Do You Have Asthma Symptoms?

Not every person that experiences asthma has the same symptoms as someone else who has asthma. You can be having different triggers at different times of the day, depending on if you have allergy induced symptoms, or food induced symptoms.

Some people with Asthma could go long periods of time between attacks; some are sooner to having frequent attacks. Mild attacks seem to be more common, more so in adults than in children. Some people may have increased asthma attacks when sick or ill with a virus or colds.

It is very important that you understand how some asthma symptoms may affect you, this could help you avoid trips to the doctor, and even emergency room visits. Watching for the early signs of an asthma attack can make a big difference on what happens later when a full blown attack comes.

A clue that your asthma could be worsening are these:

• Worsening allergy symptoms, dark circles under your eyes, a nonstop runny nose, or even infected skin.
• Wheezing and coughing during normal physical activities, like walking or running.
• Getting tired doing things that would normally be easy for you to do.
• Not sleeping well, waking up and not feeling fully awake.

Researchers believe that there are several different patterns of asthma, all relating to a single condition. But some feel that there are separate forms of conditions that exist in the lungs themselves. Currently, there has been no cure found for Asthma sufferers, and no exact cause has been diagnosed.

To monitor how quickly air flows in and out of your lungs, you can use a device called a peak flow meter; it can help determine when an asthma attack is coming. You can see more clearly when a child or adult is in need of medications sooner than later. Best results are a sign of a value below 50%, this low percentage shows you could have been a severe attack coming on.

{ Comments are closed }

Asthma Treatment Without Drugs – Natural Remedies and Sensible Advice – 5 Tips For Effective Therapy

With the reawakened interest in natural treatment of disease, and with the desire to avoid medications, many asthmatic patients are looking to natural or non-pharmaceutical treatments of asthma.

Here are 5 proven tips to treat your asthma without drugs:

1. Rid your house and environment of all possible allergens . Many patients have on-going asthma symptoms because they have chronic exposure to a pet, dust, mold, fumes, pollen, or other irritants. Just because you do not suffer an acute asthma attack when you are around your dog does not mean that your pet is not contributing to your asthma. There are many factors involved in asthma, some of which contribute to an acute attack, and others which worsen the disease on a chronic basis. The only way to know for sure is to rid your environment of the potential irritant long enough for your lungs to settle down. This would take at least a matter of weeks, and sometimes as long as a few months. Allergy desensitization shots are another route to better breathing, for those unwilling to take a prolonged vacation from their pets.

2. Stop smoking . It seems like this should go without saying, but smoking is absolutely one of the worst lung irritants. Yet many patients continue to smoke, believing their symptoms are unrelated. While it's true, smoking is probably not the only factor, it IS a factor, whether you admit it or not. Strange, that some people interested in natural therapies still smoke, but then again, I suppose nicotine is a “natural” substance as well. So are hemlock, and botulism, and cyanide.

3. Avoid contracting respiratory infections. Many asthma exacerbations (attacks) are caused by underection infection. Although if you are seeking natural remedies for asthma you may not believe in flu shots either, the annual flu vaccine is a great idea for asthma and COPD patients. Most respiratory infections are spread via hand contact, rather than through the air. Avoid shaking hands when infection rates are high in your community, watch out for doorknobs and bannisters, wash your hands after handling money, and avoid public places with lots of people.

4. Consider caffeine. Usually doctors are advising patients to avoid caffeine, but in the case of asthma, it may actually help. Caffeine is a methylxanthine, similar to the drug theophylline, an old-time asthma prescription. This class of drugs does open the airways, but has the potential side-effects of insomnia, anxiety, and palpitations. But many people tolerate caffeine just fine, and may find they breathe better after a cup or two of java.

5. Consider complementary or alternative medicine . The National Institutes of Health National Center for Supplemental and Alternative Medicine offers up-to-date research on complementary medicine. Studies have shown that magnesium citrate (340 mg daily) helps many asthmatic patients breathe better when taken regularly. Likewise, traditional Chinese herbs have shown benefit in preliminary studies, specifically Radix glycyrrhizae and Sophora flavescens.

As a family physician I have seen the first 4 suggestions work time and time again. I have not yet prescribed magnesium nor Chinese herbal medicine. Do not discard your rescue inhaler or other medications without checking with your doctor. Although being able to live a healthy life drug-free is a worthy goal, assuring adequate breathing is vital, even if it requires medication.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

{ Comments are closed }

How to Control Your Asthma Naturally Without Drugs and Get Your Life Back Now!

