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.