A holistic approach to asthma management. Please go through it.
Asthma (Bronchial) is primarily a manifestation of an allergic disorder, either external or internal. There occurs inflammation in the respiratory tract epithelium (the lining cells). The inflammatory substances acting on the musculature cause spasm of respiratory tract and there are the manifestations, in form of wheezing, breathlessness, straining and cough etc. There is something called cardiac asthma, symptoms of similar nature due to heart failure.
The mainstay of treatment is steroid in form of inhalation and injection. Methylprednisolone is preferred over prednisolone sodium or hydrocortisone because of less side effects. Along with it is added a short-acting bronchodilator, B2 receptor stimulant e.g. salbutamol or terbutaline. Most of the cases respond to it but necessitate long term use of a bronchodilator. A sputum liquefying agent may be required to easily spit out the thick bronchial secretions.
New research in this field suggest the bigger role of vitamin D in easing the symptoms of asthma and possibly preventing the attacks, vitamin D acts at the level of the respiratory epithelium, helping in stabilizing it. It reduces inflammation and consequent spasm of the respiratory muscles.
- Image via Wikipedia, A House dust mite
Patients of asthma should avoid allergens, may be typical to the individual, like house dust, dusts from beds, pollens, vehicular exhaust, room deodorants; and foods like egg or shrimp etc. The list can go on. Actually, a patient learns from his/her experience, what to avoid. These patients should avoid some common analgesics having B2 receptor blocking activity.
Obesity is also blamed for asthma. Weight reduction is liked to ease of symptoms.
Asthma can be tackled by Yogic practices, which is in vague in India. That can be Pranayam, basically it is inhaling in full and exhaling in full with closing one side of nostrils alternately. It is to be practiced under guidance. Moderate exercise, like brisk walking will also ease the symptoms.
- Image via Wikipedia
It is said that cats in home prevent asthma, I am not sure. If it is so, might be due to gradual tolerance to the cat hair acting as an allergen, which might be due to desensitizing effect.
It is also said that allowing babies to be dirty, engaging them in childhood play, takes away some of allergic disorders and possibly asthma; and creates resistance to certain infections.
Some time back, FDA has warned about co-prescription of long acting beta stimulants and steroid; which caused more cardiac events and readmissions to the hospitals.
A life style modification, diet modification, some precautions and some supportive medication may help asthmatics to lead a normal life.