According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current number of adults suffering from asthma is 18.7 million.
If you've ever felt short of breath, your chest feels heavy, and you're constantly wheezing, you might have an asthma issue.
Asthma occurs when inflammation in your air passages results in the narrowing of the airways that transport oxygen from your nose and mouth to your lungs. Even though asthma can be treated through medication and with the use of an inhaler, you still might feel like you're unable to breathe normally throughout the day. However, there are some natural treatments that can help ease those symptoms.
What are the natural ways you can ease your asthma symptoms?
- Vitamin C, B6 and magnesium
- NAET for allergies
- Omega-3 for inflammation
- Electrostatic air cleaners
How else can you ease your asthma symptoms?
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, discusses the natural ways you can ease your asthma symptoms so you can breathe easier throughout your day.
RadioMD Presents:The Dr. Holly Lucille Show| Original Air Date: March 11, 2015
Host: Holly Lucille, ND, RN
She's articulate. She's passionate and she tells the truth about health. She's Dr. Holly. It's time for the Dr. Holly Lucille show.
DR HOLLY: Hi, folks. Thanks so much for coming back and listening. I've got the lovely Jacob Teitelbaum with me. We're going to be talking all about a restrictive airway disease and it's named asthma. We're going to be talking about how you, if you suffer from asthma, can breathe more easy and naturally. Jacob, thanks so much for being here.
DR JACOB: Always a pleasure, Holly. For those 20 million of you out there who suffer with wheezing, shortness of breath, unexplained coughing a lot of times, what we're going to talk about today is what's going in with asthma because, basically, this is a condition where the airways which carry air into the lungs, which are these muscular tubes, they go into a spasm and inflammation. So, taking care of both of those, can leave you feeling and breathing a whole lot easier.
DR HOLLY: Yes. So, having asthma can be really scary for folks because, I mean, Jacob, it's your air. It's your breath and it's devastating for folks. I mean, I had a patient the other week and she had an attack. She hadn't had an attack—it was a childhood asthma that she "grew out of"—had an attack as an adult onset for the first time and was really scared.
DR JACOB: And when you can't breathe, it is scary. Like you say, that's your breath. Here's the difference, though, if you know what's going on and what to do, it puts you back in control again and once you know, that power will leave you not being as scared.
So, let's take a look at a couple of things for listeners to understand. Number one, about half of it is allergic. So, treating the allergies—whether it's by cleaning up house, getting rid of the dust, using dust covers, or using an electrostatic air cleaner. If you own your home and you have a furnace, that's $700 it costs to put an electrostatic air cleaner and to make a dramatic benefit, especially if you have kids with asthma.
If you have food allergies, elimination diet, eating the leaky gut diet, but, especially, there's a technique called NAET. It's an acupressure, allergy elimination technique that is remarkable for allergies. It's knocked out my hay fever in 20 minutes. So, it's just pretty amazing. So, going through a series of about 15-25 NAET treatments, if you go to the website: www.NAET.com, you'll find over 10,000 practices worldwide.
So, these are some simple background things, but there's so much more and Holly, we have over 4,000 people dying in the U.S. each year from asthma and that's crazy. If doctors simply learned that when somebody's in the hospital or even during a severe asthma attack, give them intravenous magnesium, it will often help break the attack. Also, Vitamin B6. Birth control pills cause Vitamin B6 deficiency and the Vitamin B6 deficiency causes asthma.
So, simply take a good multivitamin that has the magnesium, has the Vitamin B6. I like the energy revitalization system of vitamin power which you'll have all of that in there. people can find that simple thing helps them breathe easier. But, arguably, for the best herb on the planet for asthma would be Boswellia.
DR HOLLY: Yes.
DR JACOB: Also known as frankincense, but it has to be the right kind. I would get one called BosMed.
DR HOLLY: BosMed.
DR JACOB: BosMed. That's by EuroPharma. Awesome product—500 mg. Take one or, even during acute attacks, two twice a day. Give it 6 weeks to really kick in and start to settle down the inflammation. That alone, with a proper fish oil...And, again, as you were talking about before, not all fish oils are so good. The one that I use is one called Vectomega, which it just has the Omega 3s. You take one or two of those pills a day, instead of 8-16 big fish oil capsules. No toxins. Those two—the Boswellia and fish oil will decrease inflammation and I'm going to give one other quick tip, too, before we move forward a bit more. Some other things: keep your chest warm.
