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March 20, 2018  |  Login
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

Asthma is a serious respiratory disease that literally leaves its victims breathless. People with asthma usually have a combination of problems in the lungs: bronchial muscle spasms, swelling of the mucus linings, and increased mucus production. When a susceptible person is exposed to a trigger, such as environmental irritants, allergens, heavy exertion, or even anxiety, the passages inflame further and block air from flowing freely, resulting in an asthma attack. In a severe attack, a person who doesn't receive emergency medical care can suffocate.

In America, the number of people with asthma has increased by one-third in the last decade, probably because of pollution, the effects of emotional stress, and a Western diet that's high in additives, meat products, and fats, all of which can cause inflammation and excess mucus production. Alarmingly, the incidence of asthma continues to rise among children. It is most common in children under the age of ten.

Diet, nutritional supplements, bodywork, and other therapies can go a long way toward preventing and relieving asthma, but if you suffer from this potentially life-threatening disease, you also need to be under the care of a good doctor.

Next: What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

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