Asthma is a respiratory condition characterized by spasms in the smooth muscles surrounding the airways of the lungs, known as bronchi and bronchioles. As the spasms occur, they cause the airways to narrow, creating difficulty breathing and, in most cases, a sensation of being unable to breathe altogether. Typically, asthma is also accompanied by excessive secretion of mucus in the lungs’ mucous membranes.
Asthma is especially common among children and teenagers between the ages of two and seventeen. In the United States, it is the number one disease within this age group, as well as the leading cause of hospitalization. But asthma is also very common among all age groups, being the eighth leading cause of disease overall in the U.S. It can also be fatal, and accounts for the deaths of over 5,000 Americans every year due to suffocation. In the last two decades, there has been a dramatic rise (over 65 percent) in the number of asthma cases in the U.S., primarily due to an accompanying rise in environmental pollution, poor eating habits, and food and environmental allergies.
Caution: Cases of severe asthma attack require immediate medical attention.
Types of Asthma
There are two primary categories of asthma—acute and chronic. Cases of acute asthma typically flare up suddenly, causing breathing difficulties that can be severe. However, episodes of acute asthma usually do not last long (less than a day). Chronic asthma is a lingering condition with symptoms that are similar to those of acute asthma, although they are often less severe.
A third category of asthma is known as occupational asthma. It accounts for more than 15 percent of all cases of asthma in the U.S. and only affects adults. It is so named because it is triggered by exposure to environmental toxins in the workplace.
Symptoms of Asthma
The primary symptom of asthma is an asthma attack characterized by difficulty breathing and accompanied by constriction of the smooth muscles of the bronchial airways, inflammation of the mucous membranes, and increased mucus production. Symptoms can quickly worsen, especially in cases of acute asthma.
Other symptoms include coughs, chest tightness, wheezing (especially during exhalation), heart palpitations and increased heart rate, and sleep disorders due to an inability to breathe properly. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever (inflammation of mucous membranes of the nasal passageways), is also a very common symptom of asthma, occurring in 93 percent of all children and teenagers affected by asthma and in 99 percent of adults.
Causes of asthma
Causes of asthma include, though are not limited to poor diet, food and environmental allergies, exposure to cold air, infection, overexertion and/or excessive exercise, exhaustion, and stress. Inhalants, which are commonly prescribed by conventional physicians to treat asthma symptoms, can also trigger asthma attacks, as can other pharmaceutical drugs, which can trigger allergic responses. Improper breathing habits are also a factor and this coupled with the fear of not being able to breathe can often aggravate an attack.
Cold Air: Sudden exposure to cold air can often provoke attacks in people who are susceptible to asthma because of how cold air initially causes constriction of the body’s air passages.
Diet: In addition to the risk of food allergies posed by an unhealthy diet, poor eating habits inevitably lead to compromised immune function, which can make dealing with allergens that trigger asthma attacks much more difficult, and also increases the risk of infection.
Food and Environmental Allergies: Allergens in food and/or the environment are common triggers of asthma attacks. Typically, asthma that occurs in early childhood is more likely due to food allergies, and asthma that develops later in life is due typically to both food and environmental allergies. Common foods that can trigger allergy attacks include eggs, milk and dairy products, sugar, peanuts, and wheat, including wheat by-products, such as gluten, soy and corn. Any food, however, can potentially cause asthma as well as trigger other conditions associated with allergies. In addition, food colorings, chemical preservatives, and other food additives can also trigger asthma attacks.
The most common environmental triggers of asthma attacks are animal dander, commercial detergents and cleansers, dust, feathers, mould, pollen, petrochemicals, smoke (including second-hand cigarette smoke), and textiles. Most fabrics are treated with formaldehyde, which can provoke a strong response, as can fabrics composed of synthetic materials. In some cases, cotton and flax, both heavily sprayed fibers, can also be at fault.
Infection: Infectious bacteria, fungi, and viruses are all associated with allergic reactions and Asthma attacks, especially during the winter.
Inhalants and Pharmaceutical Drugs: Inhalants, even though they are commonly recommended by conventional physicians to manage asthma symptoms, can actually exacerbate asthma symptoms and trigger asthma attacks. This is because of how individuals sensitive to inhalants react when exposed to them. Asthma related to inhalants is most common among people between the ages of ten and thirty. Various pharmaceutical drugs can also cause or exacerbate asthma attacks, including aspirin.
Prednisone, another drug commonly recommended by conventional physicians for asthma, can also cause serious side effects. In addition to potentially aggravating asthma symptoms, prednisone can cause dizziness, glaucoma, headaches, menstrual problems, muscle weakness, peptic ulcers, and impair the body’s ability to heal wounds. In addition, ongoing prednisone use can also hasten the onset of Type II diabetes.
