Monday, January 16, 2012

Books: Reversing Asthma

Reversing Asthma
By Richard N. Firshein, DO
Copyright 1996
370 pages

This book is out of print and available through used book sellers. Alas, I don't buy used books because I am allergic to book dust and old books tend to set off my asthma, ironically. It is not available on my Nook, either.

I checked this out of the local library. I wish it was still available as a new book purchase.

Dr. Firshein is an asthma sufferer himself, and he has an interesting take on the health care system and its treatment of this issue.

He is not in favor of drugs and advocates for vitamins, breathing exercises, dietary changes, and exercise in order to keep the condition under control.

In fact, he hypothesizes that asthma treatments are causing as much problems as they are solving. This has certainly been my experience. The drugs make me sicker than the asthma.

If you have asthma and have been searching for a way to control it without drugs, or at least as many pharmaceuticals as you might take, then this book should be helpful to you. I have started with the vitamins he suggests and have initiated the breathing exercises. I am hopeful that this will be a big help.

Asthma can be a very dangerous condition, leading to death. It is very frightening, too, when you can't breath, and there can be scarring of the lungs. It is the major chronic illness among children, and the numbers of asthmatics in the United States are growing every day. At least 20 million people suffer from asthma.

Medical doctors still aren't sure what causes asthma and why some people have it and others don't. However, it seems likely that air pollution, dust mites, cockroach remains and other allergens play a role in the condition.

Allergic reactions to food are also a likely culprit. The major foods that cause allergies seem to be nuts, peanuts, eggs, shellfish and fish. Other foods that might cause problems include artificial food colorings, wheat, citrus fruits, milk, chocolate and wheat products.

One of the several vitamins Dr. Firshein recommends is magnesium sulfate, which opens up air passages. He also recommends vitamins C, a B Complex, zinc, and Vitamin A.

For diet, he suggests an elimination diet to figure out the problem foods. He says to eat a lot of onions and garlic, as they help with asthma, too.

The breathing exercises are similar to yoga breaths. I suspect just making an effort to breathe through the diaphragm instead of shallow breathing in the upper chest can make a big difference for many people, myself included.


  1. Well, you can certainly see why the big drug companies and the rest of the health industry wouldn't want these ideas to be widely circulated! He sounds eminently sensible.

  2. Always refreshing to see a doctor advocating for non-drug solutions to illness. I hope it is effective for you, Anita. I had fairly severe asthma when I was young, but have not had much trouble as an adult fortunately. Just the occasional cold-weather problem.

  3. Mine stays pretty well under control except when it gets very hot and dry here because the dust kicks up. Also, smoke in the air from fireplaces or wildfires is a very bad thing.
    I remember having a haymow when we were kids. Fun place to play!

  4. I was diagnosed of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2012 at the age of 63. I had been a heavy smoker, my symptoms started out with dry cough and shortness of breath, i ended up in the hospital, on a ventilator. I should have known it was coming, but like most smokers, thought it would never happen to me. My COPD got significantly worse and unbearable because of my difficulty catching breath. Last year, i started on a natural COPD Herbal therapy from NewLife Herbal Clinic, i read a lot of positive reviews from patients who used the treatment and i immediately started on it. I had great relief with this herbal treatment. I breath very much better now, no case of shortness of breath or chest tightness since treatment. Visit NewLife Herbal Clinic website ww w. newlifeherbalclinic. com. This COPD treatment is a miracle!!

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