In last week’s post we discussed using either the Asthma or Allergy Report when someone makes an appointment to see you for asthma. To add to that, any existing patient with asthma should be given the report to read. We also discussed what to do on the consultation/first visit and what a treatment program for asthma might look like. This post will cover some of the intricacies of helping asthmatics with SET-DB™.
Things to look out for
Soy. Asthma symptoms are common to soy sensitivity and soy products are literally everywhere. (I had an old Mercedes that had vegetable waxes covering important wiring in the engine compartment that unfortunately was cracking. I bet it was soy.) Soy sensitivity should be handled in the Grain BioSurvey but be mindful of it when adjusting the Range.
Caffeine sensitivity is a common asthma trigger. Watch for a history of unusual reactions to foods like coffee, energy drinks, and even chocolate. They may be getting a dose of it with an OTC NSAID, too. You, of course, would need to check for sensitivity to the foods themselves. Treating for caffeine sensitivity can be helpful to anyone thinking of giving it up as a way to avoid those awful withdrawal headaches.
Salt. Sodium sensitivity will be cleared in the Mineral BioSurvey, but don’t forget about salt sensitivity; it’s a common instigator of asthma symptoms. It’s in the Food Additives BioSurvey.
Salicylates are chemicals both found naturally in food as well as added to food, usually as preservatives. They can trigger hyperactivity, nasal congestion, and asthma attacks. Run an internet search on salicylate sensitivity or intolerance and see how many websites there are dedicated to it. It will boggle your mind. This is taken care of by running the Salicylates BioSurvey.
Here’s another reason to run the Food Additives BioSurvey: asthma symptoms are often triggered by foods other than salt. MSG, sulfates, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and sodium nitrite come to mind. In my opinion, MSG should be avoided altogether.
Check a patient’s drinking water, especially if they drink tap water (few people I know drink untreated water directly from the tap). Also check it with patients suffering from eczema or hives.
Epidermals. This group can be important for any asthmatic, even those who don’t have pets. Cat dander can linger for years in buildings that aren’t cleaned well between tenants (it can cling to the walls!). Plus, they may have materials found in this group in their home or workplace and not even know. The allergens become airborne and inhaled right into the lungs.
Mold and Fungus. It’s rare to see an asthma sufferer who wasn’t sensitive to mold and fungus, but especially candida. Recall the case I’ve related several times of the daughter of a doctor with whom I shared space that had a chronic problem with candida. One SET was all it took to clear the problem. Treating Mold and Fungus could easily yield great results for one of your asthmatic patients.
This and that
Sensitivity load phenomenon. I think close to 85–90% of the population has sensitivities, likely many inherited. Most of the time they can handle them without experiencing symptoms; the immune system, nervous system, etc., can take care of business in the background. But everyone has a threshold that if they pass, they’ll have symptoms. They can motor past the threshold when under stress: emotional, physical, mental, chemical, etc. Usually it’s a combination of different stressors but many times it’s one severe stressor, such as a death in the family or a serious illness. Just understanding this can help a patient through a tough time.
I bet you didn’t know that 5–15% of asthma cases are caused by exposure to on-the-job irritants. Not to say tell your patient to quit their job, but rather be aware of groups like Fumes and Chemicals when treating an asthmatic. For instance, a study done in England showed that people who cooked with gas were 2½ times more likely to suffer asthma attacks. If it’s due to sensitivity, you can fix that. People’s cars and homes can be filled with volatile organic compounds that may need to be treated.
As you’ll read in the systemic enzyme paragraph below, circulating immune complexes can deposit in lung tissue and initiate lung symptoms like wheezing and excessive mucus production. All the more reason for patients to go through an entire treatment program.
One last category: hormones. You’d be surprised to learn that asthma symptoms can be triggered by hormone sensitivities.
