Asthma and sinusitis, when it’s the stomach’s fault

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Asthma and sinusitis, dand problems that apparently have their own seasonality (allergies to shortness of breaththe sudden changes in temperature between conditioned and very hot environments for stuffy nose and headache). Sometimes, however, the problem is not in the bronchi or nose, but in the stomach.

“Many patients come to me who have turned to numerous specialists without having the correct diagnosis. Because shortness of breath or asthma can have a thousand explanations and, before looking at the stomach, one thinks of an allergy and prescribes antihistamines or cortisone. Or for sinusitis painkillers and aerosols but, as soon as the treatment is over, the symptom reappears, because the true cause has not yet been ascertained. In short, we are well aware of the so-called typical symptoms of gastritis (burning in the chest, acid taste in the throat, indigestion), but not the atypical ones “, explains Dr. Alessandro Targhettageriatrician and phytotherapist in Venice.

When you need to get suspicious

How do gastric juices inflame the bronchi and even the paranasal sinuses, that is, those bony cavities located above the eyes and connected to the nose? «Because of the irritative power of these acids, which is not only local, that is, it stops in the throat and does not go beyond. There in fact gastritis can cause headache frontal-ocular, one of the most common atypical symptoms of reflux and indigestion ”, explains Targhetta.

«The problem is that if now the disorder can be considered linked to the period of allergies, then it becomes chronic: the patients who come to me have permanent asthma and sinusitis, now all year and maybe for some time. In short, a continuous allergy must raise suspicions that go beyond the respiratory system, even if there is an alleged reaction to the mites, which occurs mainly indoors and when you go to the bedroom and in certain conditions. However, this does not explain the fact that you have a headache or shortness of breath and a cough every day. In short, the secret is to think of one in these cases as well gastritis which does not have the classic symptoms of the disease. The general clinical examination is always essential, because in addition to seeing a red throat, it is often enough to touch the stomach in the right place for the patient to report pain or discomfort. Finally, if we think about it, the intestine, stomach, respiratory system and nose are part of a large system of connected mucous membranes which in these cases sees inflammation running from one organ to another, even if they are far from each other ».

The diet check-up

We can make the suspicion that it is a gastritis with atypical symptoms also by looking at ours diet. “That it is often too acidicand therefore favors these problems because they are a source of inflammation », underlines the expert.

There are foods belonging to our precious Mediterranean diet that are excellent and healthy, but also acidic, and therefore not suitable for everyone. That’s why one of the first things to check is see if symptoms appear after taking certain foods. Also because, in any case, the review of one’s diet and its acid potential is an obligatory step when the diagnosis is made.

The white flours, for example, are to be avoided, and it is better to opt for the integral ones. Red meat, a source of inflammation, should be limited to weekly consumption only. Even milk and its derivatives (including yogurt and soft cheeses), despite having an initial basic and buffering action, in their processing in the digestive system then creates acidosis and reflux.

Even the category of citrus fruits is at risk, and not just the juices: now the glass of water and lemon every morning, but taking it causes many to react with a dry cough, which is one of the symptoms of excessive acidity. It is true that the ascorbic acid it contains gives a final basic reaction but, at the beginning, in contact with the stomach, it is “fire”. There fruit then it should be eaten not after meals but at breakfast or as a mid-morning or afternoon snack, while fruit juices are to be avoided because they are rich in fructose. In the end, beware of combinations, like pasta with red sauce (with meat and tomato): eat it with vegetables. And no to meat and cheese ».

Phytotherapy: three green remedies that work

Traditional Chinese medicine has always associated the stomach with the bronchi and nose. “There phytotherapy it can make a difference in treatment, by supporting the pharmacological therapies decided by the doctor or by replacing them », concludes Targhetta. “Fortunately, the stomach is an organ that reacts quickly to treatment, especially if the diet is corrected in parallel. In the space of 20 days we are better ».

“Ficus carica, passion flower and aromatic calamus are the three most effective herbal remedies in these cases,” explains our expert. “They can be taken together or even alone: ​​it is the case of passionflower, if the anxiety and stress elements are prevalent in digestion”. On average they are used twice a day for at least 20-30 days.

  • Ficus carica The fig buds are a valid aid for digestion because they regulate gastric secretion, reduce acidity and also excessive intestinal motility. The phytotherapist in these cases usually recommends 2.5 ml of glycerine macerate with water before lunch and dinner every day. You can find them in the pharmacy in ready-made products with these specific indications.
  • Passionflower Stress is one of the great enhancers of gastroesophageal reflux because it increases acid production. «For those who somatize the problems of everyday life a lot in the stomach, I recommend passionflower in mother tincture, always 2.5 ml with water before lunch and dinner every day», explains Dr. Alessandro Targhetta.
  • Aromatic calamus “The mother tincture of this plant is perfect for those who combine swelling and a sense of weight in the stomach with the diagnosed acidity or that they have always eaten too much, because it has excellent digestive power”, advises our phytotherapist. «It must always be taken to the extent of 2.5 ml with water first of the two main meals “.