It is defined as a chronic
inflammatory disorder of the airway characterized by trio
of symptoms -
- Dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing)
1) Reversible airflow obstruction causing cough, tiightness,
shortness of breath and wheezing,
2) Increased responsiveness of the tracheobronchial
tree (airway passage) to multiple stimuli.
airway obstruction causes mismatch of alveolar Ventilation
(inside the lung) and perfusion and increases the work of
breathing which is more predominantly seen in expiration.
The normal bronchus can no longer effectively clear the mucus
formed by the disease process merely by coughing and hence
the bronchus gets obstructed due to the mucus plug.
Thus it hampers the inhaling and exhaling of air (in short
the respiratory process) and the person has to exert more
for taking in the same amount of air every time causing fatigue.
TYPES OF ASTHMA-
2) Non-Allergic (Idiosyncratic)
1) Allergic Asthma -
There is personal or family H/O allergic diseases like Allergic
Rhinitis, Urticaria, Eczema, positive skin reaction to intradermal
injection of antigen, increased level of IgE in the serum.
2) Non-Allergic Asthma -
In this type of Asthma, there is no family H/O allergy, negative
skin reaction, normal levels IgE of and therefore cannot be
classified on the basis of immunological mechanism.
The external stimuli increase
the airway responsiveness and acute episode of asthma can
be grouped into seven major categories: -
Most of the allergens which provoke asthma are airborne.
It is frequently seasonal due to climatic change. Non seasonal
form may result from allergy to feathers, animal dander's.
Pharmacological Stimuli -
The drugs which are commonly associated with are Aspirin,
colouring agents like Tartrazine, Beta adrenergic drugs and
drugs which are used in food and pharmaceutical industry or
sensitizing and preserving agents.
Environmental & Air Pollution -
It is related to climatic conditions that promote concentration
of pollutants and antigens, normally seen in heavy industrial
and densely populated areas.
Exposure to large number of compounds used in industrial processes
like metal salts, wood, vegetable dusts. Pharmacological agents
or drugs like antibiotics, piperazine
Industrial chemicals and plastic
Biological Enzymes like laundry detergents.
Respiratory infection are the most common stimuli for aggravation
In children - Para influenza virus
In Older children & Adults - Rhinovirus and Influenza
It can cause worsening of Asthma, if done excessively.
Emotional Stress -
Psychological factors counteract with the asthmatic to worsen
or ameliorate the disease process.
Asthma Triggers or Factor
Aggravating Asthma -
1) Animals with fur
2) Cigarette smoke
3) Dust in beds and pillows/sweeping
4) Strong smells & sprays
5) Pollen from trees and flowers
How to Prevent these Triggers
1) Keep the bed single - put
dust proof covers with zippers on the mattress and pillow.
Wash bed sheets and blankets in hot water.
2) Do not let pets in the bedroom.
3) Do not smoke.
4) Maintain good ventilation / Light.
5) Close the windows when the air outside is full of exhaust
from cars, pollution from factories.
6) Air out the house before the person with asthma returns
e.g. sweep, vacuum, paint, spray for insects, are of strong
cleaners, cook strong smelling foods.
7) Asthmatic should use mask or scarf when working in the
house and when going out.
8) Exercise regularly.
1) During the Attack
2) Between the Attack
During the attack one must
decide whether -
a) Is it a mild attack
b) Is it a severe attack
c) Is it status Asthmaticus
d) Tropical Eosinophilia
a) During mild attack-
The patient does not look breathless and his respiratory muscles
are not working.
b) During severe attack-
The patient is panting for breath and his muscles are working.
c) In status asthmaticus-
The picture is like the severe attack of Asthma, the attack
may persist for few hours or day in spite of the injection
of Adrenaline or Aminophylline.
d) Tropical Eosinophilia-
Should be diagnosed by doing a blood test (WBC Count)
HOMEOPATHIC APPROACH AND
METHOD OF TREATMENT-
Now you know much
about Asthma as it is given above. Since it is an allergic
response of the lower respiratory organ i.e. the windpipe
(trachea) and the air tubules in the lungs (bronchioles) to
a particular allergens like
1) dust 2) odour 3) seasonal weather condition 4) fumes 5)
smoke 6) perfumes etc. present in the respiratory passage.
This passage goes in spasm and the patient feels breathless.
Homoeopathy believes that there
is one more strong causative factor which plays very important
role in aggravating the condition of breathlessness i.e.-
1) Anger, sadness, irritability
2) Emotional shock, Excitement
1) Fear, Phobia
2) Stress, Workload
3) Mental fatigue.
METHOD OF TREATMENT
In Homoeopathy, there
are at least 100 remedies, which are useful in treating Asthma.
As we have already read or
seen in How
homoeopathic cure takes place each and every causative
factor independently can trigger asthmatic attack in an individual.
Homoeopathy believes in eliminating that spasm by way of treating
the immunity (not by immuno suppressant steroids) but by increasing
resistance power of the body.
Homeopathic treatment for asthma
can be of two types: -
1) Acute Treatment -
We have very excellent remedies, which remove the spasm and
treat the attack in most ideal way. But these may be useful
in treating acute attack only like that of bronchodilators.
But they do not remove the tendency of Asthmatic attack.
2) Chronic Treatment -
The asthmatic tendency of individual may be a) hereditary
b) After suppression of skin disease or acquired by any means
like professional hazards or any other reasons. This is because
of deeply affected immunity so to treat this disease completely
remedy would be of great benefit, which will bring out
complete cure (after at least 1-2 years).
