Imbalances of the Respiratory System
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term that encompasses several respiratory illnesses that cause breathlessness or the inability to exhale normally. Symptoms include; shortness of breath. Those affected will normally cough up sputum from the lungs. Examples of COPD are chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. It is also a major risk factor for developing Lung Cancer.
- Inflammatory conditions, Asthma, hay fever.
- Infectious Diseases caused by pathogens.
- Inherited conditions, e.g., Cystic Fibrosis, which is caused by a defective gene, and creates a sticky mucus that clogs up tubes and passageways. The mucus causes repeated lung infections as well as obstructions in the pancreas, preventing important enzymes from breaking down nutrients.
Symptoms; chest tightness and shortness of breath, wheezing when breathing out. Rapid shallow breathing that is easier when sitting up, difficulty breathing, neck muscles tighten, coughing (especially at night), occasionally with thick clear or yellow sputum. It can also produce a great deal of anxiety.
Bronchial asthma is a hypersensitivity disorder, resulting in spasm of bronchi, swelling of the bronchial mucosa, and excessive excretion of viscous mucus. There are two types; extrinsic atopic asthma which is an immunologically mediated condition, with an increase in IgE (Immunoglobulin E) and responds to allergens such as dust mites, pollen and mould. This can also be referred to as allergic asthma.
Intrinsic (non-allergic asthma) a reaction to chemicals, cold air, exercise, infection, or possibly an emotional upset.
Medical practitioners rank Asthma into 4 types, dependent upon its severity.
- Mild intermittent asthma treated as needed with an inhaled beta agonist (bronchodilator) Blue pump.
- Mild persistent, daily inhalation of corticosteroid, along with a short-acting beta agonist, Blue or Brown pump.
- Moderate persistent asthma, inhaled corticosteroid and/or the addition of long acting beta agonist or leukotriene antagonist-drugs that inhibit leukotrienes. Brown pump.
- Severe asthma requires high dose of inhaled corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids along with other controller medicines. Nebuliser with high dose steroid which requires the breath to be monitored while taking.
A number of theories have ben postulated as regards to the possible causes of the onset of Asthma.
- Food additives and preservatives, largest group are sulphites which are used in preparing salads, salad dips, or wine and beer.
- Early weaning, that of replacing breast milk with infant formulas. Breastfeeding should be for first 6 to 9 months.
- Food allergy related to gut permeability, resulting in increased load on immune system, thereby increasing likelihood of developing additional allergies.
- Candida albicans overgrowth and the from the acid protease which is produced.
- Obesity a possible factor due to; increased leptin levels which may alter functioning of immune system and cause pro-inflammatory changes. Breathing position may be more shallow and frequent which may be predisposing factor. Higher oestrogen levels due to excess adipose tissue.
- Hygiene; excessive use of detergents/cleaning agents at home. Less time spent in natural surroundings, resulting in the immune system deprived of its learning tools, i.e., dealing with antigens. Natural antigens stimulate TH1 which is thought to be protective against asthma. Therefore the individual becomes TH2 dominant. Asthma and atopic conditions reflect an increased response of TH2 helper cells.
- Greater chemical pollutants in the air
- Increased antibiotic use in children; for example, Pertussis (whooping cough vaccine)
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