Asthma, a disease that affects the respiratory system, is common and causes symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Asthma causes the constriction of airways due to inflammation. Most asthma sufferers experience more coughing during the night and in the morning.
Of the twenty five million people that suffer with asthma in the United States, seven million of them are children. Many children grow out of asthma while some do not. Research has found that many people inherit asthma through their genes. Over 300 million people around the globe are suffering with asthmatic conditions and around 5,000 people die from asthma related issues every year.. Asthma can strike people of all ages. However, in most cases, asthma occurs in children.
When the airways in the body become swollen and inflamed, breathing can be difficult. This is what happens to people with asthma. For most asthmatic patients, inhaled substances can cause serious consequences of constricted airways and bronchial tubes.
Muscles constrict in airways when they react to inhaled substances or other stressing factors. When this constriction occurs, cells in the airways react by producing thick mucus that can make breathing more difficult. Inflammation causes swelling of the airways as well, decreasing the space in airways, making it even harder for an asthmatic patient to breath.
The constriction of airways is how an asthma attack happens, decreasing air way space that causes the struggle to catch a breath. An asthma attack can occur each time airways become inflamed.
While some breathing difficulties are considered mild and easily treatable with medications like inhalers, other episodes can be more serious and are considered an actual asthma attack, also referred to as an exacerbation.
As soon as symptoms present, treating them is important to avoid a full blown attack. Severe exacerbation can require emergency medical treatment and if not treated right away, can also be fatal.
Children are most affected by asthma with an estimated 13 million days of school missed every year because of it. Children suffering with asthma face a great deal of challenges when it comes to playing or even being able to sleep through the night. Asthma has been reported to be one of the leading diseases affecting children, increasing childhood disability issues a lot. Parents and families of asthmatic children have a heavy cross to bear, especially if a child experiences frequent, severe attacks.
The Negro population suffers more so with asthma than other races, twenty eight percent more so than Caucasians. Black children experience more hospital visits, 250% more, than Caucasian children and more Black children die from asthma related issues than children in other races as well, at a rate of 300% more.
Taking care to control your asthma is extremely important. You may need to take medication every day to prevent attacks or you might have to use monitoring tools for your breathing. Having asthma means you must take care of it and you every day for avoiding severe, even deadly attacks.
Triggers And Causes Of Asthma
The cause of asthma remains unknown to medical professionals. However, many medical professionals do know that several environmental and genetic factors could be involved. Researchers are working hard to bring develops to ways to prevent you from getting asthma and for cures and greater treatments as well.
Classified as a chronic inflammatory disease, asthma can cause varied symptoms for different people. When airways become inflamed, the mucosal membrane reacts by creating thick mucus that can also deter airflow. In most cases, the mucosal membrane becomes irritated due to a trigger. Understanding triggers for this disease is extremely important, especially if a loved one suffers with severe asthma. During an asthma attack, the muscles in the walls of airways spasm, hence the reason coughing and wheezing occur. Coughing is how the body attempts to dispel the overflow of mucus being formed inside the airways.
According to research, genetics can be blamed for your asthma. Asthma acts a lot in the same as allergies in the way the disease is inherited. Allergies and asthma also have triggers that can cause reactions in common as well. Genetic inheritance is the reason medical professionals say some people have it and some never get it.
One great reason allergies and asthma are similar is the fact that some allergic reactions can bring on an asthma attack. This occurrence is due to the condition allergic asthma and cause the great need for you and your loved ones to learn the exact allergens causing you to have attacks. These allergens can be considered as asthma triggers. Learning what triggers your attacks allows you to have more control over your condition. Allergens can be found in the environment, in food and can also be inhaled in the air. Some people have allergic asthma attacks more frequently when the air is experiencing heavy levels of pollutions as well. Taking care to learn which triggers cause you to have attacks may one day save your life.
