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How many people get affected by Asthma?

How does Asthma affect the body ?
What are the factors that provoke asthma ?

Role of Modern Medicine in Asthma ?
What does Ayurveda say ?

How can Gandhiji Nature Cure Centre help ?

How many people get affected by Asthma?

The rapid rise in the incidences of Asthma is chiefly attributed to environmental pollution and lifestyle changes in our present day stressful, crowded urban life.   
It is estimated that 5 - 10 % of the world’s population suffers from Asthma at some point in their lifetime. Most of the patients develop the disease before the age of 10 years.
Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from asthma and another 100 million may get affected with asthma by the year 2025.
In India, more than 15 million people are suffering from Asthma and it is the leading cause of school absence from a chronic illness

How does Asthma affect the body ?

The basic defect in the manifestation of asthma
¨A long standing inflammation of the respiratory passages

Hyper responsiveness of the respiratory passages to the stimuli.

These two factors lead to the narrowing of the respiratory passages along with the accumulation of excess mucus which severely obstructs the normal breathing process and produces symptoms like breathlessness, cough, wheezing, etc.

The attack can last from a few minutes to hours and may subside spontaneously by itself or may require medical intervention. In between the attacks, the patient usually appears normal.

The airflow obstruction to lungs is reversible if medical intervention is initiated early. Progression of the disease can lead to remodeling of the airways through fibrosis. These irreversible changes give a reduced response to bronchodilators. 

What are the factors that provoke asthma ?

The common triggering factors are
¨ Atmospheric pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, etc

¨ Wood and vegetable dusts, pollen, etc.

¨ Chemical agents like laundry detergents, plastics, paints, etc.

¨ Drugs such as aspirin.

¨ Stress can significantly worsen the attack of asthma.

¨ Respiratory infections

¨ Exercises can trigger an attack of asthma after sometime and not essentially while performing the exercise.

Role of Modern Medicine in Asthma ?

Modern medicine are very useful to counteract the emergency situations of acute attacks of asthma. However, larger doses use of steroids can cause decreased growth in children, osteoporosis, depression, insomnia and cataracts.
Bronchodilators are effective to relieve the bronchospasm in a short span of time, but they should not be used on a regular basis. However, they do not reduce the hyper responsiveness of airways and can in fact worsen the same. Their adverse effects include muscle tremors, palpitation, nervousness and ankle edema.

What does Ayurveda say ?

According to Ayurveda, the root cause for Swasa roga (Asthma) does not lie in the respiratory system, it actually lies in the digestive system. It may seem quite strange at first sight, but the following detailed analysis of the disease will give us a clear picture about the disease.
To be more specific, there are two kinds of nidana (causative factors) for the disease, namely,
1. Viprakrushta (Remote cause)

2. Sannikrushta (Immediate cause)

The Viprakrushta nidana lies chiefly in the digestive system, while the Sannikrushta nidana lies in the respiratory system.

¨ Any food item that we consume needs to digested and metabolized properly by our body.

¨ When the food happens to be improperly digested due to reasons such as heavy or untimely food, their metabolism is also affected resulting in more amount of toxins.

¨ This defect does not produce any serious disease immediately, but when this defect is allowed to progress over a period of time, there will be an accumulation of Ama (toxins) in the body.

¨ In an effort to expel these unwanted toxins, our body’s defense systems become hyperactive through inflammation and excess mucus secretions of the respective sites.

¨ This hyper responsiveness can also be facilitated through genetic factors if the systemic overload of Ama (toxins) is present for a longer duration.

¨ This is the basic underlying mechanism is considered as the Viprakrushta nidana (remote cause) and now commonly referred as the predisposing factor for asthma.

¨ This state of hyper responsiveness would actually be present all through the body and its effect is more pronounced in the respiratory system due to long standing exposure to environmental pollutants and allergens.

From the point of Sannikrushta nidana (Immediate cause) which is now commonly referred as triggering factors of asthma, the following mechanism is responsible.

¨ Swasa roga occurs when the vitiated Kapha dosha obstructs the normal movement of Vata dosha.

¨ This obstructed Vata dosha now attains Vishama gati (erratic movement) and localizes especially in the Prana Vaha Srotas (Respiratory system) due certain favorable predisposing factors.

¨ The Vitiation of Kapha and Vata dosha occurs chiefly due to etiological factors dominant in Sheeta guna (Coldness) such as exposure to cold breeze, consuming cold drinks and cloudy sky. 

¨ Food items that are Ruksha (Dry), Guru (Heavy to digest) and Abhisyandi (Kapha aggravating),  exposure to irritants, smoke and dust  the common causes of the disease.

¨ Excessive physical exercises, emotional stress, suppression of natural urges and certain other diseases also serve as contributing factors to trigger asthma.

It is important to note that, the two defects (Predisposing and Triggering factors) need to conjoin together to manifest the disease. Neither one of them, separately may not be capable enough to produce the disease.

We do observe many people who do not suffer from asthma, despite being exposed to pollution and allergens. It is due to the simple reason that the Viprakrushta nidanas (Predisposing factors) are absent in them and hence the Sannikrustha nidana (Triggering factors) alone is not capable enough to produce the disease.

How can Gandhiji Nature Cure Centre help ?
  • Ayurveda aims to eliminate the Ama (toxins) from the body, restore the vitiated Kapha dosha to its normalcy and regulate the movement of Vata dosha.

  • Ayurvedic medications that metabolizes the Ama (toxins) and eliminate them out of the body are prescribed. Medications are also prescribed to  restore the normal movement of Vata dosha.

  • The choice of the treatment modality is made based on the assessment of the condition of the patient and the severity of the disease.

  •  Regular Pranayama and Yoga helps to relax the respiratory muscles and improve the lung capacity. They also help to relax the mind and optimize the oxygen utilization by the body which greatly reduces the hyper responsiveness of our body.

  • A Healthy planned diet is essential to support the normal functioning of our immune system, reduce the disease exacerbations and nourish the weakened & overloaded respiratory system.

  • A Healthy planned diet is essential to support the normal functioning of our immune system, reduce the disease exacerbations and nourish the weakened & overloaded respiratory system. It thus reduces the severity or frequency of asthma attacks and improving lung function .

  • Following a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and healthy fats helps reduce the hypersensitivity of cells to air pollution and other allergens. Their nutrients have antioxidant property that helps to neutralize free radical production by the body .