Menopause and Asthma: Is There
by Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP
Research indicates that women
with hormone imbalance are twice as likely to develop
to some researchers patterns of development of
asthma in the general public have indicated the
possibility of some sort of hormonal role. Asthma
involves inflammation that constricts muscles in
the airways, causing attacks of wheezing and shortness
of breath. An estimated 20 million Americans, including
14 million adults, are affected by asthma. The
thought process is that the changes in estrogen
and progesterone levels that occur during the menstrual
cycle may cause constriction of the airways.
In a study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 70,000 women
were examined for the likelihood of developing asthma after menopause. The
study concluded that postmenopausal women taking synthetic estrogen were
more than two times (actually 2.29) likely to develop asthma than their counterparts
not taking estrogen. The results were similar for women who were taking synthetic
estrogen and progestin.
Below are some statistics about how asthma affects women:
a recent report from the CDC, doctors
reported that significantly more
women than men have asthma in the
United States: 9.1% of females
vs. only 5.1% of males.
the last decade the death rate
from asthma increased 54% in women
compared to only 23% for men.
visits increased 8% for females
with asthma but decreased 23% for
10-year study in the Yale New Haven
Hospital found that females with
severe asthma were admitted to
the hospital almost twice as often
as men with severe asthma. These
same females stayed in the hospital
almost a day longer than their
is found to be more common in boys
than girls. At the time of puberty,
asthma occurs in boys and girls equally.
After puberty, women are more likely
than men to have asthma. Therefore
as a woman’s hormonal system
matures it may play a role in the
changing prevalence of asthma.
Studies have shown that approximately one third of women report that their
symptoms are worse just before or during menstruation, with the most severe
attacks usually occurring three days before and four days into the menstrual
period. Some research indicates that in women with PMS asthma, the rise in
progesterone and sharp decline in estrogen shortly before menstruation increase
the risk for asthma attacks. Further evidence of the hormone-asthma link
was discovered after a lengthy study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s
Hospital in Boston. They found that synthetic hormone replacement therapy
may as much as double the risk of developing asthma in postmenopausal women.
It now appears that HRT may also increase the risk of developing asthma or
a respiratory allergy, according to research released by the European Respiratory
Society which is held in Vienna. Women on HRT were 40 to 50% more likely
to suffer from asthma or to exhibit asthma symptoms. The increased risk rose
to 60% in the case of allergic asthma. Women on HRT were 30% more often affected
by hay fever.
Researcher Dr. R. Graham Barr of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center acknowledged
that women who take prescription hormones might be more likely to be diagnosed
with asthma simply because they might have more doctors' visits than nonusers.
But they also found an increased asthma risk among synthetic hormone users
who had few doctors' visits. Estrogen tends to make cells retain more fluid,
which might narrow lung airways, Barr said. Also, some data have shown that
synthetic hormone supplements can increase levels of certain inflammatory
markers in the blood, which might also affect asthma risk.
If you are a woman and have asthma what can you do?
For women who find a relationship between their menstrual cycles and asthma
or develop asthma later in life while using synthetic hormones, there is
a way to balance out the hormones using natural bio-identical progesterone.
One theory is that the decrease in progesterone levels that occurs a few
days before the menstrual cycle may contribute to the heightened probability
of an asthma attack.
Progesterone has been found to decrease the contractility of smooth muscle
and contribute greatly to the relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle induced
by isoproterenol. Progesterone has also been found to act as a bronchodilator
in women who experience premenstrual worsening of asthma. The sudden drop
in progesterone levels before the menstrual cycle can trigger bronchoconstriction.
Because progesterone is important in the regulation of microvascular leakage
in airways, a decrease in progesterone may lead to airway mucosal edema.
Progesterone may also have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Natural Ways to Treat Hormonal Imbalance and Asthma
Keep a diary of
your symptoms and compare
it to your menstrual cycle.
Notice any patterns.
Aspirin and other non-steroid medications such as Advil and Aleve can worsen
asthma symptoms. These drugs are commonly used for relief of menstrual
cramps and have recently been proven unsafe to use on a regular basis. Natural
progesterone is excellent in the relief of menstrual cramps. Another excellent
product is NOPAINE topically
Educate yourself about natural progesterone for the
use of hormonal imbalance. We recommend Oasis Serene and Oasis Serene
Plus bio-identical, all-natural progesterone cream available at www.oasisserene.com.
and Detoxification: Every
six months perform a total
tract and parasite cleanse.
