More than 10 million persons in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma and out of that number 2.5 million children diagnosed with allergic asthma.
The Journal of Immunology for June is publishing a study conducted by Southwestern Utah Medical Center. The study indicates that a healthy immune system may not develop in persons with allergic asthma (dust mites, mold, pet dander eg.) to respond to respiratory viruses such as the flu.
The conclusion of the study indicates that the more asthma control a person has the greater of a chance they will have to respond appropriately to a virus. Dr. Michelle Gill, assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine of Southwestern and head author of the study had stated that persons with asthma interact with an allergic trigger and a respiratory virus, the allergen could possibly hamper the immune systems response to the virus. The interference within the antiviral response could add to the worsening of the asthma that is usually linked with respiratory infections.
The study consisted of 56 persons ranging in ages from three to thirty five years old. Of the participants twenty six of them did have allergic asthma, the remaining thirty participants made up the rest of control group. Many of the participants were African American and average age of fifteen years old in both the asthma and control groups. Also, those in the asthma group were diagnosed by a physician using a skin test that tested positive, one person did have indoor allergens.
The study first removed immune cells (dendritic) from the participants. The cells are located within the blood and tissues that come in connection to the environment, such as skin linings of the nose. When they meet respiratory virus such as the flu, dendritic cells usually develop proteins that aide the body to active the immune system and defeat the viral infection. At first when the cells meet an allergic stimulant, they are greatly hampered in the ability to make antiviral proteins.
Researchers revealed the cells from the participants of study with allergic asthma to the flu and discovered the cells could not manufacture interferon, a protein in the immune system that has a vital part in getting rid of reappearing infections of the same virus. When feeling fatigue and being run down while fighting viral infections it is caused by the interferon.
Assumptions made by the researchers indicate the immune suppressing response of the allergic activation of the cells could be associated to high levels of IgE, a molecule usually found in persons with allergic asthma. Amid participants in the study, heightened IgE levels were linked to diminished ability of the cells to manufacture interferon when having exposure to the flu.
Dr. Gill had gone on to state that the data implies when cold/flu and allergy season meet, persons with allergic asthma immune systems acknowledgment may heighten their disease.
The data also suggests allergic triggers linked to indoor allergens like dust and pet dander, could eventually may make cells inadequate in responding to the virus. Even though this has to be proven, it could explain how come asthmatics who have a sensitivity to indoor allergens often have asthma increase when they get a respiratory infection.
The data generated from this study urged an upcoming study to mechanically determine the denderitic cells as factor of the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) funded through the National Institute of Asthma and Infectious Diseases. The component of the dendritic cell of the ICAC study will explore the possibilities of a treatment to degrease IgE in allergic asthmatic patients may improve the reaction of dendritic cells to allergens and respiratory viruses. Ten institutions are connected with the ICAC including Utah Southwestern, that is managed by the University of Wisconsin; Madison.
This study was mainly funded by Exxon Mobile Corporation.
There are numerous persons in the United States that turn to alternative medicine for treatment plans of asthma or allergic reactions. Asthma is presented in at least forty million Americans today. As of late statics have shown that at least 40% of Americans use some form of alternative medicine today .
The traditional Western medicine treatments could include the use of:
Beta-adrenergic drugs which relax muscles and open airway. Used for sudden attacks, however, they can cause increased heart rate, nervousness and muscle tremors among other side effects.
Corticosteroids which decrease asthmatic symptoms but come with numerous side effects not limited to improper wound healing, GI bleeding, hampering immune system and growth retardation in children.
It is no wonder more and more persons are taking the alternative medicine approach. Here are a few treatments available for asthma and allergen reactions.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine divides asthma as two separate illnesses wheezing and shortness of breath. Acupuncture is used for cold and heat asthma concentrates on sedating the Lungs and elimination of phlegm. Herbal treatment for cold asthma is asmatrol it eliminates phlegm and relieves bronchial spasms. Other types of asthma such as deficiency of lung, spleen and kidneys receive other types of herbal treatments and acupuncture done on other areas. It can take awhile for Chinese Medicine to work if person has been exposed to long use of steroids.
Ayurvedic practitioners approach asthmatic treatment different than Western medicine practitioners. They look at the toxins that have accumulated in a patients body along with digestion, diet, nutrition and chemical imbalances and treats them accordingly with herbal treatments and giving them a healthier diet along with spiritual aspects.
Some herbs that maybe used and recommended are Turmeric, Black Pepper, Clove and Myrrh. Restrictions of certain foods that could cause triggers of the asthma could include dairy products. Other treatments can be meditation and breathing exercises.
Medical News Today
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Acupuncture A Gateway To Chinese Medicine, Health and Wellness
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