What is Lungs?
Lung diseases are the most common medical conditions affecting people worldwide. Genes, smoking, infections, etc., are mostly the cause of lung disease.
Your lungs are a part of a complex system, expanding and relaxing thousands of times each day to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. If there is any problem in the functioning of the parts of the lung, you may experience problems in breathing.
Lung diseases affecting the airways
Diseases that affect airways include:
It is one of the most prevalent forms of chronic lung disease. When it develops, the lungs turn swollen and narrow, making it hard for you to breathe normally. The generalized symptoms include wheezing and coughing, feeling tightness in your chest, inability to take in enough air, etc. See your doctor right away if you experience these signs. Triggers may usually include dust, stress, exercise, pollution, etc.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a disease of the lung in which inflammation creates painful breathing. This inflammation results in the overproduction of mucus and a thickening of the lining of the lungs.
Those with COPD may have one or both of the following conditions:
- Emphysema. The condition damages the air sacs in the lungs. Normally air sacs are strong and flexible, but emphysema weakens them and forces them to rupture.
- Chronic bronchitis. It is common to experience bronchitis when you have a sinus or cold infection. It is serious because it results in the inflammation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs and never goes away.
- Acute bronchitis. This sudden infection of your airways is triggered by a viral infection.
Lung diseases affecting the air sacs (Alveoli)
Conditions that affect air sacs include:
- Pneumonia. An infection of the alveoli, triggered by bacteria or viruses, including the coronavirus or COVID-19.
- Tuberculosis Pneumonia. It usually progresses slowly, caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- Pulmonary edema. Fluid emanates out of the small blood vessels of your lung into the air sacs and the area around them. There are two forms of pulmonary edema- one is caused by heart failure and backpressure in the lung’s blood vessels. In another form, lung injury may cause the fluid to leak.
- Lung cancer. Cancers in the lungs may develop in any part of the lung. Primarily it appears in the core or near the air sacs.
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It is a sudden onset of lung injury due to another condition, such as COVID-19. People with ARDS may need to rely on artificial breathing from a machine called a ventilator until the lungs fully recover.
- Pneumoconiosis. This is primarily a result of inhaling something that may damage the lungs—for instance, black lung disease and asbestosis from dust.
Lung Diseases Affecting the Interstitium
The interstitium is a narrow lining between your alveoli. Small blood vessels that go through the interstitium allow gas to be transferred between the alveoli and the blood. The problem in the interstitium may sometimes become the reason for disease in the lungs.
- Interstitial lung disease (ILD). It is a group of disorders indicating progressive scarring of lung tissues—for instance, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema, etc.
Lung Diseases affecting blood vessels
The right side of the heart pumps blood into the lungs through pulmonary arteries. These arteries could be diseased as well.
- Pulmonary embolism(PE). A blood clot (usually during deep vein thrombosis) breaks off and reaches the heart, and gets pumped into your lungs. The clot may stick to a pulmonary artery, resulting in breathlessness and low oxygen levels.
- Pulmonary hypertension. Conditions that cause hypertension in pulmonary arteries can cause chest pain and shortness of breath.
Lung diseases affecting the pleura
The pleura is a delicate lining around the lungs and the inside of the chest. Sometimes, fluid may allow the pleura on the lung’s surface to move and slide along the chest as you breathe.
Some of such conditions include:
- Pleural effusion. Fluid deposits between the lung and the chest wall. Likely the causes are heart failure or pneumonia. Large pleural effusions may need to be taken out as they cause problems with breathing.
- Mesothelioma. A type of cancer that grows on the pleura.
- Pneumothorax. Air may fill the space between the chest wall and the lung, making the lungs collapse.
Lung diseases affecting the chest wall
Your chest wall also plays an important role in breathing. It is the muscles that connect ribs to each other, helping the chest expand.
Conditions of the lung affecting the chest wall include:
- Obesity hypoventilation syndrome. Extra weight on the chest can make chest expansion a little difficult, causing breathing problems.
- Neuromuscular disorders. Problems in the nerves that control respiratory muscles lead to neuromuscular disorders. Examples include Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.
An annoying cough while you are sleeping or in the middle of work explains a lot about your lungs. Though the signs can go from mild to moderate, you shall make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Common signs may include:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic mucus production
- Coughing up blood
- Chronic chest pain
Pollution may irritate your respiratory tract and cause problems in breathing by triggering cold and cough.
With changing seasons, you are likely to get infected with respiratory diseases.
Exercise keeps the lungs functional and helps the body maintain oxygen levels.
If your immunity is low, you are more likely to get a lung infection quickly.
The irritants in the cigarette result in the impaired flow of oxygen to the cells.
In many cases, stress may also induce respiratory issues.
Unhealthy eating habits like too much fast food can hamper the digestive system. In response to this, the lungs do not get proper nutrients to work, which disrupts their function.
Ayurvedic treatment for lung diseases
In Ayurveda, predominant Vata is responsible for respiratory disorders. The balance in life energies or doshas results in a healthy body. This Vata imbalance may lead to the formation and accumulation of toxins in the respiratory tract. Over time, Ama or toxins as produced may start to inflame the cells and tissues, resulting in the production of mucus, thereby blocking the lung tissues. So, the core of ayurvedic treatment for lung disease is to eliminate the waste through medicinal herbs and procedures. Along with this, diet and yoga also play a vital role in strengthening the function of the lungs.
At AyuKarma, we have induced evidence-based treatment methodologies to boost lungs and bring down inflammation by purging Ama or toxins.