One part researcher. One part guinea pig.

April 22, 2010

For a few years, we lived in St-Gingolph, Switzerland. Population: 831. Then we had a baby. Population: 832.

But before the baby, I had a lot of time on my hands. And I had asthma. And now I don’t.

During these years, I spent a lot of time touring the web for cures for my hayfever, asthma even my cellulite. (This blog is anonymous right?) I was getting married and didn’t want to be teary-eyed, sniffling and wearing Spanx on my wedding night. So I had to get these things cured.

Anyway, if you’re into alternative healing, eventually you’ll come across curezone.com whose tag line is something like: the cure for all diseases. And they tell you to cleanse. Cleanse with lemon juice. Cleanse with vinegar. Drink psyllium. Drink juice. Drink clay. Imbibe Epsom salts. Imbibe olive oil. Imbibe cayenne pepper. Eat raw food. Don’t eat. So I had time on my hands, so I tried it. All of it.

And yes, it was gross.

But it does work–at least to some degree, for some stuff. But not my asthma.

Just to be clear: my asthma had always been mild, but when I got pregnant, it got downright scary. Of course, the last thing I wanted to do was move up to heavy duty steroidal meds with a baby aboard. So I kept digging.

If you hunt for an asthma cure online, eventually, you come across the Buteyko method. Shoot, he even made it to the NYTimes last year. Buteyko’s theory is that asthma is caused by taking in the wrong mix of chemicals in the air. And something about breathing through your nose and not your mouth alleviates much of the problem. Exhaling deeply also helps. But don’t trust my breakdown, look it up.

But you can’t breathe through your nose if you have hayfever. So Buteyko didn’t cut it for me.

Then I came across a scientific article that said that magnesium is used in the ER to treat acute asthma attacks. And once you search magnesium and asthma, you find a truck-load of pertinent information.

So I went back to my Encyclopedia of Healing Foods and read that excess calcium can block the absorption of magnesium. Well, popping supplements is my forté, and my grandmother died of osteoporosis, so I’d been taking calcium supplements for a decade. (About the time my asthma started.) And I took a lot when I got pregnant. Bingo.

Here’s the theory: mild to moderate asthma is caused by an excess of calcium and too little magnesium.

Here’s the scandal: most inhalers and pharmaceutical treatments for asthma inhibit the body’s ability to absorb magnesium. [http://www.practicalasthma.net/pages/science/calcium_magnes_asthm.htm] Shocking, but not totally surprising right? I mean, nothing brings in consistent profits like chronic disease. Bad pharmaceutical companies. No dessert for you tonight.

In short, I’ve taken magnesium for two years and haven’t need my inhaler since. So for me, the proof is in the pudding. Try some.

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