Useful supplements for asthma
Digestive enzymes. While I think everyone should take a good plant-based digestive enzyme, people with asthma should definitely take one. Why? One of the largest, if not the largest, way antigens enter the body is through a leaky gut. A digested food is far less likely to cause a sensitivity than one only partially digested (or not digested at all).
There are many good digestive enzymes on the market. I used Pure Encapsultions Digestive Enzyme Ultra. Swansons Vitamins sells a budget-friendly formulation called n-zymes that uses enzymes made by National Enzyme Co.
RespiraTone from Professional Formulas. (I think you have to have an account to see the product.) You know how some products just work? Almost every time? This is one of those. It worked so well we also had it in stock. It can be helpful for patients who have just started a treatment program. It’s composed of nine herbs with a history of usefulness for lung conditions.
Systemic enzymes. Like digestive enzymes, I think every adult should take a systemic enzyme. Specific for asthma, systemic enzymes help to reduce circulating immune complexes, which, when there are too many or when they get too big, can initiate sensitivity reactions in lung tissue.
Most professional supplement companies offer a systemic enzyme and we tried a lot of them. We settled on Serraflazyme serrapeptase from Cardiovascular Research. I have a bottle sitting on my nightstand, to remind me to take it when I go to bed and get up. Unlike products like Wobezyme, where you might be taking 15 tablets a day, the dosage for most people is one tiny tablet twice a day, on an empty stomach.
Couple these three things with a customized homeopathic remedy from an OSST and you’ve got potent options to assist asthmatics while they go through a sensitivity elimination treatment program.
If you weren’t before, I hope you’re now confident there is plenty you can offer someone suffering from asthma. You may even offer them complete relief.
Last week’s post discussed four potential triggers for asthma: food sensitivities, environmental antigens and toxins, digestive problems, and stress. The post began by explaining that it’s better for patients to go through a complete treatment program but that not all could or would, for financial or other reasons. This post will lay out a suggested approach to helping asthma sufferers with SET-DB™.
Asthma and/or Allergy Report
When anyone calls to make an appointment for sensitivity work, they should be told you require them to read one of your reports prior to the appointment. If all you have is the Allergy Report, that will be the one they’ll need to read.
If they have asthma, they should read the Asthma Report because it’s more specific to their condition and does a better job of explaining how you can help them with their particular health challenge. If you don’t have the Asthma Report edited and ready to use, take a few hours this week and get it done. Then get the Kids and Allergies Report done, if you haven’t already. They’re all extremely useful for helping get people into your office for sensitivity elimination treatment (SET) and will save you a ton of time on their initial visit.
And have them printed as I explain in the Practitioner Manual. Don’t be cheap and staple letter-sized sheets of paper together. The reports will look, well, cheap, and reflect poorly on you. Plus people are more likely to read a report printed as I teach because they look more legitimate.
The Asthma Report is also a great way to educate existing non-SET patients about the treatment without coming across as “salesy.” You simply hand them the report and ask them to read it. No sales talk, no pressure. Let the report do all the work. If they’re interested they’ll ask about it next time they come in or call to set up an appointment. If they’re not interested they will appreciate not being pressured and will return for the services you’ve already provided them with.
I considered (almost) all first visits to be consultations, for which I didn’t charge. They became first visits when the individual agree to receive treatment (and to pay for it that day). Another option is to charge a nominal fee, like $25. Your choice.
Three BioSurveys should be run, then printed and discussed with the patient:
The Consultation Symptom Questionnaire can be very helpful as an asthmatic will likely have symptoms related to food sensitivities. Actually, most asthmatics will have other conditions related to food sensitivities. It’s rare for someone to present with only one condition.
The OSST may or may not show high stress in the lungs even though you or the patient may feel it should. Trust the findings, not your preconceived thoughts. “Today your greatest stress is in your pancreas.” Then you explain how running the full OSST would produce a homeopathic remedy (or whatever you’re using, if you’ve substituted something else for the drainage formulas) that help remove the stress from all or most of their stressed areas. Then you would say something like:
“But as you read in my report, asthma is largely related to food and environmental sensitivities (or allergies, if you’re using that term). Let’s talk about those results.”
