How to control asthma

Published August 24, 2021, 10:00 AM

by Cheshire Que

You don’t have to suffer

I could vividly recall the tightness on my chest coupled with that uncontrollable purring sound coming from my lungs as I found myself struggling to breathe. The endless coughing at night and early in the morning left me feeling fatigued even before my day has begun. Just like myself, 260 million people are also suffering from asthma, according to the World Health Organization in 2019.

Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the lungs as a result of inflammation and narrowing of the air passages. This results in the following symptoms: coughing, which occurs at night or early in the morning, wheezing or whistling sound, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

An allergic asthma attack is commonly triggered by allergens also known as allergy triggers. These asthma triggers vary from person to person but may include dust, mites, molds, pollen, chemicals, air pollution, weather changes, exposure to smoke, fumes, strong scents, virus, pet dander, and even food substances.

These asthma triggers vary from person to person but may include dust, mites, molds, pollen, chemicals, air pollution, weather changes, exposure to smoke, fumes, strong scents, virus, pet dander, and even food substances.

The less 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 may seem to be non-life threatening in most cases, it can also be debilitating in a sense. The symptoms may cause sleep problems and fatigue, both of which will surely affect one’s productivity, wellbeing, and everyday life.

If you are an asthma sufferer, don’t lose hope thinking you will be living with this debilitating condition for the rest of your life. There are ways to effectively control asthma.

  1. Religiously take your medications as prescribed by the doctor. Never ever find yourself without those bronchodilators. These medications will ease your suffering by dilating or opening up your air passages to ensure adequate flow of oxygen into your lungs.
  2. Identify your triggers and avoid them. Keep a log of possible allergen exposure or ingestion and symptoms. You will eventually find a pattern and can easily avoid and eliminate triggers.
  3. It is recommended to have a food intolerance test if budget allows. This is a simple blood test that can help identify food that causes inflammatory reactions in the body through the release of the antigen IgG.
  4. Avoid milk and dairy products like cheese, chocolates, and anything that uses milk as an ingredient. Protein found in milk are most likely the cause of allergic asthma among individuals who have milk allergy, milk intolerance, or milk sensitivity. These three conditions may seem the same but they are slightly different in terms of the immune response and antibodies produced. Nonetheless, all of these fall under the umbrella of milk sensitivities that cause inflammation in the body. Milk is also mucus forming. It stimulates phlegm production, which clogs up the lungs resulting in an asthma attack. Non-dairy milk alternatives are available.
  5. Be physically active and exercise once your asthma is controlled. Begin by taking walks for 10 to 15 minutes daily and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you build more stamina. Exercise and regular physical activity will strengthen your lung muscles, balance your immune system, and increase your blood circulation and oxygenation.
  6. Quell lung inflammation by eating food abundant in phytochemicals. These are substances in fruits, vegetables, and other plant sources that decrease inflammation from within the body, including the inflamed air passages affected during an asthma attack. In particular, prickly pear cactus has over 10,000 phytochemicals to boot—a very potent anti-inflammatory functional food. Another asthma fighting antioxidant is xanthone, which is found in mangosteen, where it is most abundant in the rind.
  7. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a registered nutritionist dietitian before taking any modified functional food and supplements that claim anti-inflammatory properties to control asthma.

Never self-medicate! When it comes to your health, let a professional take care of you.

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