Are Your Asthma And Allergies Caused By A Low Immune System?

Many people who suffer from asthma and allergies don’t realize it, but a low immune system is very likely at the root of their problems. Medical experts agree that a lowered or improperly functioning immune system can and does result in several diseases such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, psoriasis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer to name just a few.

The body’s immune systems first line of defense against disease are barriers that prevent antigens, which are large protein molecules of bacteria, viruses, chemicals and other substances that appear harmful from entering your body. The barriers include your skin, mucus, cough reflex, stomach acid and even enzymes in your tears, which destroy toxins. If the antigen or toxin manages to get past these barriers, then the immune system launches a second line of defense, found in your blood. They are white blood cells, which perform a protective function by seeking out and destroying foreign protein antigens.

If you suffer from a low immune system it is important to avoid things that suppress or act to destroy it, such as a high cholesterol diet, heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium), fat, alcohol, fried foods, food additives, obesity, industrial pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, stress, prescription drugs, too much sunlight, tobacco, and radiation.

Unfortunately, there is no “magic bullet” that you can take to quickly repair your immune system, but there are several ways to help build and support it by providing your body with proper nutrition, regular exercise, adequate rest, relaxation and maintaining a positive mental attitude.

Taking the following dietary steps will help protect and build your immune system:

1. Limit saturated and trans fats, food additives and alcohol
2. Take a good quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily
3. Ensure your diet includes adequate protein
4. Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C daily.
5. Eat 3 to 4 servings of vegetables daily.
6. Eat 3 to 4 servings of legumes weekly.
7. Eat 3 to 4 servings of omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods weekly

The length of time required to re-build a low immune system of course will vary depending on your individual situation and environmental exposure to immune system suppressants. This is not an overnight process, for some people it can take three months to two years. Obviously, the higher your exposure has been to immuno-suppressants, the longer it will take to build your immune system. Children tend to heal much more quickly than adults or the elderly.

People with allergies and asthma will find that their asthma and allergy symptoms become less frequent and less severe when their immune systems are strong. It’s important to avoid using allergy and asthma drugs, which have toxic side effects and act to lower the immune system. There are natural supplements that safely and effectively eliminate allergy and asthma symptoms.

Asthma Treatment: Your Ally In Preventing Asthma Attacks

You have probably seen a person in the midst of an asthma attack, either in real life or in comedy sitcoms and movies. They have a hard time breathing because their airways are more sensitive than that of other people. This demeanor is often mimicked in shows and movies with slapstick humor but breathing problem is no laughing matter. Patients with breathing disorder have to stay away from allergens, such as animal fur and feather or flower’s pollen grains, that may trigger allergic reactions. Children who usually play outside may not instantly notice or momentarily forget that they have to veer away from potential breathing irritants. The last thing they know is that they’re already having a hard time breathing and are in dire need of an effective asthma treatment.

Doctors and research experts plainly explain that asthma occur in people who have delicate airways which can easily react to certain allergens. Since it is a chronic condition, people with breathing problems have to deal with it from childhood to adult life. This condition is also hereditary so if you are a mother who has a breathing disorder, you should make it a point to check with a pediatrician if your child inherited your breathing problem. The telltale signs your child has a breathing disorder if he or she wheezes and coughs a lot and is allergic to cats or similar things. The child may also experience shortness of breath and the feeling that his or her chest is tightening. Don’t undermine these signs so that you can immediately give your child the extra care he or she needs.

But the good thing is that there are certain medications one can take to prevent hard-to-breathe attacks. Asthma treatment includes inhalers, nebulizers, and doctor-prescribed drugs. For younger patients, physicians explained that the child can both use inhalers and nebulizers which are equally effective. However, inhalers are more child-friendly in a way because it is more convenient to use compared with nebulizers which are power-generated. Inhalers, either the dry power kind or the metered-dose type, are also cheaper alternative reliefs for asthma attacks. Whatever kind of medication you use, doctors advise patients to make sure they are doing the medication application the right way. Patients have a choice which kind of medication to use according to their budget and the severity of their breathing conditions. It is a case-to-case basis; a medication which works for a particular patient may not be as effective for another patient. It is best to consult physicians first before subjecting yourself or your loved one to a certain medication.

Effective Asthma Treatments

Asthma treatment is a growing field in the health care community. Because so many people, particularly children, are being diagnosed with the condition, a number of families are looking for innovative asthma treatment programs. In general, asthma treatment can be divided into two categories: long-term control and quick-relief medications.

Long-term control medications must be taken each day as part of asthma treatment. This kind of asthma treatment regimen is primarily designed to control the inflammation of the airways. Quick-relief medications can provide effective asthma treatment by relaxing bronchial smooth muscle, combatting acute asthma attacks.

