Respiratory System

What happens during a cold?

While the flu is caused by influenza virus, the common cold is caused by another virus, the rhinovirus.  Symptoms often include feeling bad, headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, itchy eyes, coughing and sometimes a low grade fever.  The rhinovirus is spread in the same way that the flu virus is through the nasal and respiratory secretions.  This means that when an individual coughs into

Woman sneezing into a tissue

Sneezing is one off the symptoms of the common cold

their hands or sneezes on an object the virus can be spread to the next person when it is transmitted to their hands in they touches their nose, mouth or eyes.  Sometimes the virus is spread directly when an individual sneezes in the area of another person’s face.

People become more susceptible to catching a cold, or the virus multiplying at such a rate inside the body that the immune system is not able to contain it before becoming sick, because of several different factors in their life.  The first is an underlying medical condition which adversely affects the immune system, such as diabetes, asthma, HIV or AIDS.  Another factor is rest.  When we do not get enough sleep each night our immune system is depressed, and we are no longer able to fight off the environmental toxins and waste products which cause illness.  Sugar will depress the immune system as can inappropriate nutritional intake.  We truly are what we eat, and when we do not provide our body adequate nutritional factors such as vitamins and minerals, we suffer overall poor health.

The University of Calgary scientist from Canada confirmed in late 2008 that it is the response of our immune system to the rhinovirus that causes the cold symptoms and not the rhinovirus itself.  There are over 100 different types of viruses that can cause the common cold, however, the human right of virus is a major cause.  The research was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and was the first time that scientists comprehensively reviewed the gene changes in the rhinovirus.

And, while the rhinovirus is the major cause of the common cold, it is also an important pathogen in other conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  For instance, researchers have found that children who get recurrent rhinovirus wheezing early in life are 10 times more likely to develop asthma later in life.

Symptoms usually occur within one to three days after catching the Cole or being exposed to the virus.  They often start with a burning feeling in the nose or throat.  Many individuals go on to experience sneezing, runny nose and the feeling of being tired and less specifically on well. It was once believed that dark mucus or yellow mucus meant you had developed a bacterial infection, but researchers today understand that this is not the case.

Some individuals will develop a mild to moderate cough and those who have asthma may find that their control of their disease has suddenly disappeared.  Usually there is no fever, but sometimes individuals can experience a mild, low grade fever of less than 100°F.  After about three days, the worst of the symptoms is usually over.  However, you can continue to experience congestion for over a week.

During the first three days, you have a cold you are contagious to others, so it is best to stay home and rest so that you don’t spread the virus to other people and that you will recover much more quickly.

If you continue to feel bad for over a week to 10 days you should seek the advice of your primary care physician who may do sinus x-rays or a nasal swab to determine if you are suffering from another illness.  Complications can ensue individuals who have a compromised immune system and can include bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis or worsening of their asthma.

Colds is usually seen in young children just before they develop an ear infection because of the drainage of the fluid behind the eardrum and the likelihood that they will develop a bacterial infection.

Preventing a cold is so much easier than suffering through one so avoid second hand smoke, unnecessary antibiotics, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.  Some research has found that bacteria in yogurt has helped in the prevention of colds.  Wash your hands whenever you feel you may have come in contact with the germs and periodically throughout the day.  Keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes and use paper towels to dry your hands during the cold season instead of sharing a cloth towel.

Of course you want to avoid getting the common cold. The best way to prevent this, is using the same principles you would use to prevent the flu.

The difference between Stomach flu and the other flu

Do you know the difference between the flu and the stomach flu?

While “stomach flu” is a popular term, it is not a correct medical diagnosis. These are actually two different diagnosis caused by two different types of irritants. The correct term for the stomach flu is gastroenteritis.  ‘Gastro’ meaning stomach, ‘enter’ relating to the intestines and ‘itis’ meaning inflammation.

People who are suffering from gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu, will have irritation or inflammation of the stomach and intestines, the gastrointestinal tract.  Gastroenteritis can be caused by either virus, bacteria or a parasite and does not necessarily need to be caused by an infectious process.  Triggers for gastroenteritis can include lactose intolerance or other allergic reactions to specific food types.