Your asthma is starting to dictate your life. You are wheezing and coughing so much that your work collections always know where you are. That attack you had last year where you ended up in hospital for a few days has left you fearful and frustrated for your future. The amount of medication you are taking is scary and you can not even get through the night without waking up and needing a few shots from your puffer. You have become tired and exhausted all the time, your allergies, hay fever and colds have all become worse and now you are finding it a struggle to take your dog for a walk each evening.

You also notice that your children are developing breathing problems and this is your worst nightmare. You do not wish your children to go through the terrifying experience of a severe asthma attack but what can you do about it. You know that despite all the asthma remedies that you take, your asthma is not really under control and in fact is getting worse.

As if that is not enough, the cost of all this medication is killing you and you suspect that someone else is making a killing off you.

Then you get told that you are allergic to your pets – to your much loved dog and cat and that you should get rid of them. ” Should what ?” you say. But they are treasured members of the family and you would no more get rid of them than you would get rid of your child. But if they are triggering asthma attacks, what are you to do.

And do you know what? After all the literature you have read on asthma, none of it actually makes sense. Breathing is so integral to life how can it all go so wrong? So get this. Asthma is not a disease; asthma is the natural defense of you body against chronic over-breathing. We all understand that just the right amount of food is good for us and more is not better. And so it is with breathing. Just the right amount of breathing is good for us and more is not better. Both too much food and too much breathing can rapidly lead you down the path of chronic and debilitating illness.

Do not wait another day. Learn what asthma really is and the cause and physiology of it. Learn how to stop an asthma attack without medication and how to stay asthma-free. For a one time very modest sum compared to visits to the doctor and prescription charges I learn how to breathe the biologically correct way. The scary and daunting problems, the fatigue and the massive cost of breathing problems have all gone. My lovely dog ​​and cat however, have stayed.

When I discovered the drug-free way to overcome my breathing problems, I just jumped in and got started. Then I read the book for further information. So whether you need more information first or want to get started and get the book as well, I highly recommend this very well written, enlightening and attention-grabbing book. I have not looked back.

{ Comments are closed }

Implications of Asthma From a Personal Prospective

Having Asthma has kept me from doing some of the things I have really wanted to do whether educational or employment related. While I had two great years in middle school, I was able to be on the track team doing cross country running which I loved doing. When I got older and my Asthma began flaring up again (which I am sure was most likely due to stress) I was not able to run as much. As much as I have enjoyed running when I could, I have gotten quite discouraged at not being able to run, even with my own kids and their friends. In fact, I have trouble walking sometimes, even to my on campus classes. It takes me longer to get to classes so I have to prepare ahead of time. There have been many times I have had to press myself really hard to get to class on time and be quite uncomfortable in class wheezing, sweating and gasing for breath. Once I graduated high school, my plans had included going into the Air Force. However, because I depended on an inhaler for relief I was not able to be accepted into the military. I had looked forward to being the first female in my family to continue the Air Force heritage we had on the maternal side of my family. I had also looked to being in the military to help pay for my college education.

It has also affected my ability to work as well. In high school when I was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant I did miss a couple of days due to my Asthma and getting bronchitis. As an adult it has affected my ability to work at a reasonable pace certain days. For years I worked at a plant nursery mostly outside. There were days it was really a challenge to function. I had to overdress quite a bit to protect myself from getting cold. It also made it hard for me to perform certain duties since on some of the days I was having a hard time breathing I could not keep up with my co-workers.

My pregnancies were a challenge since my Asthma wanted to flare up. Because of my Asthma, my first pregnancy was induced two weeks early. With my second it was also induced because I struggled to breathe well (my son was big too). The third pregnancy was not as bad but I did have my moments with it especially when acid reflux would agitate my Asthma. After my first pregnancy I went to an Asthma specialist. Typically a new patient would go through a stress test but in my case the doctor refused to put me through it. I struggled to get a reading on the spirometer which took three times. It did not help that my ex husbands grandmother was 80, had Asthma and could blow me away on a spirometer.

When I returned to college in 2006, in my third semester I became ill with pneumonia right at finals time. Luckily for me I had all regents online classes otherwise I am not sure how my instructors would have dealt with my hospitalization at the very end of the semester.

My senior year in college I decided to make a go at taking classes on campus again. I have had to go to health services between my classes and get breathing treatments resulting in me going without lunch often. It has also taken me longer to walk to my classes or even walk up the stairs than most others. Every day I carry around an inhaler in my pocket or purse. At night it stays underneath my pillow in case I need it. At age 33 it is at times embarrassing when I am not able to keep up with my peers or even my own children.