Asthma treatment involving medication can be taken orally or through inhalation. The most common asthma treatment method involves metered-dose inhalers, or MDIs. However, another popular asthma treatment option is the dry powder inhaler. Nebulizers are a favorite asthma treatment method for children because they’re easier to use.

One asthma treatment strategy involves anti-inflammatories which prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid into the airway tissues. Through the reduction in inflammation, this asthma treatment method reduces the likelihood of spasms of the airway muscle.

While asthma cannot be cured, it can be managed through appropriate asthma treatment. One of the first steps in asthma treatment involves changing an asthmatic’s environment. This type of asthma treatment can be as simple as washing bedding each week in hot water, or eliminating pets from the home.

Other effective asthma treatment involves using the air conditioner, replacing carpeting with hardwood or tile, using leather or vinyl furniture rather than upholstered chairs and sofas, and replacing down bedding with bedding made with synthetic materials. Keeping the humidity low can be another asthma treatment strategy.

Yet another asthma treatment option involves allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. With this asthma treatment, allergen extracts are injected into a patient to desensitize the person. The asthma treatment usually involves no more than five shots a week, with the dosage increased over time.

Getting The Upper Hand On Asthma Allergy

Asthma allergy is the number one form of allergy today. And since asthma allergy is inherited, one can get it at a young age. The diagnosis process for asthma allergy is a simple and very straightforward test and will immediately determine if you do have asthma and not just some other type of allergy.

Symptoms of an asthma allergy

An asthma allergy reaction can vary in degree, from mild to severe. The following are symptoms of an asthma allergy:

· Headache
· Fever
· Chronic coughing
· Chest pain or tightness
· Difficulty in breathing
· Rapid breathing or wheezing
· Scratchy or sore throat
· Itchy, watery eyes
· Runny nose
· Continuous sneezing
· Restlessness

Some of the mentioned symptoms have the same indicators to conditions like pulmonary disease; sinusitis and influenza so make sure you see a doctor for a more precise diagnosis. What you thought as an asthma allergy may actually be something else.

An asthma allergy reaction that is mild to moderate in degree can be identified with tightness of the chest, spewing and coughing up mucus, having difficulty sleeping and constant wheezing.

A severe asthma allergy attack may be characterized by the person having difficulty in speaking, a bluish color to the person’s lips and fingernails, and breathlessness. When this happens, the patient must be ready with their medication.

Asthma Allergy Treatment

The asthma allergy is treated by medicines prescribed by the doctor. These medicines reduce the swelling of the mucous membrane and help normalize the air passage of the person with asthma allergy. Called “controller medicines”, they help ease the pain of the asthma allergy attack:

· Mast cell stabilizers – non-steroidal medications that control the inflammation by stopping the body from releasing inflammatory chemicals.

· Corticosteroids – another anti-inflammatory medication.

· Anti-leukotrienes – it stops the production of leukotrienes that are responsible for the increase in inflammation that causes constriction of the airway muscle and close the windpipes of the patient.

The drugs mentioned are used to help patients with asthma allergy to gain control of their asthma and keep on living a normal life. They are available in capsules, tablets and inhalers. A person suffering from asthma attacks should always bring their medicine along especially since these attacks are unpredictable.

Asthma Allergy Prevention

An asthma allergy attack cannot be prevented since doctors are not sure what causes asthma. But there are ways that a person with an asthma allergy can reduce the symptoms or totally avoid having an attack.

· Keep a clean and dust-free environment by vacuuming the house.

· If you live near a dusty road where cars frequently pass by, pour water on the road in front of your house. This will stop the dust from flying into the home.

· Regularly clean the fan, air-conditioning and other ducts that come in contact with air.

· Avoid places that have plenty of environmental allergens like molds, pollens, animal dander and secondhand cigarette smoke.

· Wear a mask when cleaning the house or going to a place full of allergens.

· Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

In the end, the only way to defeat asthma is to learn how to live with the condition. Healthy living is a great way to turn one’s life around when a person has asthma. And with the help of modern science, it is not impossible to lead a productive life. Despite an allergic reaction, one should not stop enjoying life even if they have asthma.

How To Discover Your Hidden Asthma Triggers – Taking Control By Tracking Your Asthma

Asthma is a serious lung disease effecting over 20 million people in the US alone. An asthma attack is caused by a trigger, which can be any external stimulant such as perfume, food, air pollution, cold air, animals, dust, etc., which our bodies react to. Knowing what your personal triggers are and avoiding them will help greatly to prevent asthma attacks. However, what triggers an asthma attack in some people may not even bother another asthma sufferer at all.

To make things more confusing, sometimes a trigger will cause a mild reaction one day and then a severe one the next day. This could be the result of being exposed to multiple triggers, for example one of your known triggers could be pollen, but when combined with a few new unknown triggers – fabric softener, detergent, perfume or a food additive can hit very hard and trigger a major attack. On days when you are feeling tired and haven’t had enough sleep or are under stress, you may also find that things which never seemed to bother you previously now suddenly do.

As you see tracing them can be rather complex and requires a bit of detective work to track down and eliminate or minimize these triggers at home or at work. Keeping track of your asthma attacks by writing a journal for a few days is a good way to start. First it’s a good idea to note how you were feeling the day you had an attack, if you were tired or didn’t sleep well, had a fight with your friend.

What did you eat? Make this detailed and include food ingredients, additives and coloring since they can be a trigger for many people. Where did you go that day? Were there weeds or flowers blooming nearby, animals, damp moldy smells around you? Did you start using a new detergent, fabric softener or household cleaner? Make a note of any exercise you do and your body’s reaction to it. On one particular day did the exercise have negative results? Why? What was the weather like? What was the room where you exercised like? If the room is where you regularly go to exercise, was there anything different about it on that day?

After only a few days of writing in your journal you will soon see a pattern emerging. You will have uncovered your asthma triggers and now you can take control and prevent an asthma attack by avoiding, reducing or eliminating them.

However it just isn’t practical or even possible to control or eliminate all triggers, particularly outside the home, at work, school or in public places. Fortunately, there is a safe non-drug solution that you should know about, a simple and natural allergy and asthma treatment, which many people have found to be very effective.

Is Your Child’s Beloved Pet The Cause Of An Asthma Attack? Measures You Can Take To Prevent Or Minimize Asthma Attacks Caused By Pets

That cute little kitten or lovable dog that your child (or partner) can’t live without could be making them very sick. Sadly, as much as we love them, cats and dogs are often major asthma triggers for asthma sufferers and can send some to the emergency room. Contrary to what many people believe, it is the dander (dry flakes of skin), not the hair of the animal that actually is the cause of the problem. Your pet’s dander is shed continuously, but it is so small that it’s difficult to see. The dander is easily airborne and sticks readily to fibers- therefore it goes everywhere and gets on just about everything. If you have rugs and your pet comes inside the house, they are certainly full of it, so is your furniture and beds if they are allowed on them. If you cuddle or play with your pet, it’s all over your clothing too. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of Fido or Garfield.

There are a number of alternatives that you can take. Steam cleaning rugs and furniture in your home will help to remove the dander. Using a HEPA vacuum cleaner is also good. If possible, getting rid of rugs is the best solution. Make sure your pet stays out of the asthma sufferer’s bedroom. Wash all bedding, floors and walls to remove the dander. Then use a HEPA air purifier at night in the bedroom with the door closed.

Take your pet to the groomer for a shampoo once a week or have a family member wash your pet outside to ensure that the dander level is kept as low as possible. Long haired pets should get clipped shorter. If your pet loves to show their appreciation by licking, this should be discouraged since their saliva will contain dander as well as proteins, which are also an asthma trigger for many asthma sufferers.

If you don’t have a pet but your friends or relatives do, even a short visit to their home can cause problems for an asthma sufferer, especially children who can’t resist playing with them. When you get home, get your child to take a shower and wash their clothing too to remove the dander.

Living with your beloved pet can be comfortable and symptom free when taking all of these measures. However, if your situation is more serious and your pet still makes you sick, then you may want to try a natural asthma treatment.

Natural Cure For Asthma

If you experience sudden bouts of breathlessness, you are suffering from asthma. When some dust, smoke or the scent of any odd flower or perfume will get you whizzing, coughing and gasping, you are suffering from asthma. These are just some of the allergens that can irritate your nasal passage. Other irritants are exercise, pollution or smog, a sudden change in weather, cold or any infection of the airways.

Though asthma attack can be scary, there is no need to panic. Besides following doctor’s medications, there are certain tips that you can follow to prevent asthma. First, it is important for you to guard yourself against dust mite allergies and hay fever. Take the following steps:

• Go for yoga: Performing simple yogic breathing where you exhale for twice as long as you inhale can prevent against future asthma attacks. This technique has been proven to be very effective. The effect of this breathing is similar to that obtained by the use of a corticosteroid inhaler. To do this breathing, close your eyes, inhale and then exhale naturally. Pause without holding your breath for one or two seconds before the next inhalation. This will allow the exhalation to complete naturally. Do not try to breathe deeply or slowly. But if there is a need to breathe deeply, you can do so till you can come back to breathing exercise.

