According to WHO, more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma with 250,000 deaths are reported each year because of asthma. 1 in 12 people has asthma today with these numbers increasing significantly every year since 1960. The symptoms of asthma include cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and feeling light-headed. These symptoms are usually triggered by some kind of emotional or environmental triggers like stress, pollution, dust, pet hair, pollen, etc.
Conventional /Allopathic Treatment: It includes avoiding triggering factors and the use of Corticosteroid inhalers (salbutamol/Ventolin). In a case of severe asthmatic attack, intravenous corticosteroid medications and hospitalization may be required. There is no definitive diagnostic test for asthma, medications are prescribed mainly on symptoms.
Spirometry is often used to confirm the diagnosis of Obstructive lung diseases like Asthma and COPD. Spirometry is a test done to measure how much air a person can blow into a mouthpiece and how quickly. It is done to measure FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume) and FVC (Forced Vital Capacity). In Asthma & COPD, the FEV1 is lower than a normal person, and if a person’s FEV1 is getting decreased it means his lung disease is getting worse.
HOW TO MANAGE ASTHMA NATURALLY :
Stress management– Stress is considered as a major trigger factor for asthma. According to Asthma UK, about 43% of people with asthma believe that stress triggers their symptoms. Hence, learning how to manage stress is really important in order to avoid triggering an asthmatic attack.Stress management can be done by – learning deep breathing techniques, practicing Yoga “pranayama”, massages, learning time management.
Diet – Diet plays a crucial part in our wellbeing. Foods which help reducing inflammation and increase the immunity of the body are listed below:Carotenoids- These are the compounds that give bright red, yellow and red color to Plants, algae and some photosynthetic bacteria. Animals can’t produce carotenoids and need to eat fruits& vegetables to get these. Carotenoids help increase immunity, decreases free radicals and reduces inflammation. These are best absorbed with food so cooking these veggies won’t destroy their health benefits.Foods rich in carotenoids are Carrots, Yam, spinach, kale, watermelons, bell pepper, tomatoes, etc.Vit C – This vitamin not only improves the immunity of our body but also is a powerful antioxidant. Vit C can be found in Bell peppers, tomatoes, lemons, watermelons, spinach, cruciferous veggies.
Vit D – Vit D is linked with decreasing inflammation and hyperresponsiveness of airways, therefore improving the lung functioning in asthmatic people. Vit D can be obtained from sun exposure and diet, at least 20 mins daily sunlight exposure (preferably morning time) every day is advisable along with foods rich in Vit D like Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, mushrooms, egg yolk, etc. Probiotics – The Probiotics help decrease the allergic inflammation and sensitization to the allergens. Probiotics can be taken in the form of Yogurt, kefir, or live probiotic supplements.
Exercise- Any form of exercise help improves blood circulation, increase immunity & help improving lung functional capacity. Yoga is proven to be really helpful in asthmatic individuals. According to a study published in the Ethiopian Journal of health sciences, the yoga group showed a 66.7% reduction in the use of salbutamol puff and 58.3% salbutamol tablets. Yoga not only improves the flexibility of body, deep breathing exercises like Pranayama helps improve lung functioning and helps manage & relieve stress.
Homeopathy – Homeopathic remedies can be of great help in relieving the symptoms of chronic Asthma. Proper case taking from a homeopathic doctor is advised to find out the right homeopathic remedy for the individual. Keep in mind that an asthmatic person can start and continue homeopathic treatment without discontinuing his current medications. The allopathic medication doses should be reduced over time depending on the improvement in symptoms.
I’m listing down few best homeopathic remedies which have shown excellent results in relieving asthmatic symptoms :
Arsenic Album: It is an effective remedy suited to people who are exhausted, debilitated, great anguish, and restless. There is a burning sensation in the chest, air passages constricted with aggravation after midnight. Darting pain through the upper right lung with scanty expectoration and wheezing respiration. Relief in asthma on getting up and bending forward.
Antimonium Tart: “Rattling of mucous with less Expectoration” is the key feature of this remedy. The cough grows less and less frequent but the quality of mucous in the chest is not diminished. The chest is so filled up with mucous that the child cant cough! He becomes drowsy, feel debilitated, and sweaty. Rapid, short, and difficult breathing which is relieved by sitting up. This remedy is also indicated for the Emphysema of the old. Aggravation of asthma symptoms in the evening and lying down.
Ipecacuanha/ Ipecac: One of the best remedies for broncho-pulmonary pneumonia or capillary bronchitis in infants. Great accumulation of mucous in the chest with a feeling of vomiting. Traditionally, Ipecac is used as an expectorant in the treatment of bronchitis or croup. It makes the mucous come out easily. The cough is spasmodic and is usually accompanied with vomiting.
Kali Bichromium: This remedy suits the more to light-haired, fair and chubby children. Cough with pain in the sternum, extending to arm with attacks that are liable to come in winters. The cough with discharges which are ropy, stringy, and tenacious. Aggravation in the early morning between 3-5 a.m. The relief when the patient sits up and raises mucous.
Blatta Orientalis: This remedy is indicated when Asthma associated with bronchitis. Cough with dyspnoea in bronchitis with mucous-like pus. Indicated in obese people with asthma who have symptoms aggravated from molds and damp environment.
Natrum Sulphuricum: Suited to people of hydrogenoid constitution. All the respiratory complaints are due to living in damp houses, basement, and cellars. Dyspnoea(difficulty breathing) during damp weather. A great remedy for asthma in children. Must hold chest when coughing “Humid Asthma” which is aggravated early morning hours (4-6 a.m.). Loud rattles of asthma can be heard through the chest. The lower lobes of the left lung are the seat of inflammation which can be presented as pain in 9/10 the ribs on the left side.
Remember to consult a homeopathic doctor for thorough case taking and remedy selection . Avoid self prescription of homeopathic remedies.
Avoid – Observe, Identify, and avoid any stress triggers. Any processed & packaged foods should be avoided as much as possible. Environmental factors that might trigger asthmatic symptoms like dust mites, pet hair, pollution, etc. should be avoided as well.
When to see the doctor – Any person who has asthma should always carry a medicated inhaler with them. In the case of Asthma attack, try to sit upright, deep breath with puffs of the inhaler and if the symptoms still don’t improve, call emergency or rush to the nearest emergency department.