There have been times where I would sit and cry in frustration and anger that I could not breathe. Every so often I struggle to catch my breath just from getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom which is no more than 10 ft.

What I have learned is that with my Asthma also comes the difficulty with concentration which has affected my learning ability as well as my grades. Because of this, my GPA has also suffered causing me to take extra classes to boost my GPA in order for me to graduate from college. While I have achieved getting my college diploma, I continue to work on gaining control of my Asthma in order to enjoy life as fully as possible.

For me, I do not let much get me down. I do hike, canoe and swim every so often in my home state of Tennessee. I love the outdoors and could not imagine sitting inside allowing my Asthma to take control of me.

{ Comments are closed }

How Mold Can Affect Your Child With Asthma

Mold uses tiny spores to reproduce. The mold spores fly through the indoor and out door air continuously. There is no way for your child with asthma to avoid breathing the spores in. The mold spores will land anywhere dust can land. If the area where the mold spores land is moist or wet, the spores will germinate and start growing. This is why the use of a humidifier in your child's room is not recommended. When mold begins to grow, it starts digesting or breaking down wood, paper, carpet or food to survive. Mold likes areas that have excessive moisture or where water accumulates. The growth will persist in particular if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no way to completely eliminate all molds or mold spores in our environment. The only way to control mold is to control the moisture.

Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive children. For these children, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. The spores when inhaled will try to start growing. This can irritate the airways and cause infection, resulting in constricted breathing or an all out asthma attack in your child. Children with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to mold when possible.

Your child with asthma may not be mold exposure free even at school. Moisture problems in school buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, and excess humidity. Temporary structures in schools, such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems. Provide adequate ventilation to maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-60%. Vent showers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. Excess moisture in the home is cause for concern about indoor air quality primarily because it provides breeding conditions for microorganisms One third to one half of all structures have damp conditions that may encourage development of pollutants such as molds and bacteria, which can cause allergic reactions – – including asthma – and spread infectious diseases to your children.

Curtain types of molds and mildew have been categorized as biological pollution. A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and asthma. Here are some unusual allergens (eg, bacterial enzymes, algae) that have caused asthma epidemics, mostly in children under 5. You want to fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that have moldy may have to be replaced. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Everyone wants to keep their child from having asthma attacks. The best way to do that is with prevention. Keeping a clean dry house will go a long way in the prevention of asthma attacks of your child. For more information on asthma triggers and possibly the elimination of asthma together with a safe and natural solution!

{ Comments are closed }

Why Dust Mites Are Such a Problem

Have you ever wondered why dust mites can cause so many issues? Well the first problem with dust mites is that they are so small you can barley see them, so you may not even know you have them, and they are everywhere. You may only know that your child is having more frequent asthma attacks but not know why. One thing is that most of the dust in your house is made up of shed human skin. The food, that dust mites like the best.

They consume skin and other minute particles of organic matter as a way of life, and the do it very well. Like many decomposer animals, they select food that has been pre-decomposed by fungi. Fungus and mold can also be a problem for your child with asthma. The dust mites have a simple gut; they have no stomach but rather diverticulae, which are sacs or pouches that divert out of hollow organs. These pouches are filled with enzymes that are used to digest the organic material.

A mated female house dust mite can live for about seventy days and can lay from sixty to one hundred eggs in the last five weeks of her live. In that span of ten weeks, the dust mites can product approximately two thousand fecal particle pouches or sacs and an even larger number of partially digested enzyme covered dust particles. It is the enzymes that are attached to the dust particles that cause the problems for children with asthma. When the child jumping on the bed disturbs the dust particles. The dust flies into the air where the enzyme covered particles can be inhaled. The enzymes are what your child is allergic to. The enzymes get into the airways and can irritate them causing them to constrict.

You can see just how quickly mites can develop into a very big problem for children with asthma. There are several things you can do to combat dust mites. One thing you can do is cover the bed of your child with plastic or other dust mite free material. These types of covers can be found at your local furniture store or at a home improvement outlet. Next you will want to wash all of the bedding in hot water, at least one hundred forty degrees or hotter. that is the temperature that is required to kill the dust mites and there eggs. When you dry the bedding, it also needs to on the hottest setting. With the combination of the two procedures you can kill the dust mites in the bedding.

