What Is The Primary Underlying Cause Of Asthma?

Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes. People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:

  • Coughing, especially at night

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure

Still, not every person with asthma has the same symptoms in the same way. You may not have all of these symptoms, or you may have different symptoms at different times. Your asthma symptoms may also vary from one asthma attack to the next, being mild during one and severe during another.

Some people with asthma may go for extended periods without having any symptoms, interrupted by periodic worsening of their symptoms called asthma attacks. Others might have asthma symptoms every day. In addition, some people may only have asthma during exercise, or asthma with viral infections like colds.

Mild asthma attacks are generally more common. Usually, the airways open up within a few minutes to a few hours. Severe attacks are less common but last longer and require immediate medical help. It is important to recognize and treat even mild asthma symptoms to help you prevent severe episodes and keep asthma under better control.

Asthma has been on the rise for decades and now impacts nearly 20 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population.  If you have asthma, the airways in your lungs may narrow and swell, triggering coughing fits and wheezing and making breathing difficult.

Asthma may produce symptoms ranging from minor to life threatening in severity, and asthma attacks may be brought on by many triggers, including exercise, allergens (such as pet danger or pollen), or environmental pollutants (such as smoke, chemicals, or dust).

An intriguing new study suggests, however, that your expectation of an asthma trigger may influence how it impacts your airways, at least as far as certain odors are concerned.

Asthmatics were exposed to a harmless odor (phenylethyl alcohol, a rosy, pure scent that has no known harmful properties). One group was told the odor was therapeutic while a second group was told the odor might cause respiratory issues.

There were marked differences in how the two groups reacted to the scent, with those who believed the odor was harmful experiencing significantly more airway inflammation. Furthermore, the elevated levels of inflammation stayed that way for 24 hours, which in turn might increase sensitivity to other asthma triggers, resulting in a negative cascade effect.

If the study is, indeed, correct, it would suggest that managing fear and anxiety about asthma triggers may help to improve your symptoms. This isn’t as far-fetched as it may initially seem, as strong emotions are a recognized asthma trigger that may lead to rapid breathing and more.

Research suggests that a significant number of Americans have chemical hypersensitivity, and this often overlaps with asthma. In fact, one study found that, of those diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity (MSC), 42 percent reported also being diagnosed with asthma. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of those with asthma said air fresheners caused breathing difficulties.

Most people chronically “overbreathe,” which just means breathing more than you need to. When you overbreathe, you are depleting your carbon dioxide reserves. The odds are that if you are breathing through your mouth during the day, you are also doing so at night, which can lead to several health problems like dehydration, snoring, and sleep apnea.

If you have asthma, optimizing your vitamin D levels is absolutely crucial. In fact, research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a primary underlying cause of asthma. This means that many are needlessly suffering with a potentially life threatening ailment, since vitamin D deficiency is easily remedied. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that asthmatic children with low blood vitamin D levels also have an increased risk of suffering severeasthma attacks. According to this study, vitamin D insufficiency itself was linked to a 50 percent increase in the risk of severe asthma attacks.

Article Summary

  • Asthmatics who believed an odor was harmful experienced significantly more airway inflammation than those who believed it to be therapeutic
  • The elevated levels of inflammation stayed constant for 24 hours, which in turn might increase sensitivity to other asthma triggers, resulting in a self-perpetuating cascade effect.
  • Managing fear and anxiety about asthma triggers may help to improve your symptoms
  • Nearly 30 percent of people with asthma said air fresheners caused breathing difficulties, and more than 37 percent found scented products irritating
  • Natural strategies for healing asthma are plentiful, and include Buteyko breathing, optimizing your vitamin D levels, dietary changes such as balancing your intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, and exercise

You can read the entire informative post by clicking here.
article source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/07/asthma-trigger.aspx
photo credit: Google Images

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