What is asthma

In asthma the bronchial tubes are inflamed that causes narrowing of the airways. When the airways or bronchial tubes are narrowed it prevents the free flow of air in the bronchial tubes. The smooth muscles layers surrounding the bronchial tubes are tightened and compress the small bronchioles which causes narrowing of air passages. The narrowing of air passages obstructs the smooth air flow by which the person feels of tightness in chest,shortness of breath and difficulties in breathing. Here one thing need to be discussed why some peoples are getting asthmatic attack but not all. It is because the bronchial tubes of an asthmatic person is overly sensitive to many substances ; when exposed to those substances, the bronchial tubes get narrows and create problem for free flow of air in it. It is because some people are very sensitive to some substances and when get expose to them start reacting adversely and the mucous membrane of the inner layer of bronchial tube get inflamed and initiate the asthmatic condition. 

Our immune system is being exposed by various types of foreign substances like bacteria, viruses, different foreign proteins, which always try to get inside our body in each and every moment. But our immune system recognizes them and fight them to throws them out from our body. But in an asthmatic person the immune system is hypersensitive to  those substances, which when comes across them starts reacting abnormally. But in a healthy person it is not happen.  In other words the immune system of an asthmatic person reacts adversely to those substances whereas the same immune system of a healthy person doesn’t react to them.

Those foreign substances like bacteria, viruses,  chemicals, pollutants,dusts, pollens, some food proteins which are called as antigen or allergens.Those antigens or allergens when get inside the body our immune system recognizes them and eliminates them out. Our immune cells like T cells (Tlymphocyte) and B cells (B lymphocytes) play the major role to perform this task. A person with hypersensitive immune system when being exposed to those allergens or antigens develops inflammatory reaction in the air passages and causes asthma.

Sign and symptoms of asthma

Symptoms of asthma

Coughing – in a healthy person coughing is a protecting step of the respiratory system not to allow entry of any outside substances into the lungs by clearing it out from the air passages. In asthmatic condition the air ways are swollen that the body thinks of any outer substance stick on it so try to expel out and produce cough. The more he coughs the more bronchial spasm occurs and the discomfort is felt more.  

Wheezing or whistling sound – the wheezing sound or whistling sound is produced when the air ways is narrowed due to swelling of inner mucosal lining in addition to secretion of mucus in it and in that narrow tube when the air is passed it creates a whistling or wheezing sound. 

Chest tightness – chest tightness frequently occur in asthmatic condition. In asthmatic condition as the inner mucous layer of the bronchus get inflamed due to allergens that causes tightness feeling in chest.  Besides that the tightening of smooth muscles around the airways also causes tightness of chest

Shortness of breath - the shortness of breath means difficulties in full breathing. The shortness of breath is the common and major symptom of asthma. The patient may express of breathless or suffocation or gasping for breathes to describe the shortness of breath. The shortness of breath occurs due to airways inflammation and restriction of space for free flow of air during respiration. 

Trouble in sleeping – the asthma is generally worsen during nighttime it is because in night time the air ways remain cool and cant be warm of that’s why during night it get worse. Another cause is the lying posture itself does not make the lungs to breath comfortably. Another cause is at night the allergens exposure are more so asthmatic peoples face difficulties in sleep at night time.

Sign of asthma

·        Rapid breathing with chest retraction

·        Rapid movement of nostrils

·        Increased heart beats

·        Restlessness

·        Chest and stomach moving in and out deeply andrapidly.

·        There is cyanosis in case of acute asthmaticcondition

 

What are the triggers factors for asthma?

Foreign proteins or antigens– Numerous foreign substances are present in the atmospheres which are called allergens or antigens. Those allergens when enter inside the body of a person having asthmatic susceptibility creates allergic inflammatory reaction in the bronchial passages that causes constriction of bronchial tubes and results asthma.  Asthma is a common health problem in these days not only in urban areas but also in rural areas too. The allergens or antigens though are harmless for a healthy person but harmful for asthmatic person. The air allergens like pollens, dust mites,pet dander, molds create allergic reaction in those people whose immune system is hypersensitive to those allergens. Similarly some proteins found in various food stuffs like pea nut , egg, milk , crab , wheat that also triggers the asthmatic condition in many person. 

