Asthma – chronic respiratory disease

Bronchial asthma (Asthma bronchiale in Latin) – a disease whose predominant symptom is acute dyspnea associated with wheezing, resulting from chronic inflammation within the airways and airway hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is a disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people, often children, who generally accompanies man for the rest of his life. This is due to the necessity of continuous medication. More importantly is that you have to care a set of drugs with you – you have to always be prepared for the possibility of an attack. Patients with asthma constantly accompanied by awareness that acute exacerbations could pose a danger to life. This can definitely reduce the comfort, because you should have a preventive foresight in many situations.




What about the conditions of high-altitude fighting asthma?

In the worldwide study of asthma prevalence, it is noted that it is extremely seldom occurs in mountainous countries, e.g. in Tibet. However, these are studies done recently. Meanwhile, in 1930, somewhere in Russia,they started experiments in the context of military applications, testing the effect of altitude hypoxia (reduced oxygen content in the air, and carefully drop in atmospheric pressure) on the human body. Soon, it was noted that the human being in high altitudes brings a number of positive consequences (Serebrovskaya TV et al 2012). One of the effects observed was a complete remission of symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitis.

The therapeutic mechanism of action of the altitude has its basis in biochemical reactions at the cellular level. Assuming that the basis of the development of asthma is inflammation relevant to the treatment of this disease is to prevent its development. The basic element of triggering inflammatory are reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced in response to the occurrence of an allergen. Their uncontrolled proliferation leads to oxidative stress, severe indigenously. This situation is the signal for the immune cells that move toward the space of the developing inflammation. In a place that creates a turbulent inflammatory infiltration obstruct airflow. Frequent contact with the allergen ultimately leads to overactivity described answers. Therefore, the amplification of the most important antioxidant and the antioxidant enzymes accurately, thus preventing proliferation of ROS and thus the formation of inflammation. Lack of immune cells and inflammatory is equivalent of lack of the disease.




Using the influence of altitude is adjusted to the severity of the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although at first glance appears to be a disadvantage, the greater the number of ROS stimulates antioxidant enzymes to increase their activity, and the trigger is not an allergen acting only is a systemic response. In this way, the short-term exposures to high altitude conditions comes to improving one of the most important parts of our body’s defenses, which are antioxidant enzymes. This method of treating asthma is used in Russia and some former Soviet Union countries for two decades, which created a very large amount of work on this subject. However, due to isolation and other factors, the results of these studies have not been made available to the wide public. For this reason, the western world of science and medicine has met the beneficial properties of „hypoxia” only a few years.

In published studies, Russian scientists are described the following cases:

  1. On the artificially generated height of 3500 m children spent one hour a day for 25 consecutive days. The result: in 72% of children have asthma total remissions in 20% significantly reduced dosage, 8%, there was no response to treatment. (Kulberg AY 1997).
  2. A group of 200 children was taking inhaled air mixture with reduced oxygen compactness, at the level of 12%-15%, for 5 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break. This sequence was repeated four times a day, for 10 days. It was observed that 85% of children with significant symptoms subsided, and more importantly, the effect of the treatment lasted for four months, making it possible to discontinue medication at that time (Anokhin MI. et al 1992).




The two stated studies show how big the therapeutic potential of human exposure may have on the conditions associated with lower oxygen in the air. Additionally, lots observed benefits of altitude training conditions in the case of people suffering from asthma, allergic rhinitis, diabetes, hypertensionobesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Burtscher M. et al 2010).