Month: July 2017

Things You Must Consider About Asthma

The Mayo Clinic, representing more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers, says that it isn’t clear why only some people get asthma. According to their research the cause of asthma is genetic and environmental. This means it is passed on through families and triggered by environmental exposure. Of course, there are cases that are purely hereditary and cases that are purely environmental. For example, a chronic smoker can get asthma even if they have no genetic disposition. For average people, the main concern is to eliminate the environmental causes of asthma, especially for young children who may develop the disease from exposure. There is actually 3 things you can do to greatly reduce the environmental exposure to irritants that cause asthma.

The first thing is eliminating toxins. The big ones are pet dander, Volatile Organic Compounds, such as smoke, and dust. The grand majority of dust is circulated through the home by the central heating and cooling air duct systems. This is where duct cleaning or proper window treatment and caulking goes a long way. This is a simple step that gets big results. Removing those pounds of dust is very effective and it is important to keep dust from coming in.

The second thing is looking out for is sulfates and preservatives, such as those found in shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine. In a healthy adult, with a mature liver, these foods are fine, but in growing children, for some reason, they are linked to asthma attacks. Most of those foods don’t look like anything a kid would eat, but food manufacturing companies have a nasty habit of sneaking in preservatives, such as mono sodium glutamate (MSG), under new and improved names such as glutamate acid and so on. The big red flag in the food preservation industry is the amount of salt. Table salt doesn’t really represent a threat, but the salt in food is usually linked with long chain organic preservatives such as sulfates that is shown to lead to more frequent asthma attacks. The moral of the story is: if you are buying groceries and you notice a high amount of sodium, sulfates are also likely present in that food.

The last and most important thing to avoid for asthma is cold or polluted air. Weird how very frigid air can provoke asthma, but a repeated strain on the respiratory system in the form of cold air does this. Then there is the obvious mainly considered reason: pollution! In terms of pollution, we have the most control by using electronic air filters for our indoor air and regularly changing air filters like in our cars. Those three things will give you deep, fresh breathing!

 

First Things To Do When Asthma Comes

Asthma is one of the most aggravating diseases that humans may suffer. It involves the very breath of life. One of the characteristic features of this disorder is that between attacks the victim may appear and feel as normal as anyone else and yet in a very short time may be in an attack so severe as to cause him to wish for the end of life.

Asthma is a paroxysmal difficulty of breathing resulting from sudden spasm of the bronchial tubes or their minute branches, or sudden swelling of the mucous membrane of these tubes. What produces the hypersensitiveness of the respiratory membrane, which is necessary to the production of asthma, may be difficult to determine. It is associated, however, with heart disease (cardiac asthma), kidney disease (renal asthma) or some outside irritant (hay asthma), or from minor causes. A protein sensitization often underlies the condition. Bronchial, nervous or essential asthma is a form for which a leading cause cannot be discovered, though usually there has been inherited a neurotic temperament.

The symptoms of asthma are comparatively similar in the majority of cases. The spasmodic attacks come on suddenly, but without regularity as a rule. Any condition which gives rise to excitation of the nervous system may cause the attacks. Sometimes these paroxysms develop more gradually and are preceded by a sensation of oppression in the chest or frequent or increased urination or a belching of gas, etc. When the attack comes on, breathing is very difficult, particularly the exhalation of each breath. In severe cases the patients often sit with elbows on a chair or desk or table or stand with the elbows elevated by some object in order to be able to use to the fullest all of the auxiliary muscles of breathing.

In these severe attacks the lips become blue and the cheeks pale, the nostrils are dilated and the eyes bulged and the entire facial expression is one of anxiety. The pulse is rapid and the perspiration is copious. The breathing is not rapid, but is difficult and wheezing. There is a sensation as if one is being choked or smothered. Often it is necessary to open a window, or to sit in the open window to secure all the fresh air possible. There often is a cough, which may continue for quite some time before any matter is brought up for expectoration. This matter is tenacious and stringy.

The attacks may subside gradually, but often pass quite suddenly. Their duration may be a few minutes only or many hours. They may be repeated every night or quite frequently or not for several weeks or even for several months. Irritating vapor or fumes or a damp atmosphere may help produce or prolong an attack. Attacks frequently come on at night.

