Asthma is a common chronic inflammation of the airways characterized by swelling and bronchospasm. The inflammation leads to narrowing of the bronchial tubes, either totally or partially. The result is difficulty in breathing (dyspnea). Asthma affects seven percent of the population of the United States and approximately 300 million people worldwide. The disease is prevalent but the mortality rate is relatively low. It is responsible for 4,000 deaths per year in the U.S. and 250,000 deaths per year across the globe.
When the bronchial tubes are chronically inflamed, they tend to be more sensitive to allergens or irritants. In such cases, the airways become highly irritable and may remain in a state of heightened sensitivity which is also known as bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR). Experts say that there is a certain degree of bronchial hyperreactivity in all individuals but apparently asthmatics have a higher degree when compared to nonasthmatic people. Sensitive individuals are more likely to experience swelling and constriction of the bronchial tubes when exposed to allergens and other triggers such as cigarette smoke, dust or exercise. Among asthmatics, some may have severe BHR and chronic symptoms while others may only have mild BHR and no symptoms. Evidently, people are affected differently by asthma. Each individual has a unique reaction to various allergens and environmental triggers. This significantly influences the specific type and dose of medication which may also vary from one person to another.
Asthma SymptomsBecause of the difference in severity among asthmatics, some patients rarely experience symptoms, whereas others may have severe airflow obstruction at all times. Therefore, the symptoms of asthma vary greatly from person to person and in any patient from time to time. It is important to note that the most of the symptoms can be relatively mild and may appear similar to those observed in other diseases. In general, there are four major symptoms of asthma. First is shortness of breath (SOB) which is normally seen with physical exertion or at night. Next is wheezing which is characterized by a whistling sound upon exhalation. Third is coughing which is typically worse at night or early in the morning. Coughing can be chronic and it may be triggered by exposure to cold air or exercise. The last one is tightness of the chest which may occur with or without the other aforementioned symptoms.
Note that all of the symptoms mentioned above can be present in other respiratory, and sometimes, in cardiac diseases. This possible confusion highlights the importance of determining the particular settings in which the symptoms take place. Moreover, diagnostic testing plays a crucial role in identifying this disorder.
Asthma TreatmentThe treatment protocol primarily focuses on relaxing bronchospasm with the use of bronchodilators, or reducing inflammation with the help of corticosteroids. These medications are divided into two types: quick-relief medications used to treat acute asthma attacks and long-term control medications used to prevent exacerbation of the disease. Quick relief medications include beta2-adrenoceptor agonists such as bitolterol, levalbuterol, salbutamol and terbutaline); adrenergic agonists such as inhaled epinephrine and ephedrine tablets; and anticholinergic medications such as ipratropium bromide. These medications must be taken with caution as they may have adverse side effects. For instance, beta2-adrenoceptor agonists may cause tremor and hypertension. They must not be used too often as their efficacy may decline, creating desensitization resulting into exacerbation of symptoms which may eventually lead to refractory asthma and even death. As for long-term control medications, they include inhaled glucocorticoids and long-acting β2-agonists.
Mangosteen Help for AsthmaFor a lot of asthmatics who have grown sick and tired of steroids and their harmful side effects, it is but natural to seek relief from natural sources. This is where mangosteen comes into the picture and it’s quite likely that most asthmatics have already heard or have been taking this wonder fruit as a dietary supplement. However, the hype about the benefits offered by mangosteen to asthmatics is not mere hearsay. Mangosteen has grown in popularity among asthma sufferers because it delivers positive results without any accompanying adverse reactions.
The key to mangosteen’s remarkable benefits is the presence of a group of compounds called xanthones. These are powerful anti-inflammatories, and as previously mentioned, inflammation of the airways is a major problem about asthma. Mangosteen’s truckload of xanthones can easily address this problem, allowing the patient to breath normally. Xanthones also have anti-viral properties which is important in reducing the risk of pulmonary infections. Note that when the airways are inflamed, there is a tendency for overproduction and accumulation of mucus. This leaves the patient susceptible to infection because bacteria and viruses grow and multiply in the mucus that lines the bronchial passageways. With xanthones’ anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, these problems are easily eliminated. Xanthones are also potent antioxidants that help to counteract the free radical damage caused by exposure to polluted air. Finally, xanthones have been shown to have anti-allergy effects which greatly reduce the risk of having an acute asthma attack.
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