Asthma Specialists Kansas City MO

Scenarios like this are typical of the hold asthma exerted on my life for many years. Episodes came and went, with spasms gripping my bronchial tubes, inflammation swelling the mucous membranes, and phlegm choking the breath out of me.

Sandra K Willsie, DO
(816) 283-2280
1750 Independence Ave
Kansas City, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Hlth Sci, Coll Of Osteo Med, Kansas City Mo 64124
Graduation Year: 1983

Data Provided by:
Tariq Hasan Abdelkarim, MD
(816) 556-3340
2301 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Jordan, Fac Of Med, Amman, Jordan
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided by:
Jason Charles Graff, MD
2301 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 2000

Data Provided by:
Robert Beckerman
(816) 243-3033
2401 Gillham Rd
Kansas City, MO
Specialty
Pulmonary Disease, Pediatric Pulmonology

Data Provided by:
Philip Greyson Black
(816) 234-3000
2401 Gillham Rd
Kansas City, MO
Specialty
Pulmonary Disease, Pediatric Pulmonology

Data Provided by:
George Robert Reisz, MD
(816) 218-2500
2301 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 46202
Graduation Year: 1977

Data Provided by:
Gregory Howard Howell
(816) 235-6626
2411 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease

Data Provided by:
Abid M Bhat
(816) 404-1000
2301 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialty
Pulmonary Disease

Data Provided by:
Gary A Salzman
(816) 404-1000
2301 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialty
Pulmonary Disease

Data Provided by:
Gary Allen Salzman, MD
(816) 218-2500
2411 Holmes St
Kansas City, MO
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mo-Kansas City Sch Of Med, Kansas City Mo 64108
Graduation Year: 1980

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Unwinding from Asthma

Provided by: 

By Swaha Devi

Like clockwork, a 2 a.m. asthma attack shut down my airways and jolted me out of sleep. The sweet relief of breath was at arm’s length, in the emergency inhaler on my night table. One quick spray and within seconds I felt my bronchial tubes begin to relax, allowing precious air to enter.

The next development was all too predictable. The drug made my heart race, and I couldn’t fall back asleep until just moments before the alarm clock rang, ending my brief respite.

Scenarios like this are typical of the hold asthma exerted on my life for many years. Episodes came and went, with spasms gripping my bronchial tubes, inflammation swelling the mucous membranes, and phlegm choking the breath out of me.

The attacks were at their worst when I lived in Florida, where the intense humidity caused mildew to flourish, aggravating my condition. I often felt like I was trying to breathe under water. Nor did my job as a tech writer in an old airplane hangar—full of mold, chemical fumes, and cigarette smoke—help matters. I can’t count the times when it seemed impossible to think clearly enough to get through the day. I tried allergy shots, but hated having to poke myself with a needle, so I quit the job instead. When a doctor told me my only option was to take medicine for the rest of my life, I finally found the courage to say enough.

My first order of business was to stop an attack without using inhalers. I accomplished this within weeks through a variety of methods, including taking first hot, then cold showers to relax the spasms, and hovering over steam infused with eucalyptus oil for long periods. But I was still living from one attack to the next. I needed to get to the root of the problem.

Once I began digging, clues turned up everywhere (even in King Tut’s tomb, where the anti-inflammatory herb licorice, now known as a decongestant, was unearthed alongside other treasures). Ultimately, though, putting the disease behind me required tending to much more than my closed airways. Top of the list? Stress.

Once I started paying attention, I realized almost anything—a cold, deadline pressures, bad news, or bad weather—could start me wheezing. Emotional stress of any kind was a particularly powerful trigger.

Elson Haas, a physician and director of the Preventive Medicine Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, isn’t surprised. Stress kicks off physiological responses that lead directly to breathing troubles, he says. What’s the first thing people do when they’re nervous? Take shorter breaths, of course. Plus, the body releases certain hormones when we’re under stress (particularly adrenaline and cortisol) that open up the airways—but once the stress goes away and these hormones subside, the bronchial tubes can tighten up again.

Clearly, I needed to coax my body into staying calm. (Stop and smell the roses? I was allergic to them!)

You’d think my living situation would have been a help. I was part of a yoga community at the time...

Author: Swaha Devi

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