Post Edited (kld) : 3/17/2006 12:55:49 AM (GMT-7)
Just a note to KLD first: I would ask people to call if they are sick and keep a supply of masks outside or right inside your space. Hand *them* a mask until they get the idea. When I've had a cold and had to visit someone in the hospital, I ask the nurses for a mask. Putting a mask on the contagious person is reasonable to me. How about staying home when you're sick and not infecting anyone else? Now there's a novel idea! I can't tell you how often colds go around the dispatch crew because someone comes to work sick and we all use the same phone. Finally I got some alcohol wipes from the medic and put them in dispatch so anyone sick could swab the phone at the end of their shift!! Our society is so insensitive to infecting others...if you look at video from Japan where the population is very dense you will see people wearing masks in public because they have the sense to know they are contagious and the courtesy not to want to infect anyone else. This is not weird, IMO, it's just good sense!
A note to asthmatics: Asthma is considered an immune system type disease because it has the component of histamine(inflammation) response that is out of control. Supporting your immune system, or rebuilding it after years of taking asthma meds and perhaps limiting your exercise, is very important. I highly recommend finding a naturopathic doctor or herbalist or being smart about your own research to find nutritional options for supporting your immune system. One of the things I do every night is drink a cup of echinacea and ginger tea. Now, echinacea is a weed so you might be allergic to it, be careful if you try it. But echinacea supports your immune system and ginger is anti-inflammatory, warming, and helps with circulation and breaking up congestion.
I've also had a naturopathic doctor recommend I take bromelain, which is an enzyme found in papaya and pineapple that breaks down dead protein and so is anti-inflammatory and may help with moving out congestion from the lungs. Quercetin and vitamin C have also been recommended to me. Turmeric as well, also anti-inflammatory. Do your homework before you jump into taking these, though and don't take them all at once!
Make sure you drink enough water. Eight 8oz glasses may not be enough. I recently read a revised intake of 1oz per two pounds of body weight. Tough to do but give it a try. If you're asthmatic you run the risk of being dehydrated because if you're having a good wheeze you're losing moisture through your breathing. You also may be wheezing because you're dehydrated and can't move out the "junk" in your lungs.
Also, if you're female, take the time to read a book called, "Heart Health for Women." I'll look up the author, he's a cardiologist from CT. He talks about case studies of women from his practice and his recommendations for nutritional supplements for heart health. He recommends magnesium, CoQ10, and EFAs (essential fatty acids) as primary. Interestingly enough I started having chest pain about ten years ago that was not related to exercise. And my doc couldn't find anything wrong. I'm a lifelong asthmatic. I came across a reference website that showed what nutrients your asthma inhalers leach out of your system. Magnesium is one of them, and albuterol is the culprit. I'd been using albuterol at that point for ten years! I added a good multivitamin from the health food store formulated for women along with CoQ10 and the chest pain stopped. This is just to illustrate the point that nutrition along with your meds is very important.
And I'll leave you with a quote from my doctor, he said this when I was theophylline toxic--remember those days? Theophylline tablets and albuterol, that was the treatment for chronic asthma and if you went toxic, talk about a cardiac event! He said, "Some poisons are medications and all medications are poison."
Tread carefully with nutritional supplements AND with your meds!
Good luck and good health to all.