If the child has any stuffed animals they also need to be made dust mite free. You can do one of three things with the toys. The first thing you can do is wash them like you did with the bedding. The second thing to do is find a plastic bag that will fit the toy, wrap it up air tight and place it in the freezer for a least twenty four hours. This will also kill the dust mites and their eggs. The third thing is just plane and simply get rid of all plush stuffed animals. Not having them around is the best way to insure that they will not be a problem for your child with asthma.

{ Comments are closed }

Things You and Your Child Need to Know About Asthma

Your Child may have other symptoms like difficult breathing or wheezing when inhaling or exhaling. Other symptoms also include fast or rapid breathing, shortness of breath while walking or at rest, tightness in the chest causing your child to hold their chest or your child may have some pain and discomfort. These symptoms will keep your child from living the life they should have.

If your child starts having more severe symptoms such as bluish coloring of the lips and face, severe anxiety because of the inability to breath, rapid heart rate, sweating or a decreased level alertness with severe confusion and drowsiness, they need immediate help. These are some life threatening symptoms and require immediate medical care. Without proper care your child could die due to lack of oxygen. These kinds of symptoms in children are rare, but can be a real threat for your child if not properly cared for.

The treatment for you or your child should be based on talking to your pediatrician and your allergist. They should work together to put a plan in place, which should include avoiding asthma trigger's, monitoring symptoms and taking the proper medicines. The plan also needs to tell when you should call doctor or nurse for assistance. School is an important place to have an action plan in place. The school and teachers need to know what to do when your child has an asthma flare up. Find out what you need to do to let your child take his medicine during school hours.

There are two kinds of basic medications when you need to treat your child's asthma. The first is a long-term control medication and quick relief medication; also know as an inhaler. Long-term medications are used daily to control you or your child's asthma symptoms. They should be taken every day even if you or your child is not having any symptoms. The long-term medications should never be taken to stop a sudden flare up. Your child's rescue inhaler should be the only thing used to stop a sudden asthma attack. Although the same medications are used to treat adults, there are different inhalers and dosages especially for children.

Asthma is a debilitating disease in children, and causes so many health issues, even above and beyond just the symptoms of Asthma. It can be controlled or even eliminated; keeping your child safe from allergens, pollens and even air pollution is an everyday battle.

{ Comments are closed }

Why Pollen is a Problem For Children With Asthma

Pollen causes problems for children on a seasonal basis. The way pollen is spread is through the wind. Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds are the main cause of allergies for children. Spring is not the only allergy season, many plants pollinate year round. Your location will determine the time and duration of your pollen season. If your child is allergic to certain types of pollen, you may choose to move to a climate that has fewer of those pollens. Your doctor has a test they can do on your child to determine exactly what your child is allergic to. Pollen is the way plants reproduce, and they produce it in mass quantities.

The fine powder released from flowering plants affect our senses veryly. When your child comes in contact with the pollen, their immune system treats the pollen as an invader and responds by mobilizing to attack by producing large amounts of antibodies. Your child's asthma attack may have some of the following symptoms: itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, hives, fatigue, and irritability. If you take a picture of pollen and magnify it you will see a ball with spikes all over it. It is no wonder that pollen causes inflammation and irritation, in your child's eyes and lungs.

In springtime, trees begin its release their pollen between January and April, depending on the climate and location. These Trees which include elm, pine, birch, ash, hickory, poplar, and cypress; to name a few! Summertime is when your child's allergies could go into overload because grass pollen reigns supreme: pollen from northern grass in colder climates, such as timothy, rye, and blue; and southern grass pollens in the warmer climates, such as Bermuda grass. In the fall, the pollen from weeds takes control. These weeds include ragweed, nettle, fat hen and sorrel.

There are ways to manage the impact of pollen on your child with asthma. If you know what your child is allergic to, you can try to avoid being out side during the peak pollen times of the year. Check the weather forecast on TV or in the newspaper for the predicted pollen count and plan your day accordingly. If possible, try to stay indoors and close the doors and windows on high-pollen, windy days. Consider having a low-allergen garden incorporating low-allergen plants and shrubs and a lawn or ground cover that needs infrequent or no mowing. Low-allergen plants tend to be those that are pollinated by insects or birds, rather than by wind, and include many native trees and shrubs.

Your Furnace filters also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Keeping the air your child breaths is very important when trying to avoid asthma attacks. Air purifiers can also be used to lessen the impact of pollen for your child with asthma. Cleaning your heater ducts can minimize where pollen can hide and later be a problem for your child. The ultimate goal of allergy treatment is preventing the symptoms from occurring in the first place, usually by avoiding the allergen.

