Introduction to Respiration:
DISCLAIMER: Always consult a doctor before undergoing treatment of any kind.
This is an introduction to our book about lung diseases.
In this book, we cover some of the most common lung diseases that afflict people throughout the world. It is not an exhaustive encyclopedia of lung diseases, however. Rather, we provide a selection of common lung diseases and unique lung diseases that can be considered within a broader context. Many of the treatments that we recommend in this book are similar from one lung disease to the next, with minor variations that are sometimes surprising based on the scientific research. Our goal in this book is to give healers some food for thought in terms of medicinal substances that “do no harm” that can be used to accomplish specific goals related to healthy respiration.
At the height of the COVID pandemic, infectious lung disease became the center of everyone’s attention. Now, as COVID infections become less prominent, diseases of other organ systems have been featured as the sequelae of the COVID infection and Post COVID Vaccine Syndrome. But the lungs have a lot to teach us in terms of COVID and other infectious diseases. For example, connections between the lungs and the liver via the lymphatic system provides some logic in regard to the development of so-called autoimmune diseases that involve colonizations of infectious pathogens that can live in liver ducts and tissues.
Our goal in writing this book was to provide alternative medicine specialists and healers with easy access to scientific research into ways to cure chronic lung diseases like emphysema. And we also hope to give specialists who work directly with patients the opportunity to think about lung disease using new perspectives and opportunities. Patients may also gain insight into their own diseases to find ways to heal and cure themselves of respiratory disorders that would otherwise be incurable.
Obstructive vs. Restrictive Lung Disease
There are two general classifications of lung disease that conventional medicine doctors use in diagnosing their patients: restrictive lung diseases and obstructive lung diseases. Both restrictive and obstructive lung diseases involve shortness of breath when the patient exerts himself or herself.
Obstructive Lung Diseases:
Obstructive lung diseases include those conditions that make it hard for the patient to fully exhale all of the air from the lungs. In other words, obstructive lung diseases involve disordered exhalation.
Because patients with obstructive lung disease have difficulty fully exhaling air from the lungs, the lungs may become damaged over time by the presence of too much oxygen in the lungs that can’t be absorbed and used in the body. Damage to the lungs takes the following forms:
- Narrowing of the airways or bronchial tubes
- Death of lung cells and tissues which can lead to a progressive worsening of the disease
The most common obstructive lung diseases are:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Cystic Fibrosis
Restrictive Lung Diseases:
Restrictive lung diseases, in contrast include those conditions that make it hard for patients to fully expand their lungs with incoming air. In other words, restrictive lung diseases involve disordered inhalation.
Restrictive lung diseases often result from a stiffening of the lung tissues or of the chest wall, though sometimes the disease is caused by weak muscles or damaged nerves that fail to fully expand the lungs upon inhalation.
The most common restrictive lung diseases are:
- Sarcoidosis (an autoimmune condition)
- Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
- Neuromuscular Diseases
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Mucus is a fluid that the body naturally produces by glands located in the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, and vagina. All mucus is made from mucin that contains about 90% water. Typically, the body produces about 1-1.5 quarts of mucus daily.
Mucus is usually slippery, but also sticky. Normally, it is produced in high enough quantities to ensure that certain areas of the body are properly lubricated and protected from environmental toxins and pathogens. One of the main functions of mucus is to protect the body by trapping tiny foreign objects before they can get into the body to flush them out. When a person healthy, most mucus is slick and transparent.
When the body is healthy, mucus in the respiratory system is produced in normal amounts. But if there is a lot dust or dander, allergens, or pathogens in the air, mucus might be produced in higher quantities to trap them and prevent them from entering the body. In the digestive system, mucus is produced to lubricate the gut and also to trap pathogens or toxins that need to be removed from the body.
In the vagina, mucus is produced to provide lubrication during sexual intercourse and also to facilitate the movement of sperm toward the egg.
In pharmacology, there are four basic categories of anti-mucus agents:
- Mucolytics work by changing the structure of mucus to reduce its elasticity and its viscosity.
- Mucolytics make it easier to clear mucus from the airways by making the mucus thinner and more watery.
- Expectorants work by adding water to the airway surface.
- Ion-transport modifier
- Ion-transport modifiers restore airway hydration
- Mucokinetic agents improve the extent to which mucus can be cleared from the lungs by increasing airflow or by reducing the stickiness of sputum.
Outside of conventional medicine, it isn’t always possible to classify anti-mucus medicines into these four categories. For example, hypertonic saline is a natural treatment for cystic fibrosis that fits into several of the above categories.
Mucus and Lung Disease
Science has shown that Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other bacteria that live in our lungs are normally harmless in healthy individuals. But this same bacteria can cause serious lung infections in those with cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a lung disease characterized by abnormalities in mucus production.
Researchers have found that when mucus is thin and watery, P. aeruginosa swims faster, making it harder and less likely that it will form biofilm in the lungs, causing infection. On the other hand, the stickier mucus gets, the easier it is for P. aeruginosa to make biofilm and cause infection. In patients with cystic fibrosis, keeping the mucus thin and clear using medicinals that won’t cause harm to other organs of the body is key in preventing serious lung infections in this group of people. Indeed, healing chronic lung disease often means finding ways to keep mucus thin and clear and flowing smoothly.
Other Important Links: