Asthma is a lung disease that is also known as “hyper-active airways.” There has been an epidemic rise in the incidence of asthma cases. Since 1980 the number of deaths from asthma have risen lately too (over 5000 people, mostly children and young adults). Asthma affects 10-12% of all children under 18 in the US.
During an asthma attack spasms or constrictions in the small airways (bronchi) of the lings impede the passage of air. This is described as wheezing. Other symptoms include coughing and chest pain or tightness. The spasms are not the cause but the symptom. The causes are basically either allergic based or non-allergic based, and some cases are both occurring together. Some allergists (clinical ecologists) feel that foods are the major asthma-provoking allergens and that environmental stuff like pollen, feathers, molds etc. are minor allergic agents. The most common food allergen are the ones that are the most excess-mucous forming such as dairy and white flour products. Other foods identified as allergens include nightshade vegetables, corn, eggs, and red meat and soy products. Common asthma-provoking environmental allergens include animal dander chemicals (like cleaning products), dust and dust-mites, food additives (such as sulfites), molds and tobacco smoke. Non-allergic asthmatic attacks can occur due to psychosomatic triggers, or adrenal insufficiencies.
From a medical-physiological standpoint, asthma is a complex disease that cannot be cured. It can be a chronic and long-term illness. However in alternative/complimentary medicine (CAM) asthma is treated as a reversible condition and in nearly all cases, with patient cooperation and diligent efforts, it can be effectively managed, even in severe cases, allowing an asthmatic to lead a normal life.
Numerous CAM therapies currently in use for treating asthma are being recommended over the inherent disadvantage of current medical therapies, as reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology(vol. 106 Oct. 2000). Some of the more popular CAM treatments for this disease include safe herbal supplement and teas, supplements (vitamins, mineral and glandular), diet therapy, acupuncture , body work (chiropractic, reflexology/shiatsu), homeopathy and allergy therapies. Many of these therapies have been used for hundreds to thousands of years. Others have been scientifically tested and published using double-blind studies and have been documented to relieve asthma and prevent attacks.
In order to determine what type of asthma you might suffer from, and what foods or stresses are primary causes of your asthma, a CAM practitioner uses a combination of medical tests such as IGG-RAST or cyto-toxic testing and less conventional testing like EDS computer analysis and applied-kinesiology testing.