Hay asthma is quite different from the ordinary varieties. It is excited by such irritating substances as plant pollen, dust, animal emanations and such. The first symptom resembles an acute catarrh of the respiratory passages, which causes sufficient swelling of the mucous membrane to interfere with breathing.

Asthma primarily is a nervous disease, but when continued for many years in a severe form the patient may become gaunt, sallow and hollow checked, and the chest may become deformed.

Treatment. This is another constitutional disease, hence must have constitutional treatment. Because of the underlying neurotic or highly nervous temperament this condition may respond less readily than do many other diseases, but there have been numerous cases where all symptoms have disappeared permanently. Numerous factors may be necessary in the treatment, but diet will be the first factor in most instances. In any case it will be necessary to build up the nervous energy and to detoxicate as completely as possible.

The most reliable treatment is an absolute fast, which if necessary may continue for as long as twenty, thirty or more days, depending upon the patient’s weight, strength and energy. After the fast or in cases where the fast cannot be used the citrus fruits, particularly the grapefruit, will be of very great benefit. This fruit particularly seems to aid in clearing the bronchial tubes of accumulated mucus and in bringing new mucus-forming elements to the tubes by the blood-stream.

After the fast or fruit diet the milk diet may be used with considerable benefit by a great many patients, particularly those who are below normal in weight and those whose nervous energy seems much below normal. But in a fair percentage of cases this diet seems to disagree. Temporarily it does tend to cause the throwing off of mucus, through its effect in speeding up the circulation, alkalinizing the system and aiding in throwing out waste products. But this eliminative effect is so pronounced occasionally that the patient’s breathing is interfered with to such an extent that another diet may have to be considered.

There is no specific diet for treating this disease, but a great many cases do well with two or three light meals a day of the simplest combinations of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals and milk. The whole grain cereals preferably should be in the form of dry toast. This diet should include citrus fruits, berries and melons, but white sugar should be rigidly avoided and brown sugars should be used sparingly, and all of the fruits and berries should be used wholly unsweetened.

It is necessary that asthmatics live as nearly as possible out of doors. Not only must their lungs receive an abundance of fresh air, but they must be lightly enough dressed that the entire body is air-bathed regularly. However, it is important that they avoid chilling. Warmth of the body is important to prevent an internal congestion that may light up or aggravate an attack. Clothing should be loose at all points – no constriction even of the extremities being permissible.

Between attacks moderate exercises will be very beneficial. No specific exercises are required, but all active sports that the patient can indulge in or general setting-up exercises that involve deep breathing and the arm and chest muscles should be used. Spinal compresses and massage and spinal manipulations, particularly those in the nature of osteopathic treatments, will be of great benefit in many of these cases. Many attacks of asthma cm be checked or shortened by properly given packs or manipulations. Packs over the front of the chest, over the upper half of the back, or the cross-chest pack over the shoulders and involving the entire rib area, may be used with great relief and benefit. These cross-chest packs should be applied cold and covered thoroughly with dry flannel. Heat by any continuous means to the upper spine or the upper chest will give relief as a rule. The drinking of an abundance of hot water is relaxing and often will help to abort or shorten an attack. Inhalation of steam from a tea-kettle by the use of a suitable funnel may be of help in relieving the spasms.

In many cases it is necessary to avoid cold applications until considerable general improvement has been secured. Many attacks have been produced by cold applied to the chest or upper back, and yet some of the best ultimate results have been obtained where this treatment has been employed. Much depends upon one’s individual response to such treatment. If it can be used without starting an attack it can be considered a very beneficial type of treatment. The electric cabinet bath relieves very quickly in many cases because of its sweat-producing, relaxing effect. It should be followed by a tepid shower or sponge, terminated by the cold shower or sponge if possible.

The use of vapors for the specific effect of quieting an attack of asthma should be avoided if possible, also the injection of adrenalin chloride. These remedies for the attacks have no effect upon the underlying conditions and often interfere with the progress of the case under natural treatment. However, there are attacks so severe or patients in such an exhausted condition that such relief is preferable to a continuation of the attack when any natural procedure will not give the desired relief. Adrenalin is an internal secretion production, hence is not wholly foreign to the body and may be considered much better than the leaves and powders that arc used by burning.

