Allergies, asthma and other autoimmune diseases are a common health problem in the United States, affecting 1 in 3 people. Childhood asthma has increased over 200%.
These conditions are almost nonexistent in undeveloped countries, while they have reached close to epidemic levels in the industrialized areas. This seems to indicate that there is something in our environment that causes these conditions. Sufferers have to address the underlying causes to improve their health.
Stress, environmental irritants and toxins, infections and allergens overwhelm our immunesystem and our body then becomes hypervigilant and tends to overreact to everything.
Seek emergency care if ...
- you are suffering from severe shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightening in the chest
- you have trouble walking and talking
- your nostrils are flaring while breathing
- your lips or fingernails are turning grey or blue
- your ribs are moving inward while breathing
- you have a very fast heartbeat or pulse
- there is no improvement in symptoms after using your asthma medication as directed by your doctor
Harmful indoor chemicals can lead to allergies, and a host of other health problems, including anemia, sinusitis, asthma, chronic fatigue, a generally weakened immune system, cancer, brain damage and even death.
In a 9-year study involving 3,500 adults, researchers found that the study participants who used cleaning sprays (such as glass and furniture cleaners) at least once weekly had a 30-50% higher risk for asthma than people who used such sprays less often. The chemicals in these products irritate the airways. It is, therefore, recommended to use non-spray, non-toxic cleaning products.
Large indoor cockroach populations are one of the leading causes of allergies, asthma and other bronchial disorders in humans. Read more on this page.
- For people suffering from allergies and/or lung problems, it is particularly important to keep the indoor air free of contaminants. The best way (provided you live in an area with clean outside air) is to frequently vent your home and sleep with the windows open. For those times that this is not possible, it is important to use a quality air filtration system to clean the indoor air. Some units even kill mold, viruses and bacteria. It is imperative to maintain as much of a non-toxic indoor environment as possible.
The Obesity Link:
According to Brian Taylor, MD, pulmonary fellow and researcher, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, there is a connection between obesity and asthma. As part of a large study at the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, researchers there collected data on 3,059 men and women with asthma from the National Asthma Survey. This study separated these people into three groups -- non-overweight (i.e. body mass index below 25)... overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9)... and obese (BMI 30 and over). Working with such a large data bank enabled the study team to adjust for other factors such as gender, race and income in order to isolate the role of obesity.
Compared with those who were not overweight, the obese were 66% more likely to have continuous asthma symptoms, 47% less likely to be in remission, 52% more likely to have severe persistent asthma (extreme symptoms as opposed to daily, annoying symptoms) and 36% more likely to miss work more than two days per year because of their asthma. They also had more visits to the ER and used more medications to control their asthma.
Dr. Brian Taylor, MD, pulmonary fellow and researcher at Emory University School of Medicine, stated that it appears that excess weight may have a mechanical effect on the small muscles in the airway, making lungs more prone to obstruction, for instance, and thereby impacting how much they can expand. The findings seem to indicate that the closer you can get to normal weight, the more control you gain over your asthma.
Nutrition is very important. The following food items are said to help with the following health conditions. Please click on the links for supportive information.
- Eat more: organically grown fruits and vegetables; cold water fish including cod, salmon, mackerel, herring and halibut; extra virgin olive oil; Flax seeds; rosemary, ginger and turmeric. *Note: Ginger can decrease blood clotting and should not be taken by people with bleeding disorders.
- Vitamin Cmay be able to reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis and also to prevent the progression of conditions like atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
- Lung-supportive Produce: Bell Peppers ... Kiwifruits ... Mustard Greens ... Apples
- Click here for information on organic foods -- a listing of the most and the least contaminated food items, as well as handling tips.
- Click here to find the best and the worst fish to eat
- Cod Liver Oil: In numerous studies, the elongated omega-3 fats found in cod liver oil have been shown to improve brain function, memory, stress response, immune response, allergies, asthma, learning and behavioral disorders, including bipolar syndrome and manic-depression. "If you want to prevent learning disabilities in your children," said David Horrobin, distinguished medical and biochemical researcher, "feed them cod liver oil."
- Avoid / Eliminate:
- Wheat Intolerance & Celiac Disease has been linked to asthma in some patients. Click here for more information.
- Milk and other dairy products which have been most commonly cited as increasing the severity of asthmatic symptoms - Ref.: World's Healthiest Foods)
- Aspartame: This sweetener has been linked to memory loss, impaired vision / vision loss, headaches, hearing loss, joint pain, asthma, coma, seizures, brain cancer, lymphoma, coma, and genotoxic effects. It also appears to worsen or mimic the symptoms of such conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue, and depression. conditions were reported by physicians and consumers.
Emphysema: Cantaloupe ... Carrots ... Collard Greens ... Kale ... Mustard Greens ... Winter Squash ... Swiss Chard ... Turnip Greens ... Papaya ... Sweet Potatoes / Yams
Lung Health (also check out: Emphysema, Respiratory): Apples
Respiratory (also check out Emphysema, Lung Health): Sesame Seeds
Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.
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