Asthma is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or one type of it to be more precise. It is also one of the most persistent and very expensive when we consider the price of medications. For these reasons, as well as for avoiding unnecessary side-effects of pharmaceuticals, there are many people affected by asthma looking for the ways of treating asthma naturally.
In 2009 there were around 22 million Americans suffering from asthma. Today the number is close to the 35 million with around 8% being children. At the same time, on the other side of the globe in eastern Asia, the number of people with asthma is significantly lower.
What causes asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder with characteristics of airway inflammation and hyper-responsiveness to inhaled stimuli. Due to this hyper-responsiveness, the airways narrow which affects our ability to breathe properly. In most cases, it is “just” a difficulty but asthma attacks can be very serious and even life-threatening. There are medications to treat asthma which may be necessary, especially if it comes to a severe asthma attack. But, if we look at the causes of asthma, we see that there are things we can actually do to improve asthma symptoms through treating asthma naturally.
The fact that asthma is so widespread shows us how often we are surrounded by asthma stimuli. They are all around us…at home, school, work, in the streets, etc. So, since they are so wide-spread, let’s call these environmental causes. Besides these, there is interplay with our immune system. Stimuli push our immune system into overdrive and those inflammatory reactions which are useful in defending our body from infections now make our life very difficult. This is the other part of the asthma equation, the internal causes – our immune system response.
So, it is essential for us to control these stimuli and improve our immune system as ways of treating asthma naturally.
This sounds like quite a task, of course, and we can’t always control our environment to the extent necessary. For example, we can’t control the outdoors or our work environment very easily and many of our problems may come from these sources. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the highest rate of work-related asthma has been reported by wood product and plastic/rubber workers. But, there can also be a lot of less obvious triggers in any work environment, as well, such as cleaning products, mold and poor air circulation.
Many chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and their symptoms are related to our home environment and we have a lot more control and opportunities to make changes in our own homes.
One of the first and easiest things we can do is use air conditioners. Air conditioners have filters which filter out small particles such as pollen and dust from the air. There are many air conditioning systems with air ionizer systems built in, or we can use separate air ionizer to clear and filter the air. Plus, air conditioners may lower the humidity and our exposure to dust mites which can play an important role in treating asthma naturally.
Good cleaning practices
Our home environment, more often than not, attracts dust and we need to keep the dust cleaned away as often as possible. Our beds, for example, collect a lot of dust. In order keep them dust-free as much as possible we can use dust-proof covers for pillows and mattresses. If we have carpets, and can’t remove them, the best idea is to vacuum with high-quality vacuum cleaners which have HEPA filtration which remove very small dust and pollen particles. These vacuum cleaners are also good for mattress cleaning. Vacuuming without fine filtration only removes larger dirt particles but what we also do is actually release more dust into the air and worsen air conditions. HEPA systems aren’t always expensive and are well worth researching to find a reasonably priced one.
Mold spores are a very potent allergen so we need to keep bath and kitchen, or any other high-moisture area, dry and mold-free. Also, clean any moldy objects around the house but be aware that some cleaning solutions may provoke asthma so stay away from those.
Avoid second-hand smoking and other fumes as well, if the environment allows. Many workplaces are unfortunately heavily affected by these.
If we notice our asthma is worsening with the cold weather we should wear a mask when outside in cold weather.
As stated by the Mayo Clinic, there is no cure for asthma yet, but there are plenty of things we can do to avoid triggering asthma attacks.
Treating asthma naturally and immune system improvement
We can’t change our immune system the way we can change our environment, but by treating asthma naturally, we can certainly improve it.
Our immune system and our bodies overall are affected by our nutrition. Healthy nutrition helps us to fight environmental “pollution” and helps us build a healthy immune system.
One study showed a strong correlation between asthma and low carotenoids levels. Vitamin A, which our bodies create from carotenoids, maintain healthy mucous membranes in our airways. Therefore increasing intake of vegetables like carrots, berries, leafy greens and tomatoes can affect the severity of asthma attacks.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and E are related to reducing inflammation. So fresh veggies, like leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, peppers, nuts, and seeds, are excellent choices for the natural treatment of asthma.
Vitamin B9 is also very helpful in reducing inflammation and allergic reactions.
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant. Research on asthma showed a correlation between low levels of magnesium and the risk of developing asthma. Increasing the level of magnesium is linked with bronchial smooth muscle relaxation and reduced severity of asthma attacks. Excellent sources of this mineral are nuts, seeds, beans, leafy greens and cocoa.
We find great antimicrobial ability in garlic and onions. They improve immunity and reduce inflammation.
Another great way of reducing inflammation is by eating or supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. The best source of these good fatty acids is oily fish, especially those from cold seas such as sardines, mackerel, salmon and tuna. Omega-3 acids reduce airway inflammation and improve overall immunity.
When it comes to food, there are also foods that people with asthma should avoid, as well. Processed and fried food, foods with added sugar, trans-fats, refined oils, and processed carbohydrates can compromise our health overall. Those who want to consider treating asthma naturally will want to reduce or eliminate these foods as much as possible.
Another study showed that nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline can improve symptoms of asthma and sinusitis by clearing away allergens and excess mucus.
We can also add more nutrients through supplementation. Some of the most common nutritional supplements are vitamins, minerals, fats and oils and these can be helpful for our immune systems.
BioPro-Plus is a supplement that improves our immune system’s reaction by making it “smarter”. It stimulates the production of T-cells, which are naturally produced in the body, that not only fight infection but help to eliminate unnecessary inflammation and allergic reactions.
With BioPro-Plus, along with environmental and workplace precautions, good cleaning practices and good nutrition, we can help to naturally reduce our asthma symptoms.