Asthma attack symptoms, causes, treatment and ways to avoid it.

Asthma attack symptoms, causes, treatment and how to avoid it with home remedies.


Asthma is a lung disease that results in blockage of airways. During an asthma attack, the muscles around the bronchi (the small passageways of the lungs) tighten and narrow, making it difficult for air to leave the lungs.
The chronic inflammation and excessive sensitivity of the bronchi produce those constricting spasms. The bronchial tubes swell and become plugged with mucus. An attack, often occurring at night, usually begins as a nonproductive cough and wheezing; this is often followed by difficult breathing and a tight chest. After a few hours, it subsides.

Asthma symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis, emphysema, and lung infections.

Symptoms
Difficult breathing, coughing, wheezing, tight chest. Attacks of multiple symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually. Sometimes there is coughing with thick, persistent sputum that may be clear or yellow. There is a feeling of suffocation. Children often have coughing and vomiting episodes.

Causes
What causes an attack to come on? Only certain people have asthma; those that do may have an attack triggered by an allergen or other irritant (such as chemicals, drugs, dust mites, feathers, food additives, pollutants, fumes, mold, animal dander, tobacco smoke, etc.). But other things can also do it: anxiety, fear, laughing, stress, low blood sugar, adrenal disorders, temperature changes, extremes of dryness or humidity, or respiratory infections.

About 80% have an allergic disorder; but others do not. The experts warn that ever-increasing amounts of pollutants will cause the number of asthmatics to increase. Many workers must continually live with such things as sulfites, urethane, polyurethane, epoxy resins, dry cleaning chemicals, and many other chemicals common to industry.

Asthmatics are frequently very sensitive to foods containing sulfite additives: potassium metabisulfite, sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfate, sodium bisulfite, etc. Restaurants use them, to prevent discoloration in salads and other foods. Sulfites are also added to many other foods by the food industry.

Nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and cigarette smoke are known to precipitate asthma attacks.
Fumes and strong odors (such as turpentine, paints, gasoline, perfumes, etc.) disturb many asthmatics.

There are two types of asthma
Extrinsic asthma (inherited) usually begins in childhood, is seasonal, and is usually caused by a definite number of substances which can more easily be identified. Asthma is the leading cause of disease and disability in the 2-17 age group.

Intrinsic asthma is the more severe; it is generally begins after 30 years of age. Attacks can occur at any time; and the causes are much more difficult to identify.

Treatment and other suggestions to get rid of Asthma
Treatment during the attack
Water therapy
1.Hot fomentation to the back of the neck, thorax, and front of the chest are helpful, along with a hot footbath. Keep the head cool by sponging with cool water or use a fan.

2.Pouring cold water on the back of the neck is useful. As the person bends over, the water is poured on the back of the neck from about 24 inches above the neck, pour it for about 30-90 seconds. Do this 3 times a day during the critical phase.

3.A neutral bath (94o-98o F) is quieting to the nerves and helps relax them.

4.A vaporizer which blows cold, moist air is helpful during an attack. Menthol or eucalyptus oil may be added to the water.

Useful and helpful herbs to help the patient recover/get relief
1.Some take 1 cup of hot water, catnip tea, or mullein tea each hour.

2.After blending a clove of garlic in a cup of water, drink it. This may be vomited back out, loosening the phlegm. If vomited, give another cup. The garlic really helps.

3.Lobelia is an herb that, when sipped slowly, relaxes the nerve and tends to stop the spasm. (If one drinks it more rapidly or in larger amounts, it has a different effect and induces vomiting.)

4.Mullein oil is a worthwhile remedy for bronchial congestion. The oil stops coughs because it unclogs bronchial tubes. When taken with water or fruit juice, the effect is even more rapid.

5.Other useful herb teas include juniper berries, Echinacea, and (of course that old standby) slippery elm bark.

6.Pour 1 cup cold water over 1-2 tsp. shredded elecampane root. Let stand 8-10 hours. Reheat and take very hot, in small sips. You can sweeten with honey. Drink 1 cup daily.

7.Three times a day, add 20-40 drops of licorice tincture to a cup of hot water, let it cool to room temperature, and drink it.

8.Cayenne desensitizes the respiratory system to irritants; and it is helpful in stopping an asthma attack.

Treatment for the rest of the days
Proper diet and nutrients
1.Eat a nourishing diet. Include garlic and onions. Eat lightly. Research has revealed that a fat-free diet can help reduce asthma attacks. Strictly adhere to a simple diet, and not much eaten. Your only oil should be 1 spoonful of flaxseed oil taken raw twice a day. It is rich in omega-3, which reduces tissue damage from asthma.

2.Avoid bananas and melons, especially if you are also sensitive to ragweed. Avoid processed and junk foods. Do not use nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine, chocolate, fish, eggs, and other common allergenic foods. Avoid foods containing additives. Do not use milk products. You may be allergic to wheat products. Do not eat ice cream or other cold liquids. Cold can shock the bronchial tubes into spasm.

3.Be sure and drink enough water. This vital fluid is greatly needed to keep your lungs and bronchi free of thickened phlegm.

4.Daily nutrients in divided doses: vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene, 35,000 IU), B complex (a complete supplement), vitamin C (500-5,000 mg), bioflavonoids (500mg), vitamin D (400 IU), vitamin E (400 IU), calcium (1,500 mg), magnesium (500 mg). Taking 1-2 calcium tablets during an attack will often reduce its severity. Calcium relaxes the muscles

Avoiding dust and other things that may cause asthma
1.Get a good vacuum cleaner and get rid of the dust and dust mites in your bed, cushions, rugs, and floor. Avoid goose feathers (pillows and down coats). Dead cockroaches are also known to produce a dust which can bring on an attack. House plants may contain mold spores. Keep the bathroom clean of mold, also under the sinks.

2.Eliminate things from the house which harbor dust: carpets, venetian blinds, draperies, etc. Washable cotton curtains are all right. Avoid the use of electric fans; they stir up dust.

3.No dogs, cats, or other furry animals in your home and no birds.

4.Cover mattresses in plastic casings. Wash sheets in hot water weekly.

Ways to breathe and breathing practices
1.You need to breathe deeply. Learn to play a wind instrument, harmonica, or sing. Practice deep breathing when you are outdoors. Have regular physical exercise. Hiking, swimming, etc. are good. You need to build up your lung capacity and utilization. This will strengthen you entire respiratory tract. A person at rest uses only 10% of his lung capacity; hard work increases it to about 50%.

2.Exhale forcefully through a small drinking straw into a large bottle of water. This forces the bronchial tubes to expand somewhat and become larger.

3.Some asthmatics have problems when they breathe too deeply. One way to minimize exercise-induced asthma is to wear a mask that retains heat and moisture and limits the effect of cold, dry air.

4Spend a few minutes each day practicing standing tall, expanding your chest, and breathing deeply. Devise simple exercises (on the floor, against walls, etc.) which help you do this. Practice breathing through your nose rather than your mouth.


5.Practice “sleeping breathing.” This is done by breathing slower and deeper than normal, with a three second pause at the top of the inspiration and at the end of the expiration.

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