A respiratory disease is a term that is used to describe a pathological condition that affects organs that are involved in the human system of respiration. The conditions that are usually described involve the trachea, the upper tract for respiration, bronchioles, the bronchi, pleural cavity, pleura and alveoli. The muscles and the nerves involved in respiration are also involved in the study of respiratory diseases commonly known as pulmonology. Respiratory diseases might be life threatening such as lung cancer or mild such as the common cold. Respiratory disease scan be classified into a variety of categories and they include: restrictive lung diseases, pleural cavity disease, respiratory tract infections, pulmonary vascular disease, inflammatory lung disease and obstructive lung diseases. Diagnosis of the respiratory disease is usually done through a series of tests which are conducted by a pulmonologist.
Causes of Respiratory Diseases
The human respiratory system plays an important role in our bodies because it enables the body to get sufficient oxygen for its proper functioning. The lungs play the most important role in our respiratory system and if they are affected in any way, they might cause a fail in the respiratory function. The following are some of the causes of respiratory diseases:
- Genetic factors may put one at risk of developing respiratory diseases later on in life. For instance, asthma is mostly associated with a family history. If a close family member has asthma then the chances of an individual developing asthma are increased.
- When the body’s immunity is compromised, some infections may come up. For instance if a person suffers from HIV/AIDS, they might find themselves at a greater risk of developing tuberculosis or influenza.
- Pollution in the air might also lead to an increase in the rate at which a person may develop respiratory problems. For instance, people who work in mines are at a greater risk of developing lung infections because they are more likely to encounter toxic fumes in their daily jobs. Fire fighters on the other hand may develop lung problems due to prolonged exposure to smoke.
- Environmental pollution may also cause the development of respiratory disease. Fumes from industrial plants, exhaust fumes and even some home appliances may cause infections. Some may even worsen some conditions such as asthma.
- Certain lifestyles might also lead to respiratory infections. People who smoke are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer. In addition, those who inhale second hand smoke are also at a greater risk of developing lung diseases.
Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases
The following are some of the symptoms of respiratory diseases:
- Difficulty in breathing or absence in breathing,
- Rapid heart beats,
- Chest pain commonly known as angina,
- Runny nose,
- Sore throat,
The above are just some of the symptoms of respiratory disease. Most of these symptoms could be an indicator of a life threatening condition. It is therefore important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
Respiratory Disease Home remedies
There are effective natural remedies for respiratory diseases. Most people find theses remedies to be quite helpful especially during the winter season. Certain herbs can be inhaled or consumed in order to relieve some of the symptoms of respiration. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! The following are some of the remedies that are proven to relieve some of the respiratory diseases symptoms:
- Marshmallow Leaves– Marshmallow leaves have been proven to have some expectorant effects which are good in providing instant relief from an irritating cough and bronchial problems. All you have to o is prepare an infusion of the leaves and take it while it is still hot.
- Eucalyptus– The eucalyptus is a natural antiseptic and is good fro treating chest infections when inhaled. You can prepare an infusion with the leaves and inhale it. It can also be used to cure the common cold by massaging eucalyptus oil onto the chest or affected areas.
- Yarrow– The yarrow is a plant whose flowers are used for treating colds. The flowers are added to infusions so as to treat and relieve flu symptoms. People who also suffer from asthma can also benefit from an infusion added with the flowers.
- Angelica– Bronchial problems can be relieved by Angelica leaves. You can make an infusion out of the leaves and consume the mixture three times a day.
- Boawellia serrata – According to certain experts, the Boawellia serrata has shown efficiency in treating asthma. It improves the function of the lungs and reducing the rate at which one is likely to develop asthma attacks. However, before taking the drug, it is important to consult your physician if you are also taking anti inflammatory medicines.
- Slippery Elm– Sore throat can also be relieved by using slippery elm. It produces mucilage which coats the mucus membranes thus preventing coughs.
- Try This– Tightness in the sinuses and the chest can be relieved by inhaling warm water that has been added with eucalyptus oil. Since the oil is very strong, only a few drops should be added. It should however not be used with other homeopathic remedies because it might interfere with their efficacy.
- Saline– The nasal passages can be lubricated by the saline nasal sprays. This is helpful in ensuring that the sinuses are decongested. Alternatively, you can choose to make a homemade saline solution which is equally efficient. The solution can be made by using kosher salt and baking soda and mixing it with warm water. The solution can be taken by using an eye dropper or a bulb syringe.