You’d then go over the Category Scan, then Common Food Scan as discussed in the Practitioner Manual, adapting the language for asthma as well as any other symptoms or conditions they present with.
Suggested treatment program for asthma
Note: Because of the new BioSurveys added recently, the Foods and Nutrients treatment program now has 25 categories. Recall you can download a PDF for each BioSurvey here.
A complete treatment program would include Inhalants and Foods and Nutrients, a total of 34 treatments. You might need to substitute or add Bacteria and Viruses. I would do the treatments in the following order:
Next week I’ll cover some of the more problematic categories, which can help fashion a treatment program for patients who can’t/won’t go through the entire treatment program.
Asthma is a huge health problem worldwide. Here in the U.S. about 8% of the population has asthma—around 25 million people—including many children. And it’s a problem on the rise.
SET-DB™ practitioners are concerned with addressing the root causes of many of their patients and clients health concerns, not just giving them something for symptom relief. With asthma, I believe the root cause is immune dysfunction of the hyperactivity or hyperreactivity type, as opposed to autoimmunity or weakened immunity.
You’ve seen me write many times that a sensitivity to anything can cause a symptom anywhere in the body. Which is why I recommend having patients go through treatment programs instead of asking you to try and guess what food or environmental substances are causing or contributing to their symptoms.
Not everyone will agree to go through a complete treatment program and some practitioners, for reasons I can’t understand, chose not to offer them, so in the next three posts I will outline a recommended treatment approach for people suffering from asthma.
I’d like to suggest four potential asthma triggers.
1. Food Sensitivities
Diet is, of course, one of the biggest triggers for asthma, as well as many other conditions. The most common food sensitivities are (no big surprise) gluten and diary. Unfortunately for most patients, they have no idea that gluten or dairy can trigger their symptoms because their primary physicians simply don’t know they could be part of the problem. Probably 99% of asthma sufferers are only treated with palliative medications. (I’m not implying they aren’t needed, only that little or nothing is done to look for causation. “You have asthma. Take these medications.”)
Let’s say a patient reads something that suggests gluten can cause asthma symptoms in some people and asks their doctor about it. Even if the doctor listens to them and orders tests, all they’d look for would be alphagliadin in the stool and possibly an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase. (Many doctors will not diagnose celiac disease unless these two tests are positive.) These markers are commonly elevated in people with gluten intolerance, but certainly not always. However, there are other proteins, and metabolites of proteins, in gluten foods they could and usually do react to.
What happens then is most people are sent away from with the assurance they do not have a problem with gluten, when in fact they do. They keep eating it and it keeps causing asthma (and other) symptoms.
This is what makes the Gluten/Gliadin, Grains, and Wheat Digestion BioSurveys so important. Together they contain 107 items, many components of gluten foods, patients need to be checked and treated for if necessary.
And then there’s dairy, which people with asthma are often sensitive to (especially children). Medical testing for dairy sensitivity isn’t very good, if it’s done at all. Physicians knowledgable about gluten or dairy sensitivity might tell their patients to eliminate them from their diet for ninety days to see if their symptoms improve. If the symptoms do improve, and they reintroduce dairy or gluten back into their diet and feel worse, they know they can’t eat it anymore.
If you’ve been on an elimination diet, or have supervised some, you know they are fraught with pitfalls. One, they’re difficult for most people to adhere to—the failure rate is high—because so many people are used to eating out now. The vast majority of people in the U.S. eat at a fast food restaurant at least once a day. Gluten and dairy abound in restaurant food. Two, most people don’t know that gluten- and dairy-containing ingredients are hidden in many foods. So even if they’re eating at home, they’re likely using supermarket products that contain gluten or dairy. The end result is, they feel the elimination diet didn’t help them much and so think gluten and dairy are okay to keep consuming.
It’s so much better to be treated for gluten and dairy sensitivities with SET-DB™.