{ Comments are closed }

Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment

Medical Exams and Tests

A complete family, environmental and occupational history is gathered to establish trigger factors that lead to the asthma attack. It is also important for your health professional to note the sequence of events that lead to the asthma attack as well as periodic signs and symptoms when the asthma attack was treated, managed and prevented. After a preliminary history and diagnosis is established, the health professional will then use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs for signs such as wheezing and crackles.

Medical exams and tests will include chest x-rays, arterial blood gas, eosinophil count, lung function tests and peak flow measurements. X-rays will show a constriction in the bronchi and airway passes as well as thick mucous secretions. In acute episodes, sputum and blood tests may present elevated levels of eosinophils in the blood. Serum levels of immunoglobulin E may also be elevated if an allergic response is present. Arterial blood gas analysis will show an increased level of carbon dioxide in the blood and poor oxygen perfusion while lung function and peak flow measurements will show poor lung expansion and ventilation.

The Treatment Protocol and Taking in Medications

The treatment plan for asthma will generally revolve around these three important protocols:
(1) identifying and monitoring signals and symptoms for asthma,
(2) identifying and avoiding the asthma triggers, and
(3) taking in remedies for asthma.
It is also important to develop an emergency action plan just in a minor asthma attack developed into a full-blown asthma attack.

Prevention is a key to the first and second protocols. It is important for you to recognize the causative factor to your asthma. Several causative factors may include allergic reactions to particulates and dust, overwhelming odors and toxic chemicals or fumes, cigarette smoke and automotive exhaust, pet fur and dander, spores and pollen, the ingestion and exposure to certain food, extremely cold weather and physical overexertion. Emotional and physical stressors, anxiety, ongoing respiratory tract infection and some medications may also trigger an asthma attack.

Taking in Medications

Basically, there are two kinds of medications to treat asthma. These are (1) quick relief or emergency medications and (2) long-term medications.

Quick relief, “emergency” or “short-term” indications are used to promptly alleviate the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack and may be used at a one-time-only basis. These include: (1) short-acting bronchodilators and inhalers and (2) corticosteroids like methylprednisone and prednisone. Bronchodilators, as their name suggests, open up the already-narrowed airway passes. Meanwhile, corticosteroids prevent the exacerbation of the allergic reaction by inhibiting autoimmune function.

Long-term medications are actually maintenance drugs taken in on a regular basis to prevent the occurrence of asthma's signs and symptoms. These include
(1) long-acting corticosteroids,
(2) long-acting bronchodilators,
(3) aminophylline or theophylline,
(4) cromolyn sodium or nedocromil sodium and
(5) leukotriene inhibitors.
Theophylline and aminophylline are smooth muscle relaxants that inhibit bronchospasms. Meanwhile, cromolyn sodium and nedocromil sodium inhibit the inflammation of the lung passes. Leukotriene inhibitors reduce the action of leukotrienes or antibodies responsible for causing inflammation.

{ Comments are closed }

Simple Ways to Avoid Asthma Attacks in Children

Asthma is a condition where the airways in the lungs constrict. The child suffering will struggle to breath and may wheeze or cough. This may last for minutes or even hours depending if they have the proper medications. This can be triggered by many things such as cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, mold and household dust. The first and foremost thing you can do to avoid asthma attacks in children, is keep a clean house. As a rule you want to keep your house as clean and free of dust and anything else in the air that can cause an asthma attack. When you vacuum, you want a vacuum that has a good micro filter. This will trap and hold the majority of particles that can cause an asthma attack. Vacuums that only have the dirt cups or just a regular bag on them will not stop the dust that can send your child into an asthma attack. It's hard as a parent to watch your child suffer with asthma. So anything you can do to avoid a trigger that can cause an asthma attack, the better for all.

The first place I would start the measures in avoiding asthma attacks is the child's bedroom. The bed being the biggest problem, it can store the most triggers to asthma. Dust mites being the number one problem in beds. A lot of children are or can be allergic to the dust and the dust mites living in the bed. The first thing I would do is go down to a local furniture store that sell beds and see if they carry a plastic cover that will cover the bed. This will keep the dust mites down and will not hold as much dust to help control a lot of asthma attacks. Then I would set up schedule so you can wash the bedding at least once a week if not twice a week. If done right with the water temperature at or above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill the dust mites in the pillow cases and bedding can greatly reduce the amount of dust mite related asthma attacks. When drying the bedding in the drier you also want high heat for a longer period of time. If you have access to steam cleaner with an attachment that would allow you to steam the bedding, pillow cases and stuffed animals that may be a home for dust mites. As far as the stuffed animals are concerned I would not have any in the room because they are too hard to keep clean and can cause more problems than they are worth.