People that have are allergic to grass, trees, spores and mold can have allergic reactions that bring on asthma attacks. Animal dander, mites, dust and cockroach droppings are considered common allergens. In many cases, these attacks can have a brutal impact on the body’s ability to draw air in and out. Steering clear of allergens like seasonal spores and other environmental allergens is important. In fact, four times more children that live in homes with cockroach droppings end up with allergic asthma. Someone with an allergy to dust mites can have an asthma attack after inhaling a small amount of dust. Sufferers can experience asthma attacks up to ten day after being exposed to a trigger.
Foods, Additives And Preservatives
People with food allergies can suffer mild to severe reactions. The most common foods that are associated with allergic reactions are
- Wheat and wheat products
- Shellfish like shrimp or crab
- Cow’s milk and other dairy products
- Additives and preservatives used in processed foods
Avoiding processed foods that contain sulfite additives is extremely important for asthmatic people. Additives can be listed as sodium sulfite, potassium bisulfate, potassium metabisulfate, sodium bisulfate and sodium metabitsulfate and are used all the time in food manufacturing processes. These additives can cause someone with asthma to have an attack.
Physical Exertion And Asthma
Many children with asthma miss out on playing sports and other activities that require above average physical exertion. Physical exertion is the cause of airway inflammation and constriction in 80% of asthmatic patients. Avoiding exercise is important, but finding ways to remain active for muscle health is important as well. If you suffer with asthma that can be triggered by overexertion, you will know quickly into an average workout. Symptoms present within ten minutes of the start of an exercise program. For many asthmatics, exercise related symptoms go away after exercising for over twenty minutes. However, statistics show that 50% of asthmatics that experience attacks during exertion will experience a greater attack within ten hours after working out. Some experts feel that warming up gently before an exercise program can help to thwart an attack.
Tips For Working Out With Asthma
Pacing yourself during a workout can help you avoid the need for medication. If you enjoy rigorous exercises and you find your start to feel the symptoms coming on of an attack, slow down. Taking breaks can allow you to avoid an attack as well.
Praynayama breathing techniques, used in yoga, can provide an asthmatic great benefit during exercise. This technique allows you to maintain control over your breathing.
Choose sports and other physical activities that allow you rest periods. Sports like baseball or tennis are great choices. Golf is especially a great choice. However, you do always have to limit yourself to just these games. By controlling your symptoms and taking adequate rest breaks, you can play any game you would like. You should know that some Olympic champions are asthmatics and have made it to the top in physically challenging sports.
Asthma And Heartburn
Many people may not be aware of the association between asthma and heartburn. Of the people that have chronic gastroesophogeal reflux disease, also known as GERD, eighty nine percent of them experience acid reflux that can reach the airways and instigate irritation that can trigger an asthma attack. In GERD, the esophogeal flap does function properly in keeping down stomach acids where they need to be. Many adults that have chronic heartburn find themselves also suffering with asthma later in life despite no family history or genetic connection to the disease asthma.
Your physician may recommend dietary changes to help you control GERD or you may be prescribed medication for helping to control it. Discussing your treatment options with your health care provider can be helpful to avoid asthma attacks related to GERD.
Cigarette Smoking And Asthma
Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing asthma and places others around at risk as well because of second hand smoke. Women that smoke while they are pregnant increase the risk for their children to have asthma at an early age after birth. Mothers that do smoke while pregnant have lower percentage of babies with respiratory issues like the babies do of those mothers that smoked while they were pregnant. If you smoke and you also have asthma, quitting could save your life.
Upper Respiratory Infections Like Sinusitis
Sinusitis occurs when the mucous membranes lining the sinus cavities become inflamed. This is same type of inflammation that occurs in the airways that causes asthma attacks. An increase of mucus in the sinuses is created due to this inflammation in the same way as inflamed airways cause the increase in mucus. Asthmatics can suffer an asthma attack because of sinusitis. if you develop a sinus infection and you have asthma, seeking medical treatment for the sinus infection is vital to prevent the risk of also having an asthma attack.
Other respiratory issues like colds, flu and bronchitis can also trigger asthma attacks. This is especially true in asthmatic children under ten years old. Bear in mind both viral and bacterial viruses can cause asthma issues to occur. Up to 70% of adults that have asthma also have issues with sinus disease. Up to 56% of hay fever sufferers have asthma as well.
