Asthma | Definition, Symptoms & Treatments
Asthma is a breathing disorder characterized by spasms and swelling of the lungs.
What it feels like: frequent feeling that a heavy object is on top of your chest and requires extra effort to catch your breath, as though you just ran a long distance, when perhaps you haven’t run at all.
Some asthma is allergy-related and some is completely isolated and debilitating regardless of allergies. The prevalence of asthma has increased by approximately 50% over the past few decades and continues to rise. More and more patients will need Asthma treatment and education especially upon transition from season to season when other airborne issues increase as well.
Dr. Torrey has a passion for treating asthma after his own personal fight with it which was most effectively treated using Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM). Asthma is a primary example of what has become a widespread, prolific problem in conventional health management which is not solved, but is only treated and corrected on a day to day basis and never eliminated or cured. The mainstream pharmaceutical approach to asthma treatment is generally either or both of:
- Corticosteroids, which immediately dilute and reduce inflammation and irritation of the lungs. The most common side effects of this type of medicine is, unfortunately a complete lack of long-term success and an increased likelihood of upper respiratory infections. By constantly “sedating” your lung organ, it becomes less and less effective at self-cleaning and protecting itself from airborne particles and allergens.
- Beta agonists bronchiodialators, which act as stimulants to the blood flow and oxygen saturation, while simultaneously expanding/inflating the lungs like a balloon. These effects produce both an increased volume of air that it inhaled and also more effective and efficient overall transfer of Oxygen from the air to your body which is the function of lungs in the first place.
One problem with both of these options is that they do not treat the actual cause of lung inflammation, but instead fight the symptoms of Asthma which effectively “mask” the problem without eliminating it. This prevalent and somewhat uninspired approach to treating the symptoms using one or both of these medications is problematic and in many ways representative of all of our nations healthcare methods which require ongoing use of the medicines without ever solving the problem and moving beyond to solve other issues. Additionally, long term inhaled steroids can increase the risk of developing other health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, blood sugar disorders, and poor bone density.
Having been in the practice for 17 years, Dr.Torrey has had many patients report that they feel like they are trading one health problem for others when taking inhaled steroids long term.
As with all ailments and conditions, the key questions that need to be asked are:
Why are the lungs inflamed and What is the underlying cause of your asthma?
Safe and effective asthma treatment requires us to provide our patients with:
- Controlling your allergies
- Test and rehabilitation of adrenal glands, which produce powerful anti-inflammatory hormones that naturally dilate(expand) your lungs.
- Mediate and Reduce Stress
- Track and eliminate food intolerances which may be affecting lungs
- Learn and practice breathing techniques
- Chinese Herbal Medicine as prescribed
- Reduce GI inflammation
- Restore old grief. In oriental medicine, grief weakens lung function, and Dr.Torrey has seen this to be clinically accurate with most asthma patients medications are crucial.