On the other hand, the flu is caused by a virus known as influenza.  The flu often mimics the same symptoms as a respiratory cold except that it begins much more quickly with symptoms of fatigue, fever and respiratory congestion.  Individuals who suffer from an upper respiratory infection, also known as the common cold, may also suffer from a low grade fever; but individuals who are experiencing the flu will generally have a fever greater than 100° Fahrenheit.

There are over 100 different types of viruses that can cause the common cold, yet only influenza virus types A, B and C will cause the flu.  However, while there are only three different types of influenza that cause the flu, all of these types are capable of genetic mutation and developing different strains each year.  The flu will also lead to more severe or life-threatening illnesses, such as pneumonia, in individuals who are immune suppressed or who have other underlying medical conditions which make their overall health precarious.  Individuals who are older, young children, those suffering from AIDS, cancer or other milder chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma, may suffer more severe affects from having the flu.

Treatment for each of these conditions will vary depending upon the individual’s overall health and the underlying reason for the condition.  In other words, in a normal, healthy, young male or female additional treatment for the flu may not be necessary.  Individuals are able to recover from this illness by increasing the amount of fluids that they drink each day, getting plenty of rest and good nutrition.  However, individuals who have asthma or cancer may find that they need supportive care that is hospital-based rather than home-based.  Within the hospital, physicians and nurses will be able to administer intravenous fluids, oxygen and antibiotics for those who go on to develop pneumonia.

Gastroenteritis, sometimes called the stomach flu, may include a headache, fever and swollen lymph glands depending upon the particular germ that is causing the symptoms.  However, the individual will also suffer from abdominal cramping, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Individuals can experience gastroenteritis from food poisoning, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic reactions, parasite infections or viruses and bacteria.

In severe cases, the individual will lose a significant amount of body fluid that can result in dehydration.  Unfortunately, it does not take the loss of too much fluid in order to induce a medical situation that requires immediate attention of a physician.  Signs of dehydration can include lightheadedness; increased thirst; dry, sticky, mucous membranes; lack of normal elasticity of the skin and decrease the output of urine or tears. Individuals who have gastroenteritis may find they are unable to keep water in their stomachs without vomiting or may find they are unable to keep up with their fluid needs because of severe diarrhea.

For the most part, individuals who suffer from gastroenteritis can be treated at home with good, supportive care.  In common cases, such as viruses or allergic reactions to a particular food, individuals are able to recover nicely from gastroenteritis without significant medical intervention.  You can avoid dehydration by sipping clear fluids and gradually introducing a bland diet that includes bananas, rice, apple sauce and dry toast.  This diet is often referred to as the BRAT diet.  Eating bland dry foods makes it easier for the digestive system to accommodate the nutrition and calories and is unlikely to irritate a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.

When physicians or medical personnel are discussing the flu they are referring to the respiratory condition caused by influenza.  When referring to the stomach virus medical personnel may call it “stomach flu” or will more correctly call it a gastroenteritis or stomach virus.

The differentiation between these two diagnoses is usually easy to discern.  However, some people who suffer from the influenza virus will also have vomiting and diarrhea making the differentiation slightly more challenging.  These symptoms are usually rare but may happen when individuals suffer from a normally sensitive stomach and then experience the influenza virus.

So, the next time you tell someone you have the flu be sure to these specific about exactly what illness you really did experience!

 

 

Cleveland Clinic: Gastroenteritis
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Viral Gastroenteritis
KidsHealth.org: What is the Flu?
MayoClinic.com: Dehydration

How to Prevent the Flu with Home Remedies

It is not always possible to protect ourselves against the influenza virus. This is because of the numerous different strains of the influenza virus. However, there are several things you can do in order to prevent a flu infection. The main thing is that you need to maintain a healthy immune system.