Infection –Some viral infection like flu, influenza leads to bronchial asthma in some hypersensitive individual. After getting attack with flu that sometimes lead to asthmatic condition afterwards. It occurs in those people who are very sensitive to cold. Similarly taking of cold drinks or ice-cream in cold weather sometimes triggers asthmatic problems in some sensitized individual. Some persons who regularly do work in a closed air conditioned room sometimes develop asthmatic condition in a long term period. People works in air condition room developed asthma generally due to temperature variation inside and outside office.

Season change – when season change occur some individual get asthmatic attack. Here the season is not responsible for asthma trigger but in that season many flower pollens are floated in the air and the persons who are allergic to those pollens get the asthmatic attack. In spring season generally the allergic symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose, nasal discharge are more found not only in asthmatic susceptible person but even non asthmatic person too.

Cold weather and thunder storm also provokes the asthmatic attack in many people. It is generally occurring in those people who have exercise induced asthmatic problem. So in cold weather when an asthmatic sensitized person practice the exercise the breathing is too rapid it can’t get time to warm up inside body and that ignites asthmatic symptoms. 

Place change – The climacteric condition also impact upon asthmatic patient. The change of climate, humid atmosphere, and cloudy weather can irritate the airways. When the temperature changes in the airways it initiates the inflammatory condition in the mucosal lining of bronchus that causes mucosal thickening and narrowing of air tubes and the asthma symptoms appear. Similarly the peoples who are living in urban areas are more prone to asthmatic condition than village area  because of more exposure to pollution , chemicals, smokes in urban areas than village areas. 

Occupational asthma- occupational asthma or industrial asthma is termed as work-related asthma caused by working in industries whose toxic by-product develop the asthmatic condition in a healthy person. There are many industries like petroleum or chemical industries, plastic industries, paint industries who uses various toxic chemical as their raw material and the fumes or gas emerges out from there irritates the respiratory tubes and causes the inflammation of the airways and result of asthmatic symptoms. There are many harmful gases sulphur dioxide, ammonia, hydrochloric acid which is generally found in petroleum or chemical industries. The workers of paint industry, plastic industry exposes to various chemicals that triggers asthmatic condition. Peoples who are working in stone cutting industries also get asthmatic problem.

Emotional factors – the emotional or psychological factors also induce asthmatic problem in many individual. The stress and anxiety condition sometimes provokes the asthmatic condition. It does not create asthma in a non asthmatic person, but those who have the past history of allergic tendency or asthmatic back ground creates asthma when being in a stressful situation. There are some major stressful conditions like financial breakdown, relationship disturbances,lack of social support, pressure packed schedule can ignites the asthmatic condition. Actually in stressful condition your body releases some chemicals like histamines and leukotrienes, which triggers for narrowing of the airway.Another factor is the stress related hormones reduce the body’s ability to fight cold, so the person easily gets the asthma problem. To cope this condition it is required to take medication before attempting to any such situation.There are other ways too to reduce the stress level like daily practice of physical exercise, breathing exercise, pranayam, relaxing exercise, listening your favorite music, going for a good sleep etc.

Hormonal variation and asthma – hormonal variation that initiates asthma generally occur in female case. The female hormone estrogen is responsible for developing asthmatic condition. The decrease of estrogen level does not responsible for initiation of asthma but the fluctuation of estrogen level causes the asthma. The fluctuation of estrogen hormone activates some proteins like things that cause inflammation of respiratory tubes. Before menstrual cycle the estrogen level is very minimal so some women get asthmatic problem during that period. Similarly during pregnancy also some experience the asthmatic symptoms because of that reason. During menopause period the estrogen level reduces drastically and some women who have the allergic body constitution typed develop asthmatic condition. 

