A warm bath with a couple of handfuls of Epsom Salts thrown in can really ease breathing and aches and pains. No need to eat it. Quoting: Doobie
That's interesting and makes sense historically. It's given IV in hospitals.Bronchodialators were used because the lungs act as a path for oxygen to diffuse in from breathing into the blood supply
, and diffuse out from the lungs. That means it's an excellent delivery system for gaseous medicines if you wish to get some drug into the blood supply. This is like IV or sublingual avoids the first pass effect of the liver.
Earlier today, there was statement that was made regarding a potential treatment of bronchodialation in asthma patients using magnesium sulfate. This is the chemical name for Epsom salts, a common compound used to ease muscle aches by soaking or as a laxative. The latter is taken internally and caution must be used, for magnesium is one of the positive ions that regulates the heart.
I'm not sure if the folks reading understand this , but when someone has asthma, their body undergoes an allergic reaction to various substances, and the pathway in the respiratory tract that channels, specifically the bronchioles, the branching tubes that send gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the lungs, that narrows. This vastly reduces the amount of oxygen to them, and they struggle to breathe. When that happens, they know to use a bronchodialor in order to apply a smooth muscle relaxant and then the opening dilates (gets wider).
Lung disease is the third largest cause of mortality in America. Its the number one cause of death in infants. It affects millions. Asthma is one of most prevalent of causes of lung disease.
Oxygen in our atmosphere is 20.9% of the gases we breath. Much of it is nitrogen.
There are two primary ways of helping someone with lung disease. You give them more oxygen by giving the 100% oxygen in a tank of it. Even if the opening is narrow, it's approximately five times what they draw in by volume. Or you increase the orifice of the channel of respiration. The latter being done by brochodialation.
Obviously in a disaster, then one might not have a means of doing either.
In respiratory influenza, one of the primary issues is narrowing of the orifice by an exacerbation of mucus and leading to very low oxygen levels as a result. In pandemic flu, not only is this happening, but also pneumonia which is inflammation of the lung itself particularly the alveloi. These are the millions of tiny sacs in which gases flow across the tiny blood vessels within and oxygen and carbon dioxide flow in and out.
Many patients who chronically suffer with a respiratory illness plus patients afflicted with a new respiratory infection could benefit if we could get them more oxygen somehow.
Here's a link to a study using magnesium sulfate, applied in isotonic concentrations in a nebulizer. There are many studies:
[link to www.respiratoryreviews.com
I've been researching magnesium sulfate since that statement was made. It is administered IV in the hospitals, so as such that doesn't help us, for we can hardly do that at home.
There have been several tiny studies in which an isotonic (a concentration of a compound similar to the concentration of the compound in the human body) concentration of magnesium sulfate is nebulized, then it safely acts as a bronchodialator.
In the hospital, the ones who are most helped are the ones with most severe chronic disease state, but it's a rough treatment, so it adds strain to those patients as well as helps.
A nebulizer is a special vaporizer in which substances are added to the machine and cause bronchodialation.
Now, that doesn't mean that adding magnesium sulfate to a vaporizer will help. It might be that putting that compound in vaporizer in a room would apply magnesium sulfate into the air as ions. In chemistry, when salt is added to water, the water breaks the connection (ionic bonds) and releases a positive and negative component. In this case, a magnesium ion and a sulfate ion. Those then float in the air and the moisture eventually is breathed in by a patient. However, it might not be isotonic based upon the distance that this ion is diffusing.
It could be that medical professionals could calculate the amount of magnesium sulfate that would need to be added to a vaporizer (a lot of you have those) or a nebulizer (few of you have those but common in patients with chronic respiratory illness) as well as how close it would need to be to help.
A very low concentration may not do anything. A hypertonic (higher than normal concentrations than in the body) could harm a patient.
More study is needed.
In a disaster, a lot of medical planning is about finding alternative treatments for chronic illness in patients when also dealing with the disaster's effect on supply chains of medical supplies. In addition, because suddenly everyone might need a lot of medical supplies, then finding some way of treatment for them too.
Just because you read a single statement that X ( a substance)is good for Y (a disease), don't think this will work in real life unless there's a protocol (a method ) of applying it so it can be absorbed and beneficial to the patient. Then it has to be possible for a family member or friend to do it (have low technical requirements).
Good disaster planning is about logically MacGuyvering protocols, teaching people how to "source" (find that substance and harvest it) and most importantly understanding disease.
As patients you must understand the disease state first. Then the next most difficult part is sourcing that substance. If it doesn't grow around you, or is supplied in a meaningful inexpensive way, or can be harvested due to season, then it won't help.
MacGuyvering (engineering in the field) requires good old use of the brain and multi-disciplinary skill knowledge.