Follow these helpful hints to maintain a healthy immune system and reduce your chance of becoming infected with the influenza virus this season:

Wash your hands regularly

washing hands, flu prevention

By washing your hands, you will decrease the likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose or mouth. Follow these 3 best handwashing technique.

  1. Use warm water
  2. Work up a good amount of soap all the way up to your wrists for at least 10 or 15 seconds.
  3. Clean all surfaces including the back of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and the often overlooked area; the fingernails.

The whole procedure should take preferably 1 ½ minute.

Don’t be tempted to use antibacterial soaps because this will be of no help. We are dealing with a virus and not a bacteria. The only thing you are likely to achieve is spreading an antibiotic resistant bacteria. Today researchers and doctors know that taking anti biotic or using anti bacteria soaps will only increase the chance that you will develop a bacterial infection.

After washing, spray some colloidal Silver on to your hands and rub this in. Use this also if you want to, safely, clean the surfaces of  doorknobs, cutlery, telephones, mouse, keyboards etc.

The properties of colloidal silver have been known and documented for decades. By using this transdermally, the silver can help you in a safe way fighting of the invaders.

Get enough sleep

Make sure you get enough sleep. Regular rest will help keep you strong and help your immune system fight of any potential invaders. Your rest should be of high quality, and if you have trouble sleeping, then have a look at sleeping problems

Remember, the more rested you are, the quicker you will recover.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of your immune system. It helps to move the lymph system through the body, sheds unwanted pounds, removes toxins, improves Vitamin D production when done outside and improves blood circulation throughout the extremities.

Exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in finding an illness before it has a chance to spread.

 Decrease your stress

When you have a very stressful lifestyle (which most of us have), it is very important to decrease the amount of stress. Stress wears you emotionally and physically down. Being under too much stress or too long, will have a negative impact on your immune system. Your defences will be too weak to keep any invader out. It’s like opening your home for everybody and anybody.

Learn to manage your stress by eliminating the persons or situation which cause an increase in the stress level that you feel each day. You may believe it is impossible to remove these situations from your life, but it is much more difficult to accommodate your lifestyle to the stress related illnesses in which it can result.

You can also benefit using the following stress reducing tips:

Most importantly doing something that you like or even love doing. If you don’t have a hobby, it is really important to find one. If you type in “list of hobbies” in Google, you’ll find several interesting sites. Especially from Wikipedia  They have a very good and inspirational list of all sorts of hobbies. Really worthwhile to have a look at. Even if you already have hobbies but want to start something completely different. You could also have a look at bookshops or libraries for hobby books and magazines.

Positive mindset

By keeping a positive mindset, you will find it easier to stay relaxed and at the same time have a healthy immune system with maximized defences. This will help  you minimize the risk of becoming ill and help you recover faster when you have become ill.

Get your nutrition right.

We really are what we eat, which means that our diets and the foods that we consume each day, will have a significant impact on your immune system.

Eliminate as much processed foods and sugar from your diet as possible. A teaspoon of sugar will have an immediate and negative impact on your immune system for up to six hours. It is better satisfying your taste buds with sweet organic fruit than with ice cream or chocolate.

Alkaline / Acid Balanceacid alkaline balance front cover, flu prevention

By eating more alkaline food (large amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits) and lowering the acidic foods such as meats, dairy, sugary foods, fast foods, pastas and white food products, you will be able to support your immune system much better. How to maintain the best balance is explained the book Simple Steps to Optimum Health by Roddy MacDonald.

Vitamin C

Research has found that vitamin C will help to boost the immune system and increase the number of white blood cells which are produced in the body in order to help fight the influenza virus. Vitamin C can be taken as supplements using the dosage as suggested on the bottle. The purest form of Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, but when ingested it can cause aggressive stomach and bowel activity. When taken transdermally the bowel and stomach are bypassed, and the product is fed straight into the bloodstream. Here you will find more info about Transdermal Vitamin C.

Be sure that you do not take vitamin C supplements or fruit with vitamin C in the evening because it will keep you awake.

