Holistic Natural Health Experts

Is asthma an autoimmune disease?

Imagine our lungs as an upside-down tree. Our trachea would be the trunk from which inhaled and exhaled air circulates through the branches, which divide into thinner and thinner branches.

These branches are called bronchi, and as their diameter diminishes, they become bronchioles, the respiratory bronchioles that open into closed sacs called alveoli.

Gas exchange takes place through the walls of the alveoli, from the pulmonary capillaries that carry the blood.

CO2 (carbon dioxide) passes from the capillaries to the alveoli, and O2 (oxygen) from the alveoli to the blood.

Interested in learning more about the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the respiratory system? Subscribe now and check out our 4 dedicated webinars on the topic. 

Like that, everything looks simple and works perfectly when everything’s going well.

What is asthma?

Like a tree, our lungs are living structures. Bronchi and bronchioles are living ducts made up of different cell layers, including mucus-producing cells and smooth muscle cells. 

In the case of asthma, the functioning of these cells is disrupted, creating two possible reactions:

  • Inflammation and contraction, tightening the bronchi and bronchioles
  • Inflammation and mucus production, clog the bronchi and bronchioles

As you can see, in both cases, asthma is linked to difficulty in breathing.

Breathing is a vital function that, when impeded, can make everyday life unbearable and distressing.

What are the causes of asthma?

Control of bronchial and bronchiolar dilatation-contraction, mucus production, and inflammation depends on the following systems: 

  • Autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic), 
  • Endocrine system (hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin), 
  • Immune system (specific, such as T or B lymphocytes, but also non-specific, such as macrophages)
  • Release of neurotransmitters such as histamine

Asthma is, therefore, a disease in which all these systems participate according to their own dysfunctions, and the immune system is always involved in one way or another, either through allergy or autoimmunity.

In other words, asthma can be caused by other diseases like allergies as well as a large panel of health issues that combined will trigger asthma. Let’s look at them now. 

Personal sensitivities

Some individuals are more sensitive than others to the same issues disrupting the systems cited above, such as:

  • pollution
  • inhaled chemical molecules
  • unhealthy diet
  • immune aggression
  • exhaustion
  • stress
  • sleeping problems
  • etc.

It’s therefore understandable that the origins of asthma are mainly multifactorial, as are most diseases, and its manifestations are just as variable in severity.

However, to say that a disease is multifactorial does not mean that all factors are equally important in its onset. 

Some factors, such as poor diet, prepare the ground for other factors to take effect. On the other hand, certain perfectly avoidable factors are so harmful to the organism that they generate the disease on their own. 

In short, the complexity of the causes of disease triggers a desire on the part of some healthcare professionals to simplify the issue by telling the patient that the cause is genetic.

Genetics is a science perceived as an inescapable straitjacket that determines our health and possible illnesses. But this is not true. First of all, when we talk about genetics, we also need to talk about epigenetics (our body’s ability to express or not express certain genes).

Epigenetics is particularly important in a disease such as asthma, and everything influences epigenetics: sleep, movement, diet, sun exposure, social environment, etc. 

Natural medicine treatments are certainly the most likely to enhance epigenetics, and this makes all the difference in whether asthma manifests itself or not.

Is asthma autoimmune disease?

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Autoimmune Diseases: An Overview

Autoimmune diseases have been growing for several decades. They are more complex than doctors thought when antibodies directed against certain organs or body systems were first discovered.

Some autoimmune diseases are simply due to a direct attack by certain T lymphocytes on a particular organ, tissue, or cell type, but there are no antibodies produced by B lymphocytes.

Does this mean that asthma is an autoimmune disease? In some cases, yes, but in the majority of cases, the immune component of asthma is mainly allergic.

It is possible to analyze how the immune system has become dysregulated in asthma on a case-by-case basis, using different tools, including blood tests such as lymphocyte typing. For this to work, it requires being competent in interpreting the results of such tests.

Is asthma an autoimmune disease?

There’s no doubt that the immune system is involved in asthma, but as we’ve explained, involvement varies from person to person.

