Breathing is an important part of how your body regulates itself, and many people find that when they can breathe better, their anxiety and stress levels decrease while their sense of well-being improves! With better breathing, people find they have more energy to complete daily tasks and exercise more- not having to be dependent on a puffer is a freeing feeling!
There are several common lung conditions that people get. Here are the most common ones naturopathic doctors treat:
Asthma is a condition where your lungs spasm and it becomes hard to breathe. Asthma is part of a group of three allergy-induced conditions that include eczema and allergic rhinitis, that all usually clear up when the allergy is treated. Food and environment may both be at the root and exercise as well can be a trigger. Dairy and wheat allergies are the most common culprits, but other foods may be causing your symptoms too. If you have other symptoms of food sensitivity, it’s even more important to find out which foods you need to be avoiding.
Inhaled steroids or beta blockers are conventional treatment, and while it’s a good idea to keep those on hand for emergencies, naturopathic medicine can help asthmatics reduce the need to use their puffers.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes which carry air between your windpipe and your lungs. This inflammation can be painful, and so can the cough that usually comes with it. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection, meaning antibiotics won’t help. In rare cases, it’s caused by a bacterial infection, and acute bronchitis may also be a reaction to tobacco smoke or chemicals in the air.
Signs of chronic bronchitis include a cough with mucus that is around for most days of a given month, for at least three months. It’s usually a result of smoking. Most people with chronic bronchitis also have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Coughs may be part of a cold or flu, bronchitis, or other viral infection. Cough syrups work to suppress coughing, and can be a good short-term strategy. For natural approaches, there are herbs like mullein and licorice that work well to help soothe the lungs and reduce coughing. If a cough is around for a long time, deeper immune support may be necessary to help clear it up. Excessive coughing can make it hard to sleep, and sleep is an important part of healing!
Emphysema is a weakening of the air sacs in your lungs, making it hard to breathe. Like chronic bronchitis, emphysema is part of COPD, and the most common cause of emphysema is smoking tobacco. With emphysema, it gets harder to exhale, so there is less room to take in new oxygen with each breath.
Naturopathic Approaches to Lung Conditions
Naturopathic medicine always wants to know the cause of your condition. If there is a food or environmental allergy, then we need to find it. Quitting smoking will not only help your lungs but also reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer as well. Ultimately, we want to work with you to develop a treatment plan that works for you. There are anti-inflammatory herbs that can help reduce inflammation, and herbs specifically for the lungs that help soothe and strengthen them. Proper herbal and vitamin support can help support your immune system and clear your cough, and acupuncture can help too.
Let us help give your lungs some rest with naturopathic medicine, book an appointment today!