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Unfortunately, air pollution is also part of the package. It, and other things such as food additives, genetic manipulation of plants, earlier weaning of babies and earlier introduction of solid foods have all contributed to an increase in asthma. From 1980 to 1987, the rate of diagnosed asthma increased 43% in people younger than 20 years old.

Just about everyone knows the tell tale sign of asthma – a high pitched wheezing sound when the airways of the lungs become obstructed. Other symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, painful breathing, and a tightness of the chest.

The mechanism of obstruction occurs when one or more triggers affects the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS); decreased sympathetic tone and an increase of the parasympathetic systems causes the bronchi (small air passages in the lungs) and the blood vessels in the lungs to constrict. Mucus is produced causing inflammation and swelling of the bronchial walls leading to obstruction.

To prevent asthma from occurring in children, minimize their exposure to pollution, breast feed for at least 6 months and then introduce organic foods, which have low allergenic potential. Parents who smoke need to quit, especially if there is a history of asthma or allergy in your family.

If you have already been diagnosed with asthma or have a history of allergies, there are ways to minimize or totally alleviate attacks. Avoid all known triggers. Do an elimination diet to determine which foods may be triggers. Certain blood tests can also determine which foods you are allergic to; skin testing is not reliable in detecting delayed responses.

Avoid sulfites, MSG, refined sugars, spicy foods, dairy, eggs, wheat, processed foods, and high fat meats which are known to be highly allergenic. Also avoid aspirin, BHA and BHT, and food dyes. Instead, eat lots of brown rice and other whole grains, vegetables, especially leafy greens, nuts, seeds, lean fish, and fresh fruit.

Essential supplements to support the immune system and repair damaged lung tissue include: Vitamin A plus beta-carotene, B complex with extra B5, Vitamin E, Multivitamin and mineral complex, Vitamin C plus bioflavinoids, Zinc, Calcium/ Magnesium, Raw adrenal, gland, spleen, and thymus, Co enzyme Q 10, Evening Primrose Oil, Fish oil or Flax Seed Oil, A green drink, such as Green Magic or Green Magma.

Herbs that may be helpful include Echinacea, juniper berries, licorice root, pau d’arco, garlic, blue vervain, and ground ivy. Inula graveolans oil, Lobelia, as well as magnesium are excellent in relaxing the muscles of the respiratory tract and reducing mucus production during an asthma attack. A few drops of a mouthwash containing glycothymaline helps to cut through the mucus.

Chiropractic Adjustments can help alleviate asthma by affecting the autonomic nervous system, causing the bronchi to dilate. This is the same place in the chain that inhalers work on, but without the side effects.