Asthma is the fifth leading cause of death in USA. Despite aggressive drug therapy aimed at controlling the disease asthma and respiratory deaths are rising. You feel as if an elephant is sitting in your chest your pulse races as your heart works harder to compensate for the lack of oxygen.
Suddenly, you are gasping for air, and panic sets in. I am describing an asthma attack, and as anyone who has suffered from one knows, asthma is not a disease to be dismissed lightly.
Asthma is a respiratory disorder in which the air tubes of the lungs become constricted, impairing breathing. Attacks can be triggered by a variety of factors including allergies, exposure to chemicals, physical exertion, and illnesses which cause inflammation of the lungs.
In recent years , reported cases of asthma have been on the rise. Why? Although stringent clean air laws have substantially cut dangerous emissions from industry, incinerators, and automobiles, there is a new and even more dangerous problems indoor pollution. Since 1970s energy saving new construction has produced almost air tight buildings, which trap indoor pollutants and can aggravate asthma.
In addition, the proliferation of chemically based household products such as air fresheners, synthetic carpets, rugs, and drapes have created indoor environments that experts estimate may be up to nine times worse than outdoor air quality even in polluted urban areas.
Diet may also account for the alarming rise in asthma, due to the increase of chemicals in our food, higher amounts of sugar in processed foods, and man made hydrogenated fats. In addition, since asthma is also a disease of immune system the increasing use of antibiotics may be undermining our immune systems.
Finally, there are drugs themselves which may temporarily relieve symptoms but do nothing to eliminate the disease, resulting in a roller coaster effect of using drugs, getting temporary relief, suffering another attack, and then increasing the dosage of drugs.
The search for better control of asthma requires expert detective work by the physician to identify any allergies that ay be triggering attack, and willingness from the patient to use whatever techniques are available to build the natural defenses against this insidious disease.
Since asthma is due to the inflammation of the lungs, supplements which prevent or relieve inflammation may help to ward off serious attacks.