Asthma – Alternative Medical Treatments
Whenever you watch television, it is not uncommon to find at least one drug commercial during each break. You can find commercials on everything from how to reduce your pimples and eliminate your period, to creating a stronger sex drive then treating the STD you’ve acquired after acting upon that stronger sex drive. While the streets are combating illegal drugs, it seems that legalized drugs are becoming the norm, and are essentially doing more damage than the illegal ones. They’re just as easy to obtain, and provide the same high. So it’s no wonder that many people are trying to run from them. Just as there is a strong push for legal drugs, there is also a push for alternative forms of medicine to help remove those drugs from our systems. This push is no different for asthma victims. As research for this chronic lung disease continues, researchers are finding alternative routes to treat the disease. I will explore a few of these alternative routes in this article.
Conventional Asthma Treatments
Before we explore the alternative forms of asthma treatment, it is important to know what you can commonly expect when wanting to treat yourself or your loved one who suffers from the affliction. Typically, those with a milder version of the disease (1 or 2 attacks per week) use inhaled glucocorticoids in low dosages, whereas those who suffer daily attacks are usually prescribed higher dosages of glucocorticoid with a long-acting ß-2 agonist, or oral glucocorticoids for severe asthmatics.
However, pocket-sized, fast-acting bronchodilators (standard inhalers) are recommended for patients, both with mild and severe cases, to relieve the wheezing and shortness of breath associated with an attack. The exception to this rule stands for patients who are too young or are simply unable to hold their breath for the time frame necessary (usually 10 seconds) to allow the inhaler to work. These patients are usually prescribed a spacer, which is a plastic cylinder that mixes the medication in a tube and eliminates the timing and coordination required in using an inhaler, making it easier for the patient to inhale their full dose of medication.
These are just a few of the conventional asthma treatments used by patients. And while they are very effective in keeping the patient healthy, many complain that they don’t want the steroids and other agents found in the medications. Many asthmatics, wanting to stop using these forms of treatment, will stop taking their medication, which can often result in future attacks. It is for this reason that many have begun their search for alternative forms of treatment that can keep them healthy without having to inhale drugs.
Recent surveys show that as many as 50 percent of sufferers are turning to unconventional therapy for at least a portion of their treatment – that is a large number! But the numbers are proof-positive and are bringing to the forefront the fact that most people are against drugging themselves to stay healthy unless they have no other alternative.
Some people resort to a number of options including supplements, massage therapy, meditation and prayer. Some have even found that the omega-3 fatty acids from fish are great for decreasing inflammation of passageways. But a few more alternative medical treatments for asthma include:
Magnesium – According to experts, magnesium is an excellent treatment for asthmatic patients. This is because its function is to help reduce inflammation by stabilizing immune cells. In the lungs, this is helpful for breaking down and clearing out the mucus. It also produces prostacyclin, which is an excellent anti-inflammatory biochemical that helps to prevent an attack from occurring.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is another great alternative to drugs because it is meant to fight viruses, which are symptomatically present during an attack. The sniffling, sneezing and other respiratory symptoms can cause a great deal of congestion, which make the patient cough, wheeze, and suffer from shortness of breath. By incorporating Vitamin C into an asthmatic’s diet, the possibility of congestion may lessen.
Asmachilca Tea – This special form of herbal tea is said to have a very positive effect on asthma sufferers. The tea blend is created from a combination of three medicinal plants: asmachilca, manayupa and mulluca. Since this plant combination is specific for those with asthma, it is not recommended for everyday drinking – even for patients. For those suffering from the disease periodically, it is advised to drink the tea only during an attack. And if you have a more chronic affliction, you are to drink the tea 3 to 4 times daily for three weeks, stop for one week then start the treatment again.
Relaxation Methods – Some researchers say that certain relaxation methods, such as yoga and meditation, are very helpful in keeping the patient calm, something that helps reduce the likelihood of an attack. By learning to relax, patients are able to calm their emotions, breathing and muscles, which are all great for learning to manage upsets that have the ability to trigger attacks.
There are also preventative measures that can be taken to eliminate the triggers (allergies, smoke, and pollution) that might ignite an attack. Some of these preventative measures include removing carpet in the home that can accumulate excessive dust particles and other allergens, moving or permanently removing a pet from the home of those patients whose triggers are related to animal allergies, decreasing the humidity level in the home to less than 50 percent to eliminate dust mites and fungus, and discontinuing the use of cigarettes to eliminate tobacco smoke in the home.
If you are aware of what triggers developed your bouts with asthma, it will be much easier to determine the effective forms of treatment – some or all of which may not include drugs. However, it is always important to consult with your doctor before trying different herbs, minerals, and even teas that may not be compatible with your current drugs. And, if over time, you find that your attacks have significantly decrease from the more natural forms of treatment, you may find that you no longer need a drug in your body to control the asthma attacks that once dominated your life.