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Asthma

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2011 that asthma affected approximately 235 million people. In the United States alone, 1 in every 15 citizens have asthma. This represents a staggering 20 million asthmatics, with over half of them suffering from allergic asthma.

As with many health conditions, inflammation is a critical component of this airway disease. Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the respiratory tract that leads to the constriction of the airway. Asthma attacks vary in severity and include wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing.

There is a strong association between allergies, eczema and asthma. Seasonal allergies are not only associated with asthma, but also sleep apnea. Asthmatics suffer from stress, lack of oxygen and strain on the cardiovascular system. Just like seasonal allergies, asthma is a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.

Migraines also possess a link with asthma and allergies. Individuals that suffer from migraines are more prone to develop asthma, compared to people who don’t suffer from migraines. Furthermore, people that suffer from both migraines and hay fever suffer from a more severe form of headache compared to people who have migraine but who don’t experience environmental allergies. There is even scientific evidence that patients who received allergy shots experienced 52 % fewer migraine attacks than those not receiving allergy shots.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was also reported to be linked to allergies and asthma in the August 2013 edition of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Clinically, it only makes sense that if one has a stuffy nose or restricted airway that lack of oxygen to the brain would make it hard to concentrate.  Interestingly, while you are reading this article, 20 %of your body’s oxygen goes to your brain, yet your brain only weighs approximately 2% of your body weight. Thus it needs 10 times more oxygen than most tissues while you rest; no wonder people with allergies and asthma have trouble concentrating and often feel very tired and fatigued.

Attacking the Root Cause

When troublesome airborne and food triggers come in contact with a person’s immune defenses, specific types of immune cells called mast cells or basophils burst open releasing histamine and inflammatory substances. It are these chemicals made by the body and designed to help expel enemies of the body that trigger runny, itchy nose and sneezing, watery, itchy red eyes, tickling and itching in ears, nose and throat and so much more. The body is merely overwhelmed and as you can see from the symptoms it is doing all that it can to get rid of the offending agent(s).

Factors to Consider:

We must lessen our total burden, as our bodies can only handle so much before it reacts. Thus the goals for patients are:

1)      Identify foods via a food allergy test that may be adding to your susceptibility
2)      Eliminate household and workplace triggers
3)      Maintain a healthy immune system

Those that suffer from allergies and asthma should do the following:

  • Keep your home’s doors and windows closed.
  • Use the air conditioner rather than opening a window.
  • Increase laundry water temperature because research has shown that many people who have seasonal allergies also have dust mite allergies.
  • Wash bedding and pillows often.
  • Limit outdoor activity, particularly in the morning (5 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and mid-evening.
  • Keep track of pollen counts in your area and don’t exercise outside during your allergen peak.
  • Don’t go outside more than necessary on windy days.
  • Keep your car windows up and sunroofs closed and keep air on recirculate while driving.
  • Shower prior to going to bed including your hair, because pollen will collect on you throughout the day.
  • Change your clothes after being outside or you will contaminate your home.

Bottom line:

These simple approaches can lessen not only direct symptoms of asthma and allergies, but also better help control blood pressure, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, your ability to concentrate and feel rested and so much more. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure!

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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