Asthma

Inhaler or puff for asthma.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease by which airways are inflamed and narrowed by their inflammation. Asthma often starts in childhood but can affect anyone in any age such as in the case of acquired lung disease. The muscles around the airways  tighten resulting to narrow airways. Breathing can become difficult as swelling worsens and the production of thick liquid or mucus becomes probable.

Causes

This condition results from the combination of genetic and environmental factors. Other causes of an asthmatic condition are air pollution or traffic pollution or smoking during pregnancy. Exposure to indoor volatile organic compounds or from formaldehyde may also agitate it. Indoor allergens that usually trigger asthma are cockroaches, dust mites, molds and animal dander.

Signs and symptoms

See how lung muscles tighten when you have asthma.

Coughing accompanied by chest tightening, wheezing and shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping due to breath shortness, shortness of breath during exercise and the sense of urgency in using bronchodilators are symptoms of asthma. They appear when triggered by allergens or irritants and also with the use of inhaled corticosteroids.

Natural remedies for asthma

The following natural remedies will help lessen the discomfort of an asthma attack.

  • Buteyko breathing. A method where you can perform shallow breathing exercises to raise blood levels of carbon dioxide.
  • No to arachidonic acid foods. You can also try to consume fewer amounts of foods containing arachidonic acid such as shellfish, meat and egg yolks since eating only a small amount of these foods can reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
  • More fruits and vegetable consumption. If you have children or if you are a child, daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk.
  • Reduce weight. Obesity increases your risk that is why you should watch your weight and what you eat.
  • Biofeed. A known natural therapy is biofeedback which provides you with information on how to consciously vary and regulate the body’s vital functions which are normally unconscious, such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
  • Butterbur. An herbal cure is butterbur which is a shrub that grows in North America, Europe and Asia. Butterbur contains petasin and isopetasin which are known to reduce smooth muscle spasm while having an anti-inflammatory effect. However, people who are allergic to ragweed, daisy, marigold or chrysanthemum are not advised to use butterbur. Butterbur also has side effects such as headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
  • Bromelain and berb boswellia. A pineapple extract called bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties while the berb boswellia prevents the formation of leukotrienes which can narrow the airways.