. Therefore, it is important to develop a good understanding of all options available for asthma treatment.
Symptoms of Asthma
The most common symptom of an asthma attack is wheezing; other symptoms may include:
· Shortness of breath
· Chest tightness or pain
· Coughing, often severe at night or early in the morning
· Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
· A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling.
· Shortness of breath when performing minimal physical activity
Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. When your breathing suddenly becomes difficult or strenuous, please seek medical help.
Causes of Asthma
Multiple genetic and environmental factors may cause asthma. One of the root causes of asthma is the lack of a substance in the body called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins act like small hormones in the human body orchestrating all kinds of biological activity. One activity includes the dilation of the bronchial tubes of the lungs.
Another cause of asthma may be a dysfunctional digestive system, leading to congestive issues within the small and large intestines. A malfunctioning gut may lead to an overload of toxins within the body. When the toxic load is expelled by the blood exchange of oxygen
and carbon dioxide within the bronchial tubes of the lungs, it causes inflammation and the constriction of lung tissue.
Additionally, food sensitivities or food allergies are yet another potential cause of asthma. A poor diet may also cause the constriction of the bronchial tubes and air ways.
There are several potential asthma triggers that may vary between individuals. Common triggers include:
- Tobacco smoke
- Airborne substance, such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander or particles of cockroaches or other insects
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
- Cold air or humidity strong chemical odors such as phenol, air fresheners, perfumes
- Strong emotions (anxiety, crying, or laughing)
- Medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or beta blockers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Types of Asthma
Asthma may categorized by its triggers. The different types of asthma include:
- Allergic asthma – associated with allergies and triggered by allergens
- Non-allergic asthma – caused by viral infections and/or irritants like tobacco smoke and strong odors
- Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction – where physical exertion causes the airways to narrow
- Occupational asthma – where work-related irritants like dust and chemicals cause symptoms
- Cough variant asthma – where a cough is the only symptom
- Medication-induced asthma – caused or worsened by drugs like aspirin and NSAIDs
- Nocturnal asthma – when symptoms are worse or only present at night
- Glucocorticoid-resistant asthma – asthma that does not respond to anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid medications
Standard medical care for asthma is to manage the symptoms through medication. There are two main types of asthma medications: anti-inflammatories and bronchodilators.
Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce swelling and mucus production in the airways and are most commonly used for long-term asthma control, but may also be used to stop an asthma attack.
Bronchodilators relax and open the airways and are used for most rescue inhalers, but may also be used for long-term asthma management.
Through traditional asthma management, the symptoms may only be suppressed over the course of a lifetime with an enhanced risk of experiencing additional drug side effects. These side effects may include weight gain, headaches, hormonal changes, genetic alteration, and major organ dysfunction of the heart, liver, reproductive system, and/or kidneys. Traditional medicine does not cure asthma, it only suppresses the symptoms.
Proper treatment makes a significant difference when preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma. The Bio Wellness Center focuses on the root cause of the asthma. An understanding of the underlying issue should be obtained through cellular, hormonal, and genetic assessments to ensure correct treatment. By exploring each case individually, a proper treatment protocol is developed to address your specific and unique needs rather than masking the symptoms
Asthma can be a serious detriment to your long-term health, so do not hesitate to set up an appointment immediately. Call us today at (225)-478-9665.