If you have not done so, put a humidifier in the room with your child. They can be a great help with making the air easier to breath. The one thing you need to make sure you do is clean the humidifier on a daily basis. With the moisture it tends to collect dust quicker than most things, and dust that is close to your child may cause an asthma attack. As for the rest of the room you need to look at the closet. The closet as with most people has things hanging up in there that have not been worn or have been out grown that can hold a lot of allergens. You need to make sure to either wash all the clothes or get rid of the ones you do not use. They can send allergens and dust into the air just by brushing them.

Pets can be another big contributor to asthma attacks. The pet dander or the dead skin that comes from your animal can cause more asthma attacks then you might realize. If you are going to keep a pet you might want to try and find an outdoor enclosure to minimize the effects of pet dander on your child. If you have a pet that needs to be indoors, you may try to restrict the animal to one part of the house away from the bedrooms. The bedroom is where we spend most of our lives and any thing we can do to avoid asthma triggers and attacks the better. One more thing with regards to pets, is have a test done to find out if you child is allergic to your pet. This is a small measure to find how big of a problem your pet might be. Giving up your pet would not be easy but if it can save your child from having just one asthma attack, it might be worth it. Only you can determine what is best you and your family.

Mold is the next problem that may trigger your child's next asthma attack. You want to make sure you keep mold from growing anywhere inside your house. Mold is hard to find and remove but it can cause a lot of problems for your child. Depending on the type of mold it is, it may even be deadly. There are companies that will come in and remove mold if you do not know what to do about it. This is not something to be taken lightly so do your best not to have mold. Also where you live can have a huge part in how many asthma attacks your child may have. If you live in an industrial area, near freeways or busy truck stops. It may not help your child breath better. All of these places have a lot more air born problems for you child. If you can live close to nature's natural filters, namely trees, the better off your whole family will be. We all want there to be less suffering in the world, for more way to ease your child's asthma visit our website at

{ Comments are closed }

What Was Wrong With All 6 Randomised Controlled Trials of the Buteyko Method?

During 6 randomised controlled trials of the Buteyko method, in average, in 3-6 months, those asthmatics practicing the Buteyko method reduced their use of beta 2-agonists (relievers or bronchodilators) by 70-90% and steroid use by about 50% . Their symptoms' score was improved by over 50%. However, there were no changes in bronchial responsiveness or lung function results in these patients with asthma. There were certain important methodological details, which I am going to consider here.

Dr. K. Buteyko made the following claims:

1. Sick people, asthmatics asthmatics included, breathe more air than the tiny medical norm. Overbreathing reduces body oxygenation and intensity the drive to breathe even more.

2. If asthmatics and others normalize their breathing pattern (normal breathing 24/7), then they would not require medication and would not experience symptoms

3. The Buteyko Table of Health Zones links respiratory parameters of sick people (with any chronic disease) with their health state. This table suggests parameters that reflect normal breathing (8 breaths / min for breathing frequency at rest, 6.5% for alveolar CO2 content, 60 s for stress-free breath holding time after usual exhalation, etc.). These parameters, according to Dr. Buteyko, correspond to normal health and absence of asthma and many other diseases since normal breathing improves body oxygenation.

4. A person has learned the Buteyko method, if their breathing parameters are normal.

Dr. Buteyko never claimed that a certain practician could achieve this or this result in relation to a group of asthmatics in 3 or 6 months. Let us apply these Buteyko's claims to these randomized controlled trials and other medical research studies.

First of all, thousands of medical studies have proven that over-breathing or hyperventilation REDUCES oxygen content in body cells. Do asthmatics breathe much more air than the medical norm? A typical minute volume for an average asthmatic is about 12-15 L / min (5 studies are available on my website), while the norm is only 6 L / min. Here, asthmatics indeed breathe at rest about 2-2.5 times more air than the norm. Did asthmatics change or normalize their breathing during these randomized controlled trials of the Buteyko method? During the most successful trial (Bowler et al., 1998), in 3 months, use of relievers (bronchodilators) was reduced by 96% and preventers (inhaled steroids) by 49%. Respiratory minute volume decreased from 14 L / min to 9.6 L / min, but the medical norm is only 6 L / min, while Dr. Buteyko's norm is 4 L / min at rest for a 70-kg man. During their best shot, the participant asthmatics got only about a half way towards the norm. Here, there were a very few asthmatics, if any, who normalized their breath during these trials.