As invaluable for their palliative effect as these remedies are in relieving acute attacks, constitutional treatment as outlined is vitally important and must be depended upon if a permanent cure is to be established. In a great many cases all that is required is the proper diet and adequate elimination, with improved skin activity. It is necessary also that the patient should cultivate relaxation, not only physical but mental and emotional. This will help a great deal in preventing attacks, and during an attack. If the patient can secure mental relaxation much will be done towards hastening the termination of the attack.

 

Things You Should Know About Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tube and its branches. It may be acute or chronic; it may involve one side or both; it may affect the larger or only the minor portions of the tube, or it may involve the whole bronchial system.

The most frequent occasions (usually called causes) for bronchitis are colds, improperly treated or neglected, or irritating inhalations of smoke, dust, gas or fumes. Becoming chilled after being heated may result in an attack if there is an injurious degree of toxemia. Certain trades tend to the production of such irritation to cause bronchitis: stone-cutting, milling, carpentering, paper-hanging, etc. Inhalation of tobacco smoke or tobacco dust is one of the most prolific causes. Living in overheated quarters with the air insufficiently moistened is somewhat common in American city dwellings, and such conditions may lead to bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis results from an accumulation of toxins in the body, making it necessary for the body to call upon the mucous surfaces of the respiratory tract for additional elimination. Aside from the causes already given, acute bronchitis may accompany other acute diseases.

The symptoms are quite abrupt, the condition itself beginning with a sudden fever, often accompanied by a chill. Fever sometimes, however, is absent. Cough is the most prominent symptom. This may be frequent and hard with no expectoration, especially for the first two or three days. There usually is soreness back of the breast-bone. Gradually the cough becomes somewhat productive, there being a tenacious mucous accumulation which is expelled with considerable difficulty. Its presence in the bronchial tube causes a wheezing or humming sound upon breathing. The cough may be so frequent and severe as to result in headache, dizziness, nausea and perhaps vomiting.

The cough gradually lessens after a few days and is more productive, the expectorated matter being thick and more or less greenish, a mixture of mucus and pus. The condition frequently causes bronchopneumonia in children and old persons, through extension to the lung tissue, when neglected, improperly treated, or when the toxemia is so extreme that the body needs the increased surface of the lungs for elimination. Within a week these bronchial symptoms usually disappear in mild cases, and within two weeks in the more severe cases, though the trouble may linger on for a month or more. Considerable depends upon the patient’s inherent vitality and recuperative powers and upon the strictness with which proper treatment is carried out.

Chronic bronchitis may be either chronic from the beginning or may result from frequent or repeated attacks of acute bronchitis. The inhalation of dust or smoke is one of the most frequent causes. Cough and expectoration are the leading symptoms, the cough being quite obstinate, especially in the morning and evening and during the night. It often prevents sufficient sleep for the patient to recover quickly. The cough may cause vomiting. There may or may not be any substance expectorated. What is brought up may be tinged with blood. During the summer the symptoms may subside or disappear entirely, only to return upon the appearance of cold weather.

Treatment. In acute cases it is necessary to remove any cause of direct irritation of the bronchial tubes. Usually when properly treated an acute case will subside in a few days. The “fruit fast” is very helpful in these cases and should continue until the temperature has been normal for twenty-four hours. The daily enema should be given, with plenty of water to drink. Fresh air is very important, but a cold wind over the patient should be avoided. A blanket-pack will help materially in the general efforts of the body toward elimination. Every two or three days the general pack may be substituted for the local pack to the chest. Hot compresses or heat by a therapeutic lamp over the upper chest will be very soothing in case the cough is very distressing. After any hot treatment there should be a cold application for a minute or so, then careful drying and adequate covering. A “sun-bath” over the upper chest by a sun lamp will help greatly in this condition. After the symptoms have subsided, the patient may gradually return to a diet more ample in quantity and consisting of any natural food desired. Of course, the quantities should be only gradually increased. There is no definite curative diet needed after the acute condition has subsided, though the fruit and strict milk diet would be very valuable at this time.

