Asthma

I am an asthma sufferer myself, and have been most of my life. I grew up with the typical explanations form the medical community, who as you know, is in the business of disease management, NOT Health Care. Treating the symptom without looking for an underlying cause just plain sucks, but that’s what happens when profits and beach front condos are at stake: drug dependency. Those explanations usually included hay fever, allergies, and exercise. Never, not once was I ever told that what I was eating could be promoting airway dysfunction and inflammation. The solution, given in usually 4 minutes or less, was always an inhaler, of recent, the steroidal vaerital.

Over the past few years I have gained control over my asthma, by finding out what causes it and how to control it. I still have to use a rescue inhaler, (Albuterol), on occasion, but it is always my own fault, and I am cognoscente of that fact. Wine, beer, corn, sweets, dairy and cheesecake will have you running for your inhaler faster than Kansas State Lawmaker from an evolution conference.

Be it known that you do not have to live a life of inhaler dependency if you play by the rules and avoid foods that are known to put your lungs and airways in jeopardy.

The information below is extracted from The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, notes from meetings with my Naturopathic Doctor Diane Diehn, Herbal Healing, and many websites I enjoy visiting from time to time.
I will list their info at the end.
Most of the info below is in short form or bullet points to spare boredom.
I urge you to buy the texts listed to get the long story.
Notes in BLUE are comments and suggestions of mine from experience.

Asthma comes from the Greek term meaning ‘breathlessness’

The chain of events in an asthma attack are:

An allergen triggers the activation of allergic antibodies

Two types:
Intrinsic: Non-Allergenic: toxic chemicals, cold air, infection, emotional upset
Extrinsic: allergic reactions, airborne
Activated antibodies produce a protein called immunoglobulin, (IgE), that bind to mast cells, which are, specialized white blood cells in abundance in lung and nasal tissue.
Binding causes the release of histamine, (extrinsic), or Leukotrienes, (intrinsic)
The release of these substances causes inflammation, spasm, and constriction of the small tubular airway muscles: Bronchi, and swelling of mucous lining of the lungs
Transfer of air to the blood stream in the microscopic Alveoli sacs at the end of the airway chain becomes difficult due to swelling and the production sticky sputum mucus.

Histamine and Leukotrienes are the Mediators that are responsible for inflammation and bronchial constriction

Leukotrienes are a thousand times more potent than Histamine at closing airway passages

Tartrazine, yellow dyes #5, amongst other food dyes are also a cause

Cortisol and Epinephrine released from the Adrenal Glands activate Beta-2 receptors on bronchial muscles which lead to relaxation of Bronchial muscle and opening of airways.
Lack of stimulation of beta-2 receptors results in bronchial constriction.
If you are in adrenal fatigue due to years of stress, this could be one source or angle to tackle.

Decreased levels of the adrenal hormone DHEA have been correlated to asthma sufferers

Reduce food and airborne allergens

Most Common Food Allergies: Milk, Chocolate, Wheat, Citrus, Food Colorings, sulphites, benzoates, sulphur dioxide.

Decreased gastric secretions can cause leaky gut syndrome allowing large molecules to enter the body, (gut permeability), that would otherwise have been digested. This increases Antigen load on the immune system. More allergens in circulatory system and may predispose further food allergies.
Digestive enzymes and Probiotics such as Acidophilus can aid in digestion and allow the gut to heal.

Dietary sources of Arachidonic Acid, derived from animal sources, have prostaglandins and leukotrirnes
Especially if the animal was grain fed. Corn is a bad-bad deal.
Read the book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids alter the Prosteglandin Metabolism by increasing the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 in the cell membranes, thereby reducing the availability of Arachidonic Acid. O-3 shifts from Leuko-4, (inflammatory), to Leuko-5 (less inflammatory)
The best source of Omega-3 is Salmon, especially Sockeye from Alaska. Get it here: http://www.great-alaska-seafood.com/
AVOID farm-raised, (mud puddle), fish at all costs.

Tryptophan is converted to Serotonin, which causes airway constriction. No turkey or milk
High levels of 5-HIAA in urine indicate serotonin level

B6 supplementation, 200mg daily, corrects and metabolizes Tryptophan

Antioxidants: beta carotene, (decreases Leuk formation), Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium increases defense mechanism, reduce free radicals.

Vitamin C esp. important to lungs. It is the major antioxidant present in the lining of airway surfaces and prevents the release of Histamine by white blood cells increasing the detoxification of it.

Flavanoids…esp. Quercetin, also: grape seed extract, pine bark, green tea, and ginko biloba inhibit histamine release from Mast Cells and the manufacture of Leukotrienes.

Garlic and onions inhibit the substances that promote inflammatory response.

Glutathione Peroxidase depends on Selenium and it breaks down allergic Leukotrienes.

Ephedra, from Mau Huang, and its alkaloids have been proven effective as bronchodilators.
It is just too bad that the weight loss gang got a hold of it, overused it, people died from it, and the FDA pulled it off of the market.
Guarna, and caffeine, seem to have the same effect as Ephedra yet less potent

Licorice root and its active component: Glycyrrhetinic Acid inhibits Prostaglandin and Leukotriene manufacture.
I drink tea with licorice in it.
Other Beneficial Botanicals:
Lobelia, (Indian Tobacco)
Tylophora Indica aka: Asthmatic (leaves used in Ayurvedic/Indian Medicine)
Ginko Biloba – anti inflammatory and anti-allergen
Chamomile –antihistamine
Ginger – Deactivates PAF
Green Tea – contains theophylline which opens bronchial passages
Flaxseed – has Omega-3
Water – loosens phlegm

Other Good Tips:
Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques
Avoid second hand smoke
Avoid Sulfites used in dried fruit, salad bars, and wine
Stay away from cat dander and people that own cats. Dander travels on cat owners clothes

Herbal Healing by: Phyllis Balch
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by: Michael Murray & Joseph Pizzorno
Dr. Diane Diehn: Integrative medical Specialists
913.825.6111 http://www.integrativemedicalspecialists.com

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