According to WHO, more than 300 million people worldwide have asthma with 250,000 deaths are reported each year because of asthma. 1 in 12 people have asthma today with these numbers increasing significantly every year since 1960.The symptoms of asthma include cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing and feeling light-headed. These symptoms are usually triggered by some kind of emotional or environmental triggers like stress, pollution, dust, pet hair, etc.
Treatment: The conventional treatment of asthma includes avoiding triggering factors and the use of Corticosteroid inhalers (salbutamol/Ventolin). In a case of severe asthmatic attack, intravenous corticosteroid medications and hospitalization may be required.There is no definitive diagnostic test for asthma, medications are prescribed mainly on symptoms. Spirometry is then used to confirm the diagnosis.
How to manage asthma naturally:
Stress management– Stress is considered as a major trigger factor for asthma. According to Asthma UK, about 43% of people with asthma believe that stress triggers their symptoms. Hence, learning how to manage stress is really important in order to avoid triggering an asthmatic attack.Stress management can be done by – learning deep breathing techniques, practicing Yoga “pranayama”, massages, learning time management.
Diet – Diet plays a crucial part in our wellbeing. Foods which help reducing inflammation and increase the immunity of the body are listed below:Carotenoids- These are the compounds that give bright red, yellow and red color to Plants, algae and some photosynthetic bacteria. Animals can’t produce carotenoids and need to eat fruits& vegetables to get these. Carotenoids help increase immunity, decreases free radicals and reduces inflammation. These are best absorbed with food so cooking these veggies won’t destroy their health benefits.Foods rich in carotenoids are Carrots, Yam, spinach, kale, watermelons, bell pepper, tomatoes, etc.Vit C – This vitamin not only improves the immunity of our body but also is a powerful antioxidant. Vit C can be found in Bell peppers, tomatoes, lemons, watermelons, spinach, cruciferous veggies.
Vit D – Vit D is linked with decreasing inflammation and hyperresponsiveness of airways, therefore improving the lung functioning in asthmatic people.Vit D can be obtained from sun exposure and diet, at least 20 mins daily sunlight exposure (preferably morning time) every day is advisable along with foods rich in Vit D like Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, mushrooms, egg yolk, etc.Probiotics – The Probiotics help decrease the allergic inflammation and sensitization to the allergens. Probiotics can be taken in the form of Yogurt, kefir or live probiotic supplements.
Exercise- Any form of exercise help improves blood circulation, increase immunity & help improving lung functional capacity. Yoga is proven to be really helpful in asthmatic individuals. According to a study published in the Ethiopian Journal of health sciences, the yoga group showed a 66.7% reduction in the use of salbutamol puff and 58.3% salbutamol tablets.Yoga not only improves the flexibility of body, deep breathing exercises like Pranayama helps improve lung functioning and helps manage & relieve stress.
Homeopathy – While there is no cure for Asthma but a huge improvement is observed in asthmatic symptoms by taking homeopathic remedies under the care of a qualified homeopathic physician.
Few Medicines in homeopathy which have shown good results in relieving asthmatic symptoms are Arsenic Album, Antimonium Tart, Blatta Orientalis, Natrum Sulphuricum, Ipecac, Kali bichromium, and Lobia Inflata.
Avoid – Observe, Identify and avoid any stress triggers. Any processed & packaged foods should be avoided as much as possible. Environmental factors that might trigger asthmatic symptoms like dust mites, pet hair, pollution, etc. should be avoided as well.
When to see the doctor – Any person who has asthma should always carry a medicated inhaler with them. In the case of Asthma attack, try to sit upright, deep breath with puffs of the inhaler and if the symptoms still don’t improve, call emergency or rush to the nearest emergency department.