Some asthma sufferers have a form of the disease known as aspirin sensitive asthma. For these sufferers, taking medications like aspirin or NSAIDS like ibuprofen or naproxen can cause the onset of asthma symptoms. Alerting your physician about any adverse reactions you may experience with your asthma after taking any medications is important.
Other Asthma Triggers
People with asthma can experience an attack if they are exposed to irritants like wood smoke, strong perfumes and colognes, chemicals like cleaning products and second hand tobacco smoke. Outdoor air pollution like smog or factory fumes can also cause an attack to occur.
Weather changes are also responsible for bring about an increased risk for asthma attacks also. Going from heat into cold can trigger an attack. Some suffers also have attacks occur due to humidity as well.
Stress, especially extreme emotional stress, can certainly bring about increased numbers of asthma attacks. Crying, screaming and yelling can quickly cause the inflammation in airways that cause attacks to happen. Unfortunately, even laughing hard can cause an attack.
Worsening Asthma Symptoms Due To Triggers
Because the airways in asthmatic people remain sensitive, the least amount of irritation can cause a flare up of symptoms that usually escalate to a full blown attack. This high level of sensitivity is the greatest reason asthmatics can suffer an attack weeks after being exposed to a trigger.
Your symptoms of asthma may be different from other asthmatic suffers. Most people have varied symptoms depending on the triggers they are exposed to or are sensitive to. The trigger that you are sensitive to may not bother another asthma sufferer. The best way to maintain control your symptoms is by learning your triggers and taking steps to avoid them. Discussing treatment with your doctor is the best way to manage your asthma.
Identifying Your Triggers
Many people may not know what triggers their asthma attacks. However, identifying triggers is extremely important for you to control your symptoms. You may have one trigger while another person may have several.
Your health care provider may ask for a reaction history report or you may have blood and skin tests similar to the ones done for allergies. Many physicians give their asthmatic patients a peak flow meter for measuring the amount of air you exhale. Peak flow meters can alert you to changes that signify an oncoming asthma attack. Discuss with your health care provider about using a peak flow meter and how it could benefit you.
Maintaining The Healthiest Environment
Using an air conditioner can help you breathe easier and keep down the chances of attacks. If you do not have an air conditioner, closing entry ways and windows during seasonal allergy seasons is best. During this season, pollen and other environmental allergens can bring on asthma attacks. Using an air conditioner greatly reduces the risk of environmental allergen asthma attacks because it helps maintain a low indoor humidity level.
Make dusting a weekly practice in your home, especially in the room you sleep. Changing bedding and keeping pillows inside sealed cases can help keep down dust mites. Sealing your mattress in a sealed case is a good idea as well for helping to control dust and dust mites. Choose only window treatment you can easily wash. Always replace carpet with tiles or linoleum as well.
If you reside in a climate that experiences frequent humidity, using a dehumidifier can help. Your physician can help you decide whether your climate justifies making the purchase of one. Learn how over use of a humidifier or inhaler can make your symptoms worsen by talking to your doctor.
Making sure no mold is present in your home is extremely important. Mold spores can cause an attack to occur. Mold can grow in places not easily visible, so maintaining a cleaning schedule specifically for it is smart if you live in areas that cause your home to have a high level of moisture.
The dander on your pet’s hair can trigger an attack. Choosing pets without feathers or hair is best. Bathing your pet on a regular schedule can help to keep down the dander that causes attacks as well.
Staying on a regular schedule for cleaning your house is essential to maintain a healthier home environment. If you have trouble with heavier aspects of housework, you might consider getting help in doing so. The cleaner your home remains, the lower your risk of asthma attacks can be lower.
Wear a scarf or face mask over your nose and mouth in cold weather to prevent irritation to your airways.
Staying On Top Of Your Good Health and Have a Healthy Lifestyle
Taking care of your body and making sure you keep medical issues you suffer from under control is important to control your asthma symptoms.
Do not avoid regular exercise because you have asthma. Doing so will ultimately make your asthma worse. Exercise can help to make your heart and lungs stronger. All of you can benefit from working out on a regular schedule.
