Asthma Information and Herbal Supplements

 

  
ASTHMA

Definition

Asthma is an allergic disorder characterized by spasm of the bronchi (the airway tubes), swelling of the mucous lining of the lungs, and excessive production of a thick, viscous mucus. The major concern with asthma is that it can lead to respiratory failure—the inability to breathe.

Signs and Symptoms

Chronic asthma is associated with recurrent attacks of shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, and excessive production of mucus. Typically, the asthma patient will show laboratory signs of allergy (increased levels of eosinophils in blood, increased serum lgE levels, positive food and/or inhalant allergy tests).

Causes

Asthma has typically been divided into two major categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic, or atopic, asthma is generally considered to be an allergic condition, with a characteristic increase in levels of serum lgE, an antibody. Intrinsic asthma is associated with a bronchial reaction that is due not to allergy but rather to such factors as toxic chemicals, cold air, exercise, infection and emotional upset. Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors trigger the release of chemicals such as histamine, which is involved in inflammation, from mast cells specialized white blood cells that reside in various body tissues, including the lining of the respiratory passages.

Natural Medicines

Cat's Claw
Ginkgo Biloba

*The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines, Michael Murray N.D., 2002

Natural Medicines


Cat's Claw
Ginkgo Biloba


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