The symptoms of bronchial asthma are caused by an inflammatory reaction within the bronchial wall involving many cells, mediators and cytokines. This may result in coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath, these symptoms often being worse at night. Eosinophil, mast cells, lymphocytes and other cells are involved in this inflammatory process which results in hyper- responsiveness of the bronchi so that they narrow easily in response to a wide range of stimuli. Narrowing of the airway is usually reversible, but in some patients with chronic asthmathe bronchial wall inflammation may lead to irreversible obstruction of air flow.
EARLY ONSET ASTHMA (ATOPIC):
In childhood atopic individuals readily form IgE antibodies. Atopic asthma can be identified by skin hypersensitivity tests. Eosinophils play an important role, the asthmatic inflammatory being characterized by a cellular infiltration rich in activated eosinophils.
- Mites in house dust
- Animal dander
- Feathers in pillows or quilts
- Industrial chemicals
- Radiological examination
- Pulmonary function tests
- Arterial blood gas analysis
- Skin hypersensitivity tests
- High doses of inhaled B2 –adrenoceptor agonists
- Systemic steroids
- Monitoring of treatment
- Assisted ventilation
- Drugs for management of severe bronchial constrition
- To be given based on Sphere of action of drug and symptoms of patient
The prognosis of the individual attack is good. There is occasionally a fatal outcome especially if treatment is inadequate or delayed. Spontaneous remission is fairly common in episodic asthma particularly in children but rare in chronic asthma, which can lead to irreversible airflow obstruction. Seasonal fluctuations can occur in both types of asthma. Atopic subjects with episodic asthma are usually worse in the summer when they are more heavily exposed to antigens while chronic asthmatics are usually worse in winter months because of the increased frequency of viral infections.
Homeopathy has a very promising role in reducing and removing the tendency to asthma or treating chronic asthma. A rightly selected homeopathic medicine can markedly reduce or even remove the tendency to asthma attacks. After homeopathic treatment the triggering factors no longer trigger asthma attacks and patient is able to live a symptom free life. Whether it will reduce or completely remove asthma tendency will depend on various factors like severity of condition, time since patient has it, family history etc. Few medicines for acute asthma attack are described below but should be taken in consultation with a homeopathic physician and for chronic cases, see a homeopath in person for detailed case taking and taking a constitutional remedy for right treatment of asthma.
This remedy us a close homoeopathic simile to asthma, especially to the spasmodic variety where the symptoms are great weight and anxiety about the chest; sudden wheezing, dyspnoea, threatening suffocation, aggravated by motion; the cough causes gagging and vomiting. The cough is constant, the chest seems full of phlegm, yet none is expectorated, and the extremities are covered with cold perspiration.
Lobelia is a remedy which one usually classifies with Ipecac. It has the great oppression of the chest and a weal sensation in the chest which seems to come from the epigastrium, where there is a feeling of a lump; there is nausea, profuse salivation; the attack is preceded by a prickling sensation through the whole system. It is most useful in bronchial and septic asthmas. The breathing is exceedingly difficult, and is relieved by moving about pain extending around the forehead from one temple to the other and a pain in the back at the last dorsal vertebra are also useful indications.
As stated above, Arsenicum has some similarity to Ipecac, but the time of attacks is just after midnight. The patient has a great deal of anguish and restlessness; he cannot lie down for fear of suffocation. There is anxiety and general sweat, and if the patient drowses off he is awakened with burning pain and soreness in the chest. It is especially the remedy if the disease be chronic and the dyspnoea habitual and dry and the patient aged.
Nux vomica is a useful remedy when the asthmatic attacks are brought on by gastric disturbances; simple spasmodic asthmas; there is some relief by belching, the patient must loosen the clothing. It must also be thought of in those who drink much coffee or liquor. Irritable bilious temperaments also correspond to the drug. A good symptom calling for Nux is a constricted feeling at the lower part of the chest.
The potashes produce asthmatic conditions, and under Kali bichromicum we find the attacks coming on about three or four o’clock in the morning, compelling the patient to sit up to breathe; he sits up and bends forward which relieves somewhat, as does also the expectoration of stringy yellow mucus, which is characteristic of the remedy.
- Davidson’s: Principles and Practice of Medicine, 1995, 1203p
- Homeopathic therapeutics –the classical therapeutic hints, Samuel Hahnemann, 21 st impression, 2013
- Dewey W., practical homoeopathic therapeutics