Watching your weight is important to prevent many serious medical problems including asthma. Maintain a well-balanced, healthy for helping you stay at the best weight for you.
Choose foods that are high in antioxidants for helping to increase your immunity levels. Citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants and can help you avoid attacks. Antioxidants protect help to increase your body’s protection against free radical, molecules that can increase the irritation in your airways.
GERD and chronic heartburn sufferers need to control symptoms to prevent the onset of asthma attacks due to acid irritation in the airways. Talk to your physician about medications and dietary changes that can help you keep control over acid reflux symptoms.
Explaining Your Asthma Attacks
When you experience a full blown asthma attack, it means you are experiencing the same symptoms you always feel only they are happening at a greater level. Some attacks can be terrifying and cause you to feel as if you may suffocate.
During an attack, your airways are basically closing off because of the constriction caused by swelling. Mucus is produced and thickens as inflammation grows and blocks airways even more. You can feel as though you are being choked by invisible hands.
Having A Plan Could Save Your Life
Talk to your doctor about the steps you or your loved ones should take in the event you experience a severe asthma attack. Doing so could save your life you are unable to breathe and have seconds to make serious decisions about emergency medical attention.
Write It Down
Your doctor might ask you to keep a diary about the symptoms you experience and about the things you think might have triggered an attack as well. This type of diary can be helpful to pinpoint triggers you may be unaware of.
Managing Asthmatic School Children
Making sure the faculty and staff at your child’s school are aware he or she is asthmatic is extremely important. Giving detailed information and details about how to reach you and your child’s doctor is important. The more informed your child’s educators are, the better they will be if your child experiences an attack while at school.
Always make sure you inform your asthmatic child about triggers and explain the reasons to avoid them. Doing so could be beneficial while he or she is in school.
Natural Remedies And Treatment For Asthma
- Turmeric, a delicious spice, added to milk can help stave an asthma attack. Remember to drink only on an empty stomach.
- Boil six cloves and a spoonful of honey in a half cup of water. Make this remedy twice daily and be sure to drink it all.
- Boiling milk and crushed garlic can provide a remedy that is soothing for asthma suffers. Add six teaspoons of milk to a crushed clove for helping to reduce the onset of asthma symptoms.
- Be sure to spend enough time outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Simple breathing fresh air can have great benefits for reducing asthma symptoms and for just making you feel good all over.
- Mix one teaspoon each of ginger powder, raw honey and ground black pepper for an effective remedy.
- Grapes can help to stave an attack when dried and soaked in milk. Eating milk soaked grapes on an empty stomach can have an effect of reducing asthma symptoms. Grapes can also provide benefits for flushing toxins out of your system and strengthening lungs for healthier functioning.
- Flush phlegm from the respiratory system by eating dried figs.
- Drinking a glass of warm milk, honey and olive oil measured in equal parts can help you ward of symptoms that lead to attacks. Drink this milk remedy before breakfast along with two or three cloves of garlic for experiencing the best benefit.
- Boil half a glass of fenugreek juice and one teaspoon of ginger juice and drink to detoxify your lungs. This remedy is also an effective decongestant.
- Eating fennel seeds can also provide similar detoxifying and decongestant benefits.
- Adding a dash of lime juice and ground ginger to herbal tea can provide soothing benefits for asthmatic patients. Many patients choose this tea blend over teas with milk in them. Drinking licorice tea can help manage symptoms as well. Drinking both of herbal tea remedies twice daily is recommended.
- Taking a teaspoon of turmeric and honey separately in the mornings can help to thwart asthma attacks.
- Mixing crushed gooseberry into one tablespoon of honey is also an effective natural remedy for asthma symptoms.
- Radishes, lemon juice and honey made into a soup can provide decongesting benefits as well as act an expectorant for help you rid your airways of mucus. Drinking about ten grams of this soup on a regular schedule provides great benefit for asthma patients.
- Broth from leaves of drumstick is another great natural remedy for asthma symptoms.
- Safflower seeds, powdered or dry, mixed into a teaspoon of honey makes an excellent expectorant.
