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Managing asthma

Question : I AM 41 years old and am not a smoker or a drinker. I would like to know more about asthma management and treatment in the long term.

Answer : ASTHMA is a lung disease that causes obstruction of the airways. Asthma occurs when the small airways in the lungs become overly sensitive, reacting to one or more substances that have no effect on non-asthmatic people.

Several steps can be taken to maintain your overall health and lessen the possibility of attacks.

Supplement your diet with herbs such as adhatoda, albizzia, marshmallow and ribwort. Adhatoda and albizzia have been traditionally used for easing asthma with much success. They relieve cough and breathlessness. Marshmallow and ribwort are often used to promote the coughing up of phlegm, reduce inflammation, aid in respiratory congestion and soothe mucous membranes.

Avoid food allergens and food additives that may trigger an attack. Common foods that promote mucus are cow's milk and dairy products, oranges and bananas. Apples, shellfish and eggs can also be a triggering factor. Avoid taking too much salt and MSG.

Have wholesome and well-balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and antioxidants.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids play an important role in bringing down inflammation from coughing. Lung function is significantly better and there are improvements in airway responsiveness to allergens and in respiratory functions with the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lungs. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on most days. If you've been inactive, start slowly and try to gradually increase your activity over time. Keep in mind that exercising in cold temperatures may trigger symptoms.

Minimise dust that may aggravate night-time symptoms by replacing certain items in your bedroom. For example, encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-proof covers.

     
     

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