Bigger puffs don't cut asthma risk
At some point, the mainstream is going to have to take the book they have on asthma, and tear it up--because nearly everything in it is flat-out wrong.
Take the national guidelines that call for asthma patients to double their dose of inhaled steroids such as Pulmicort or Flovent at the start of an attack.
As it turns out, all that does is give asthmatics an extra dose of steroids--because it certainly doesn't help prevent an asthma flare-up.
Canadian researchers pooled the best data from five clinical trials on approximately 1,250 patients--mostly adults--who had been randomly chosen to take either the usual dose of a steroid inhaler, or an increased dose, when they felt an attack coming on.
And according to the study published by The Cochrane Collaboration, the researchers found no benefit to that double dose. In fact, they found that even a quadruple dose didn't make patients less likely to need rescue treatments such as a prednisone injection.
But while those extra puffs of the inhaler might not prevent an asthma attack, they can increase the risk of side effects--including thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth.
And long-term use of inhaled steroids has been linked to thinning bones and osteoporosis in both men and women, weight gain, mood swings, stunted growth and acne--just to name a few.
While no one should give up their inhalers without talking to a doctor first, there are other ways to help breathe easier and limit or even eliminate the use of meds.
First, if you're obese, lose the weight. Obese people suffer asthma at double the rate of their normal-weight counterparts, and account for 75 percent of all asthma- related emergency room visits.
Secondly, speak with an experienced allergist or immunologist willing to give you the extensive tests you need to determine your allergies. While it's widely recognized that environmental allergens can bring on attacks, food allergies can also play a huge role--even if many in the mainstream won't acknowledge it.
But since these are the same people who've been telling you to double your steroid dose for no good reason, why listen to them?
The truth is, food allergies can cause attacks in many patients--and if you work with a doctor who can help determine what's really eating you, you can avoid those foods and the attacks that come with them.
In addition, consider a safer and more natural coping strategy such as the breathing exercises of the Buteyko method, which have helped asthmatics cut back on meds by up to 90 percent.
I think you'll agree: Cutting back is way better than doubling the dose.
About the author
Edward Martin writes House Calls, a daily letter chronicling the most cutting-edge alternative methods for beating diabetes and cancer, to the latest FDA foul-ups and Big Pharma conspiracies.
You can sign up here.