Specific Health Concern >> Lung Disease
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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses Asthma and the various causes of it. He shares information about the source of asthma and what you need to consider if you choose to get well.
When you are ready to get to the source of your asthma and leave the inhaler and other medications behind, Dr. Huntoon is ready to support that outcome.
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Lung disease refers to disorders that affect the lungs, the organs that allow us to breathe. Breathing problems caused by lung disease may prevent the body from getting enough oxygen. Examples of lung diseases are:
Lung disease is a major concern for women. The number of U.S. women diagnosed with lung disease is on the rise. More women are also dying from lung disease.
Women are more likely than men to have asthma and are more likely to die from it. The percentage of women, especially young women, with asthma is rising in the United States. Researchers are not sure why. Many experts think that air pollution and allergens play a role in this increase. Breathing tobacco smoke also is linked to an increased risk of asthma.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
A person with COPD has ongoing inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air into and out of the lungs. This irritation causes the growth of cells that make mucus. The extra mucus leads to a lot of coughing. Over time, the irritation causes the walls of the airways to thicken and develop scars. The airways may become thickened enough to limit airflow to and from the lungs. If that happens, the condition is called chronic obstructive bronchitis.
In emphysema, the lung tissue gets weak, and the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) break down. Normally, oxygen from the air goes into the blood through these air sac walls. In a person with emphysema, the ruined air sac walls means less oxygen can pass into the blood. This causes shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
More than twice as many women as men are now diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. The rate of emphysema among women has increased by 5 percent in recent years but has decreased among men. And more women have died from COPD than men every year since 2000. Researchers are trying to understand why. Cigarette smoking, a main cause of COPD, has increased among women. One theory is that cigarette smoke is more damaging to women than to men.
In the United States, more women now die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. Tobacco use is the major cause of lung cancer.
Less common lung problems that affect women include:
Pulmonary emboli. These are blood clots that travel to the lungs from other parts of the body and plug up blood vessels in the lungs. Some factors that increase your risk include being pregnant, having recently given birth, and taking birth control pills or menopausal hormone therapy. Pulmonary emboli can affect blood flow in the lungs and can reduce oxygen flow into the blood. Very large emboli can cause sudden death.
Pulmonary hypertension. This is high blood pressure in the arteries that bring blood to the lungs. It can affect blood flow in the lungs and can reduce oxygen flow into the blood.
Sarcoidosis and pulmonary fibrosis. These inflammatory diseases cause stiffening and scarring in the lungs.
LAM (lymphangioleiomyomatosis) (lim-FAN-jee-oh-LEE-oh-MEYE-oh-mah-TOH-sis). This is a rare lung disease that mostly affects women in their mid-30s and 40s. Muscle-like cells grow out of control in certain organs, including the lungs.
Influenza (the flu) and pneumonia. Flu is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus and can damage the lungs. Usually, people recover well from the flu, but it can be dangerous and even deadly for some people. Those at greater risk include older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions like asthma. Pneumonia is a severe inflammation of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Fluid builds up in the lungs and may lower the amount of oxygen that the blood can get from air that's breathed in. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2, or already have health problems. Vaccines are the best protection against flu and pneumonia.
Did You Know?
Smoking causes lung cancer and many other types of lung disease. Get help quitting. Experts don't know the causes of all types of lung disease, but they do know the causes of some. These include:
Early signs of lung disease are easy to overlook. Often, an early sign of lung disease is not having your usual level of energy.
The signs and symptoms can differ by the type of lung disease. Common signs are:
Make sure to call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Asthma can be hard to diagnose. The signs of asthma can seem like the signs of COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, anxiety, and heart disease.
Common symptoms of asthma are:
To diagnose asthma, the doctor asks about your symptoms and what seems to trigger them, reviews your health history, and does a physical exam.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may do other tests, such as:
Asthma is a chronic disease. Medicines can be used to treat asthma, but they cannot cure it. You can help control your symptoms by working with your doctor to set up and then follow a personal asthma action plan. The plan will include possible medications and ways to avoid things that trigger your asthma.
Your asthma action plan will show:
When to call your doctor or go to the emergency room
Asthma medicines work by opening the lung airways.
The medicines used to treat asthma fall into two groups: long-term control and quick relief.
Once symptoms occur, they do not give quick relief. These medicines include:
Quick-relief medicines often relieve symptoms in minutes. They do this by quickly relaxing tightened muscles around the airways. They are taken when symptoms worsen to prevent a full-blown asthma attack and to stop attacks once they have started.
Avoid things that make your asthma worse. Common asthma triggers are tobacco smoke, animal dander, dust mites, air pollution, mold, and pollens. You can try "fragrance-free" products if your asthma is triggered by fragrances. Talk to your doctor about allergy shots if your asthma symptoms are linked to allergens that you cannot avoid. The shots may lessen or prevent the symptoms but will not cure the asthma. You can reduce your exposure to air pollution by limiting your outdoor activities on days when the air quality in your neighborhood is poor.