The assumption of medical doctors, who conducted these randomized controlled trials, was that a Buteyko practitioner taught the Buteyko method and a controlled group learned the method. This is easy to see from the titles which usually say about a “trial of the Buteyko method”. How could they test the method, if nobody learned it?

From a practical view, since I taught the Buteyko method to hundreds of people, the main difficulty during these randomized controlled trials was following. The participants were mainly limited to practicing breathing exercises (eg, 40-70 min per day). They could not use the powerful arsenal of lifestyle changing tools of the Buteyko method. Breathing normalization requires 24/7 control of breathing including:

– nasal breathing all the time (hence, it is necessary to tape one's mouth if it is usually dry in the morning; and one will never solve their problems with asthma, if mouth breathing takes place every night)

– prevention of sleeping on one's back (we breathe almost twice more air, when we sleep on our backs at night)

– physical exercise (at least 2 hours daily with strictly nasal breathing, in and out, otherwise it is almost useless)

– and many other lifestyle-related details so that to normalize one's unconscious breathing back to the medical norm.

{ Comments are closed }

Do You Suffer From Asthma Or Know Someone That Does?

If you have experienced that feeling of your airways constricting and your lungs becoming sore and tight, then you know what it is like to have an asthma attack. It can be a scary process and have you feeling panicked really quickly.

Having to live with a life threatening disease can be really difficult for everyone involved. The person that has the asthma wants to lead a normal life and not be fussed over or made to feel fragile. Your child will want to participate in all school activities and not be made to sit on the sidelines.

Asthma attacks are caused by triggers, some triggers are due to the environment such as dust, pollen or grass. Other triggers are from allergies, cleaning agents, pet hair or a reaction to certain foods. Avoiding these as much as possible is key to managing your asthma attacks.

An asthma attack occurs when mucus builds up in the lungs, the membrane inside your lungs becomes irritated and starts to swell. The respiratory tract becomes inflamed and causes difficulty in breathing. The affected person develops a cough and can be heard to be wheezing, gasping for breath.

With all the medicines available today it is possible to get your asthma under control and keep it controlled without experiencing too many severe attacks. It is really important to communicate with your doctor so he or she can prescribe the best controllers for you. Tell him what your lifestyle is like, if you enjoy running or swimming or playing tennis but are just having trouble breathing. He can advise you of how and when to take your medication so that you can play your game of tennis without fear of an attack happening. Just remember to always keep your emergency puffer close at hand and follow your doctor's advice completely.

Other simple things that you can do, to keep your asthma under control is to ensure that you are following a healthy lifestyle. Eating and exercising regularly. Learning how to breathe correctly will develop your lung function and strengthen your muscles. So when you do experience an attack you can handle and recover from it far more easily. It can sometimes take up to 6 weeks to fully recover from an attack.

While there is no cure for asthma, symptoms can improve and actually disappear over one's life time. By using good self management techniques it is possible to lead a normal lifestyle.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Deal With Asthma in Children

A definition of asthma is a reversible narrowing of the air passes in the lungs. This causes wheezing (a whistling sound hear as the child breathes out) and, in youngger children, a cough which is often more noticeable at night or after the child has been running around. The narrowing of the air passages is caused by inflammation in the lining of the passages, which in turn is caused by exposure to certain stimuli. These stimuli can differ from person to person.

Common causes are dust from the coats of pets, cold air, infections and house dust mites which are present all over the house but especially in mattresses and pillows. One in five children in the UK now uses an inhaler at some time and the vast majority of children with asthma grow up to be healthy and able to take part in sports. Babies who have been breastfed for at least three months are less likely to suffer from wheeze than bottle-fed infants, as are babies who have not been given solid food until 15 weeks of age. These benefits last through early childhood.

Doctors seldom make the diagnosis of asthma from one episode of wheeze. Your doctor will look at the overall pattern of illnesses in each individual child so episodes of wheeze should be documented in the children's records and there before the child should be taken to the surgery.

Asthma is rated by:

  • Airway relaxer drugs given by inhaler (or syrup in young children) when wheeze is present.
  • Prevention drugs, also given by inhaler, and taken regularly every day.

There are devices to help young children cope with inhalers and your doctor or practice nurse can show you how to use them. In severe attacks of wheeze doctors may prescribe oral steroid drugs even for very young children. Steroids are one of the most powerful treatments available for inflammation. Side effects are fairly rare if the steroid course is kept short.

