Sunday, May 2, 2010

Emphysema: Treatment Options

Emphysema is a progressive, chronic lung disorder which is recognized
as one of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)- others
from the group are- Bronchial Asthma and Chronic Bronchitis. This
group of lung disorders are known for presenting symptom of 'shortness
of breath'.

In Emphysema, air sacs- medically known as alveoli- get functionally
or structurally destroyed to keep up their function to transport the
oxygen to blood. Combined with narrowing of air-passages (as it
happens in Bronchitis) it becomes difficult to breathe out.

Emphysema is generally an irreversible problem but functional
improvement is achievable in most cases. A physician would normally
prescribe Bronchodialators and/ or steroids and in extreme cases
recommend the surgical removal of most affected part of the lung/s.

In Naturopathy, however- there are are two lines of treatment.

One, a more general form of treatment- which in every case, recommends
a thorough detoxification or removal of toxins from the body. Luke
warm water Enema or Colon Therapy is the first step. A diet rich in
antioxidants and dietary fibres is recommended. Freshly squeezed
seasonal fruit/ vegetable juices (especially of the citrus fruits) are
of great help.

Two, specific treatments. Warm water bags on the back help with
breathing difficulty as also the Feet soaked in a bucket of bearable
hot temperature before retiring to the bed (if there is no associated
swelling of the feet due to Emphysema). Use of Jala neti pot twice a
day, calm the nerves and help in broncho-dialation.

Nutritionally speaking, there are food supplements which can be tried
in this case. 200 mg of N-Acetyl Cysteine thrice a day and 2 gm of L-
Carnitine twice a day help with repair/ prevention of further loss to
the lung tissue. These derivatives of Amino Acids have shown
consistent results with Emphysema cases.

Most important intervention however is, to stop 'SMOKING' any further,
without which an improvement can not be expected.

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