What to look for:

*  difficulties in breathing.

*  cough.

*  chills and fever.

*  fatigue.

Respiratory problems may also be accompanied by:

*  rapid breathing

*  shortness of breath.

*  pain in the chest.

*  slight headache.

*  overall despondency.

*  common cold symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, and sneezing.


There are different types of respiratory problems. There are respiratory infections, such as the common cold, pneumonia, and tuberculosis, lung diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema and other types of lung diseases related to a person’s line of work, such as asbestosis.


Causes

Respiratory infections can be mild (when you have a cold) all the way through to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. They are caused by viruses or bacteria.


Lung diseases have different causes. Asthma can be aggravated by allergens, irritants, or excessive exercise and emphysema is caused by excessive smoking.


Other lung diseases can be brought on by workplace substances such as asbestos.


Have your doctor investigate your symptoms to enable a proper diagnosis to be done.


Management


Traditional Treatment
Many respiratory infections usually go away on their own in a week to 10 days and there are a range of conventional and alternative treatments available.

If you have a bacterial respiratory infection, your doctor will probably prescribe an appropriate antibiotic.

Alternative/Natural Treatments
Alternative therapies have been known to be very helpful in relieving symptoms of respiratory problems. Always consult a Naturopath for treatment. (See also the section on coughs and cold for more information).

Start these treatments as soon as you see the first symptom.

Aromatherapy - A steam inhalation can reduce congestion, and if the temperature is quite hot, it will also kill cold germs on contact. Choose eucalyptus, wintergreen, or peppermint. Place a few drops of the oil in a bowl and pour in boiling water. Place a towel over your head, lean over the bowl to create a steam tent, and breathe the vapours. (see our section on Aromatherapy for more information).

Herbal Therapies - Taken at the first sign of symptoms, Echinacea can reduce a cold's severity, often even preventing it from becoming a full infection. Echinacea stimulates the immune response, enhancing resistance to all infection. It's available in capsules at our pharmacy.

Goldenseal helps clear mucus from the throat. Horseradish capsules also helps rid the body of excess mucus.

Garlic shortens a cold's duration and severity. Any form seems to work: capsules or tablets, oil rubbed on the skin, or whole garlic roasted or cooked in other foods. It is a potent and powerful healing herb.

Respiratory Problems