Here are things to do to prevent any bad things that could happen to your children:

  • Avoid exposing children to cigarette smoke.
  • Attend asthma clinics as often as your doctor recommends.
  • Learn as much as you can so you understand the illness and its treatment.
  • If a child becomes very breathless contact your doctor without delay

{ Comments are closed }

Are You Using Oxygen at Home? What Oxygen Supplies Will You Need?

Oxygen Supplies

Oxygen therapy is a common treatment for a host of conditions

· Respiratory illness or disease

· Hypoxemia

· COPD

· Emphysema

· Asthma

· Severe trauma

· Pulmonary hypertension

· Myocardial infarction

· Post anesthesia recovery

The body is continuously taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. If a person is unable to take in enough or you will require help to increase their oxygen saturation. Prescribed oxygen therapy is commonly used to increase decrease shortness of breath, and reduce the work load to the heart.

This therapy is often prescribed for at home patients as well as those in the hospital and oxygen supplies can be delivered directly to the home when needed. There are different types of home oxygen systems that can be prescribed. Portable units are often prescribed along with home oxygen systems.

Oxygen supplies include the equipment and that depends on the oxygen delivery system. Compressed oxygen is stored in a tank and a regulator and floor meter and it is usually prescribed when oxygen is needed only under physical activity. Your supplies would include the tank, the regulator, hoses, masks, and the meter.

Liquid oxygen is stored in a stationary tank that remains at home and is the type of oxygen prescribed when continuous oxygen is required. The stationary tank comes with a portable tank when you are out. It is filled off the stationary tank. Your supplies include the portable tank, the stationary tank, hoses, and masks.

The oxygen concentrator delivery system is about the size of a suitcase. It works by pulling air from the room and then separating the oxygen to be delivered to the patient. With this system a portable tank is also available. This type of oxygen treatment is used for those who require the oxygen for sleeping or require supplemental oxygen as needed.

These supplies are available through many different suppliers, and prices for treatment can vary but do remain relatively close. You should speak with your physician regarding any concerns about cost and to learn if all or a portion of the treatment is covered by insurance.

Many supplies are the basis behind oxygen therapy. A doctor's order is necessary for oxygen therapy. Your doctor will prescribe the necessary oxygen dose. For example, you may require oxygen 24 hours a day or you may require oxygen only under physical exercise. There is no preparation for using oxygen. It's a good idea for you to take some time to learn about the various oxygen systems including the pros and cons of each. Then make your decision.

{ Comments are closed }

Symptoms of Childhood Asthma

Asthma symptoms can be quite hard to detect because they are quite similar to allergy and cold symptoms. This is also the reason why asthma in children is usually misdiagnosed. In this article you will be thought how to identify the symptoms of childhood asthma and also the treatment used for asthma today.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is an inflammation of the airways. Airway in the lungs became over sensitive due to asthma. It results in wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Childhood asthma is now the most common chronic childhood illness.

Asthma Symptoms

As mentioned above asthma results in wheezing when exhaling, coughing and difficulty breathing. It also results in chest tightness and chest congestion. Reasons why it can be hard to diagnose is because children who are suffering from asthma are usually always short of breath during and after playing, but so are asthma free children. Asthmatic children never really recover fully after a respiratory infection or a cold. They have trouble sleeping due to their inability to breathe properly.

If you are in doubt of any symptom specifically if you feel it is more than just a cold your child is suffering from then go to your doctor and get his / her advice. Treatment is more effective if done early.

What the Doctor Will Do

The doctor will ask for a history of respiratory problems in the family and a detailed description of the child's symptoms. If the child is old enough the doctor will test how much air the child can exhale and inhale and with how much force. These test can measure both, breathing at rest and then after some physical activity. However these tests can not really be carried out in youngger children. In younger children the doctor will kindly on exactly what you tell him about the child's symptoms in order for him to make a diagnosis.

The Effect and Triggers of Asthma

Children who suffer from asthma have over sensitive immune systems. This means that these children are more sensitive to allergens and smoke which causes the airway to become inflamed and swollen resulting in a thick mucus occurring in the lungs. Other trigger of childhood asthma can be childhood illnesses such as colds, viruses, allergen, dust, mold and pollution etc.

How to Prevent Asthma and the Solution

To prevent a child from developing asthma, do not smoke during pregnancy, do not smoke in the same house as a child and keep your house as dust free as possible.

When a child is diagnosed with asthma they are usually given two different inhalers to use; one to prevent attacks from occurring and one to help clear the child's airways when they are having an asthma attack. When the prevention inhaler is used every day your child should have very few symptoms.

{ Comments are closed }