There's a reflex arc between the muscles in the chest and the organs below it, including the airways. So, if you're sitting there having a wheezing fit and you're in the hospital bed wearing this thin hospital robe with cold breezes going across your chest, it's going to go into spasms. Same thing at home. Put on a nice, warm sweater. Hug a pillow to your chest if you need to. Keep your chest muscles warm because that also helps relax and release the airways so you can breathe again. So, it doesn't have to be complicated stuff.
DR HOLLY: No. Well, no. And I mean, especially, I think the warmth is really an important point, especially if somebody is kind of in a space where they're feeling that these attacks are coming on more frequently and/or they're immunocompromised and so their inflammation is up and/or their breathing is compromised. So, I think that's really important. You and I we were at the Natural Products Expo together and I love how you pitch us sort of like "He Said, She Said". You have an MD medical degree, trained, obviously, in conventional Western reductionist medicine, born as a healer and as a consumer advocate and as a lovely person.
I have an ND, so a naturopathic medical doctor. The principles are different, but, you know, I love how you are like, "Identify and treat the cause." As you said, asthma, a lot of it, is allergic, so the electrostatic air cleaner, amazing, right? Because it just circulates and cleans out the antigens in the air, so you're not reacting so much. Food sensitivities. I know that we've cleaned up a lot of different asthma cases with food sensitivities and, kind of, I'll use a blood type diet at first to get folks started while we're kind of figuring out anything else that's going. That helps quite a bit.
As you said, the Nambudripad allergy elimination technique. Here in California, people just have seasonal allergies and you see it coming and it gets worse with age because I don't think they're clearing out through their liver as well as we go older and they suffer. Their breath suffers. It's like, you know, it's oxygen. It's life and this is a very important topic.
DR JACOB: Absolutely. And, remembering the diet again, because common asthma triggers in food. A lot of the food dyes. It blew me away when I was a resident. There's a medication called Quibron and it's an asthma medicine and they thought it would look very pretty if it was yellow. They colored it with food color dye number 5, which is Tartrazine, which is a major asthma trigger. So, they were coating the asthma tablets with it until they finally realized, "Oh, maybe that's not a good idea." So, benzoate, sulphates. There are so many different things.
So, if you have severe asthma, like we say, take the vitamin as well as the Boswellia and the Vectomega for the fish oil. Give your body what it needs to support and settle down the spasms. Then, do an elimination diet. If you go to my website, it's EndFatigue.com, to see an elimination diet. You'll see a kinder, gentler elimination diet that was made by Dr. Doris Rapp, who is one of my favorite environmental medicine doctors. You go through it and you see if the asthma settles down as you eliminate the foods. You add them back in one at a time and then you see what the triggers are. But, again, you don't have to avoid these foods the rest of your life. Once you figure out what they are, then you can go to the NAET practitioner and they can usually clear the sensitivities.
DR HOLLY: Right. I love that. So, EndFatigue.com. I love that you say a more gentle, rational approach to food elimination diet because that can get pretty laborious and overwhelming for folks. Then, I think it's giving hope when people are like "Oh, I love that food. I can't believe I can't eat it anymore." You can go to your NAET practitioner and go ahead and remove that allergy. I've seen great success there.
DR JACOB: Let's give one last quick thing for asthma. The steroids. Adrenal support can be very, very helpful. There's a product called Adrenal Stress End that will help, but for those of you trying to wean off prednisone and many of the asthma medicines are actually very good. This is an area where doctors do well with the medications they have. But, if you need to wean down the prednisone, you can get below a certain point. Once you get below 5mg of prednisone, you can switch to natural or bioidentical, I should say, Cortef, and as long as you keep that under 20mg, which is like 4 a day, it can be used long-term so you don't have to try to wean totally off until the asthma's under control.
DR HOLLY: Excellent. Excellent. Well, those are great tips. Like I said, over 20 million people suffer over asthma and you can breathe easily, more naturally, more. Have your breath back. I mean, as a restrictive airway disease, we can decrease the inflammation. Watch those allergies and if you find the allergies, have them removed.
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, thank you so much. This is Dr. Holly Lucille. You're on RadioMD. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook @YourRadioMD.Stay tuned. We'll be right back.