The Two Most Common Aggravators of Asthma

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The Two Most Common Aggravators of AsthmaMany health secrets involve the hidden things that tend to cause illness. That is what this piece of health news is about. And anyone with breathing issues, notably asthma, should pay attention.

A new study out of the Boston University School of Medicine has identified two very common things that cause inflammation in the lungs that aggravates asthma. They are:

1. Diesel exhaust
2. House dust

While the first one is a bit easier to limit exposure to, even the most steadfast cleaner would be hard-pressed to “de-dust” an entire house. This study was published this past month in the “”American Journal of Pathology” and proved so critical that it was selected for an in-depth discussion in the journal’s commentary section.

Being exposed to viral infections, indoor and outdoor allergens and pollution contributes to asthma in childhood and asthma in adulthood. Environmental influences weigh heavily on early lung growth — particularly traffic-related pollution. Children develop asthma and related pulmonary infections at an increased rate when exposed to these pollutants.

(Check out the interesting connection between asthma and vitamin D: Asthma and Vitamin D.)

A study found that being exposed to house dust and exhaust led to greater mucus production and higher airway resistance. The end result was pulmonary inflammation, which exacerbates asthma symptoms.

The researchers found that you can remove some of the allergen exposure by cleaning, but avoiding all of this in an urban environments is quite difficult. The study helps show a direct link between air pollution and asthma symptoms. We could eventually develop real therapies that could target asthma patients exposed regularly to air pollutants.

Natural medicine offers some potential support to asthma patients. While the “puffer” will probably never be replaced, some of these remedies may reduce your need to reach for the puffer. The first is the Ayurvedic herb called “tylophora,” which has shown promise for asthma treatment. Another is the herb boswellia, which has been found to reduce inflammation in the equally difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis. The herb “Coleus forskohlii” also has some support behind it and is recommended for asthma.

Others, with somewhat weaker evidence, include butterbur, brahmi, acupuncture, eucalyptus oil, ivy leaf, vitamin B12, fish oil, and chamomile.