Kris is twenty-eight years old, a fashion executive, slender and elegant, but when she first came to see me, she had not been able to work in six months.
"Several years ago I was on a family vacation in Colorado, and I suddenly noticed that I couldn’t breathe and suddenly had to go to the hospital. Since then, I've been hospitalized almost every year, and I feel like I'm addicted to my medications."
"Last January I was running around from five in the morning to seven at night working constantly to put together a campaign, and then one night, I woke up and couldn't breathe, and my inhaler just didn't work," she told me. "I kept taking puffs and I still couldn't breathe. It was terrifying. I was hospitalized for five days.”
"The doctor said he couldn't believe I let myself get that sick, but I hate doctors and hospitals. When they give you a shot of adrenaline, you feel horrible, like you're speeding and yet you're a million miles away. There's this roar of nurses and doctors around you, but you're so disoriented you can't understand what they're saying. And then they pump you up with antibiotics and steroids. The steroids make you feel so out of control, like hyperactive.
"I've been in and out of emergency rooms and each time they just send me home with a handful of medications. I feel completely frustrated. I have to think about my asthma all the time. I can't even laugh without coughing”
Kris's story is not unusual. Asthma calls into play the intricacies of the immune and nervous systems, which are profoundly linked by a vast web of chemical messengers. That's one reason asthma can be triggered by so many factors- from foods to pollutants, changes in temperature, stress, allergens, and unsuspected toxins anywhere from the bedroom to the boardroom. All these stresses strain the body, leading to nutritional deficiencies and cellular damage.
In Kris's case, nutritional supplements were crucial to regaining her health. Her diet had been poor for years. She ate on the fly- slices of pizza, hamburger, and Diet Cokes. She took no vitamin supplements, and her tests showed that she was deficient in magnesium as well as most B vitamins.
"It worked so quickly, I was amazed," she said, referring to her nutritional supplementation. "At first I felt kind of strange because I was taking loads of vitamins, but within two weeks I felt great, I had more energy, I didn't have trouble breathing, I could even walk down the street and go up and down steps without feeling out of breath. I have to go to lots of appointments all day long, so feeling better made a world of difference. Now I'm sleeping well, not always waking up at night. My overall health has been so much better, and now I'm off that merry-go-round of asthma medications."