Sep 25, 2012

Support Therapies for all Respiratory Conditions

Drink More Water

In his book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., explained that many symptoms of major and minor illnesses are caused not by disease but by dehydration. "You are not sick," he wrote, "you are thirsty!" Your Body's Many Cries for Water is widely recommended by medical doctors and health care professionals because it offers a simple, inexpensive, often dramatically effective cure for indigestion, intestinal problems, rheumatoid arthritis pain, stress, depression, high blood pressure, overweight, asthma, allergies and other disorders.

At the first sign of symptoms, drink an 8-ounce glass of water. After 15 to 20 minutes, drink another. Continue drinking plain water throughout the day and do so every day so that the body is properly hydrated. In adults, this may be a gallon of water daily. Tea, coffee, cola beverages, soft drinks and juices don't count; what matters is plain water. In addition, Dr. Batmanghelidj recommends a small amount of unrefined sea salt daily, especially in cases of asthma, which he believes is not a disease but rather a physiological adaptation of the body to dehydration and an insufficiency of salt. Salt is a natural decongestant. "A pinch of salt on the tongue after drinking water fools the brain into thinking a lot of salt has arrived in the body," he wrote. "It is then that the brain begins to relax the bronchioles. People with asthma should slightly increase their salt intake."

No discussion of water would be complete without a caution regarding American tap water, which has received much negative publicity in recent years. Concerns over water safety have made bottled spring water a growth industry along with home water filters and distillers. Whatever you can do to improve the quality of the water you drink will help improve your health.

Breastfeed Your Baby

       The evidence for this health benefit is overwhelming. Breastfeeding protects children from all kinds of respiratory infections, ear infections, allergies and asthma. Many pediatricians trace their patients' allergies and ear infections to exposure to cow's milk in infant formulas. If a breastfed baby experiences colic or allergic symptoms, it is often because the mother ate something that disagreed with her own physiology as well as her baby's. In fact, the mother's diet is the most important factor in breastfeeding. According to pediatrician Lendon Smith, an expert on nutrition and the author of several books on children's health, milk, soy, corn, wheat and eggs are frequent offenders, while a baby's colic can be caused by the mother eating garlic, onion, beans or cabbage. Dr. Smith recommends that nursing mothers avoid these foods.

       Saying that a nursing mother should avoid dairy products goes against everything we are taught by physicians and the dairy industry's ad campaigns, but stop and think. Do you really need milk to produce milk? Cows don't drink milk and neither do other milk-producing animals. Millions of women around the world drink no milk at all and nurse their babies successfully. Only in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe do people assume that successful nursing requires a diet rich in dairy products.

       If the indirect consumption of dairy products creates problems for infants, their direct consumption creates more. Raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized cow's milk is the ideal food for baby calves. Pasteurized, homogenized cow's milk is far from ideal for calves and even farther from ideal for human babies. According to Dr. Smith, cow's milk formulas such as SMA, Similac and Enfamil may precipitate colic, diarrhea, rashes, ear infections, asthma and other conditions in up to 50 percent of the infants who drink them.

Long-term nursing has been shown to provide the maximum lifelong health benefits, but nursing remains unfashionable in the U.S. and new mothers are often pressured to switch from breast to bottle.