Chronic bronchitis makes it necessary to treat the entire body, because the condition is not local, but is due to a systemic toxemia, with the selection of the bronchial mucous membrane for the point of elimination when the other channels of elimination are functioning insufficiently to take care of the encumbrances. In these cases the repeated complete fast or fruit diet will be of great value, continued for from three to eight or ten days depending upon the strength and vitality of the patient and the effects of the fast. The milk diet is a very excellent diet to follow a fast or to use between these repeated fasts. It is especially recommended if the patient is below normal in weight and vitality. If the patient is normal or above normal, the milk diet may be used with benefit, but with a reduction in the amount of the milk sufficient to maintain normal weight or permit of a slow loss in weight.

In this chronic condition, steam-baths or other sweat-baths once or twice a week will be very helpful. They should of course be followed by a cold or cool bath and vigorous friction. The hot shower bath, in which the water is allowed to play alternately upon the upper back and the upper chest, terminated with a decidedly cool or cold shower, is an excellent treatment. Cold chest packs covered by dry flannel so that warmth is re-established; local heat to the upper chest followed by cold applications; hot compresses; steam inhalations; massage and spinal manipulation, are all of considerable benefit, and any of these may be used.

The patient should engage in walking, and practice moderate deep breathing as much as possible within reason, if it is necessary to improve the general vitality. Water should be drunk copiously, as a rule. Plenty of bulk must be in the diet for adequate bowel activity, or the enema or special aids, such as agar-agar or mineral oil or their emulsions, should be used.

Gradually increasing amounts of general exercise are of great benefit, but is important that the patient secure plenty of relaxation. Too much exercise or exercise of too strenuous nature is apt to increase the coughing. Natural sun-baths and air-baths should be obtained frequently. It should not be necessary for a person with bronchitis to change climate, though sometimes a warm dry inland climate is most advantageous in cases where there is much expectoration. Where there is a non-productive cough, the sea-shore may be of benefit. But regardless of a change in climate, if one does not live in a way to keep the systemic toxemia down to a minimum there is not likely to be a permanent cure.

The diet to follow generally should consist largely of the most natural foods obtainable – ^green and root vegetables, cooked and raw, fruits, whole grain cereals, milk in some form and nuts or cottage cheese for the chief protein. Meats should be used very moderately, and all refined sugars and their products should be avoided. Only a very moderate amount of fat, such as cream, butter and olive oil, and of starches should be used, until one becomes able to indulge quite freely in physical activity.

The cough of both acute and chronic bronchitis can as a rule be greatly relieved by teaspoonful doses of equal parts of honey and lemon juice taken every two or three hours.

 

Take Care Your Heart

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle not only ensures that a person can remain active well into their latter years but it confirms that the most important organ in the human body is well cared for. There are a number of body parts that humans can do without but the heart is not one of them and over an average lifetime it beats millions of times. This means that blood is pumped to every part of the body and the brain and its functions benefit from this.

Lack of activity and an unhealthy diet can have an adverse affect on the vital role of the heart resulting in an even greater strain on this organ, forcing it to work much harder than it needs to. Ongoing abuse like this can culminate in a heart attack or complete heart failure. If a victim is lucky, a heart attack may not be fatal but the clinical care and sacrifices that have to be made after such an event can take many months and untold hours of sacrifice for the victim and their family.

There are many people who adopt the mindset that “you have got to die sometime”, but there is no substitute for quality of life. Many people who have experienced severe heart problems adjust their way of thinking after the length of time that it takes to get over the warning they have received. These are the lucky ones because many people who experience such problems do not live through the ordeal.

There is no doubt that the lazy attitude which has developed over recent years has put immense pressure on the health service of many nations. This, in turn, causes the problems that many have to endure if they have to visit a hospital: long waiting times, cancelled appointments and procedures and rushed face-to-face consultations.

All of this is brought about because medical staff are under so much pressure and their frequently increased patient numbers see them working longer hours at the expense of their own health. This is the reason why many professionals leave the health service.

So, remaining lazy and not caring for yourself can have a drastic outcome on family members who have to take control of your rehabilitation after a health scare as well as the health care professionals whose medical expertise is needed to ensure that you do not die on the operating table.

Finally, to add to the pressure of these professionals there is always somebody who feels they were hard done by and instigates legal proceedings if the results do not go their way.

 

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