You can find instructions
Diet – Concentrate
on foods that don’t
promote mucus production
such as raw organic fruits
and vegetables, limited
whole grains, organic seeds,
and cold-water fish. Include
one clove of garlic in
your daily diet. Use two
tablespoons of ground flaxseed
daily for omega-3 fatty
acids. Omega-3s act as
an anti-inflammatory on
the body. Eliminate all
dairy, sugar, pre-packaged
foods and fried foods.
Avoid foods that cause
gas. Try to eat five small
meals a day. Bottom line:
Eat as close to nature
Water – Drink
half your body weight in
ounces of pure, clean water
every day. This will continually
flush toxins from the system.
According to experts, water
is helpful after an asthma
attack in breaking up mucus.
Magnesium – Take
250 mg two to four times
each day. If loose stools
should occur, reduce dosage.
Magnesium Orotate is the
best form of magnesium.
Magnesium acts as a muscle
relaxant and may therefore
improve lung function.
Will also help with PMS
and Digestive Enzymes – This
will improve the absorption
of nutrients from food
and will help to decrease
Quercitin – 1,000
mg three times daily. Anti-inflammatory
C – 1,000
mg two to ten times daily.
You must build up to bowel
tolerance. Vitamin C has
which will help with inflammation.
Yamoa - YAMOA POWDER has been
used in Ghana for many years to treat respiratory
allergies. It is a natural product from the
Funtumia Elastica gum tree, and when taken
on a relatively short-term basis, can help
with the symptoms of conditions such as, asthma,
hay fever, bronchitis, sinusitis and COPD,
in many cases for the long term. Special order
Massage – Massing
the back using NOPAINE will
relax the bronchial muscles.
To break up congestion
use one of the specialty
rubber mallets to gently
pound the back. For PMS
symptoms massage NOPAINE
into the abdominal area.
Aromatherapy – Diffuse
oils through a diffuser.
Oils that open the airways
and loosen congestion
are lavender, tea tree
Exercise – Exercise
increases the ability
for the lungs to take
in oxygen. Walking for
30 minutes each day is
preferable. If it is
cold outside, then use
a treadmill in the home.
Educate yourself about
deep breathing and do
this daily. Exercise
also helps to alleviate
some symptoms of menopause
Air Purification – Use
air purifier to keep
the air clean in your
home and office. This
is especially important
if you work in an office
or live in a home that
is older than five years.
As you can see using a whole-body approach will help to alleviate hormonal
imbalance which may result in the alleviation of asthma, especially during
the days before and after the menstrual cycle. For more information on how
to bring the body into total health see our e-book, Balancing
Your Hormones Without Drugs…You Can Feel Good Again which
is a great place to begin your education. Not only will you learn how to
balance the hormonal system, but in return will help to reduce or eliminate
your asthma. Asthma is controllable and in many instances reversible but
it takes desire, discipline and determination. I encourage you to begin now
to bring your body back to total health and well-being.
Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP is a Doctor
of Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist
and Holistic Health Practitioner
in the Houston, TX area and CEO/President
of Oasis Advanced Wellness. A teacher,
educator and author, she counsels
Oasis Advanced Wellness clients on
the aspects of getting the body healthy
and keeping the body healthy. As
a cancer survivor, she is able to
relate extensively, both as a patient
and a practitioner, to clients suffering
from disease. Dr. Lanphier has been
privileged to share her cancer survival
story with hundreds of people during
seminars and lectures. Her passionate
style of truth and straight-forwardnessin
an easy-to-understand format is very
refreshing to even the most discerning
of audiences. Dr. Lanphier is the
author of two books and many articles
on health conditions written from
a natural/alternative medicine viewpoint.
Dr. Lanphier is dedicated to helping
people create lasting changes in
their health and enhancing well-being
through whole body nutritional balancing
including physician strength supplementation.
Dr. Lanphier is Editor and contributor
to the worldwide newsletter Alternative
Health & Healing.
to Menopause & PMS Tips Newsletter
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