Are you having persistent breathing difficulties? The chances are you may be suffering from asthma. You are here reading this article that will tell you how to deal with the condition, and everything you need to know about asthma. Also, the finest home remedies. So what is asthma? It is chronic disease that manifests your upper respiratory system. If you have been suffering from the disease, then your respiratory tracts will constrict, preventing sufficient air you breathe through the nasal cavity from reaching the lungs. In this article on home remedies for asthma information will be given on the causes, types and simple DIY methods to get relief from the discomfort.
During an asthma attack, the inner walls of your airways will swell and turn sore. Hence, the interiors of the air conduits will react by being sensitive to the stimulants such as chemical components of certain food, allergens and pollen in the air.
Why Me (Causes) And Types of Asthma
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Before you go to the home remedy for asthma let us have a look at the causes and types.
You up your chances of asthma under physical exertion. When you engage in intense activities like exercise, you will have breathing difficulties. However, that does not mean exercise causes asthma to all. The condition is triggered among those who are vulnerable to genetic and environmental factors.
Some athletes who have never had an incident of asthma attack have acquired the condition during the exercise.
During an exercise session, the contraction of the wind channel starts 20 minutes into exercise. You will soon feel shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Depending on the intensity of the condition, doctors will be able to prescribe the use of bronchodilator (asthma inhaler) before you begin the exercise to control the asthmatic symptoms.
Nocturnal Asthma (Nighttime Asthma)
This condition is exclusively dominant in the peak of night. Hence the name, Nocturnal Asthma. The persons diagnosed with this condition will experience intense difficulty on breathing and other typical asthmatic symptoms like coughing and wheezing in the night. This interferes with the sleep and loss of quality of life. It can quickly leave your life in disorder.
Nocturnal Asthma is one of the serious types of an asthma attack. It needs cooperation from the patient and immediate medical attention is compulsory. The reason that makes this particular type of asthma attack serious is because, it occurs while you are asleep.
Research indicates that Nocturnal Asthma is one of the commonest forms of asthma and also the top killers causing many deaths. It is often accompanied by wheezing.
Although, there is active research conducted to decode nocturnal asthma, there hasn’t been a pointed evidence indicating the cause that worsens the condition during sleep. However, there are unattested explanations such as the reclined position while sleeping, allergen exposure, and relaxation of the air channels combined with the cooling effect. Some independent studies have also pointed to the hormone secretion.
Increased Mucus or Sinusitis
When you are asleep, the airways will get narrowed and this may lead to increase in resistance to airflow. This is the main reason for night time coughing, and can lead to more tightening of airways. Also, if there is increased drainage from the sinuses, the condition can also trigger asthma in airways (highly sensitive). Sinusitis and asthma can be interlinked together in some cases.
Study shows that those who sleep during the day due to night work shift may be prone more to asthmatic attack during the day and the condition usually begin 6 hours into the sleep. Hence, from this observation, they suggest that some internal trigger is the reason for the sleep-related asthma.
Reclined position is known to cause the night-time asthma. When you are resting your body relaxes and causes the nasal drippings to accumulate in the airways. The volume of blood in lungs increases as well, thus decreasing the lung volume. This increases the airway resistance,
It is compulsory for your body to retain some core body temperature. If your airways become cooler due to the air condition in the room you sleep, you will suffer from moisture loss and risk the chances of acquiring exercise-induced asthma. It also occurs in the case of nighttime asthma.
Note: If you have a genetic (family) history of asthma, then you could have raised chances of asthma too. It is called as allergic asthma.
Inhaling the fumes and other triggering factors like dust, gases while working on the job will cause occupational asthma. This type as an asthma attack can occur upon starting work in the triggering environment and will soon disappear when you remove yourself from the environment that causes asthma.
It is the hardest to treat type of asthma, because you will need to cease the other secondary infection like chronic bronchitis, postnasal drip and sinus disease. Sometimes, you diagnose the condition symptomatically, as not all coughs are asthmatic.
Allergies and Asthma
Asthma and allergies often work hand-in-hand. When you have hay fever, there will be inflammation in the inner lining of the nose and is the most common chronic disease. This increased sensitivity causes your immune system to release the histamine to combat the allergens. This will, in turn react with other chemicals in the body and project allergic symptoms. The usual symptoms of hay fever are running nose, weepy eyes, swelling of nasal passages, and irritated-itchy throat.
When you experience asthma attack, do not panic! Stay calm and focus on relaxation techniques to slow the intensity of breathing as it will calm the airways. Close your eyes, and visualize filling your lungs with white light and sooner you will feel calm. Repeat the exercise a couple times and open the eyes.
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Symptoms Of Asthma Include
These are some of the commonest symptoms of asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Intense Coughing (Dawn or late night)
- Chest tightness
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List Of Natural Remedies For Asthma
Although, caffeine is not good on over-consumption, when you have asthma, it comes to your rescue and is considered as one of the effective home remedies. Coffee is a known bronchodilator. It calms and opens the airways to make breathing easier.
You can also prefer black tea over coffee if you do not like coffee.
How Does It Work?
Caffeine in coffee is known as a histamine (natural). It is similar to theophylline, the famous bronchodilator drug that is used to open airways in the lungs & give relief to symptoms of asthma such as breathlessness, cough and wheezing. However, caffeine can be used only as a supplement and not as a remedy. One cup of coffee has about eleven percent of Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. This is useful for reprocessing the antioxidant known as glutathione. Glutathione can reduce symptoms of asthma since it can destroy free radicals.
