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HEALTH ADVICE

Avoid Asthma Attacks With These Lifestyle And Dietary Changes

John Gray

Asthma affects 17 million people in the United States and it is the number one cause of chronic illness in 5.5 million children. Still, there is reason to be hopeful as there are a number of lifestyle and dietary changes and natural solutions that can help alleviate symptoms and avoid attacks.


Asthma is a chronic disease that makes breathing difficult. There is inflammation of the air passages that causes temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs.  When you take a breath, the air goes from your mouth or nose to the trachea and travels to the lungs through the bronchi. The bronchi then branch off into bronchioles. Asthma attacks occur when the bronchi and bronchioles come in contact with a foreign invader, or asthma "trigger". This results in asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.  

The tendency to develop asthma is more common among people who have allergies. Most times, the allergy and asthma symptoms are the product of an overreacting immune system. Common triggers for allergic asthma include:

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Pet dander
  • Food - gluten, dairy and other high sensitivity foods

There is some debate on the medication treatment for asthma, especially when it comes to children. Recent studies suggest young children given asthma medication, specifically inhaled corticosteriods, may not grow to their full height later in life. It is important to determine the severity of the child's asthma to determine if these strong medications are really warranted.  If you chose this course of treatment it is very important to have your child's height and weight checked every year for any signs of reduced growth. As with all medical conditions it is always a good idea to work with your health care provider and do your own research. There are many natural solutions to aid in the treatment of asthma that do not come with the severe sides effects of corticosteriods.  

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