Looking for holistic asthma remedies

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1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 9/1/2013 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone here have thoughts/knowledge of holistic remedies for asthma? I've had it my entire life, but was only officially diagnosed last week at age 50 (a routine physical revealed my pulse ox drops to the low 80s after walking just a short distance). Exercise makes it worse (cardio=wheezing), as do certain triggers (some types of dust can throw me into a full-blown attack). I exercise in a group with a trainer 5 days a week. It's been harder to keep up lately (especially cardio), and it's frustrating. I've been using a pro air inhaler before & during exercise, but it doesn't work. Pulmonary doc just added flovent 220 mcg 2 x/day. I'm worried about using steroids long term because previous use of prednisone made me crazy & gain weight.

This probably sounds reckless, but I'd really like to try a holistic approach. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Post Edited (1 day at a time) : 9/2/2013 10:26:56 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 9/1/2013 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi 1 day,
It actually is reckless in my opinion.  Your rescue inhaler isn't working because the inflammation in your lungs is too great.  You don't have to worry about taking the inhaled steroids at those doses.  You won't get crazy from it like prednosone.  I was told by my allergy/athma doc, one round of prednosone gives you more steroid exposure than a whole year of inhaled steroids. 
 
The inhaled steroid is the key to getting better, as it treats the root cause of your problem, not just the symptoms (like the ProAir).  Go ahead and try your holistic remedies, but do it in addition to the inhaled steroid, not in place of that. 
 
The way inflammation works is that it layers on top of each other, so it gets progressively worse.  The inhaled steroid will take time to have an effect, so don't get discouraged.  It will do the job if you're diligent about taking it properly.  Do you have a spacer for your inhaler?  If not, be sure to get one, as it makes the medication much more effective, as it gets it past the mouth and into the lungs much more efficiently.
 
Here is a link to an article comparing oral and inhaled steroids:
(If the link doesn't work right, just copy and paste it into your browser window.)
 
Good luck...I hope you get feeling better soon!
Take care,
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 9/1/2013 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your quick response. Actually I tried the flovent for two days and I started to get that creepy uneasy grumpy feeling that was the beginning of how the prednisone made me feel. I'm really afraid to continue with it because I ended up so grouchy. I think I might be sensitive to steroids in general. Have you or anyone else have much experience with inhaled steroids & side effects?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 9/1/2013 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi 1 day,
I am asthmatic, and have been on inhaled steroids (with a few times when I needed oral steroid bursts as well) for many, many years--as long as inhaled steroids have been available.
 
If you're getting grumpy, I am confident that it has nothing to do with your inhaled steroid. There is very, very little absorbed into your system, so it can't cause that symptom.  If you Google inhaled steroid, you will find that they are safe and pretty much side effect free.
 
Be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after using your steroid inhaler, as you can get thrush in your mouth.  That is one possible side effect, but if you make sure you rinse after inhaling, it's rare.
 
I can guarantee that inhaled steroids absolutely DO NOT affect your behavior or mood.  Perhaps the whole idea of needing the inhaler is bumming you out.  Still, it's the best thing for you, as it will improve your lung health and reduce inflammation.
 
Take care,
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 9/2/2013 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe my grumbling is from being annoyed with this new limitation. I never could run/jog long distances before, but now it's so much worse I wheeze with any exercise. What has me really frustrated is how fast this came on. I wasn't this bad a few months ago. I'm trying so hard, but run into brick walls. I had no
idea that asthma could get so bad so fast. It's kind of scary.

Post Edited (1 day at a time) : 9/2/2013 10:23:21 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 9/3/2013 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi 1 day,
It is extremely frustrating and annoying when others are going about their lives without breathing/allergy issues and you're feeling "sick" and can't breathe.  Believe me, I can identify.  I'm having a lung issue as we speak, and allergies often make it impossible for me to go outside and enjoy my life.  I prefer hiking to the gym, but I find myself on the treadmill, rather than out in the woods when pollen counts spike, which is most of the summer.
 
Try to accept the fact that you need the maintenance/inhaled steroid, and know that in the long run, it will get you back to your old self.  It won't be overnight, but gradually your lung inflammation will decrease and you won't need your rescue inhaler in the same way.  You will still need to take your ProAir inhaler before you exercise, and for a while I'm sure you'll find you're not up to speed. 
 
 Try to give yourself permission to take it a little easier a the gym--know it's not forever.  Your lungs WILL improve.  You'll most likely always need to take your steroid maintenance inhaler, but I will be a small price to pay for being able to go all out at the gym.
 
Have you been worked up for allergies?  The ragweed and weed/grass pollen is quite high now.  It may have been the thing that put your inflammation over the edge.  My doctor described it like this...picture a glass half full of water.  Each time you're exposed to an irritant the glass gets fuller, until it eventually overflows.  When it overflows...that's the metaphor for when your lungs can't take it any more.  There's a threshold of inflammation over which you don't want to go.  That'll be hospital time.  Take it from me...I've been there.
 
Listen to your doctor, follow the inhaler regime you've been given.  If you don't improve in a few weeks, give him/her a call and let them know that you're still struggling.  Know that asthma is a life-threatening condition.  People can die of asthma, and do. 
 
Follow up and let your doc know how you're doing and by all means, take the medication that will reduce the inflammation that causes your problems.  ProAir just opens the lungs up, but doesn't treat the cause.  And as you can see, your asthma can get bad enough that a rescue inhaler doesn't work any more.  If you're breathing gets really bad, get yourself to an emergency department.
 
I'm not trying to scare you...just letting you know the truth about uncontrolled asthma. Yours sounds pretty acute right now, so take care of it.
 
Your lungs will heal! Hang in there!
Take care,
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle
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