Minerals

Because our body needs about 64 minerals to function normally and vitamins and minerals need each other, it is important to take in mineral plant-derived supplements. In How to Avoid Mineral Depletion in Your Food it is explained why we don’t have the minerals in our food anymore and therefore the need of supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a potent antibiotic, increasing the body’s proteins production, called antimicrobial peptides. These proteins destroy the cell wands of bacteria, funghi and viruses, which includes the flu! This will decrease the length of any illness caused by viruses and bacteria.

Simply the best way to get vitamin D is from safe sun exposure. But this needs to be done on a daily basis with as much skin exposed to the sun.

Now this is not really appealing during the winter, even 5 minutes are a big challenge, let alone anything longer than that. So the next best thing is taking a vitamin D supplement. This should be vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). If you have liver or kidney problems, make sure that you read the section “Vitamin D supplements” in Vitamin D and Sunshine from Dr. Sarah Myhill.

Omega 3 Fats

Omega 3 fats, EPA & DHA, are essential in supporting your immune system as research has shown. They help us by providing a greater resistance to common illnesses as the flu.

Detox Your Body and Stay Hydrated

Drink as much water as possible each day to help flush out toxins and waste products. This actually helps to decrease the workload on the kidneys and improves your immune system.

Drinking a Nettle herbal tea will help you cleanse your body and blood and give some extra nutrition. Make sure you still drink extra water because Nettle has a drying effect on your body.

 

Check out our special Flu Prevention Packet. This packet will help your immune system keeping the flu at bay.

Asthma, Natural Home Remedies

As the conventional medicine used for asthma only treats the symptoms and not the problem it has often worsened the condition over a longer period of time.

Because of that, more and more people are turning to alternative remedies.

Nutritional Therapy

Magnesium
Because the magnesium acts a natural bronchodilator this means that it will relax and open up the bronchial tract, the airway to the lungs that becomes smaller during asthma attacks. It’s recommended taking a daily 500 mg supplement of either magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate for 6 months.

Vitamin D / Sunshine
William Grant, who directs the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center, a research and education organization based in San Francisco, suspects that sun exposure and higher 25(OH)D levels may confer protection against other illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), asthma, and infectious diseases.

Vitamin B12
Not getting enough vitamin B12 leads to a deficiency which causes the red blood cells that are produced to be larger than normal and unable to function properly. It affects people of all ages. Vitamin deficiencies often go unnoticed and it can be difficult to pinpoint the underlying cause of the wide ranging symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. The fact that the body does not store this important substance efficiently means that to avoid the levels of Vitamin B12 depleting rapidly it must be regularly absorbed into the body from food or using supplements.
The best supplement is one that will be absorbed by the skin, because using an oral version doesn’t reach the body in the amount that it needs, when you have a deficiency. Go to http://www.neemgenie.co.uk/imported-products/transdermal-vitamin-b12/prod_74.html

Fatty Accids
One of the most most important steps is to reduce the lung inflammation. The asthma attack causes the lungs to be inflamed which makes it harder to breath.

The natural way to reduce the imflammation is using the omega’s 3 found in fish and flaxseed oil. In asthma you have two kinds of inflammatory responses. The first one is an acute inflammatory response and the second one is a “late-phase” inflammatory reaction that can occur up to 24 hours later and could last for weeks.
This “late-phase” response is now believed to be the cause of cronic asthma and tissue damage and this can be stopped by using omega 3 fatty acids.

You can eat salmon, tuna and mackerel, three or four times a week. You can also use capsules. If you don’t like fish or the fish capsules than you can also use flaxseed oil, which is also rich in omega 3’s. Take 2 tablespoons a day.
If you’re sensitive to aspirin it could be that you’re also sensitive to fish oil. Take the fish oil only after you’ve checked this with your physician. Also, if you have a high risk of stroke as well as asthma, talk to your doctor before taking fish oil as fish oil may increase the risk of stroke in some people.

Anti oxidants
Our body produces unstable, cell-damaging molecules called free radicals.
When there is an inflammation in the body the level of free readicals rises. Because of this behaviour the theory is that these free radicals are doing much of the damage in asthma.