- Bitter gourd juice blended with honey and basil paste is a great natural remedy. Take a spoonful to prevent worsening asthma symptoms at the onset of an attack.
- Boiled milk with raisins and dried pomegranates makes a good remedy for asthma symptoms.
- A mixture of warm mustard oil and crushed camphor rubbed onto the chest and back of an asthmatic patient in the act of having an attack can help open airways
- Boiling ajwain seeds and breathing the steam can help to open and soothe airways for the relief of asthma symptoms.
- Inhalation of stream from water with juniper in it can also help to open up airways that are swollen and irritated.
- The inhalation of the scent of honey is said to also help sooth inflamed airways.
- Avoid eating foods that are processed or fried.
- Avoid heavy milks products like cream and buttermilk because they have been found to increase mucus formation.
- Drink plenty of fresh water. Boiling your drinking water before consumption is best.
- Watermelon, guava, papaya and bananas can also increase the severity of asthma symptoms.
- Mixing one part water and two parts lemon juice can be a drink that when sipped daily can decrease the symptoms of asthma.
- Drinking a carrot and spinach juice blend can increase your chances of not having asthma symptoms.
- Drinking about fifteen drops of garlic in tepid water can help deter asthma symptoms.
- Make a paste you can take twice a day with warm water by grinding two grams each of Nagar and Bharangi.
- Mixing a teaspoon of Indian bay leaf powder with a teaspoon of honey for taking before bedtime can be beneficial to get a good night of rest.
- Make an effective remedy by combining Black Resin, honey and Long Pippli. Add the same amount of each ingredient and mix. take a spoonful of this remedy at night along with a glass of warm milk for the best results.
- Rosemary: Rosemary has been used for centuries in the treatment of several respiratory ailments including asthma. Many people cook with rosemary on a daily basis for experiencing these health benefits.
- Carrots: The roots of yellow carrots can provide beneficial effects for children suffering with asthma and other respiratory issues like tuberculosis. Carrots also contain many vital vitamins and mineral necessary for proper lung, heart and circulatory functioning.
- Onions: Onions have been known to have amazing effects for asthma relief and other respiratory ailments like bronchitis and laryngitis. Used during Homeric times as a natural remedy, onions contain several beneficial vitamins and minerals that help to reduce airway inflammation.
- Poppy: Poppy syrup is believed by expert botanists to be an effective remedy for coughing. Licorice and barley mixed with spermatheca can also have soothing effects for coughing associated with the onset of asthma attacks.
- Marjoram: Inhaling steam from boiling water and marjoram can relief irritated airways. Marjoram also serves as an excellent expectorant and soothing cough remedy.
- Barley: Considered to be the first plant man grew and harvested, barley is also known to be effective in the prevention of asthma symptoms, much in the same way as ephedrine. The alkaloids present in barley allow it to provide bronchial dilation benefits.
- Lavender: An essential oil that provides soothing benefits, lavender oil can used effectively as a cough remedy. Lavender oil can be beneficial in aromatherapy or as a massage oil to help relieve spams that occur in the airways during the onset of an asthma attack. In Roman times, lavender was routinely added to bathing waters for its relaxing benefits.
- Lemon: Lemons are high in antioxidants and can help strengthen your body’s immune system. Lemons also contain several other vitamins and minerals that support important immune functioning as well. The greater your immunity, the fewer colds and other respiratory issues you will experience. These fruits have an interesting history, said to have been introduced by Alexander the Great’s soldiers sometime during the fourth century.
- Rodia: The Rodia tree produces pomegranates, a fruit that is also high in antioxidants and other great healing properties. These fruits also contain important B vitamins and calcium in addition to other essential vitamins and minerals that can help to strengthen your immunity, thus allowing fewer episodes of asthma symptoms. Pomegranate was used in ancient Greece and has been present in the Greek regions since pre-historic times.
- Fig: Figs can provide benefits of relief for asthma symptoms. Drinking fig tea in the morning before breakfast or at night before you go to sleep is best for combating the occurrence of asthma symptoms. Figs are recommended by herbalists as a remedy for respiratory ailments.
