What is your Asthma IQ?
How does the medical profession treat Asthma? What are the childhood aspects that are vital to be concerned with? What are the triggers or causes, preventative measures to prevent it? What is the scientific data relating to the disease and Glutathione? Are there any natural options available to help manage the disease?
In answering these questions, this is not intended to replace medical advice. It is here to make you a more educated consumer of the health care system.
What comes to mind when you hear of asthma?
The description of a fish who jumped out of his water gasping to breathe is apt.
In more human terms and from experience, it is better described as trying to breath in and you just cannot get a breath. There is a feeling that if it is possible to just suck in just a little bit harder the breath will be there but it never comes. Your actively trying to breath but the lungs just don't work. All you know is you cannot breath.
Asthma is in theory many conditions or responses that result in a symptom that is called asthma.
There are two types. The old fashioned version and the new cough variant asthma. Many health care practitioners have misdiagnosed this as chronic bronchitis.
It is a chronic (lasts more than 6 months) disease that results in the narrowing of the bronchial airways going to and inside the lungs. Wheezing, one of the symptoms is actually a warning sign.
Also coughing, tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing could be experienced. Theoretically it cannot be cured. Some theories are that it is possible for some children to grow out of it.
The primary treatment is preventative measures and or medication.
The enemy insurgents that trigger an attack can be bacterial, viral, chemical, drug, allergenic, emotional, and environmental causes.
The September epidemic or the increase in Emergency Room visits by children having an attack is the result of kids sharing viruses and bacteria when they return to school. The resulting infection creates inflammation which precipitates an attack.
Exercise can exacerbate an attack. The smooth airway muscles tighten with exercise and it is rescue med time. There is always the warning of the wheezing prior to the attack.
The cold can cause an attack.
Actually you don't have to have asthma to have an attack. One warning wet suit divers are warned about in cold water diving is to warm up. Failure to adequately warm up can result in the smooth muscles constricting and the inability to breath. What makes this even more terrifying is that it happens when your under water. I know first hand exactly how this feels too.
The exposure to allergens including such diverse things as grass, alfalfa, animal dander or hair to name a few can cause an attack.
Chemicals like pesticides and herbicides can cause an attack.
Exposure to cigarette smoke and especially as a child can result in the diagnosis.
Avoiding the triggers is the first defense for preventing an attack. If one of the insurgents should bring on an attack, there are rescue medications like the albuterol inhaler which is used to treat the occasional flare-up. This is a short-acting bronchodilator or medication to open the pipes we breathe through.
Next are the cortico-steroids (not to be confused with anabolic steroids) which are used to reduce inflammation in the airways. These have a primary side effect of stunting growth. But they grow out of it or in other words, end up being normal in time.
These are sold under trade names such as Pulmicort and Flovent. Because they work in such small doses, it is felt little ends up in the blood stream (again, only enough to stunt their growth for a few years which they will eventually end up normal anyway).
What if there was another way to help relieve the symptoms asthmatics experience. What if there was a way that did not require putting yourself or your child at risk in trying to help them have the best quality of life possible.
What if there was a way they could once again go out and play.
There is a story in the scientific research relating to the glutathione connection with this disease process. According to the Physicians Desk Reference does not list any contraindication for boosting glutathione in the this patient group.
This means that if there are no reasons why your doctor would want you to not use it, it should work in conjunction with the current medication prescribed by your doctor.
More importantly, if it should work for you, it could eventually result in your doctor taking you off those medications.
One study looked at the effect of whey protein in relation to immune response in children with with this lung disease.
It was a Department of Respiratory Medicine sponsored study at McGill University Medical Center at Montreal Children's Hospital in Quebec, Canada.
The study concluded that there was a modest impact of whey protein supplementation in treating this lung disease. They surmised that supplementation for longer periods or with more potent supplements could possibly be more beneficial.
This is so so news. However if you read other studies you would have learned that there was a lot of buzz relating to selenium and this lung disease. Interesting since selenium is a cofactor or one of the required minerals we need to build glutathione.
(Nutrition. 2004 Oct;20(10):950-2. Need of complementary therapy with selenium in asthmatics.)
Then another study titled “Physiological and pathological aspects of GSH metabolism” by Njålsson R, Norgren S. from the Division of Paediatrics of Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden added to the understanding.
The article indicated that the antioxidant GSH (glutathione) is usually found in low levels in many diseases. It went on to specifically mention the development of certain diseases, for example retinopathy of prematurity, necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and asthma.
Then lest mix in a study from Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Aug;37(8):1727-37. Epub 2005 Apr 26.
The article titles...Acetaminophen decreases intracellular glutathione levels and modulates cytokine production in human alveolar macrophages and type II pneumocytes in vitro by Dimova S, Hoet PH, Dinsdale D, Nemery B. out of Belgium.
First it should be noted that by boosting glutathione it is possible to rescue the liver from acetaminophen overdose or poisoning.
Second, although it is contraindicated to give a child or even a minor Aspirin because of the risk of Ryes syndrome and not to mention that Aspirin is also associated with asthma attacks, Tylenol has been touted as being safe. Well, consider what these scientist have to say...
Their observations seem to suggest that acetaminophen (APAP) may contribute to asthma morbidity. Impaired endogenous (APAP kills glutathione or it might be better to say that GSH sacrifices its self to destroy the APAP) antioxidant defenses may have a role in a number of inflammatory pulmonary diseases, including asthma.
They went on to say that their findings could provide a reason to look further that APAP may be a risk factor for morbidity in this patient group.
There are indications that alternative or complimentary treatments can help and improve outcomes of traditional treatments. Boosting glutathione is one alternative that could have positive benefits.
As always, talk with your doctor before making any changes.
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