The patient can assess
the follow up by 3 major criteria's-
1) Frequency of attack -
i.e. the frequency of attack starts decreasing from once in
a week to once in a month to once in 6 months like that.
2) Duration of attack -
If attack or spasm usually remains for 8 to 10 hours with
homeopathic treatment it may get reduced to 6-4-2 hours.
3) Intensity of Attack -
The severity of the attack giving rise to various symptoms
Gradually all these start decreasing and cure will take place.
Breathing exercise and yoga can increase lung capacity and
1) Antimonium tartarium-
A/F exposure in damp basement or cellar.
It depresses the respiration and circulation thus producing
keynote of remedy which is Death rattle that
is when patient coughs, there appears to be a large collection
of mucus in the bronchi, it seems as if much would be expectorated
but nothing comes out.
There is much drowsiness debility and sweat.
Attacks generally at 5 o' clock in morning.
The patient cannot breathe enough air.
It seems as if he would suffocate. MUST SIT UP.
Tongue is coated pasty thick while with red edges,
Thirst for cold water, little & often.
Desire for apple, fruits and acids.
Cough << eating with pain in chest and larynx.
Breathlessness >> eructation > lying on right side.
2) Arsenicum album
A/F - effects of decayed food or animal matter.
Attack occur periodically with burning pain and soreness in
chest. The attacks are << midnight after 12 O' clock
<< 1-2p.m.12-2 a.m. Unable to lie down for fear of suffocation.
Expectoration scanty frothy.
Darting pain through upper third of right lung.
Cough dry as from sulphur fumes after drinking.
Other features characteristic of remedy are great thirst for
cold water, drinks often but little at a time.
Excessive exhaustion from least exertion.
Exhaustion not felt by the patient when lying still
But when he moves, he is surprised to find himself so weak.
Mentally there is great anxiety and restlessness.
Irritable, sensitive peevish.
Fear of death; thinks it is useless to take medicine as his
disease is incurable and is surely going to die.
3) Carbo Veg -
Remedy thought for Asthma in aged
When there is flatulence giving rise to breathlessness >>
belching. A/F - Persons who have never recovered from effects
of previous illness.
Asthma after measles or pertusis of childhood. never recovered
A/F from quinine, abuse of mercury salt, spoiled fish, meats
or fats, getting over heated.
Cough with itching in larynx,
Spasmodic Cough associated with gagging and vomiting of mucus.
Hoarseness << evening, talking Oppression of breathing,
sore chest < <evening.
Long coughing attacks with burning in chest
<< evening, open air, eating, talking.
Blue face, offensive expectoration.
Cold breath, must be fanned. Bleeding from lungs.
4) Ipecec -
Indicated in fat children and adults who are feeble, catch
Spasmodic affection of chest.
Difficult breathing from least exercise.
Violent dyspnoea with wheezing and anxiety about stomach,
Constriction in chest.
Cough incessant and violent with every breath.
Cough with rattling of muscles in bronchi on inspiration.
Chest seems full of mucus but does not come out.
Blue face, threatened suffocation from mucus.
There is constant nausea and vomiting.
5) Moschus -
Remedy suited to person who are sensitive, nervous hysterical.
Tightness in chest with constriction of larynx and trachea.
Difficult respiration, chest oppressed, hysterical spasm of
chest. Asthma with anxiety fear and smothering sensation.
Cough ceases but mucus cannot be expectorated.
Hysterical < cold < sensitive to air.
Along with this there is fainting and fits (convulsion).
6) Apis Mel -
Women especially widows, children and girls who though generally
careful become awkward and let things fall while handling
A/F suppressed measles ,scarlatina urticaria, jealousy, fright,
rage, vexation, bad news.
Hoarseness, dyspnoea, Breathing hurried difficult.
Feels as if he could not draw another breath.
Suffocation, short dry cough.
Mentally irritable, nervous fidgety, jealous hard to please.
Weeping disposition, cannot help crying.
Discouraged, cannot concentrate mind when attempting to read
1) Blata orientalis-
Especially suited to stout patients
Useful when asthma is associated with bronchitis
Cough with dyspnoea,
Pus like Mucus.
2) Pothos -
A/F inhaling dust.
Asthma with hysteria. Millar's asthma.
Spasmodic cough. Troublesome respiration.
Feeling of anguish and sweat.
Pain in chest with breathlessness.
Asthma >> stool.
3) Lobelia -
Light complexioned fleshy people.
A/F alcohol, suppressed discharge.
Dyspnoea from constriction of chest
Sensation of pressure or weight in chest
>> rapid walking.
Asthmatic attacks with weakness in pit of stomach
Prickling all over before attack.
Lingering cough, short breathe.
4) Adrenaline -
Sensation of thoracic constriction with anguish.
5) Eucalyptus -
Asthma with great dyspnoea and palpitation.
Expectoration white thick mucus.
Profuse expectoration of offensive mucopus.
1) Natrum Sulph -
Very important remedy for Asthma occurring or aggravated in
summer and rainy season.
Attack aggravated in morning about 4 to 5 o' clock with cough.
Greenish copious expectoration
Always << in damp weather, hot rainy season (Cellars
Asthma). Asthma in children.
Aggravated with every change in weather.
Loose mucus expectoration.
2) Natrum mur -
with yellow expectoration
<< in warm season or in hot atmosphere.
Rattling of mucus in chest aggravated after taking food.
Child coughs with mucus in chest but cannot bring out and