Prevent and Treat Asthma with Holistic Medicine
No one wants to see their little one sitting out playtime because of an asthma attack, but that’s the reality for more and more parents as asthma rates soar out of control.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 28% increase in the number of asthma sufferers in the eight years between 2001 and 2009. Today, nearly 19 million adults and 7 million children in the US suffer from asthma.
That’s an alarming statistic, but even more alarming is the fact that scientists and doctors can’t say what’s causing such a sharp rise. Equally puzzling is that these increases have come at a time when outdoor air quality is actually better due to stricter emissions controls and fewer smokers.
So what’s going on?
Ever since the industrial revolution, we’ve been bombarded with so many toxic chemicals its surprising we’re not all sick all the time. Fortunately, our bodies are extraordinarily resilient and adaptive —which is another reason the rise of asthma is so disconcerting. It signals something’s wrong with the immune system.
An Over-Reactive Immune System
Most often, asthma begins in childhood and is correlated with allergies. Allergies are an immune system issue. The immune system overreacts to certain triggers in our environment, causing sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and, most distressingly, asthma.
The most commonly cited triggers are:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Most of the literature on asthma and allergies will tell you to try to keep your home free from these triggers that can live in the air and in carpeting and furniture. The advice is to purify your air, vacuum often, keep surfaces clean, encase mattresses with dust mite covers, get rid of your old rug or maybe even your cat or dog. But while it’s good to be aware of known allergens, there’s something deeper going on.
Antibiotics, Vaccines, and Over-Cleanliness
Children need to be exposed to germs and microbes to build a robust and healthy immune system. The overuse of antibiotics, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial chemicals (like hand sanitizers and house cleaners) has led to weaker immunity to common pathogens. Children who live on farms have less allergies and illness because of the exposure to bacteria. And at least 8 studies show that children treated with antibiotics in the first year of life have an increased risk of asthma.
There is also a reported relationship between childhood vaccines and asthma. A study of 1,177 vaccinated and unvaccinated children show vaccinated children are more likely to have asthma. This was not a definitive study, but it certainly warrants further research. Dr. Neustaedter, an expert on childhood vaccinations, explains why this can happen: vaccines can trigger hyperactivity of antibody production in the TH2 arm of the immune system so that children become more sensitized to foods or environmental allergens.
Holistic Treatment of Asthma
The good news is that holistic treatments really work to control symptoms while strengthening and balancing the immune system to prevent future episodes.
Here’s the 3-Step Holistic Approach to Asthma
1. Use Treatments that Support and Alleviate Symptoms
Use natural treatments that alleviate symptoms and support the body during an asthma episode. Homeopathic medicines, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and anti-inflammatory supplements are effective. Sometimes conventional allopathic medications are needed to control symptoms.
2. Avoid Triggers
Identify, reduce or eliminate contributing dietary and environmental factors. Reduce exposures as much as you can. A good HEPA air purifier will remove the particles in your home that can trigger allergies. Frequent dusting, floor mopping and vacuuming also help to cut down on dust and particles.
3. Strengthen and Balance the Immune System and Overall Health
With the following approaches, you can create a strong immune system that does not over-react:
- healthy diet
- nutritional supplements
- constitutional homeopathic medicine prescribed by a homeopathic practitioner
- Chinese herbs
- chiropractic/osteopathic adjustments