April 21, 2016

Louisville Allergies, Asthma and Chinese Medicine

Allergies and asthma are facts of life for many residents of the Ohio River Valley. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from allergies and allergy is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. for people of all ages. About 25 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma which carries a high burden of disability. Allergies and asthma go hand in hand. Louisville is one of the hot spots for both conditions.

Louisville is Notorious for Allergens

Every year, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America puts out its list the “Worst Cities in the United States for Spring Allergies”, and Louisville is always vying for top ranking. In 2014, it won out, out ranking other U.S. cities for springtime allergens. This year, Louisville is #2, but still presents a strong challenge for anyone with allergies (17).
Louisville allergies and asthma Chinese medicine
Speaking of the Ohio River Valley, Gerald Lee, an allergist at the University of Louisville says, in the basin of the river, we have the perfect temperature and precipitation to allow pollen growth, along with other trees grasses and weeds (1). Pretty much people marinate in pollen most of the sunny days in this city… The immune system is constantly activated. There is so much inflammation; we are swimming in histamine. There is an immediate effect of wheezing, itching, swelling and mucus production. Progressive swelling and congestion over time continues over days and days and days (2). 
allergens Louisville allergies and asthma Chinese Medicine

Treatment for Allergies and Asthma

Typically, those who suffer with allergies and asthma turn to both over-the-counter and prescription medications, but may opt for alternative treatments when relief is not significant enough. Chinese Medicine is one option that can be very effective. It has often used to complement other treatment with good results. There is a great deal of research showing the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine in the treatment of both allergies and asthma. Some examples follow.

Pollen Allergies and Chinese Medicine

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined 422 people with pollen allergies. After two months, those who used medication along with acupuncture reported fewer symptoms and less medication use(3).allergies Louisville acupuncture Chinese herbs

Rhinitis and Chinese Medicine

Allergies treated with acupuncture show very significant results in several research studies dealing with allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis is irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose. Common symptoms are a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, and post-nasal drip.

Acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus it could be an option for people looking for nonpharmaceutical treatments(4, 5).

  • In a study of 85 people with chronic rhinitis, the total effective rate of acupuncture was 96.5%. After two courses of treatment, 61 cases obtained recovery, 21 cases obtained a marked effect and 3 cases had no effect. Each participant had 2 courses of treatment 1x per day for 15 days in each course (6).
  • In a comparison study, patients treated with acupuncture were compared to those treated with loratadine for allergic rhinitis.  During a ten week follow-up after therapy documents 80% of the acupuncture patients demonstrated lasting improvement. At the ten follow up, 0% of the loratadine study group patients demonstrated lasting improvement. The researchers stated, Both in the acupuncture and the loratadine group a significant improvement was gained under therapy. In the ten-week period following the therapy, a significant deterioration which led to the recurrence of the allergic symptoms was shown in the loratadine group, while the significant improvement of the symptoms persisted in the acupuncture group… The researchers conclude, Acupuncture is a clinically effective form of therapy in the treatment of patients suffering from persistent allergic rhinitis (7).
  • In another study, investigators at RMIT University in Melbourne (Australia) studied 80 patients with chronic rhinitis. In a three month follow-up, nose and eye symptoms related to chronic rhinitis improved significantly for the acupuncture group. Members of the acupuncture group were also able to reduce the use of allergy medications. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis (8).

Asthma and Chinese Medicine

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by the inflammation and constriction of the airways. Asthmatic episodes can be triggered by stress, infectious agents, pollutants and allergens. When exposed to a trigger, one’s airways are irritated, the surrounding muscles tighten, and air flow to the lungs is restricted. Symptoms of asthma are tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. (9).

Chinese herbal formulas have been found to be safe and effective in treating patients with asthma. Significant improvements in airway function and asthma symptoms have been well documented (10-16).

Chinese Medicine in Louisville

Louisville acupuncture, Chinese Medicine in LouisvilleJeffrey Russell is a practitioner of herbal medicine and acupuncture and has had great success with treating seasonal allergies and asthma. All natural medicine for both issues is available at his clinic. For people with exceedingly difficult to treat cases, with a consult he can formulate a custom medicine in his on site pharmacy. His clinic is Abacus Chinese Medicine–Louisville Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism. 502.299-8900.

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