Asthma

Last month I talked to you about Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBS.  Definitely conditions everyone wants to keep at a great distance. They are absolutely not fun, and yet 20% of the population has them. And I also talked about care options most people have never even considered!    

This month, let‘s chat about a condition that strikes fear and anxiety into the heart of almost every parent:

Asthma:                                                                                                                                                Most likely someone you know is suffering with this condition: Could be your child, a parent, someone close to you, or even yourself. I say this because there are thousands of children (and adults) afflicted by difficulty with breathing.            

In the early 2000s, a report on the status of Asthma in the United States conducted by the Pew Environmental Commission, estimated that Asthma cases will double by the year 2020. This meant that one out of every 14 people will suffer from this condition. One out of fourteen? Well, that prediction was almost spot on, but the current statistic is even worse.  The current prevalence of asthma is one out of thirteen.  That is huge! I have to tell you that I am absolutely not Ok with that!

Back in the early 2000s, Asthma care costs over $11 billion annually and it was the number one reason for school absenteeism.  Today Asthma care costs over $80 billion annually!

But when you review Healthy People 2020, you’ll read that the focus is on treatment, not reducing this upward trend in prevalence or in prevention.  Almost nothing goes to the tracking of the disease and very little is going to prevention or discovering the cause of the disease.  The trending estimates that in the next 15 years, 50 percent of all children will have difficulty in catching their breath-Did you catch that?  50%?  That is not OK!

Why is this ―dis-ease becoming so rampant? Fabulous question! The medical community has no clue! We, on the other hand, have our suspicions!  So….What can be done? Well, let‘s see….United Kingdom scientists are beginning hospital trials to see the affects of certain bacteria on Asthma. ―There is a global network of biological Asthma research which has demonstrated that the lower the exposure of a baby to certain types of bacteria, the higher the risk of Asthma, states Dr. Charles Warner, child coordinator and professor of child‘s health at the University of South Hampton.

As a matter of fact, researchers are adding a low dose of bacteria, which is commonly found in dirt to the diet of some 400 babies whose families have a history of Asthma. They will then study and assess the child‘s risk of developing asthma. It is hoped that these bacteria will eventually play a role in boosting the children‘s immune system. Consider this: Consumers have been driven to be afraid of bacteria, fostering an inappropriate use of antibiotics (so-called, “prophylactic” prescriptions), and a market saturated with antibacterial soaps and cleaners. Not only have we created an environment in which resistant super-bug bacteria can thrive, but we also kill bacteria, which are actually beneficial and essential to balance the internal environment of our own bodies.

Not very smart or intelligent, is it?  Let‘s look at Science of Breathing: Your body takes air from the outside. This air then passes through your nose, windpipe, and your bronchi. These are all parts of your personal ―air conditioning‖ system, so to speak. This air is then filtered, purified, cleansed, warmed, and humidified before it enters your lungs. Think about the science behind this for a moment. There are amazing biofeedback loops at work here that inform your brain whether the air you are breathing in is too cold, too dry, too polluted, etc. These messages are relayed to your brain, which then makes minute corrections to your “program” every second that you are alive. It is an amazing process and happens very exactly under the perfect guidance of your nervous system. Yes, your nervous system is responsible for this function – it is responsible for your breathing!

So, what is Asthma then?

In children (and adults) who have Asthma, the small tubes in the lungs, called bronchioles, become inflamed and irritated. They then contract and even spasm and produce mucous, which tend to plug up the breathing passages. Children can literally gasp for air. These ―attacks can last minutes or hours and can persist for a lifetime.

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