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Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma affects over 20 million people in the United States, and is the most common chronic disease in childhood. Certain risk factors, like a family history of asthma, recurrent wheezing and atopic disease (history of eczema, hay fever, hives or food allergies) may increase a child’s chances of having asthma. Although half of children with asthma appear to outgrow their symptoms by adolescence, one-third of these adolescents will suffer a recurrence of their asthma symptoms as young adults.

Asthma involves inflammation of the airway that makes it difficult to breathe. This inflammation causes symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma attacks often occur after exposure to allergens, environmental irritants and cold air. Viruses and exercise may also exacerbate the condition.

Conventional Treatment

Inhaled medications are the treatment of choice in conventional medicine. The most common medications used are bronchodilators and steroids. These medications can be prescribed with inhalers, nebulizers (breathing machines) or orally.

Short-acting bronchodilator inhalers (also called “rescue inhalers”) are used in acute asthma attacks to quickly relieve symptoms. They are sometimes used prior to exercise to prevent asthma symptoms.

Steroid inhalers are the most commonly prescribed long-term “control” medications for asthma. They work to reduce swelling and mucus production in the airways, making airways less sensitive to asthma triggers such as allergies or respiratory irritants.

Nebulizers are commonly prescribed for infants and small children, the elderly, and anyone who might have trouble using an inhaler. Nebulizers convert liquid medication into a mist that is easy to inhale through a mouthpiece or mask.

For severe asthma attacks, a short course of oral steroids, like Prednisone, may be prescribed. Because steroids can have serious side effects, their use is not recommended for extended periods of time.

Homeopathic Treatment

The homeopathic treatment of asthma is safe, effective and free of harmful side effects . Homeopathy stimulates a healing response that restores proper immune system function. It relieves asthma symptoms by addressing the underlying cause of asthma, an overactive immune response. In some cases it can rapidly relieve the symptoms of an acute asthma attack.

Because homeopathy treats the whole person rather than isolated symptoms, patients who are treated for asthma often find that other health conditions, such as allergies or chronic ear infections, improve as well.

Homeopathy can be effective for both acute and chronic asthma symptoms. The goal of chronic homeopathic treatment is to decrease the patient’s susceptibility to asthma attacks so that over time the attacks will become less intense and occur less frequently until they eventually stop occurring entirely. As your symptoms improve, you may find that you are able to slowly and safely wean off of conventional medications under supervision by your doctor. Rescue inhalers should always be kept on hand in case of an emergency and you should consult your doctor before stopping any asthma medications. Do not attempt to treat an acute asthma attack homeopathically without the assistance of a trained health care professional.

Homeopathic Research for Asthma

Several studies in the scientific literature have shown that homeopathy is safe, effective, and cost effective for the treatment of asthma.(1 – 7) One study evaluated the effects of homeopathy in the treatment of respiratory conditions with a cost-benefit analysis. In that study, they found that in the first year of homeopathic treatment there was a 72.96% reduction in the consumption of conventional medicine asthma drugs and in the second year there was a 68.20% reduction.(6) The study also reported that “Costs for homeopathic therapy are significantly lower than those for conventional pharmacological therapy.”

Another recent study showed homeopathy to be effective in treating a number of atopic conditions, including eczema, hay fever and asthma.(7) In this study, 62% of children treated homeopathically for atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma, hay fever, or food intolerance reported major improvement or complete resolution of their symptoms. Even more impressively, the children with eczema who were treated homeopathically were 20% less likely to develop asthma compared to children treated conventionally. 50-70% of children with severe eczema go on to develop asthma. Since both eczema and asthma are caused by an overactive immune response, this research implies that homeopathy improves the function of the immune system and that it may have long-term positive effects on health that are not seen with conventional medicine.

References:

1. Campbell JH, Taylor MA, Beattie N, et al. Is homeopathy a placebo response? A controlled trial of homeopathic immunotherapy in atopic asthma. Am Rev Resp Dis 1990; 141: A24.

2. Castellsagu API. Evolution of 26 cases of bronchial asthma with homoeopathic treatment. Br Homoeopath J 1992; 81: 173e175.

3. Reilly DT, Taylor MA, Beattie NG, et al. Is evidence for homeoopathy reproducible? Lancet 1994; 344: 1601e1606. Click here to read the study abstract on PubMed.

4. Eizayaga FX, Eizayaga J. Homoeopathic treatment of bronchial asthma. Br Homeopath J 1996; 85: 28e33.

5. Colin P. Homeopathy and respiratory allergies: a series of 147 cases. Homeopathy 2006; 95: 68e72.

6. Rossi E, Crudeli L, Endrizzi C, Garibaldi D. Cost-benefit evaluation of homeopathic versus conventional therapy in respiratory disease. Homeopathy 2009; 9: 2e10. Click here to link to the study abstract on PubMed.

7. Rossi E, Bartoli P, Bianchi A, Da Fre M. Homeopathy in pediatric atopic diseases: long-term results in children with atopic dermatitis. Homeopathy, 2012 Jan;101(1):13-20. Click here to link to the study abstract on PubMed.