Doctors rediscover the shvitz

Mickey pointed out this helpful news for asthmatics from the Glasgow Scotsman:

ASTHMATICS are set to benefit from a breakthrough new treatment – hot air.Researchers at Glasgow University have found that treating severely affected patients by heating parts of their lungs with warm air can lead to “significant” improvements.

During a year-long global trial, sufferers experienced a 50 per cent drop in serious attacks from an average of about 18 to eight or nine and had an extra 86 days when they were free of any symptoms.

It also enabled a reduction in medication use and the patients exhibited a general improvement in quality of life.

Patients have a tube inserted into their lungs under light sedation and certain areas are heated to 65C for about ten seconds.

The procedure reduces the amount of muscle tissue responsible for contracting the airways, which is usually above normal in severe asthma sufferers.

In the days of public steam baths, no one did controlled studies.

In recent years, companies did controlled studies of asthma drugs if they could be patented, but no one did controlled studies of steam baths. A company doing home steam showers contacted Mickey after he recommended steam showers in his guide to asthma but they did not have the resources to do a controlled study. Now, there is a controlled study. Hopefully people will install steam showers instead of thinking the only way to get relief is to “have a tube inserted into their lungs under light sedation”.

The full article is here.

March 29, 2007

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