If you have asthma and may become pregnant, talk to your doctor. Only in very severe cases might asthma be a reason to avoid becoming pregnant.
If you have asthma and become pregnant, you and your doctor can discuss the safety of your medicines. Changes in the medicines can sometimes make good sense. It is very important to manage your asthma symptoms when you are pregnant. Asthma that gets out of control can harm your baby.
You should also talk with your doctor about getting a flu shot. Flu can be very serious for anyone with asthma, but it's even more of a concern for pregnant women with asthma.
People with COPD have symptoms that develop very slowly over many years. As a result, many people ignore these symptoms until their disease has reached an advanced stage. COPD can be easily diagnosed and can be managed.
The symptoms of COPD include:
If you have some or all of these symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor.
To find out if you have COPD, the doctor will:
The main test to check for COPD is spirometry. For this test, you will be asked to take a deep breath and blow as hard as you can into a tube that is connected to a spirometer. This machine measures how much air you breathe out and how fast.
Other tests can include:
These tests create pictures of the heart and lungs. The pictures can show signs of COPD. They can also show whether your symptoms are caused by another condition, such as heart failure.
This blood test measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood. It can help determine how severe the COPD is and whether oxygen therapy is needed.
Damage to the lungs cannot be repaired. The disease can be slowed by avoiding certain exposures, though. For smokers, the best approach is to stop smoking. You should also limit your exposure to smoke, dust, fumes, and irritating vapors at home and work. Also limit outdoor activities during air pollution alerts. Treatment can relieve symptoms. Common medicines are:
For patients with COPD, doctors may also recommend:
Sometimes surgery can help people with severe COPD feel better. Lung transplant surgery is becoming more common for people with severe emphysema. Another procedure called lung volume reduction surgery is also used to treat some patients with severe COPD of the emphysema type. In this surgery, the most damaged part of each lung is removed.
Usually there are no warning signs of early lung cancer. By the time most people with lung cancer have symptoms, the cancer has become more serious.
Symptoms of lung cancer may include:
In addition, you may feel very tired, have a loss of appetite, or unexplained weight loss. If you have symptoms of lung cancer, it's important to talk to your doctor. The doctor will ask about your health history, smoking history, and exposure to harmful substances. He or she will also do a physical exam and may suggest some tests.
Common tests for diagnosis of lung cancer include:
Testing for cancer before a person has any symptoms is called screening. Screening may help find cancers early, when they may be easier to treat.
Many studies show that screening smokers with x-rays or sputum cytology does not save lives. But recently a major study showed that CT scans of older people who smoke a lot (or used to smoke a lot) can save lives. You can learn more about the results of the study, which is called the National Lung Screening Trial. Experts are still working to figure out who should get CT screening. There are risks and benefits to screening for lung cancer.
For now, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes no recommendation either for or against routine screening for lung cancer. If you're concerned about your lung cancer risk, talk to your doctor about whether screening is right for you. Of course, the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke.
Sometimes lung cancer treatments are used to try to cure the cancer. Other times, treatments are used to stop the cancer from spreading and to relieve symptoms.
Your specific treatment will depend on:
Surgery is used to remove the lung tissue that has the cancerous tumor. Sometimes a large part of a lung or all of it is removed. When the cancer has not spread, surgery can cure the patient.
Radiation therapy uses a machine to aim high-energy x-rays at the tumor. This energy kills cancer cells. Radiation therapy can relieve pain and make a person feel better.
Chemotherapy uses medicine to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy medicines can be given through a vein or taken as a pill.
Targeted therapy uses medicine to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. It can be given through a vein or taken as a pill.
Things you can do to reduce your risk of lung diseases include:
Medicines Two Choices for You
Dr. Huntoon has years of experience in helping those with Lung Health issues.
Understanding the emotional component and using NET to address those emotions (grief, sadness, yearning, cloudy thinking or anguish as primary emotions) becomes vital in resolving Lung Health concerns. Also, by supporting lung function by giving Whole Food Supplemental support and using homeopathic preparations to restore balance to the whole respiratory system is necessary when dealing with Lung Health concerns. This has always proven effective when helping people resolve their Lung Health issues.
Also, working with the other two components of the Metal Element, the Large Intestine and the Skin becomes important, as each of the 3 organs depends on the others for proper balanced function. Using the 7 Pillars of Health to do this has helped many overcome their Lung health issues and go back to a normal life.
Working with a Holistic Chiropractor who is well versed in respiratory conditions and has a proven track record with helping these types of conditions is warranted. Appreciate the restoring proper nerve communication both to and from your lungs using chiropractic manipulation to facilitate better functioning between your brain and the rest of your Central Nervous System goes a long way to restoring balance and function to your lungs.
Understanding the imbalance or pathology associated with your respiratory system and addressing the underlying CAUSE is always better than masking things with medication. This form of care, natural and holistic care, will create a better overall outcome versus being tied to medications that allow your condition to get worse.
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon