Is there a cure for asthma?
Asthma is a controllable, chronic disease that affects one in twelve Americans. Although it is considered a disease, asthma is not curable in the way that other diseases can be cured. It can be managed through prevention and medication but it never entirely goes away.
It is difficult to find a cure for asthma in part because it affects each individual differently, with different triggers bringing on an attack, to different symptoms as a result of the attack.
Mechanisms of Asthma
Asthma is a reaction in the lungs that leads to inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial tubes which are the passages that allow air flow through the lungs. When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. The airways then become inflamed, narrow, and swell. They also produce extra mucus and cause spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, restricting the air flow and making it difficult to breathe.
If left untreated, the swelling can worsen, restricting the airways even further. Treating asthma at the onset of symptoms is necessary to prevent a complete blockage of the airway which could lead to death. If the symptoms are left untreated and continue to worsen, it is important to seek emergency care.
A Cure for Asthma: Medical Treatments
Medical treatments are available to help control the symptoms of asthma. The treatments are broken down into two categories: long-term control medications and quick-relief medicines.
Long-term control medicines help prevent and control asthma symptoms. These medications are typically taken on a daily basis for the remainder of the patient’s life. Long-term control medicines include:
- Inhaled corticosteroids – prevent and reduce airway swelling
- Inhaled long-acting beta agonists – open the airways by relaxing the smooth muscles around the airways, used in conjunction with an inhaled corticosteroid
- Omalizumab (anti-IgE) – prevents the body from reacting to allergic triggers
- Leukotriene modifiers – reduce swelling inside the airways and relax smooth muscles
- Cromolyn sodium – prevents airways from swelling when they come into contact with a trigger
- Theophylline – helps open the airways by relaxing the smooth muscles
- Oral corticosteroids – last resort when other medications fail to work, also used as long-term therapy for severe asthma
Quick-relief medicines are used to help alleviate asthma symptoms after they have been triggered. These medicines act quickly to relax lung muscles allowing the airways to open, improving the ability to breathe. There are several different quick-relief medicines available:
- Short-acting beta agonists inhalers – immediately relax the smooth muscles around the airways and decrease swelling that blocks airflow
- Anticholinergics inhalers – open the airways by relaxing the smooth muscles around the airways and reducing mucous production
- Combination quick- relief medicines – contain both a short-acting beta agonist and an anticholinergic
A Cure for Asthma: Natural Treatments
Unfortunately, some of the medications prescribed for asthma come with unwanted side effects such as depression, weight gain, hyperactivity, insomnia, muscle weakness, and many others. If you do not want to risk these side effects, you may choose a natural treatment for your asthma.
The most important thing you can do to prevent asthma attacks is to reduce the stress in your life as strong emotions can trigger asthma. Quite often an asthma attack is accompanied by panic which worsens the situation. Being able to relax and breathe calmly during an attack may help you to avoid feelings of panic.
Diet is also an important consideration when managing asthma. Processed and refined foods are thought to contribute to asthma because of their lack of fiber which reduces healthy probiotic bacteria.
Studies show that diets low in fruit and vegetables increase the risk and severity of asthma so be sure to eat at least seven servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Healthy eating can help you to control inflammatory responses and reduce dietary triggers.
In addition to reducing stress and eating a healthy diet, you may also want to read the e-book Asthma Free Forever. This book was written by Jerry Ericson, a researcher and homeopathic practitioner.
The treatments contained in this book are based on his 20 plus years of helping asthma sufferers quickly and permanently eliminate their symptoms with natural remedies. This book is appropriate for all types of asthma as its step by step instructions can be used in combination with medication for those suffering from the most severe symptoms.
Although there is no known cure for asthma, it is possible to manage your symptoms so that you can live a normal, active life. Whether you choose medical treatment or a natural solution it is important to be consistent with your treatment.