Thursday, July 24, 2014

1913: Two types of chronic asthmatics

James Adams explains that most cases of asthma are chronic before they are seen by a physician; that these cases are usually treated as bronchitis first (airway inflammation and increased sputum production).  Bronchitis "is really the form asthma commonly takes at first."  Only as time progresses, does asthma be come chronic. (1, page 31, 33)

He describes two types of chronic asthma: (1, page 30)
  1. Fat: Less common; overeating can lead to asthma; chronic bronchitis
  2. Lean: More common; usually as the disease becomes more chronic, a toxaemia in the blood will cause the asthmatic to become thin, with expanded shoulders and chest due to chronic laboring and emphysema.  
Adam writes that the most common sign of chronic asthma is "dusky, sallow skin with chloasms round the eyes, sure token of toxaemia. There is no mistaking this asthmatic chachexia (fatigue, weakness, as in wasting away) and the first sign of improvement resulting from correct treatment is the clearing of the skin; it looks as though it has been washed from the inside -- as it has been... it takes prolonged, repeated and severe paroxysms to develop the other (signs of chronic asthma). (1, page 31)

What causes the signs of chronic asthma, Adam notes, is the hyperaemia that is constantly ongoing and not treated (and it's usually not treated because most physicians don't respect the toxaemia theory of asthma.).  Toxaemia that is constant acts on the "skin and bronchial mucous membrane as well as on the tissues generally, producing the cachexia and bronchitis, the stress of the dyspnea, which is the main factor in producing the other thoracic changes, is intermittent.

Other signs of chronic asthma would be your distended chest and shoulders, pigeon chest, etc. These are signs that the person has a toxaemia, and that the person has been working hard to suck in air. (You can see more signs of the toxaemic effect on asthma in this post (1913: Lesions in respiratory tract cause asthma on 7/22/17)

Bronchitis is generally caused by a metabolic disorder, and therefore, the treatment generally revolves around decreasing carbohydrates (sugary foods), such as "sweets cakes." (1, page 33, 35)(also see chapter on atypical asthma)

  1. Adam, James, "Asthma and its radical treatment," 

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