Respiratory Disease Treatment Center in New York City
The most common respiratory disorders are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is also known as emphysema, sinusitis and, of course, the common cold.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways associated with excess swelling and mucus, which can result in a blocked airway. Airways can be further blocked when an irritant or environmental allergen triggers a bronchial spasm. The most common cause of asthma is a hypersensitive reaction to airborne allergens such as dust mites, dog or cat dander, pollen from grass, trees and other plants and fungal spores.
Treatment of Asthma
Conventional strategies for treatment of asthma involve controlling environmental factors that trigger stimuli, use of anti-inflammatory drugs, bronchodilator medications and sometimes antibiotics. When a child develops asthma, it is essential to find out whether food allergies are a factor. (For more on food allergies, see Gastrointestinal Disorders: Food Allergies.) As much as we identify food allergens with the IgG RAST blood test, we can also test for environmental triggers with the more sensitive IgE test.
While specific immunotherapy injections help patients cope with allergic rhinitis from pollen, injections targeted for mold allergies do not produce results that are as clearly successful. However, Fratellone Medical Associates’ use of sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy has been effective for allergic rhinitis and asthma due to dust mites, dog and cat dander, pollens (including grass, ragweed and trees) and molds. Research has shown that sublingual therapy works as well for children as it does for adults. In fact, the World Health Organization has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection therapy. Treating children with atopic dermatitis or nasal allergy may even help prevent the progression of asthma.
The Role of Nutrition
In addition to removing allergens in both food and the environment, it is essential to make certain dietary changes, including reduced intake of pro-inflammatory foods such as saturated fats (in meats and dairy products), sugar and other refined foods. Patients need to increase their consumption of fresh leafy green vegetables, legumes and even onions. As with other conditions, Fratellone Medical Associates individualizes dietary prescriptions to fit the patient’s needs.
In our practice, we often use vitamin C, both orally or intravenously. Vitamin C inhibits histamine release, which helps reduce allergic symptoms. In addition to intravenous vitamin C, we utilize B vitamins, the antioxidant glutathione and minerals such as magnesium, selenium and glutathione in our intravenous protocols for respiratory diseases. The use of high doses of MSM has been especially helpful in respiratory disease.
Many herbs can help treat asthma. Green tea, for example, is a powerful antioxidant and contains theophylline, which helps dilate bronchioles (small tubes in the lungs). Tinctures of licorice root, skullcap and wild cherry bark can also be effective but should only be used as directed by your health care professional. Ginger and tumeric also have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Essential oils, most commonly frankincense, lavender, sage and mint, may also be of some benefit to other respiratory conditions such as emphysema, sinusitis and the common cold.
Our approach at Fratellone Medical Associates is to provide our patients for extensive ongoing conventional medical care, while providing the most effective integration with alternative treatments.