Asthma is one of the most common medical conditions in North America. The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly over the past few decades. There are a number of possible reasons for the increase in asthma rates including increased pollution in the atmosphere. However, there is another cause that is often overlooked; food allergies. In this article we will discuss how food allergies can cause or exacerbate asthma.
In the July issue (page 28) I reported on the dangers of synthetic chemical fragrances, the number of people affected in one way or another, symptoms manifested from fragrance exposure, and current research on their toxicity.
This month I’m listing the most common chemicals so that you can use this as a guideline and, hopefully, begin to take seriously the “toxic soup” to which we have all become exposed. Don’t simply “buy into” the marketing campaigns instead of being informed about what you put on your body and the health consequences… remember…what goes on the skin goes in the body!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately six percent of Americans suffer from asthma. This is a surprisingly high figure and it is on the rise. It is surprisingly high in part because asthma is one of a number of health conditions that can be present, yet unrecognized, in both children and adults. Yet being out of sight is not the same as being benign. Nearly 500,000 Americans are hospitalized each year for asthma and more than 5,000 die from it.
Synthetic Fragrances are MORE Powerful in Summer Months…
What do the following people have in common?
- People with allergies (50 millions in the US)
- People with asthma (15 million in the US)
- People with chronic severe headaches (45 million in the US)
- People with sensitivities (10 to 30 million in the US)
If you’ve ever seen someone having an asthma attack, you know it’s not pretty.
And, according to those who suffer with it, it can be one of the most scary experiences in life.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma comes from Greek words meaning either “panting” or “sharp breath.” It’s a chronic disease that affects the pathways that carry air in and out of your lungs. Those airways become inflamed and very sensitive to any of a variety of substances (in air, food, the environment) that are irritating or allergenic. That’s one reason asthma is so often linked to allergies.
I attended a lecture of yours, and you announced to the audience, “I want you all to eat an onion today to keep the doctor away.” You left the topic quickly and didn’t pick me during the question/answer period. I’m still wondering, why onions? Did you mean to say eat an apple a day?
When I moved into my current home in Pacific Palisades, California, nearly 20 years ago, I was searching for nontoxic resources: paints, carpeting, and other furnishings. My search was mostly met with odd looks and raised eyebrows (ah, the olden days!). So I was overjoyed to find Mary Cordaro, just starting out on her path as a consultant on healthy, green home building and remodeling. She spoke my language! She became my non-toxic home guide to whom I referred friends and patients over the years: those with allergies, or simply, interested in green, non-toxic living. Mold, volatile chemicals, indoor and outdoor pollution—you name it, she’d have a resource.
A few weeks ago, I shared my general concepts of Green Medicine involving three components: the use of dietary, nutritional and natural substances (what I call our personal green), living in a clean home and office (our local green) and working to keep the greater world in which we all must live clean for the health of us all (our global green). In this article I take a look at asthma—a specific, epidemic and potentially dangerous problem, particularly as the disease occurs in children, the most vulnerable of us all, and walk you though my “Green Medicine” approach to this disease.
Food poisoning bacteria E. coli and Salmonella certainly inflict misery and, in weakened persons, can be deadly. Fortunately, after the nausea and diarrhea run their course, they are not heard from again unless we eat something contaminated.
H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) also affects the stomach but is more deadly and long-lasting. It can lead to ulcers that claim 9,000 Americans yearly and stomach cancer that kills 11,000. H. pylori is not in the news despite being the world’s most common bacterial infection—it stays under the radar because it acts slowly.
There is a definite substantiated connection between allergies and asthma. Studies indicate their underlying mechanisms may even cause each other. Up to 38 percent of patients with allergies have been diagnosed with asthma, and 78 percent of those diagnosed with asthma have allergies. Both as a physician and as a former allergy and asthma sufferer myself, I’ve witnessed the tie between the two conditions.
I have believed for years they are all related to an overgrowth of a very common organism found in every one of us in our digestive tracts: Candida albicans. In my practice, I routinely and successfully guide allergy and asthma patients through a nutrition plan that dramatically reduce or completely eliminate their symptoms. I’ll touch on highlights of that plan, but first a few words on the individual conditions.