A high level of soft drink consumption is associated with increased chance of Asthma, a new study has found.
Researchers interviewed 16,907 participants aged 16 years and older in South Australia. Result published in the journal Respirology, showed that 13.3% of participants with asthma drink more than half a liter of soft drink daily.
“Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD,” said Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide.
According to a research study, Asthma (a chronic inflammatory disease of the bronchi or Airways), has increased between 1960s and 2008.Above 300 million people are affected by asthma worldwide. In 2009 this fatal disease caused 250,000 deaths around the world.
One must be familiar with the causes and symptoms of asthma in order to lessen the possibility of asthma attacks. You may have mild symptoms and infrequent attacks of asthma, but it can become severe if it isn’t treated.
Asthma cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.
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What is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory disease; its causes are often allergies. Asthma is characterized by chest constriction and coughing. Severity and frequency of asthma vary from person to person.
In an attack, the lining of the passages swell causing the airways to narrow. They produce extra mucus, and breathing becomes difficult.
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Symptoms of Asthma
The main symptoms of Asthma attack are as follows
- Chest tightness or pain
- Coughing, especially at night
- An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
If you have mild asthma you will experience attacks no more than twice a week. In between asthma flare-up you may feel normal and have no trouble breathing.
Symptoms of Severe Asthma Attack
Severe asthma attack can be fatal if not treated soon enough. Symptoms of a severe attack include
- Severe shortness of breath
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Difficulty talking
- Restlessness and confusion
- Blue lips or fingernails (due to lack of oxygen)
How People get Asthma?
You can develop asthma by external agents or by reactions within the body.
The following factors can cause Asthma
- Allergens, such as, pollen, dust mites and molds
- An infection with a bacteria or virus
- Chemical fumes or other allergens at the work place
- Medicines such as, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Drinks which contain sulphur dioxide
- Traffic fumes
- Cooking gases may trigger asthma
- some exercises, such as running
- Having a blood relative who has asthma
- Being overweight
- Being a smoker
- Low birth weight
Allergic asthma (asthma due to allergens) is the most common form of asthma. When body is exposed to allergens, it causes development of IgE. On re-exposure to allergens, IgE binds to allergens and release chemicals, called mediators, which causes acute inflammation and broncho constriction.
If your asthma become worse when you are at work place, it mean that you have occupational asthma. Occupational asthma can develop in response to irritants, such as, chemicals, dust, gases and pollen in your work place. These irritants are usually found in industries such as baking, spray painting of cars, farming and chemical production.
Symptoms of asthma can occur in the presence of animals with fur, exercise, viral infection, weather change, strong emotional expression and menstrual cycles. Triggers of asthma must be avoided in order to improve control and prevent asthma attacks.
Asthma in Children
Asthma can begin in infancy, but it is often difficult to diagnose the disease at that stage.Study shows that most of the asthmatic children have allergies.
A child with asthma has less stamina while playing, as compared to other children. He/she may have cough, runny nose, wheezing, heavy breathing and bluish fingernails and lips.
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If your child has asthma, it’s important for you to protect your child from allergens and irritants whenever possible. If it is not possible for the child to avoid allergens, to block the release of histamine, antihistamine medications can be prescribed.
Treatment of Asthma
Asthma can be treated in many ways, if you have asthma talk to your doctor, he will decide which medicine is best for you. Your medicines may be in the form of pills or inhaler. Ask your doctor to show the right way to use inhaler so that you can use it properly.
Doctors usually prefer inhaled corticosteroid to control asthma for a long term. To avoid mouth infection use spacer on your inhaler. Corticosteroid pills or liquid can be used in severe cases.
Quick-relief medicines help relieve asthma symptoms quickly. For quick relief inhaled short-acting beta-agonists are the best choice. Methylxanthines (related to caffeine) may be prescribed which provides relaxation of muscles.
Room air cleaner or an air filter helps prevent asthma attacks. Air filter is used to remove small allergen particles from the air, 5 to 15 minutes are required to remove allergens.
Herbal Remedies for Asthma
Some of the herbs help in strengthening immune system of your body. Herbal remedies for asthma are easily available and no prescription is needed to buy them. In traditional medicine of India, japan and China herbs are in common use for asthma.
Following herbs may help you in relieving your asthma symptoms.
Anise seed which can be brewed in to tea helps in relieving congestion from asthma, allergies.
Blue violet leaf
Blue violet leaf is an anti-inflammatory herb best for asthma and respiratory catarrh. A mild teawith licorice flavor is good for your lungs.
Burdock is another anti- inflammatory herb for people who have asthma.
Leaves and flowers of colts foot can be used for asthma, cough and bronchitis.
Other immune system builders like Comfrey, Echinacea, Elderberry, dried ivy and Ginkgo extract are also good for respiratory diseases.
Always ask your doctor before taking any herbal medicine to ensure that they are safe for your asthma.
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Prevention from Asthma Attacks
- If you have asthma you can take the following steps to reduce its symptoms
- Track factors which are triggering your asthma symptoms
- Keep your room clean from dust
- If you have allergic asthma avoid allergens
- Try to avoid cold air, fragrances and cigarette smoke
- Keep your inhaler during exercise
- Take your medicine 15 to 20 minutes before starting exercise
- In cold weather exercise indoor
- In high pollen counts avoid outdoor exercise
- If you have nighttime asthma use inhaled steroids to cover sleeping hours.
- Use peak flow meter to monitor your lung function
- Avoid medicines like Aspirin which can worsen your asthma
- Take your medicine regularly as prescribed by your doctor
- Regular medical checkups are important to control asthma.
Stay away from triggers as much as possible to prevent asthma flare-ups. Asthma is not curable but you can lead a normal life with proper medical treatment and self-management.