Also, did you know that about half of celiac sufferers are also sensitive to dairy? They continue to suffer even after eliminating gluten from their diet.
As I said earlier, any food can trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. One mechanism is through a leaky gut (also called intestinal permeability). Incompletely digested foods, or foods complexed with immune cells, find their way into areas of the body they shouldn’t be in. Some enter the portal vein, then the liver. If they make it past the liver they’ll go right to the lungs, which act as a secondary filter. The lungs may suffer circulating immune complex-triggered inflammation.
Lastly, let’s talk about histamine, an important mediator of the immune system (also called a signaling molecule). Symptoms common to hayfever sufferers are largely caused by too much histamine being released into the lining of their upper respiratory tract and eyes, as well as into the bloodstream.
Histamine is responsible for two main effects in an inflammatory response: dilating blood vessels and making them more permeable to allow more fluid to pass from the bloodstream into the tissues. This allows for immune reinforcements to arrive, but also results in localized swelling, edema, and redness.
Eliminating sensitivities, especially airborne irritants, reduces histamine release and helps relieve asthma symptoms. But did you know histamine is also found in food? This is another way foods can trigger asthma symptoms. Treatment for histamine sensitivity is addressed in two BioSurveys we’ll discuss in a later post.
2. Environmental Antigens and Toxins
Most, but certainly not all, asthma sufferers are sensitive to things like trees, weeds, grass, dust, mold, and the other categories found in the Hayfever Treatment Package. These substances can have a bigger impact on asthma symptoms because they are inhaled directly into the respiratory system.
This area also includes toxins, some we get exposed to without our permission and some we can only blame ourselves for as we purposefully bring them into our home or work environment. Examples can be found in common household cleaners and personal care products, mold or dust mites we’ve neglected to eliminate or prevent from populating, products purchased to eradicate insects or unwanted plants, or any of thousands of other products made for the home or work.
We’re exposed to incredibly large amounts of toxins in our environment these days and we are unaware of most of that exposure. Companies produce more than 6.5 trillion pounds of over 9,000 different chemicals today. A staggering amount.
These toxins can play a significant role in chronic disease conditions, including asthma. Obviously we should we our best to avoid them when we can. Exposure in our homes and businesses that we own is largely under our control. We can use non- or less-toxic products, purchase air and water filters, and use personal care products free of harsh ingredients. But when we go outside or visit places not under our control, we are exposed to large amounts of environmental irritants and toxins. This exposure has a much greater negative effect on asthma sufferers.
SET-DB™ can eliminate sensitivities to these substances and thus can help reduce symptoms, significantly in some cases. But, a toxin is still a toxin and should be avoided when possible.
3. Digestive Problems
We briefly discussed leaky gut earlier. The gut doesn’t become leaky for no reason so it’s important to consider its causes. Here are some possible causes:
We’ll discuss this further in a future post.
This is a broad topic, no doubt. The connection between stress and immune dysfunction has been known for thousands of years. Stress impacts the immune system in many ways and is widely deemed to be a notable trigger for autoimmune disease. And fibromyalgia. I think most of my fibromyalgia patients could trace the beginning of the condition back to an especially stressful time in their life. Death of a loved one, severe illness, an accident or injury, etc.
Who hasn’t noticed that they’re more prone to come down with something when they’re stressed? Students are more susceptible to illness when finals are approaching. It’s obvious stress impacts the immune system.
Disrupted or inadequate amounts of sleep can stress the immune system. About one-third of people now get fewer than six hours of sleep a night. In the 1960s that number was about two percent. Sleep depravation can lead to cortisol dysfunction: too little or too much produced or at the wrong times. Inflammation goes up and immune regulation gets disrupted.
So these are four major triggers of asthma: food sensitivities, environmental antigens and toxins, digestive problems, and stress. In the next post we’ll further discuss a SET-DB™-oriented approach to asthma.
Dr. Teryl Boothe and selected guests.