Non-drug remedies may help relieve asthma symptoms

Asthma sufferers are on the rise: recent statistics show that nearly 17 million people are affected by it in the United States, an increase of 2.5 million in the last 5 years. Because there is still no cure, sufferers of the disease are often in search of non-traditional or homeopathic remedies that may reduce or alleviate its symptoms.

There are two types of sufferers; allergic and non-allergic, allergic asthma sufferers are the more common type. This means an attack is most frequently brought on by a “trigger,” such as dust mites, pollen, or even a food allergen such as strawberries. However, with a non-allergic condition, an attack can be sparked by exercise, strong perfume, dry air, and even stressful situations. While inhalers and medications are available to reduce and manage attacks, the best way to prevent them is to eliminate as many triggers as possible from your life.
For example, dust and pet dander are common irritants to people with respiratory issues. Using an airtight mattress cover or switching to polyester pillowcases will help eliminate dust from becoming trapped in your bedding. Keeping your windows closed and using a vacuum or damp cloth to dust will also keep your home free from loose dirt and dust particles.

Certain foods may also help inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which is the cause of the suffocating feeling an asthma attack creates. Ginger, a common spice in cooking, has been shown to help relax the bronchial tubes, alleviating restriction in the airway. Researchers have found that the addition of ginger-based compounds in the diet will work in tandem with medical bronchodilators to enhance their effects.

Sufferers also should avoid eating processed foods, and foods with increased nitrates/sulfates, such as hot dogs, most deli meats, and cheeses. Choosing organic products, whole grains, and limiting refined sugars and carbohydrates can all help to reduce inflammatory reactions. Taking vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. Magnesium supplements may also provide a bronchodilating effect. Of course, asthma sufferers should always consult their physician before starting a supplemental regimen.

Dr. Summit Shah

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