When using supplements with anti oxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E you can control the free radicals and limit their damage.
It’s recommended to take daily supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E 3.000 milligrams of vitamin C (split in to three doses, but not taken later than about 6:00 pm because vitamin C can keep you awake), 15 milligrams of beta-carotene.

Chinese herbal remedies

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
This Chinese remedy boasts several healthful effects, including an ability to reduce allergies. Reishi inhibits some of the body chemicals that trigger inflammation, including histamine. In China it is used to treat asthma and other allergic disease. It’s available in capsules, tablets, syrups and teas. Typical Dosage: up to five 420 milligram capsules per day, or up to three 1.000 milligram tablets up to three times per day.

Ginger
In China Ginger tea is a popular treatment for asthma. You can make the tea yourself by using fresh ginger or you can by ginger tea in the health food stores.
When you make it yourself press a fresh ginger to extract the juice, and then use 1 teaspoon of the liquid to 1 cup of hot water.

Ginkgo
Ginkgo contains ginkgolides, which are compounds that relaxes constricted bronchial tubes and smoothes the lung tissue. The bark and leaves of this tree are used as a tea because of their effectiveness in the treatment of asthma. You can also use the seeds of Ginkgo to make a decoction for asthma. Combine the seeds with other herbs, such as ma huang, elecampane or mulberry leaves to treat both asthma and coughs.

What the Chinese call ma huang is also known as ephedra. For centuries, the Chinese have been stir-frying ephedra roots in honey and mixing them with apricot kernels. They find this preparation effective to treat asthma and a host of other illnesses.
Ma huang is the source of ephedrine, an active ingredient in many of our modern allergy and cold medications. Ephedrine causes the release of epinephrine, the quickly active stimulant component of adrenaline, used today to treat asthma by relaxing smooth muscle bronchoconstriction. Ma huang is available in health food stores and Oriental markets.
Be careful do; do not use ma huang if you are pregnant or when you suffer from hypertension.

Acupressure

Working like acupuncture without needles, this therapy aims to balance the body’s energy flow. It is assumed that acupressure has a similar, but weaker effect on the body than acupuncture.
People with asthma could benefit from a acupressure therapy.

Earthing
Earthing™ (re-connecting with the earth) is a recent idea. It is based on scientific evidence confirming the long-suspected necessity for barefoot contact with the earth. Modern science has determined that standing barefoot on the earth (or otherwise connecting to the natural frequencies of the earth) has a wide variety of effects on the human body.

Standing barefoot on the earth (or otherwise connecting to the natural frequencies of the earth) connects the human body with an unlimited supply of free electrons resident in and on the surface of the earth.
Standing barefoot on the earth also connects the human body with rhythmic cycles of the earth’s energy field. These appear important for synchronizing biological clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms.
Earthing is not a disease treatment. Earthing, like a restorative period at the seaside, is one of nature’s gifts that can help the body to restore healthy operation. Symptoms are your own experience of a dysfunction. Reduction in symptoms means the body is addressing an imbalance in a better way. The changes that earthing brings for many people hints at a systemic rebalancing process.
In a month long, blinded study with 60 subjects who suffered from self-described sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain for at least six months, other found significant benefits in subjective sleep, pain, and well-being feedback. Some subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension while sleeping grounded.

Herbal Remedies
Make a tea of fresh or dried Eucalyptus leaves or use Fennel seeds. They both contain rutin, which is a bioflavonoid, which can reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Drink the tea without milk, sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is better to use liquorice root or honey as a sweetener.

Fennel tea: Add 2 teaspoons of lightly crushed fennel seeds in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain before drinking.

Eucalyptus tea: Standard dosage medicinal use: Take 3 times a day a teacup. The dosage for children and elderly people should be less. For elderly people use half the dosage (this because the metabolism slows down with age) and for children Give children under two years a fifth of the adult dose and let this slowly up to a quarter of children from 3 or 4 years (depending on the weight of the child), a third for children of 6 or 7 years, half of children aged 8 or 9 years, until the full dose in puberty.

