Asthma is a serious health problem in the United States and in other developed countries around the world, and Vitamin D may be the solution to this growing problem.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal agency charged with tracking incidence of disease, about 17.7 million adults and 6.3 million children in the U.S. are living with asthma, a respiratory condition caused by inflammation and obstruction of the airways.
While the causes of asthma remain unclear and no cure for this disease has been found, its symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain and tightness, can be triggered by exposure to allergens and irritants. These include grass or weed pollen, molds, dust mites, pollutants, smoke and other elements found in the air of urban environments.
There are medications which can help manage symptoms of these asthma attacks, but a new study suggests that a well-known and easily available vitamin may reduce the risks of this debilitating disease. Vitamin D has come to the forefront in the treatments for asthma, and I’ve been a long-time proponent of this vitamin.
Vitamin D: Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Booster
Evexias Medical Centers began prescribing high doses of Vitamin D before it was fashionable to do so. We are passionate about its healing properties.
Vitamin D works on many different levels and has numerous benefits. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and immune booster. Since asthma is a disease of inflammation and someone suffering from this condition is susceptible to colds and the flu, those two conditions combine to exacerbate the condition. Vitamin D treats both conditions.
Irritants in the air, such as smog, can clog the bronchioles in the lungs of someone with asthma. However, this discomfort and difficulty in breathing is not due to air-intake. Asthma sufferers have trouble exhaling. This is due to inflammation of the tiny bronchioles in the lung; they start to spasm and then constrict. The person with asthma begins coughing and wheezing in an attempt to get the air out of their lungs.
Another contributing factor to the incidence of this condition in urban areas is the lack of sunlight. As we have previously noted, the best source of Vitamin D is from the sun.
Medical science is still attempting to understand the chemical composition of Vitamin D and why it has such a positive effect on conditions such as asthma. We don’t really know what’s going on at the cellular level. Vitamin D has a hormone like structure and its action resembles a hormone in the body at the cellular level, but we don’t know why, yet. Though, we do know that low levels of Vitamin D have also been linked to cancer and heart disease.
Knocking Out Colds and Flu
Since we are in the middle of the cold and flu season, it is important to highlight the benefits of Vitamin D to help prevent these conditions. A Swedish study from a few years ago noted that a patient exposed to a cold or flu virus taking 50,000 units of Vitamin D over a three-day span could be completely well at the end of those three days.
Children with asthma are particularly susceptible to colds and the flu, and I recommend these youngsters get plenty of Vitamin D supplements during the winter. In some countries, such as Sweden, where the winters are long and dark, the government mandates an increase in the dosage of Vitamin D and offers this free of charge.
Studies show children should get at least 2,000 units of Vitamin D daily and adults should get 5,000 units during the winter months.
Testing for Vitamin D Levels and Supplement Quality
Evexias Medical Centers offers a simple blood test to help patients determine whether they have a Vitamin D deficiency. We check Vitamin D levels on every patient. We have found that about 80 percent of the patient population is Vitamin D deficient, darker skin ethnicities suffer the lowest levels of Vitamin D.
It’s also important to make sure the Vitamin D supplements are of the highest quality. Purchasing these supplements from a “big box” retailer is somewhat problematic. There is not an FDA overview on supplements in this country. In our practice, we use a pharmaceutical-grade Vitamin D, and this is not a supplement one can get in a normal retail store. It is also important for patients who are taking Vitamin D to also take Vitamin K-2 in order to properly metabolize calcium, which is also difficult to find.
With a condition as acute as asthma, it is critical to consult one’s physician with any new developments. However, alternative therapies such as increasing Vitamin D are becoming more and more useful in treating this chronic condition.
For more information visit www.evexiasmedical.com.
About EVEXIAS® Medical Centers: The Texas-based centers are the premier industry leader and innovator of the Medical Wellness movement via superior patient care and the utilization of revolutionary, preventive and regenerative medical and aesthetic technologies. The mission is to partner with each patient to bring healing by understanding the root cause of a patient’s particular health concern, and subsequently formulating an effective, individualized treatment plan, always recognizing the body, mind and spirit contribute to the overall health of humanity.