Functional medical practitioners believe that a low level inflammatory state contributes to bronchial irritability and the likelihood of bron - chospasm. An analysis of 2,000 children showed that 80 percent had decreased acid output, suggesting that these children may have been predisposed to food allergies. These allergies may increase gut permeability, thus both increasing the level of inflammation as well as increasing the number of bronchostrictive compounds that enter the circulatory system.
Functional medicine therefore believes that the elimination diet is
equally important for those who may think they are suffering from either asthma or food allergies. In addition, functional medicine practitioners believe that it is important to eliminate food additives, the artificial dyes and preservatives that are frequently added to foods. Sulfites, for example, are a well known agent that causes bronchoconstric - tion. They can be found in wine, beer, and the salads and vegetables that are served in restaurants. There is also evidence that histamine and bronchial reactivity to histamines increases with salt intake.
There are also many supplements that may be used to control asthma. For example, there is evidence that children with asthma may have a defect in the metabolism of tryptophan, thus a tryptophan - restricted diet or pyridoxine supplementation to correct the defect may be beneficial. Reduced selenium levels have been demonstrated in asthma patients, and selenium levels are critical to maintaining glutathione levels. This is, in turn, important in reducing leukotriene levels, inflammatory proteins that are responsible for bronchial reactivity. Selenium supplementation thus seems warranted, as well as supplementation with magnesium (a smooth muscle relaxant), a good anti oxidant, Quercitin, and high levels of fish oil.
The future of medicine needs to incorporate all available modalities. Although we still have a great deal to learn about the disease processes described in this category, interested individuals now have a wide variety of resources available to help them in their pursuit of health.