Not Good, If:
- You are drinking unfiltered coffee, total cholesterol, triglycerides and chances of developing heart disease are more. Normal coffee can cause insomnia, restlessness and nervousness, nausea, stomach upset and restlessness. Consuming large amounts of coffee can lead to anxiety, irregular heartbeats and headache.
- You have high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis.
- You are pregnant. Coffee might increase the risk of miscarriage or the birth of a low weight baby. Coffee can lead to the fluid loss in the body known as rheumatoid arthritis. It might cause less calcium and iron levels in some women.
2. Carom Seeds
It is another excellent bronchodilator agent that you can find in the kitchen. Also known as Bishop’s weed and ajwain it opens up the airways to allow unobstructed air into lungs.
Take a teaspoon of carom seeds and boil in water.
Inhale the steam and/or you can drink the mix for better results.
Alternate: You can also consume with jaggery twice a day.
How Does It Work?
The smoke of ajwain takes the place of bronchodilator and decreases the symptoms of asthma. It can also be termed as an expectorant and the main medicinal ingredient is thymol, which is essential for aromatic fragrances to seeds. It also contains phytochemicals such as limonene, terpinene, cymene and pinene. Thymol has antibacterial, antifungal and anesthetic properties. The other important ingredients in ajwain are minerals, anti-oxidants and fibers.
Not Good, If:
- You are suffering from gastric ulcer, stomach ulcer and internal bleeding. More than ten grams a day can make an individual suffer from symptoms such as burning sensation, acidity and mouth ulcer.
3. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds can also be used for asthma treatment.
Boil one cup of water.
Mix with two teaspoons of bruised fennel seeds.
Strain the liquid and then drink.
How Does It Work?
Fennel seeds are used as an expectorant since it has mucus dissolving properties. The seeds are rich in phytoestrogens that play a major role not only in curing asthma but also anxiety, heartburn, respiratory congestion and cough. Also, fennels are rich in vitamins such as Vitamin C and contain minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron and potassium.
Not Good, If:
- You are breast-feeding a baby. Infants have been known to experience damage to the nervous systems.
- You can suffer from an allergic reaction if you are allergic to carrot, celery or mugwort.
- You are having a bleeding disorder problem. The blood clotting might become slow.
- You have a history of hormone-sensitive conditions such as ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and breast cancer. Fennel seeds act as estrogen.
- You are under medication and taking ciprofloxacin or other fluoroquinolones, because fennel seeds might decrease the reaction symptoms.
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Prevent Asthma Attacks By Avoiding Triggers
- Since asthma is a respiratory disease, smoking will aggravate the condition. Hence, you are advised to stay off smoking (active and passive).
- If you thought huddling around the wood stove or fireplace would keep you warm, think twice. The effects will be reversed and you will suffer harm.
- At frigid temperatures wrap yourself to keep warm. When you inhale the cold air, you will make the airways dry and prone to inflammation.
- Strongly scented foods and products are asthma triggers. Hence, stave off such items.
- Heartburn can also cause asthma. Hence, do not eat food or fill your tummy before you hit the bed, it will cause acid reflux (regurgitation of stomach acids).
- Allergy to drugs can propel an asthmatic attack. Some people are non-tolerant to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen and aspirin. Alternately, you can use acetaminophen if you are nontolerant to the aspirin, it gives similar effect.
- Eat healthy herbs and spices like rosemary, sage, oregano, ginger and turmeric by lacing your food with these herbs.
- You must have omega 3 rich supplements and freshwater fish as the best source of the supplement. Make sure you eat fishes like salmon, mackerel.
Following The Asthma Action Plan
You cannot change your fate, but you can change the way you react to a particular situation. An Asthma Action Plan gives you options so that you can create a program along with your doctor for management of this ailment when the symptoms go out of control.
Keep A Record
Document all your symptoms and diet. It is important, because you will be able to pinpoint which food product aggravates the condition. Such a diary will help you allot your meal time in the right order.
If you already have the asthma, you must mandatorily buy a peak flow meter. This gadget will gauge the speed of air exiting the lung. It is used to keep a tab on your breathing. During the peak of asthma attack you will be able to judge better if the condition is severe and if you will need to visit a doctor.
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Call for an emergency service and pay a visit to the Doctor if you:
Face difficulty in breathing
Are not getting any improvement after home remedies
Experience extreme coughing and breathing
Get cough and the mucus comes out in the form of dark brown or red color
Experience regular bouts of high fever
Experience cough consistently and notice color change in the mucus
If you are a parent whose child is diagnosed with asthma, then look for the following symptoms:
The child suffers from wheezing.
There are changes in the child’s body parts such as fingernails; lips become gray or bluish.
Irregular patterns in speech.
If the areas in the neck, between the ribs and below the ribs are pulled in during inhalation.
Natural Remedy VS Pharmacy
There are over-the-counter (OTC) asthma drugs such as Bronkaid and Primatene Mist. They provide relief to the muscles by providing relaxation around the airways. They are also effective in providing short-term relief (twenty to thirty minutes) but do not control the symptoms or try to prevent asthma attacks. However, doctors advise against the use of these medicines by people with thyroid disease, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
For quick relief medications, the medicines taken are albuterol, ipratropium (Atrovent). For allergy induced asthma, the medicine prescribed is Omalizumab (Xolair) and for long term medications, you have medicines such as Fluticasone (Flovent Diskus), Budesonide (Pulmicort), Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler), Beclomethasone (Qvar), and Ciclesonide (Alvesco).