Much of what we know about asthma today is tied to what our beliefs have been about this condition for many years. We tend to inherit a predisposition to asthma. It seems to present itself sometime during childhood. Some kids grow out of it and some do not. Occasionally it appears for the first time in adulthood.

Our basic treatment has been to do our best to control the environmental triggers if possible; while developing medicines that either reverse or prevent the asthmatic response of the lungs. Yet with all of the brilliant pharmacologic interventions devised over the last 10-15 years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the incidence of asthma, and asthma related deaths.

How can this be? As a spokesman for the American Lung Association of Los Angeles for years, Dr. Sletten has continually lobbied for governmental regulations that support improvement of air quality. And indeed, the quality of our air has improved tremendously over the last 25 years because of stringent emissions standards. So why are we getting sicker?

Firstly, I believe that air pollution from combustion sources is only one piece of the puzzle regarding the assault on our lungs. Indoor pollution is a likely culprit as well. The list of chemicals that we have chosen to live with has grown immensely; the off-gassing of stain resistant chemicals from carpets and furniture upholstery, the fire-retardant chemicals in mattresses and clothing, air “fresheners” and fabric softeners, pesticide residues on our fruit and vegetables.

The list goes on, but the real root of the asthma disorder is with a disordered immunity. Some of the newer drugs have worked to try to offset that immune imbalance, but we may be chasing our tails with these well intentioned drug interventions. The answer likely lies in uncovering the original cause of the immune dysregulation.

At Sletten Wellness we believe that the answer may be found in the marriage between the environmental toxicologist and the immunologists. There are environmental toxins that are known to skew this immunologic balance, and thus exaggerate our response to particles that would otherwise be quite innocuous. There is very likely a genetic vulnerability to such a distortion of the immune response.

But we believe that this distortion can be tamed and even brought back into balance; leaving the requirement for prescription drugs behind. It does take a considerable level of determination and persistence to walk through the healing process of environmental evaluation, dietary exploration and detoxification. But we pledge to journey with you because the benefits are long standing and well worth the effort.