Eczema and asthma – eczema is one type of skin diseases that manifests with the symptoms of itching skin with red patchy spots and sometimes oozes fluids after itching. The relationship between eczema and asthma is still under the research. But some hypothesis tells that in eczematic person’s skin is lack of proper skin barrier so that the allergens get inside the body and starts irritating the bronchial airways. There is another study that show that the person with eczema have some genetically lacking one protein in skin that suppose to be used for maintaining barrier property of skin from the external invaders. So person of eczematic history are prone to get the allergic or asthma problem. 

GERD  and asthma–  the GERD otherwise called as gastro esophageal reflux disorder or acid reflux. In GERD the stomach acid content go upward into the esophagus and causes irritation. Actually the stomach acid content cant enter inside the esophagus due to the presence of lower esophageal sphincter  that act like a tight rings which prevents the upward flow of stomach content. Some people who have a loose esophageal sphincter like in hiatus hernia cause the upward rush of acidic gastric content into esophagus. The GERD patients are more prone to get the asthmatic condition. It is because the acidic content of the stomach when get into the esophagus also irritates the respiratory airways that causes to develop asthmatic symptoms because of inflammation of airways lining. Another cause of GERD associated asthma is the gastric content stimulates the nerves in esophagus that constricts the airways so the person feels shortness of breath and tightness of chest.

 

Pathophysiology of asthma

The pathophysiology of asthmacan be explaned as in 2 process – 1)bronchial inflammation, 2) bronchoconstriction

The bronchialinflammation – in everyday life we exposes thousands of foreign substanceswhich are very minute in size and invisible to naked eyes. Those floats in airsand when we ingest them go inside our body and makes their way into thebronchial passage. The WBC or white blood corpuscles are one component of thecomplex immune system. There are 5 types of WBC neutrophile, eosinophile, basophile,Lymphocytes, monocytes. Among them the lymphocytes plays a major role inallergic reaction. The lymphocyte are divided into 2 types – the T lymphocytesor ‘T cells’ , the B lymphocytes or ‘B cells’. The T cells and B cells traveleverywhere in our body passing through the blood vessels. Their role is torecognize a foreign particles present in the body and then to attack them. Whenthey reach in bronchial airways the T lymphocytes check each and every cell toconfirm it whether it is a safe cell or a foreign cell. When the T lymphocytesfind a foreign cell then release some chemicals called cytokines. Thosecytokines activate the B lymphocytes to convert plasma cell. The plasma cellproduces one antibody, IgE anti body that moves and attach to the IgE receptorof mast cell present on the mast cell surface. The mast cells are thespecialized cells distributed in various body parts of our body like over skin,inside the respiratory tract, inside the GI tract etc. Those mast cellscontains some tiny protein granules called the histamines.

When an antigen or allergen get inside our body and reach in our air space it attached to the IgE antibody of mast cell. When the antigen and antibody unites the mast cell releases its histamines to the surrounding spaces. Those histamines have the pro inflammatory properties. So when they attach to the epithelial cells of bronchial tube with its H1 receptor that present on every cell surface the inflammation starts. So this causes the inflammation of bronchial airways. Due to the bronchial inflammation there is also mucus secretion around the areas. 

Bronchial constriction – the bronchial inflammation causes the thickening of the mucous lining of the air tubes and in addition to that over secretion of mucus from the hyperactive mucus glands makes the bronchial spaces narrower and that causes bronchial constriction.

Besides that when there is an inflammation in the bronchial mucous lining the afferent nerves ending of the parasympathetic nerve fiber present in the bronchial airways sends some impulses to the vagus center of the brain stem and then down the vagal efferent pathway to again reach the bronchial small airways and secrets  acetylcholine from the nerve ending that stimulate the smooth muscles fibers surrounding the bronchial tubes to be tighten more and more that result bronchial constriction and broncho spasm.