• Avoid sleeping on full stomach: Sleeping while your stomach is full can aggravate your asthma. Asthma is caused by stomach reflux, which occurs when stomach acid goes back into esophagus. This causes the stomach contents to regurgitate into your mouth and then drip down into the airways when you are lying down or sleeping. Avoid heavy snacks and take an antacid to reduce your stomach’s acidity. Theophylline medications can also aggravate the asthma by increasing the stomach’s reflux. If you are on this medication and are experiencing stomach reflux problem, consult your doctor to reduce the dosage.

• Note your food sensitivity: Eating or smelling certain foods can trigger an asthma attack in some people. Foods like milk, eggs, seafood and nuts are the main culprits.

• Eat plenty of fish: Eskimos rarely suffer from asthma. Hence, some researchers conclude that eating plenty of fish may prevent asthma. The fishes more likely to have an impact on asthma are omega-3 rich fish like sardines, mackerels and herring.

• Take multiple vitamins: Taking a good vitamin/mineral supplement and having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might help; since some nutrients have been shown to prevent asthma. People who take vitamin C and zinc are less likely to suffer more than the others. Increase your intake of citrus fruits, broccoli and peppers for vitamin C and beef, crab and oysters for zinc.

• Get relief from caffeine: Coffee has been shown to help people with asthma. It has the same effect as theophylline. A cup of a regular strong black coffee will have beneficial effect on asthma. But do not use caffeine as a substitute for or along with other medications and must be always used in case of emergency. When you do not have medications, you can have 2 cups of regular strong black coffee for instant relief. You can get relief, albeit slower, with hot cocoa or milk chocolate.

What Are Some Natural Asthma Remedies?

Most asthma sufferers are familiar with the inhalers and oral remedies prescribed by their doctors for the treatment of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath that accompany an asthmatic episode. While these medicines are typically effective in the treatment of the condition, there are people who may prefer a more natural approach to asthma relief, for a variety of reasons. Some people want more natural remedies.

Any drug introduced to the body has the potential for unpleasant side effects; short term reactions such as nausea and long term concerns such as potential permanent damage from steroids used to decrease inflammation in the lung tissues. There has been ongoing controversy in the medical community regarding the safety and advisability of steroid use. While these can be life-saving, there is concern that the steroids may cause irreversible damage such as muscle weakness and bone loss. To minimize the frequency of use, the asthma sufferer can make some dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack.

The best “natural” defense against an asthmatic episode is to avoid known triggers. People with sensitivity to tobacco smoke should obviously stay away from it; and if your trigger is cat dander, you’ll just have to avoid petting the kittens in the pet store – no matter how adorable. Stay indoors on “high pollen” days if that is your trigger and always try to keep stress levels down. Using common sense is the first step toward lowering frequency of asthmatic episodes.

Asthma sufferers can also make healthy changes to their diets which can minimize asthma symptoms. Beyond avoiding known dietary triggers such as food allergies, nutritional supplements in the form of necessary vitamins and minerals can go a long way toward minimizing asthma attacks. Nutritional deficiencies make for a weakened system that isn’t able to effectively fight unexpected environmental triggers. Asthmatics need to exercise care even when using natural supplements. Make sure supplements are hypo-allergenic so as not to react to those! The need for certain vitamins and minerals may be greater among asthma sufferers than the average person as the condition itself tends to contribute to certain deficiencies. A good multi-vitamin is recommended to compensate for these deficiencies and make for a healthier body, better equipped to ward off reactions. Asthmatics also tend to have very low magnesium levels – a mineral that helps relax bronchial tubes – so a supplemental dose may be advisable. Finally, Vitamin C is believed to improve bronchial functioning.

More and more people are turning to herbal remedies to find relief from asthma symptoms. While most herbal supplements are not evaluated or endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration, there have been reports of success among those who have used them. Tylophora indica, used in Auyervedic medicine in India, has been getting a lot of positive attention thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, some individuals treated with the herb, Boswellia, reported a reduced number of asthma attacks. Butterbur is another promising herb shown to be as effective as traditional antihistamines in initial studies. As conclusive studies have not been done on most herbal remedies, the asthma sufferer is advised to be cautious when experimenting with these.

While it is possible to relieve symptoms of asthma, and reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack by avoiding known triggers, making lifestyle and dietary changes, and using certain herbal remedies, it is imperative to listen to your healthcare provider. Discuss vitamin and herbal supplements with your physician, and keep him informed of any changes you make and improvements you notice in your condition. The journey to a healthier life begins with a healthy amount of care and old-fashioned common sense.