Asthma - Symptoms, Homeopathic & Home Remedy Treatment
Using Homeopathy for Asthma, Wheezing & Coughs
Anyone who has witnessed someone in the throes of a severe asthma attack, with the victim's attendant feelings of helplessness and panic, knows that this disease can be cruel and dangerous.
Asthma, a chronic disease of the lungs, afflicts roughly 20 million Americans. The condition, which costs many billions of dollars a year, is responsible for roughly half a million hospital stays annually, one quarter of all emergency room visits, and 4,000 deaths. To its sufferers it can represent anything from a minor inconvenience to a life-threatening malady. For some people asthma is intermittent and controlled, while for others it's persistent. Statistically, asthma correlates with poverty, and is less common in adults than in children - among whom it is the most common chronic ailment.
The basic mechanism is that asthma causes airways to become constricted - which is called a bronchospasm - and hence breathing becomes difficult.
In infants and children, a diagnosis of wheezy bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis, or reactive airway disease (RAD) is not identical with asthma, though these conditions can lead to the disorder. Fortunately, many asthmatic children essentially "grow out" of the condition and by adulthood no longer have attacks.
Most people with asthma lead happy and active lives, sometimes with restrictions (such as limiting the amount and vigorousness of exercise or exposure to cold air), but the fact that asthma is on the rise - with its incidence nearly doubling since the 1980s across all age, sex, and ethnic groups - is a cause of considerable concern and bafflement to public health experts as well as doctors. Some medical scientists think that the population's increasing exposure to certain chemicals is responsible for the rise. While conventional medicine has no cure for the disease, it has made strides in the management of the condition.
Some of the common symptoms of asthma are coughing (especially at night), wheezing (asthma's hallmark), rapid breathing, and "retractions" (a pulling-in of the skin between the ribs and on the neck). If someone has a chronic cough - which generally means one lasting more than eight weeks - asthma should be considered a prime suspect. One highly useful device for gauging whether someone is in imminent danger of an asthma attack is called a peak flow meter, which measures a person's respiratory output and compares breath strength against a baseline.
Common "triggers" for asthmatic attacks include exercise, colds, pollution including smoke, various allergens including pets (most asthmatics have allergies, which run in the family), mold, cold air, coughing, stress, and acid reflux.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Before the 1980's, the only widely used medications for asthma were epinephrine and ephedrine. But pharmaceuticals have advanced since then to better address symptoms, and now a confusing array of medications for asthma exist. They fall into multiple categories: quick relief ("rescue meds"), long term controls, and oral steroids which can serve as either quick relief or control medications. Groups of asthma medications include inhaled corticosteroids (ICS's), short-acting beta-agonists (SABAs), long acting beta-agonists (LABAs), and leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRAs). Some well-known and widely prescribed specific medicines are albuterol, ipatropium, cromolyn, nedocromil, budesonide (Pulmicort), omalizumab, ipatropium, formoterol (Foradil), salmeterol (Serevent), montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (accodate), zileuton (Zyflo), and prednisone.
Delivery methods for these medications run the gamut as well, including metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), breath-actuated inhalers, holding chambers, masks, dry powder inhalers, and compression driven nebulizers (mist machines).
Some over-the-counter remedies are used by asthmatics, such as antihistamines and decongestants (allergy medications), loratadine (Claritin) & cetirizine (Zyrtec) for sinus problems, and acid reflux meds such as antacids or histamine blockers.
There are many downsides to the traditional approach, including the side effects of and permanent dependency on the medications. For example, the side effects of ICS's include growth retardation, and mouth yeast; for LABAs they include headaches, tremors, palpitations, and cramps; and for LTRAs, headache, nausea, dizziness, rashes, fatigue, and stomach aches. These are not mild, benign medications at work. Plus, the treatment itself can be a major drain on the body. For example, often a child who is able to get an asthma attack under control with the use of a nebulizer will be left too weak from the medication itself to go to school.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
Conventional doctors devise action and treatment plans based on a stepwise approach to an attack's onset and severity, but homeopathy seeks to address the disease at its source. A homeopath will investigate not just the disease mechanism but the patient's overall well-being in every regard, all the physical and even emotional attributes. This is done so a correct remedy or series of remedies can be chosen that treats the whole being, not just the afflicted region (in this case, the lungs). Some of the remedies given for asthma include ipecac, pulsatilla, spongia, sulphur, antim-tart, hepar-sulph, and tuberculinum. An experienced homeopath chooses an individualized homeopathic remedy that will help reduce the symptoms' intensity and frequency.