Improper Breathing Habits: People who habitually breathe through their mouths instead of through their nostrils are very prone to developing asthma. In fact, researchers have found that as many as 90 percent of all asthma sufferers predominantly breathe through their mouths or did so in the past. Mouth breathing significantly increases a person’s exposure to dander, dust, mold, and pollen, as well as infectious agents and environmental allergens and pollutants.
Overexertion and Excessive Exercise: Physical overexertion and/or too much exercise can also trigger asthma attacks in people susceptible to asthma because of how physical activity affects the lungs and produces a tendency to breath through one’s mouth.
Stress: Physical and mental/emotional stress has been shown by research to be associated with asthma. Stress has been shown to cause white blood cells known as leukocytes to stick to bronchial cells. When this occurs, inflammation of the bronchial airways can often occur, which can lead to asthma.
Stress of a mental/emotional nature has been particularly linked to cases of asthma during childhood. Moreover, asthma itself can cause stress, creating a vicious circle between asthma symptoms and stress.
Things to do:
Get screened for food allergies and sensitivities, and then avoid eating those foods you are allergic or sensitive to. Allergy testing, NAET www.naet.com
Generally follow an organic, whole foods diet, including plenty of fresh, raw organic fruits and vegetables, preferably soaked nuts and seeds, organic, free-range meats and poultry, and wild-caught fish. Garlic, onions, ginger and peppers are excellent staples to include in your meals, due to their powerful health benefits for the lungs and overall respiratory system.
Drink plenty of pure, fresh water each day; a minimum of eight ounces should be drunk every two hours.
Use extra virgin olive oil, raw virgin coconut butter/oil and high lignin flax seed oil to replace all other fats and oils in the diet. When cooking only use virgin coconut butter/oil due to its ability to withstand high heats.
If your asthma attacks tend to be provoked by stress, combine half a teaspoon each of baking soda and sea salt in organic juice or pure, filtered water, and drink immediately.
Black coffee is a well-known drink for arresting an asthma attack. Studies have shown it opens airways and reduces asthma symptoms.
Stay away from these toxins:
Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
Avoid all sugar and sugar products.
Avoid wheat and wheat by-products.
Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
Avoid all fast food restaurants and commercially processed foods.
Avoid all canned food and all foods containing artificial ingredients, such as additives, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.
Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Avoid eating foods that are high on the glycemic index, as such foods can trigger insulin resistance and cause hypoglycemia, which is a common factor in many cases of asthma.
Other dietary options:
Go Vegan – According to leading naturopathic physician and researcher Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., a vegan diet can significantly improve symptoms of most respiratory conditions, including bronchitis. Dr. Pizzorno reports that over 90 percent of all people who follow a vegan diet for at least one year experience notable improvements in their health.
We recommend two to three colonics a week for the first month and then follow the advice from your practitioner as to the frequency of future colonics.
Find a practitioner here
Take a foot soak or bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. Oxygen is the ultimate detoxifier. See video section for more details.
For acute asthma attacks, applying hot compresses to the chest can help to relieve symptoms. To enhance the effectiveness, simultaneously soak your feet in hot water whilst covering the rest of your body in wool or cotton blankets.
Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in healing disease. Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day nc.vitaminstrength.com for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met.
Take a good probiotic such as Fivelac – one packet three times a day for 60 days.
Take marine grade Coral Calcium.
Take Able Heel.
Take Deer Antler Velvet
MMS1 and MMS2 – Miracle Mineral Solution – www.futurehealthtoday.com
Vitamin B3 (niacin), B5, B6 and B12 are important for immunity and controlling inflammation.
Vitamin C protects lung tissues and fights infection.
Calcium, Magnesium are also shown to be essential, as sufferers found deficient in these minerals are more at risk from attacks.
Other useful supplements include beta carotene, bee pollen, quercetin, manganese, selenium, Betaine HCl, lycopene, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can also be helpful.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Inhaling the vapours of the essential oils bergamot, camphor, eucalyptus, lavender, hyssop, or marjoram during an asthma attack can often quickly help to resolve symptoms. The essential oil of frankincense has a calming effect. The oils can be used in an oil burner or on a compress.
Useful herbs for helping to prevent and reverse asthma symptoms include cayenne pepper, ephedra, garlic, gingko biloba, green tea, gumweed, horse chestnut, Indian tobacco, jujube plum, licorice root, lobelia, marshmallow root, mullein, onion, passionflower, skunk cabbage, slippery elm, and thyme.
If you smoke is it vital that you quit.
If you are overweight, start to lose weight – being overweight may put pressure on the lungs and trigger an inflammatory response.
Avoid all household chemical cleaners and make your own plant based cleaning products with aromatherapy oils.
Try journaling. A New England Journal of Medicine study documented the benefits of daily journals in patients with asthma. This may be due to its stress reducing effects – journaling is found to be helpful in releasing bottled-up emotions