- Tulsi Oil– For pneumonia, you can use tulsi oil which is effective in relieving some of the symptoms. The oil should be massaged on the chest and a mixture of the juice from the leaves and black pepper taken at least four times a day. This remedy is also known to be effective in treating the common cold.
- Camphor- You should mix 1 tablespoon of camphor with ½ cup of coconut oil (warm). This should be applied to the chest to address breathing respiratory diseases.
- Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp of carom seeds should be mixed with 1 tsp of turmeric powder and added to ½ liter boiling water. Leave the mixture to cool and take 1 tsp of this with a tsp of honey to address chest congestion problems.
- Mustard Powder- You should mix equal amounts of mustard powder with rice flour. Boil this mixture till it forms a paste and after it cools down spread it on your handkerchief. You should then tie this on your chest and neck in order to experience ease when breathing. This remedy is especially effective if you have breathing problems caused by chest congestion.
- Garlic- Mix 3 tsp of honey and garlic and take this mixture at least three times a day and within time, you will note a major difference if you have respiratory diseases.
- Fennel Seeds- Fennel seeds are also viewed as essential herbal remedy for respiratory diseases and for this to work, you should boil 2 tsps of fennel seeds mixed in 1 cup of water. Let it boil till the water is reduced to half. Filter the mixture and every morning and evening make sure you take a tablespoon of the mixture till you note a difference.
- Sesame Oil- Mix sesame oil with 3 tsp of nutmeg powder and boil the mixture. Let it cool for a while and apply the paste on areas affected by respiratory diseases. This can be used as often as possible in order to get results.
- Carrot Juice & Warm Milk- You should mix these two in equal quantities and the mixture kept aside for 4 hours. You should drink the mixture a couple of times everyday at 3 to 4 hour intervals.
Diet for Respiratory Diseases
A healthy diet is essential for treating and preventing respiratory disorders. This is because a healthy diet contains nutrients which help to strengthen the body’s immune system and repair any damaged tissues for a quick recovery. The following are some of the diet tips for improving the overall respiratory system:
- Foods that are rich in proteins are ideal fro strengthening the respiratory system. Theses foods include skinless poultry, fish and lean meat. Low fat dairy products can also be included in the list as well as egg whites and soy. These proteins help to enhance muscle strength even without exercises.
- A diet that contains cereals is also efficient in helping to strengthen your respiratory system. Whole grains and avoiding refined sugars also goes a long way into ensuring that you body remains healthy.
- Food additives such as monosodium, sulphites and glutamite are known to increase the chances of a person developing respiratory disorders and should therefore be avoided at all costs.
- Reduce the amount of salt that you take per day. The maximum amount that you should take is 6grams. Too much salt in the body increases the volume of blood that is pumped through pout your body and this could strain your lungs further.
- Kefir and yoghurt are rich in probiotics, calcium and proteins and are therefore essential to the body. They improve digestion of food in the body and prevent infections in the body. Probiotics found in these food products also keep the common cold and the flu at bay.
- Vegetables and fruits are good sources of anti oxidants which improve your body’s immune system. They improve the body’s resistance to diseases including respiratory diseases. Fruits that contain vitamin C are the most effective in boosting the body’s immunity and sources include all citrus fruits and leafy greens.
- Herbal teas, chicken soup and warm water ensure that the body is well hydrated which helps to flush out toxins in the body.
- Fatty fish have also been shown to improve breathing difficulties especially in people who have asthma. However care should be taken in order to avoid consuming too much fat because it has been shown that too much fat increases the rate at which inflammation I the respiratory organs occurs.
Prevention of Respiratory Diseases
The following are some of the ways in which respiratory disorders can be prevented:
- Eating a well balanced diet goes a long way into preventing diseases. Certain nutrients in the diet are essential in boosting the body’s immunity. Without these nutrients, the body would become vulnerable to diseases.
- A change in lifestyle habits should also be considered. Habits such as smoking put one at a greater risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.
- Ensuring that you body is well hydrated also prevents the accumulation of toxins in the body which results in infections in the body. Keeping the body well hydrated ensures that toxins are flushed out of the body through urine and sweating.
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