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Management of Asthma with Diet, Exercise and Integrated Medicine

Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by contractions in the bronchi (passage way to the lungs) causing difficulty in breathing, usually associated with a wheezing sound, tightness and coughing. It is usually due to allergies or hypersensitivity of some kind. Severity can vary from mild occasional discomfort to constant severe need for medications and other aid. In most cases, there is NO KNOWN CURE for asthma. Some people outgrow it, some deal with it occasionally, some get it to a stage that is appropriately managed and they can live a productive life and some know the triggers and avoid them.

Exacerbating factors for Asthma:

If you have mild to moderate asthma, the best thing to do is identify your cause of allergy and try to avoid it.Common allergens and triggers are:

  • Dust
  • Pollution such as smoke, molds
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen
  • Strong smells
  • Extreme weather conditions (too cold, too humid, etc)
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Some foods

Some health conditions can make management of asthma difficult:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Obesity
  • Acid Reflux
  • Stress amongst others

Goal of Treating Asthma:

In most cases, except the most severe, the goal of asthma treatment is to prevent symptoms, avoid morbidity from acute symptoms and prevent psychological and functional effects on life.

Integrated medicine practitioners, like Syncremedies, can help by providing a more comprehensive multifaceted solution. They can use Ayurveda, homeopathy and other modalities of treatment to reduce or eliminate symptoms long term.

Medications for Asthma:

Medications to asthmatics are usually dispensed in the tablets, injections or inhalers.

Inhaler and injections are fast acting. Inhalers dispense medications almost directly where it is needed to take effect. Injections are used usually by medical personnel for fast acting control. Tablets are relatively slow acting and best for daily long term management.

Quick relief or rescue medications: short acting beta agonists and anticholinergic are to quickly relax and open airways when the symptoms have already started occurring. Usually in inhaler form, their purpose is to quickly give relief. They do not take the place of controller medicines. They help feel better immediately but do not help with the inflammation of the airways that causes the symptom. If you feel the need to use them more than twice a week, your asthma is not controlled and you need to see your doctor or an allergist.

Theophylline usually used for night time attacks.

Long term medications: These may be inhalers or oral.

Inhalers: Corticosteroids. These are controller medications. Used usually daily to avoid occurrence of symptoms. Corticosteroids are powerful drugs and should not be taken without a prescription. They reduce the body’s reaction to allergens and change metabolism with long term consumption, and must be used carefully. They have been a very useful, lifesaving drug to control long term symptoms in severe asthmatics. They work by reducing swelling and mucus production

Combination inhalers include corticosteroids combined with long acting beta agonist: These are used usually for long term control and keeping the airways open.

Leukotriene modifiers are oral medications.

Immunotherapy:

Maybe in the form of injection (Anti I gE) or sublingual (under tongue) tablets.

These work by improving the body’s resistance to the allergen. Small amounts of the identified allergens are introduced in the body slowly over time. It helps the body build immunity and respond less aggressively to the offending allergen. These are not advised in patients with severe asthma.

Bronchial thermoplasty:

A relatively new procedure, used by pulmonologist to use thermal energy (heat) to reduce the amount of smooth muscle in the lungs and airways, decreasing their ability to constrict

Other non medication ways to reduce the severity of Asthma attack episodes and number of episodes is:

  • Cessation of smoking
  • Losing excess weight
  • Pranayama

Dos and Don’ts:

Some other recommended therapies for asthma are:

  • Elimination of animal meat from the diet
  • Eat ginger and turmeric regularly
  • Use of traditional Chinese medicine
  • Rolfing, a form of deep tissue massage believed to break up congestion in the lung.
  • Increasing water intake by 30%.
  • Elimination of PUFA (poly unsaturated fatty acids) in the diet. They are present in butter, margarine, shortening, some vegetable oils, etc.
  • Avoid known irritants like smoke and dust.
  • Eliminate processed foods from the diet. They are notorious for all kinds of health related issues
  • Avoid nitrates, nitirites and sulphites, present in hot dogs, cheeses, wines, bacon and beer and other processed meats and alcohols.
  • Increase intake of foods and supplements with antioxidants like berries, cherries,
  • Supplement with omega 3.
  • Consumption of Reishi mushroom.
  • Avoid constipation. Which means eat a diet that is healthy. Live a life that is active.
  • Avoid inhaling cold air. It it’s cold outside, breathe through a scarf.
  • The Ayurveda treatment of panchakarma.
  • Practice yoga
  • Prayanama, naadi shodhana, kapaala bhaati and bhastrika are said to be beneficial.

Home Remedies for Asthma:

Some home remedies known to help during an acute attack are:

  • Warm hot pack on the chest and shoulder
  • Concussion to the vertebrae..forth to seventh..every half a minute for 10 minutes.
  • A spoonful of Mustard oil with jaggery
  • Multiple small sips of hot water or hot plain milk
  • Immersing hands/feet in warm water upto the elbows or knees.
  • Use of the juice of the plant, Solanum surattense about 7-10 ml.
  • Use of Piper logum (Pippalee) with honey.

Yoga for Asthma:

Yoga poses known to help asthma and strengthen lung

  • Savasana
  • Sukasana
  • Pranayama
  • Parvatasana
  • Ashtang namaskaram
  • Bhujangasan
  • Hastotanasan
  • Padasthasan
  • Ashwasanchanlan asan
  • Suryanamaskaram

Other Treatments for Asthma:

There are other remedies and claims to cure asthma. But try them carefully, with caution and use your own judgement to care for you body. Watch and listen to your body. Figure out what helps you, but always keep a short acting relief medicine close to you and keep track of your asthma.

Cheers to all the moments in life that take your breath away!

Do reach out to us for the best treatment for Asthma.

At Syncremedies, meet with 3 doctors from Allopathy, Ayurveda & Homoepathy TOGETHER to offer the most effective solution to your concern.
Modern medicine can facilitate in immediate control of the symptom and traditional medicine can aid in treating the concern from its root in the long run.

Each consult lasts a duration of 40 minutes with a treatment plan that encapsulates Diet, Exercise, Therapy and medication essential to control and treat the health condition.

You can meet the doctors online through a video consult at the convenience of your home or visit a clinic near you.

Article by Dr Archana Naidu-Komandur, BDS, DDS, PG, FAGD

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