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5 Tips for Asthma Relief & Prevention

The number of people with asthma is rising by 50% each decade, and about 3 million Canadians currently suffer with this chronic inflammatory disorder.  Since about 70% of those with asthma also have allergies, there is no doubt that there is an immune component to asthma.  As a naturopathic doctor, I have found that working on the factors that support and balance the immune system to be fundamental in helping those with asthma: nutrition, digestion, and detoxification, as well as some herbal tonics.  Below are five tips for asthma relief & prevention.
1. Preventing asthma.  Researchers in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics found that low intake of zinc and carotenoids by pregnant women is associated with an increased risk of wheezing and asthma in childhood.  Note that both zinc and the carotenoid family of nutrients are both important for immune system functioning at all ages.
2. Reduce toxicity.  Exposure to plasticizing compounds, such as the phthalate compounds are associated with asthma and wheezing in children.  These compounds are found in vinyl-containing products, as well as in products with fragrances such as air fresheners, perfumes, and dryer sheets.  Use alternatives, there are many on the market today.  It is important to reduce exposure to airborne pollutants, toxicity overall, and known allergic triggers as well.  Undergoing a detoxification program will also help reduce the amount of toxins in your body.
3. Herbal help.  There are useful anti-inflammatory herbal extracts that can help in asthma control.  Some include turmeric, boswellia, and tylophora.  Other herbs have the ability to open up the airways, having a bronchodilating effect, including rosemary extracts, holy basil, and coleus.
4. Improve digestion and intestinal health.  I have found that toddlers and children, and most adults have difficulty just digesting their food; even the level of stomach acid – one of the first steps in the chemical digestion of food – has been reported as being low in people with asthma.  I often recommend testing the level of stomach acid, and then rebuilding the stomach’s ability to properly produce stomach acid.
5. Seek supportive therapies.  I have found that adjunctive treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, reflexology, breathing exercises and stress management can also be very helpful in reducing the impact of asthma on your life.
For more information, or to book a naturopathic assessment and treatment program to improve your breathing and overall health, call 905-597-7201.

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