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Naturopathic Treatments for Asthma

Naturopathic Treatments For Asthma | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that causes a narrowing of the bronchial tubes.

As a naturopathic doctor, it’s fairly common for me to see patients with asthma.

And that’s not surprising – the statistics on asthma show it’s the most common chronic condition in children.

It’s also the third most common chronic condition in general.

If you have been diagnosed with asthma, you may be familiar with experiencing sudden coughing, wheezing, and shortage of breath during an asthma attack.

Certain conditions or situations, such as allergies, viral infections, and chemical fumes can make asthma worse.

Thankfully, there are natural treatment options available if you are dealing with asthma.

Most often those diagnosed with asthma are provided with an inhaler for treatment of asthma attacks.

Treatment may also involve trying to reduce the occurrence of situations and conditions that trigger your asthma.

But what is asthma, and what causes it?

What are the treatment options that are available to supplement your inhaler?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease of the airways, where your airways narrow and produce extra mucus.

Usually, the airways of your lungs contain mucous glands and are surrounded by muscles.

When you have asthma, these muscles become inflamed, instead of being in their normal relaxed state.

The inflammation of the airways can cause airflow to become restricted.

Asthma can also become worse due to:

If your asthma is triggered, your muscles will tighten, and your airways will swell and fill with mucus.

This can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, the exacerbation of asthma symptoms or an asthma attack.

The severity of asthma can vary, from a minor nuisance for some to a major problem for others that can interfere with daily activities.

In rare cases, asthma attacks can be life threatening.

Although there is currently no known cure for asthma, the symptoms may be controlled.

Asthma often changes over time, so talk to your doctor to adjust treatment as required.

Symptoms Of Asthma

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, consult with your doctor to see if you may have asthma.

  • Chronic cough
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest

Symptoms of asthma may come and go and may be triggered by environmental or other factors.

You may be affected by only some of the symptoms, and their severity can vary.

These symptoms can become worse over time.

Some signs that your symptoms are becoming worse include:

  • More frequent symptoms
  • The symptoms bother you more often
  • Difficulty breathing

Persistent coughing may be a sign of asthma, lung disease, or other conditions such as pneumonia.

Due to this, it’s important to consult with your naturopathic doctor about your asthma concerns.

Risk Factors for Asthma

Asthma is not contagious and can be caused by both heredity and environmental factors.

If you have a parent or close relative with allergies or asthma, you might inherit the tendency to develop asthma.

Your gender and age can also impact your risk for asthma.

During childhood, boys are more likely to get asthma than girls.

This ratio is the same around age 20 but around age 40, women become more at risk than men for adult asthma.

Your chance of having asthma is also increased if you have experienced frequent wheezing, inflammation of the nose (allergic rhinitis), or eczema.

RELATED: Naturopathic Treatments for Eczema

Many people with allergies also have asthma.

Conditions like rhinitis can worsen asthma symptoms.

You might develop asthma by being exposed to “triggers” for your asthma.

Triggers can either be allergic or non-allergic.

Allergic, or inflammatory, triggers cause inflammation of the airways.

Non-allergic, or symptom, triggers do not cause swelling but can cause airway sensitivity.

Possible allergic triggers include:

Possible non-allergic triggers include:

  • Cold air
  • Chemical fumes or strong-smelling substances
  • Exercise
  • Intense emotions
  • Cigarette smoke, including second hand

The standard medical treatment for asthma is to avoid triggers and utilize an inhaler, but there are other treatments available to help manage your asthma symptoms.

things that you can do to get better from asthma | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Treatments For Asthma

Asthma may be treated with a naturopathic approach.

The first and most important asthma treatment is to identify and manage your triggers.

Consider having an allergy test performed with your doctor.

In addition, speak to your doctor about assessing your nutrient deficiencies.

Deficiencies in the following have been associated with an increased risk for asthma:

But there are other naturopathic treatments available as well.

Here are a few naturopathic treatments your naturopathic doctor may recommend.

1. Steam Baths

Steam baths have been used as an aid for airway irritation and nasal congestion associated with asthma.

Dr. Jozef Krop, MD, CNP has been a pioneer in the use of saunas and steam baths in general, including for asthma.

Steam baths may relieve some symptoms by providing moisture to the airways.

Watch the temperature of your steam.

In some asthmatics, if the temperature is too high, it can exacerbate symptoms.

Steam baths can help alleviate symptoms but should not replace asthma medications.

Speak to your doctor before beginning a steam bath routine.

2. Nutritional Supplementation

There is research to suggest that your gut microbiome may be linked with asthma.

An imbalance of good bacteria in the gut may be associated with an increased risk for asthma.

Supplementation with probiotics such as yogurt may be beneficial in this case.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce inflammatory markers, improving pulmonary function.

This is also an important supplement for those who are pregnant, as adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids has shown lowered rates of asthma among infants.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions for Women’s Health

Magnesium is another supplement which can be used to treat asthma, as it increases bronchodilation.

More studies are needed to show if fish oil and magnesium improve lung function or reduce the necessity of asthma medicine required.

However, both supplements when used under supervision of your doctor are beneficial for overall health.

Antioxidants may also help you manage your asthma symptoms.

Antioxidants can help reduce the number of free radicals in your body, which are inflammatory markers.

Increasing your intake of foods that contain antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, may have some benefit.

3. Herbs And Botanical Medicine

There are some botanical medicine options that may help treat your asthma.

Your naturopathic doctor may prescribe a natural herbal treatment for your asthma, such as:

  • Garlic, due to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ginger, which may decrease inflammation
  • Turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties
  • Honey, which can soothe asthma symptoms

Your naturopathic doctor may also opt for a botanical treatment, such as:

  • Boswellia, Curcuma longa, and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), when combined can dampen the chemical messengers which initiate inflammation
  • Astragalus membranaceus, a powerful immune-strengthening herb with tissue specificity in the lungs
  • Lobelia inflata, a respiratory stimulant and expectorant, which should only be used under the supervision of a trained practitioner due to its potential toxicity

4. Stress Management

Stress is a natural part of your life and is your mind’s way of responding to stressful events.

Stress is a trigger for asthma.

Some natural solutions for stress can help alleviate your symptoms.

In addition, a 2017 study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics shows that maternal prenatal stress has been associated with a higher risk for a variety of immune and metabolic alterations in the offspring.

These disorders include asthma and allergic disorders.

These are just a sample of possible treatments your naturopathic doctor may use, depending on your unique health history and needs.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Manage Stress

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with asthma?

If so, book your appointment with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, ND, today.

During your initial appointment, you’ll get a chance to sit down with me where we can talk about your asthma and any other health concerns you may have.

From there, I’ll answer any questions you may have, and we can talk about putting together a treatment plan based on your unique health needs.

Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic to book your FREE 15-minute introductory session today.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D
Mindful Healing Naturopathic Clinic
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7
(905) 819-8200

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.