Every year the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) hosts an annual meeting to tackle the causes and treatments of asthma and allergy. I have seen these events host more than 850 presentations of original research over the course of the full conference. And you can be sure nobody is going to speak about the role of magnesium deficiency in asthma.
When the normal flu season is upon us, which for many people is really just a bad cold with cough and fever, a lot of more people begin wheezing and their doctors often immediately diagnose asthma. Wheezing can be triggered by many things, including a cough, but usually that only occurs if the bronchial tube muscles are deficient in magnesium!
Addressing Underlying Causes
Certainly, drug therapy for asthma can often be lifesaving; drugs, however, are not curative. You have to eliminate the underlying cause of asthma and replace magnesium to fully treat this condition. Allergies are created when inhaled chemicals and toxins irritate the mucous membranes of the nasal passages. They can trigger symptoms of asthma, which is made worse by magnesium deficiency.
Structure and Function Considerations
Magnesium is an excellent treatment for asthma because it is a bronchodilator and an antihistamine, naturally reducing histamine levels in the body. It has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial tubes and the whole body.
Both histamine production and bronchial spasms increase with magnesium deficiency. Calcium causes contraction in skeletal muscle fibers, and magnesium causes relaxation. When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, you can get sustained muscle contraction: twitches, spasms, and even convulsions.
Smooth muscles directed by too much calcium and insufficient magnesium can tighten the bronchial tract, causing asthma; cause cramping in the uterus and painful periods; and cause spasms in blood vessels, resulting in hypertension.
Other Potential Problems
Research shows that many patients with asthma and other bronchial diseases are low on magnesium. Many drugs used in the treatment of asthma (bronchodilators, steroids, beta blockers) cause a loss of magnesium, only making symptoms worse. Patients treated with simple magnesium supplementation report marked improvement in their symptoms.
Besides magnesium, I recommend using a Neti Pot to help clear the sinuses and eliminate the post nasal drip after a cold or flu.
Above all, don’t accept a diagnosis of asthma before investigating magnesium treatment. To find out more: Go to the non-profit site, Nutritional Magnesium Association.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
Last Updated: 12/08/20
Originally Published: 02/24/13