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Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

ARDS, Dang Shen and Huang Qi

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening episode that’s much like drowning while still breathing air. In people experiencing ARDS, fluid from small blood vessels leaks into the alveoli – the sacs responsible for intaking air and passing it into the bloodstream. This quickly and aggressively damages the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen, resulting in hypoxemia – or dangerously low blood oxygen levels.

ARDS is a medical emergency and has a high mortality rate – it kills many people who experience an episode. Most patients require time in an intensive care unit to recover, and those that do may have lung damage that permanently affects their lung performance.

There are ways to offset the lingering complications from an ARDS attack, including Chinese medicinal herbs.

What Can Trigger an ARDS Episode?

ARDS itself isn’t an ongoing health condition. Instead, it occurs as a result of injury or infection, so it frequently occurs when someone is already receiving treatment for something else. Some ARDS triggers include:

  • Sepsis
  • Severe pneumonia
  • Inhaling harmful substances, such as smoke
  • COVID-19 infection
  • Chest or head injury
  • Pancreatitis

It’s common for survivors to experience reduced lung performance for months, even years following an ARDS episode. Some have permanent damage, along with other complications, including memory problems, fatigue, and depression.

How Can Chinese Herbs Like Dang Shen and Huang Qi Help with ARDS?

The immediate goal with ARDS is to stabilize the patient and support respiratory function until the patient can take in enough oxygen on their own. If the patient is able to recover from their acute episode, it will take some time to get back to normal. During this part of patient recovery, a pair of Chinese herbs can help – Dang Shen and Huang Qi.

Dang Shen (Codonopsis root) and Huang Qi (Astragalus root), on their own, can tonify Qi. Together, though, they synergize for effective lung support. Dang Shen and Huang Qi also tonify the spleen Qi, which is particularly important following a draining illness or condition – like ARDS. Have a conversation with your Houston practitioner today to understand the ways they can be of assistance.

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