 

Homeopathy treatment for asthma –

The homeopathy treatment helps to treat the asthma in 2 ways –

It controls the acute asthmatic condition by both oral medicines and homeopathy nebulizer (DrSatapathy’s homeo nebulizer).  The acute symptoms of asthma like coughing, chest tightness, wheezing sound, shortness of breath are immediately required to control as quick as possible so the person can breathe freely. There are many homeopathy medicines when selected as per the totality of symptoms of the person can able to control the acute asthma symptoms effectively and rapidly. The medicines for acute symptoms can be given repeatedly even 30 minutes to hour interval till the symptoms are not getting fully recovered. There is no specific medicine for any specific health issues in homeopathy. One medicine can be given in different health problem when the symptoms of the diseased person are fully matched homeopathically with the medicinal symptoms. For example a severe dry cough which worsen on lying posture with gagging or vomiting, suffocative sensation and more cough after drinking cold water can be given one homeopathy medicine ‘spongia’, another person with same dry severe cough but get relief after drinking little cold water will be given another medicine ‘cuprum met’. So here for the same health problem of cough there is two different medicines in which one get relief from taking cold water but another get worse, which is the key characteristic symptoms to select the specific homeopathy medicines. Similarly in all asthma symptoms that may be cough or wheezing sound or tightness of chest the medicines are not same for each individual symptom. The selection of medicines is totally depend upon the symptoms of the patient. But it is hundred percentages true that homeopathy has effective medicines for all acute symptoms. If the correct medicine with accurate potency is given it give immediate relieve to the disease. So besides the diagnosis of disease the diagnosis of medicine is highly essential to cure one disease in homeopathy. Unlike other therapist a homeopath has dual responsibility i.e. to diagnosis the disease and then to diagnosis the remedy. But at the same time the mother tincture form of homeopathy medicines have specific effect on a specific health problem like Justecea adathoda mother tincture is generally given for dry cough whatever the characterized symptom present. But the specific homeopathy remedy is generally given in raw form i.e. in mother tincture form or in very lower potency.  The alkaloid or active principle of each and every homeopathy medicine has some key therapeutic property.  In this regards homeopathic nebulizing solution  developed by Dr.Satapathy do act in same principle and is given to all asthma patients as a common supplementary treatment to control the severity of asthmatic situation. With all the indicated homeopathic acute remedies, Dr.satapathy’s homeo nebulizer offers a rapid and long lasting relief to the acute symptoms of the asthma.

The control of the acute symptoms of the asthma won’t give a long lasting relief.  It is the management of acute symptoms for a time period. Because though the symptoms can be well managed by the acute homeopathic remedies for a limited time period , but there is chance of reappearance of asthma symptoms if the patient again being exposed to the triggers. It is because the person’s immune system is still in hyperactive state so whenever he get exposed towards any allergens the symptoms again reappear.The immune system of an asthmatic person is very sensitized to many allergens and when get contact with them develop the asthmatic symptoms. Just to control the symptoms will not cure the asthma in a long term basis because his hypersensitive immune system again will react adversely when again get expose to the same allergen. So for a long term cure it is highly required to modify the hypersensitive immune system of the asthmatic person to a normal functioning immune system. A proper constitutional homeopathy medicines  basing upon the homeopathy way of case history taken which covers the common clinical symptoms with their modalities ,physical general symptoms, mental general symptoms, miasmatic back ground, past history of any health issues either physical or psychological background,family history of any diseases, if all those taken into consideration then the constitutional  homeopathy medicine comes from those symptom similarities basis is the specific medicine for that particular person. If that medicine is given for a considerable time it will help to modify the hypersensitive immune system to normal functioning immune system. This type of homeopathy treatment is called as classical homeopathy treatment. From my 24 years of clinical experience I feel both acute homeopathy treatment along with classical approach of treatment is much more beneficial than alone acute treatment or alone classical treatment.