Asthma is a medical condition that causes the inflammation of the airways leading to inflammation and narrowing and presenting as difficulty in breathing. There may also be an excess production of mucus causing wheezing and shortness of breath. It is a type of COPD or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder along with others such as bronchitis and emphysema.
Severity of Asthma can vary from being a minor inconvenience to some while it can be life threatening for others. It depends on the intensity of the symptoms and the frequency of attacks since it is a chronic and relapsing condition.
More than 10 million cases of Asthma are diagnosed each year in India alone making it a fairly common condition. It is a major Non communicable disease and is the most common chronic disease in children. In 2019, asthma is said to have cause 4 Lac 55 thousand deaths. This is because it often goes under diagnosed, unrecognized or under treated especially in lower and middle income groups causing sudden aggravation of the condition leading to death.
Factors that increase the risk of developing asthma are:
- Family History: There is an increased risk of asthma in cases of positive family history especially if a sibling or parent has been diagnosed with the same.
- Allergies: It is seen more commonly in people having allergies such as hay fever.
- Lifestyle: It is more commonly seen in cities than on the countryside due to multiple factors such as stress, pollution etc.
- Pre mature Birth/ Low Birth weight: Factors such as these can affect the development of lungs causing an increased risk of asthma.
- Exposures: Exposure to tobacco smoke at an early age or to triggers such as mold, mites, fumes can increase chances of developing asthma.
- Obesity: Overweight can increase difficulty in breathing as well.
Mechanism of Asthma:
Asthma attack results from the following pathophysiology:
- Bronchospasm of the airway caused by constriction making it difficult for air to pass through
- Swelling and inflammation of the airways causing obstruction
- Thick mucus clogging the airways, mucus produced as a response to stress factors.
Asthma develops due to the sensitization of airways to factors that are known as allergens. These can have no effect on others but can cause severe symptoms in the patient of asthma. Exposure to these allergens causes IgE response activation that causes production of histamine, prostaglandins and tryptase along with others. These bring about constriction of the airways and an excess mucus production. Interleukins produced by mast cells are also known to have a major involvement in this response.
Treatment for Asthma:
Allopathic treatment for asthma includes bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory medications and biologic therapies. Medications can be given in the form of inhalers, nebulizers or even oral doses.
Homeopathy for Asthma:
It is important to understand that Asthma can be life threatening if not dealt with on time, hence, Homeopathy can be used as an accessory treatment for it along with emergency medication available for the patient. It is not recommended to suddenly leave all allopathic medication and switch to any other form of alternative medicine on an exclusive basis. It is also recommended to take medication only under the supervision of your Physician.
Some of the Homeopathic medicines that can help with asthma are:
Containing some of the best Homeopathic remedies for the respiratory system such as- Blatta orientalis, Justicia adhatoda, Senega, Lobelia inflata, Ipecacuanha, Grindelia robusta and Magnesia phosphoricum, this syrup is ideal for chronic cases.
Formulated to help with dyspnea, Omeo Breathe free drops contain medicines such as Arsenicum album, Belladonna, Bryonia alba, Kali Phosphoricum, etc that help deal with symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and dyspnea.
It is a specialty product for rhinitis and helps with symptoms such as nasal blockage, itching, headache, watery discharge and can help with difficulty in breathing as well since it contains medicines such as Natrum muriaticum, Baptisia, Causticum, Gelsemium and Sabadilla.
It is also important to note that avoiding triggers that can exasperate asthma is often the safest route to take. These can include avoiding dust, severe exercise and allergens such as animal dander wherever possible. Other than this, an Asthma patient can usually live a normal life as long as the correct medication is available to them at the right time. This makes its diagnosis and treatment very important at an early stage of the disease itself. Avoiding delays in treatment and addressing symptoms at the earliest are recommended for all respiratory conditions.
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Dr. Priyanka Motwani
Dr. Priyanka Motwani has completed her BHMS from the prestigious Nehru Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Delhi and holds a Post Graduate Program in Lean Six Sigma from Isenberg School of Management, The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently the R&D Head at BJain Pharmaceuticals and has a zeal to learn more and more each day.