The physiological manifestation of asthma is very similar from one asthma to another, as the bronchi and bronchioles constrict and produce more mucus. The intensity of this phenomenon varies from person to person, as do the conditions that trigger asthma.

However, the clinical manifestation does not provide information on the cellular functioning of the immune system, which is unique to each individual. The same applies when the immune system is dysregulated.

Other factors contributing to asthma

As mentioned above, bronchi and bronchioles are living structures designed to breathe clean air.

It’s safe to say that any harmful molecules in the air can promote asthma: 

  • All synthetic fragrances
  • All aggressive molecules such as solvents, formaldehyde, fireproofing and waterproofing products, paints, etc.
  • Tobacco and all combustion products
  • Insecticides, etc.

This concerns thousands of molecules discharged into the ambient air by industry. Other substances, such as molds, are known to promote asthma.

Bronchial tubes and bronchioles can be attacked directly from inside the body, via the blood.

The same substances found in the air can also find their way directly into the bloodstream, absorbed through the digestive tract. What’s more, we can ingest an impressive number of problematic substances and foods: 

  • All the additives that can react negatively with our mucous membranes (there are hundreds of them)
  • All GMOs
  • Pesticides and fungicides
  • Heavy metals
  • Chemical pills
  • Bad fats
  • Dairy products

Effect of asthma on your immune system

Asthma is dangerous because of the risk of having a severe or even fatal attack.

Chronic asthma is dangerous because chronic inflammation can permanently impair the ability to breathe in and out – in other words, lung function. In short, asthma must be treated.

It can be said that as long as someone has asthma, his immune system is out of whack, and over the years, significant chronic inflammation eventually exhausts the immune system, making it less able to fight off infections.

Naturally, a child with a dysregulated immune system who already has allergies such as eczema or hay fever is more likely to develop asthma.

Holistic treatment and prevention of Asthma 

Let’s now compare the treatment options for people suffering from asthma. 

Conventional medicine treatment

Like many diseases, the conventional medicine approach is simple and standardized. The goal is to reduce or suppress the symptoms, nothing more. 

For that, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and bronchodilator drugs are used.

The problem is that these drugs do not treat asthma, and all have relatively significant side effects. 

Even if some of them are only taken in the event of an asthma attack, if asthma becomes chronic, you may end up taking chemical drugs for the rest of your life, which will inevitably lead to other health problems.

Holistic natural medicines treatment

Contrary to conventional medicine, a holistic natural treatment approach is complex and personalized. Like always, the fundamental principle of any holistic natural treatment is “Primum non nocere” (First do no harm). 

Keeping that in mind at all times, the goals to fulfill are multiple:

  • Identifying and treating the causes
  • Reducing the symptoms
  • Identifying and treating other related health problems 

This is why there is no standard treatment for asthma in holistic natural care and this is a general rule that applies not only to asthma but to other pathologies in general. 

Whatever the health issue, holistic natural care does not propose standardized treatments.

Depending on each individual and situation, the therapies used will vary. Nonetheless, most of the time, the following core therapies are used in the case of asthma: 

  • Nutrition
  • Phytotherapy
  • Homeopathy 
  • Biotherapies

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that nutrition plays an important role in asthma. 

In most cases, there is a major dietary cause for the onset of asthma. In fact, the digestive and respiratory mucous membranes are physiologically closely linked as they have the same embryological origin.

As a result, many digestive disorders, including intestinal permeability, are conducive to allergy and autoimmunity and, therefore, asthma. 

If you are suffering from asthma and are unsure if holistic natural medicines treatment is right for you, don’t waste time and start improving your diet now by reading our ebook “Healthy food: Your Fundamental Right.”

By doing so, you are very likely to address one of the main causes of your asthma and start seeing results. 

In that process, you can learn more about holistic natural medicine treatment by talking with us directly to help you take the next step for treating your asthma. 

Finally, it’s important to know that following a holistic natural medicine approach does not mean renouncing conventional medicine treatment.

Both can be followed at the same time, and in the case of asthma, a good common combination occurs can be:

  • Conventional medicine treatment for asthma crisis
  • Holistic natural medicines treatment for ongoing treatment

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