How to control asthma – Manila Newsletter
You don’t have to suffer
I could clearly remember the tightness on my chest coupled with that uncontrollable purring coming from my lungs as I found myself struggling to breathe. The endless cough at night and early in the morning left me feeling tired before my day even started. Just like me, 260 million people also suffer from asthma, according to the World Health Organization in 2019.
Asthma is a long-term disease that affects the lungs as a result of inflammation and narrowing of the airways. This is manifested by the following symptoms: cough, which occurs at night or early in the morning, wheezing or wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
An allergic asthma attack is usually triggered by allergens also called allergy triggers. These asthma triggers vary from person to person, but can include dust, mites, mold, pollen, chemicals, air pollution, climate change, exposure to smoke, fumes, strong odors, viruses, animal dander and even food substances.
These asthma triggers vary from person to person, but can include dust, mites, mold, pollen, chemicals, air pollution, climate change, exposure to smoke, fumes, strong odors, viruses, animal dander and even food substances.
The least common type of asthma is non-allergic in nature. This condition is triggered by factors unrelated to allergens. These include stress, anxiety, cold air, physical exertion, or exercise.
While asthma can appear not to be life threatening in most cases, it can also be debilitating in a way. Symptoms can cause sleep problems and fatigue, which will certainly affect productivity, well-being, and daily life.
If you have asthma, don’t give up hope that you will live with this debilitating disease for the rest of your life. There are ways to effectively control asthma.
- Take your medications religiously as prescribed by the doctor. Never end up without these bronchodilators. These medicines will relieve your pain by dilating or opening your airways to ensure adequate flow of oxygen to your lungs.
- Identify your triggers and avoid them. Keep a diary of possible allergen exposure or ingestion and symptoms. Eventually you’ll find a pattern and can easily avoid and eliminate triggers.
- It is recommended to take a food intolerance test if the budget allows. This is a simple blood test that can help identify foods that cause inflammatory reactions in the body by releasing the IgG antigen.
- Avoid milk and dairy products like cheese, chocolates, and anything that uses milk as an ingredient. Proteins in milk are most likely the cause of allergic asthma in people who are allergic to milk, intolerant to milk, or sensitive to milk. These three conditions may seem the same, but they are slightly different in terms of the immune response and the antibodies produced. Nonetheless, all of these fall under milk sensitivities which cause inflammation in the body. Milk also forms mucus. It stimulates the production of phlegm, which clogs the lungs and causes an asthma attack. Non-dairy milk substitutes are available.
- Be physically active and exercise once your asthma is under control. Start by walking for 10 to 15 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you build more endurance. Exercise and regular physical activity will strengthen your lung muscles, balance your immune system, and increase your blood circulation and oxygenation.
- Suppress lung inflammation by eating foods rich in phytochemicals. These are substances found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant sources that decrease inflammation inside the body, including the inflamed airways affected during an asthma attack. In particular, the prickly pear contains over 10,000 phytochemicals, a very potent anti-inflammatory functional food. Another antioxidant that fights asthma is xanthone, which is found in mangosteen, where it is most abundant in the bark.
- It is recommended that you seek the advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist before taking any modified functional food and any supplement that claims anti-inflammatory properties to control asthma.
Never heal yourself! When it comes to your health, let a professional take care of you.
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