1. Take a china or glass teapot which has been warmed and put one teaspoonful of the dried herb or herb mixture into it for each cup of tea that you intend to brew.
2. Pour a cup of just boiled water in the teapot for each teaspoonful of herb that is already in the pot and then put the lid on. Leave too steep for ten to fifteen minutes.

Hyssop
The plant contains a bitter compound that works as an expectorant and its oils are an effective treatment for all types of respiratory ailments. The Cherokee Indians used this plant to help subdue asthma attacks as well as general congestion.

Mugwort
Mugwort contains tannins, which are astringents and reduce secretions.

Peru Balsem
The Indians of Peru have found a treatment for asthma in the sap of the Peruvian balsam tree. This reddish-brown, syrupy sap of the tree is valuable for its ability to relieve respiratory ailments.

Traditional House Remedies
The proper British remedy for prolonged bouts with asthma is to soak thin onion slices in honey overnight. The resulting syrup is administered 4 times a day until the condition improves.

What Part of the Respiratory System is Affected by Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 10’s of thousands of people across the world. Although it isn’t curable it is controllable. ‘Asthma’ is the Greek word for pant or to breath hard. The Greek’s named it ‘asthma’ because of the wheezing sound which is diagnostic of the condition.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that arises from allergies or allergic responses in the lungs and is characterized by sudden attacks of laboured breathing, chest constriction and coughing. So what part of the respiratory system does asthma affect?

Diagram of the Lung and HeartThe respiratory system supports the oxygen needs of the body by taking in air, removing the oxygen at the level of the alveoli (air sacs) and delivering the oxygen to the blood, which then transports the life supporting oxygen around the body. This is a continual system. The air is exchanged constantly – not just when you take air in. There are thousands of tiny air sacs that store the air and oxygen for use. The air is exchanged with each pass of the blood through the pulmonary system.

During an asthmatic event the muscles surrounding the air tubules (bronchioles) constrict. This constriction doesn’t allow the air in the alveoli (air sacs) to be released and the lungs become over inflated. This over inflation forces the sufferer to cough in an attempt to get rid of the trapped air. If coughing doesn’t relieve the situation, or if the swelling and constriction becomes more severe, the sufferer begins to use their accessory breathing muscles. This causes the shoulders to hunch over and rise with each breath.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect when the asthma sufferer is wheezing? The wheezing sound that is common to asthmatics is caused by the contraction of the bronchioles as the air passes through tubes that are almost completely blocked.

During an asthmatic attack mediators from mast cells are released that causes the airway muscles to contract, which increases the mucus production and narrows the airways. This causes white blood cells to flood the area that keeps the attack going. This constriction of the airway, and the air forced through those tiny paths, is what causes the wheezing sound that can be heard either audibly or through a stethoscope.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect before an asthmatic attack? Triggers for the physical changes are varied and many. They range from environmental allergens, occupational chemicals, weather changes, cold, scented items such as deodorants and perfumes. Some asthmatics are induced by exercise.

The respiratory system is a complicated organ system that supports the body by delivering oxygen at the cellular level to help heal and provide life support. Taking care of the respiratory system helps to improve your health and take care of you.

Health Problems Earthing Therapy Can Help You With!

Earthing Therapy can you help you with several health problems and other important issues.

    Earthing, Pain and Inflammation®
    Earthing and Nighttime Urination®
    Earthing and anti-aging®
    Earthing and Wounds®
    Earthing and Sleep®
    Earthing Blood Electrodynamics and High Blood Pressure®
    Earthing, Blood Sugar Regulation, Diabetes and Obesity®
    Earthing and Hormones (Cortisol, thyroid)®
    Earthing and Auto Immune Conditions.®
    Earthing and the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)®
    Earthing and Chronic Fatigue®
    Earthing and Electrosensitivity®
    Earthing and Household EMF®
    Earthing Mobile phones and PC’s®
    Earthing and the Brain®
    Earthing and Osteoporosis®
    Earthing® and Exercise