Asthma

Asthma

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Background

20 million Americans (1 in 15) suffer with asthma, with 1/2 of these having allergic triggers, and the prevalence has been growing over the last few decades. It kills over 4,000 Americans yearly and causes over 500,000 hospitalizations. If these patients were given IV magnesium (up to 1 gm/hr for 6-12 gms a day) and vitamin B6 (100 mg/day), many of these deaths could be avoided and hospital stays prevented or shortened.

Asthma has a genetic component. If only one parent has asthma, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have asthma. If both parents have asthma, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have asthma.

Asthma, which reflects spasm and inflammation of the pipes carrying air in and out of your lungs, is becoming more common. This is no surprise, given the increase in allergens (including homes and offices with mold), nutritional deficiencies, and chemicals in our environment.

Symptoms

Asthma attacks can vary from mild to life-threatening. Symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • wheezing, and/or
  • chest tightness

Triggers

Many factors can trigger an asthma attack, including:

  • allergens
  • infections
  • exercise
  • abrupt changes in the weather
  • exposure to irritants (e.g., tobacco smoke)

Treatment

There are many helpful medications for asthma, and most of these are being reasonably prescribed by physicians. Natural therapies that eliminate allergic sensitivity and decrease the tendency to inflammation should also be used. When combined with simple efforts to decrease contact with allergens, these natural therapies help you feel much better while decreasing the need for medications.

Recommended Supplements

Multi-nutrient powder

The nutrients magnesium, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, molybdenum, beta carotene and bioflavonoids have been shown to decrease asthmatic symptoms significantly. You can find these in combination in a good multi-nutrient powder. You should begin with this simple but thorough way to get nutritional support.

Boswellia

Boswellia 300 mg 3x day. This wonderful anti-inflammatory herbal (also called "frankincense") significantly reduces asthma after 6 weeks (and usually within days).

Adrenal nutrients

Adrenal support can be very helpful in asthma, and may decrease the amount of prednisone needed by asthmatics.

Lycopene

Lycopene 30-45 mg a day is helpful for exercise induced asthma. Though found in tomatoes, it takes about a pound of tomatoes, 11 ounces of tomato juice or 7 ounces of tomato paste to supply 30 mg of lycopene.

Fish oil

Fish oil. This is an anti-inflammatory nutrient. It is most helpful for children with asthma — especially after the environmental triggers are removed. Tuna and salmon are good sources (fried and battered fish are NOT). Children who eat fish more than once a week have 1/3 the asthma risk of those eating minimal fish. Interestingly, children whose mothers took fish oil during the last 3 months of their pregnancy had a 63% lower risk of asthma than those whose mothers took placebo!

Other Therapies & Advice

Clean your home

Begin by cleaning up your home. Consider adding an electrostatic air cleaner into your furnace, as this will pull allergens out of the air. Your heating/cooling service company can guide you and install it (costs about $700 but is worth it). Be sure the air cleaner filters can fit in your dishwasher and wash them the first of each month. If you can’t get the in-furnace air filter, an alternative is a HEPA filter in your bedroom.

Avoid food colorings and additives

Common asthma triggers include tartrazine yellow dye #5 (which one company used to color their asthma medications with in the 1970's — until they came to their senses!), benzoates, and sulfites. Some foods also act as triggers. Try a "multiple food elimination diet" for 7-10 days to see if the asthma symptoms improve when you are off certain foods. It may be very enlightening!

Acupressure

A special acupressure technique called NAET can eliminate one allergy per visit. This is an excellent treatment for those with allergic asthma.

Treat leaky gut syndrome

Eliminate any leaky gut from bowel yeast/Candida overgrowth (from the antibiotics and steroids kids get for asthma).

More Information Online

Natural Asthma Relief

Multiple Food Elimination Diet

NAET (acupressure technique for treating food allergies at www.NAET.com)

Dr. Teitelbaum

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and nationally known expert in the fields of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, sleep and pain. He is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z," and author of the best-selling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery/Penguin Group), Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill),Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press 2003), Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), and his newest book Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press, July 15, 2011).