Natural Holistic Asthma Remedies
The symptoms of asthma have been traditionally treated with corticosteroids. While these medications do help to lower the occurrence of symptoms, they do not cure the disease. Flare ups can still occur if patients are exposed to strong triggers.
Childhood asthma can be cured through homeopathy methods due to a strong immunity, even with the suppression of corticosteroids in place. Adults that have been taking steroidal treatments for controlling asthmatic symptoms may not benefit from some natural therapies due to the dependency their system creates to steroidal support. However, adults that are not on a steroid regime can generally benefit from natural remedies.
Adult patients not responding to natural treatment due to steroidal dependency can benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture techniques can adjust an asthmatic’s system for the acceptance of natural therapies.
In the event you experience an attack that causes severe loss of oxygen, you may have bluish lips and your skin may extremely pale. Seeking emergency medical treatment for these symptoms is extremely vital. Choosing natural remedies for helping you control asthma symptoms is necessary for your body to enact its own healing abilities. Some ingredients used in homeopathic treatments naturally stimulate the functioning of several vital processes in your body, allowing it to heal faster.
Arsenicum Album: This remedy is best for the patient experiencing dry wheezing and coughing due to the onset of an attack. These types of attacks have been found to generally occur in the early morning hours. Some sufferers experience chills and some cough up foamy phlegm. Other people also have headaches and chest discomfort they describe as a burning pain. This remedy can soothe these symptoms.
Carbo Vegetabilis: Patients that are cold, especially in the hands and feet can benefit from this remedy. The patient also suffering with symptoms like coughing, gagging, and digestive issues like gas and bloating can also experience relief from this ingredient.
Chamomilla: The person suffering from asthma symptoms that severe from being exposed to wind or fast moving air can benefit from this ingredient. People having an asthma attack due to emotional upset or stress can also benefit from chamomilla. Late night coughing associated with asthma and patients often appear agitated and irritable, symptoms best relieved by the soothing properties of chamomilla.
Ipecacuanha: When asthma related coughing episodes induce vomiting of mucus, this is a great remedy to use. The person may have a clammy feeling to the touch and have sensitivity to warmth during the attack that is more severe in nature. This remedy can soothe these symptoms and increase relaxed bronchial tubes.
Natrum Sulphurcurim: This remedy is best for the asthmatic patient that is experiencing the onset of symptoms due to mold and dampness triggers. These attacks generally occur in the early morning hours.
Nux Vomica: the attack brought on by drinking alcohol or eating too many sweets can be relieved with this remedy. Attacks associated with digestive issues can also respond to this remedy as well. Physical exertion can increase the severity of this type of attack also. Irritability, impatience and chills are additional symptoms of these kinds of attacks.
Pulsatilla: The asthma symptoms triggered by warm condition like a room with too many people in it can be treated with this remedy. Nausea is often a symptom of the attack triggered by stuffy, hot air as well. Yellow mucus is usually coughed up in this kind of asthmatic episode. Many parents have pulsatilla to be most effective for asthmatic children.
Spongia Tostia: The patient whose cough resembles a barking sound is the one that can greatly benefit from this remedy. The symptoms that bring on this kind of heavy cough may not produce mucus, but can be brutal on the airways. The asthma attack that is triggered in this way can benefit from the soothing properties in Spongia Tostia.
When choosing remedies, making sure you are selecting the right one for the type of attack you are experiencing is important. Always read the labels of all remedies you choose as well. When self-dosing, choosing diluted ingredients is best. Discussing with your health care provider about the doses best for you for any ingredients is a good idea.
Some ingredients have to be taken in small amounts several times in one hour while others can work with one dose in a twenty four period. Holistic practitioners recommend taking a dose and waiting to see how your condition responds to it. If you feel relief, taking another dose when you feel relief fading is a good idea. If you continue a remedy and see no results, choosing another remedy is best.
Asthma and ayuverda
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient medicinal practice that dates back thousands of years in India. Ayurvedic practitioners during ancient times used many natural ingredients to correct shortness of breath and other asthma( called Shwas Roga In Ayurvedic tongue) symptoms. Turmeric spice is one of those ingredients and so is the leave of the Neem tree.