In a nut shell, let me quickly summarize what asthma is all about; different kinds of asthma, and how good nutrition can help you manage and/or eradicate the infirmity.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disorder that makes breathing difficult. The term asthma is a greek word meaning, “short breath”. As the name implies, it leaves you gasping for air. Asthma can affect men, women and children, and it is also a deadly disease. Most people who die from asthma are over age 50.
During an asthma attack , airways become inflamed and sensitive swelling narrows the airways, making breathing difficult; often leading to panting and gasping for air.
You might ask, at what age could one be prone to developing asthma? Asthma can develop at any age. It is possible that children 2 to 6 years can develop asthma. At this age, asthma is commonly triggered by allergies.
Exclusively, there are two kinds of asthma
- Allergic (extrinsic) asthma
- Non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma
Allergic asthma is triggered by an allergic reaction (irritants), such as dust mites, tobacco smoke. It is a condition where your immune system responds to irritants. Allergic asthma is the most common form affecting more than half of all sufferers. It can be managed with medication, and tends to be less severe than other forms.
Non-allergic asthma is caused by factors other than allergies; such as exercise, stress, inhaling cold air, smoke, viral infections, et cetera. This type of asthma is less common, develops more often in adults, is more severe, and difficult to treat.
Different people experience asthma in different ways. Not everyone with asthma would experience same or every symptom, and the severity of symptoms can vary depending on the individual.
Symptoms may include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, heavy mucus production, et al.
Asthma attack can be controlled with inhaled broncho-dilators (inhaler) when that is ineffective, the person should seek medical attention in the hospital. When asthma does not respond to initial treatment it can result in a life threatening reaction called “status asthmaticus”.
The crux of the matter. Can diet help control your asthma? The answer is ‘yes’.
Research suggests eating an overall healthy, balanced diet can be of immense help. While there is no maggic bullet food to cure asthma, making some changes in your diet may help reduce or control asthma.
Apparently, most doctors advice that good nutrition helps to alleviate asthma, as you need to be sensitive about certain food and diet; at the same time, eating fresh nutritious food may improve your overall health as well as your asthmatic conditions.
According to researches, a shift from eating fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables to processed food increases asthma. People with asthma may benefit from eating a well rounded diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Recommended foods for asthmatic people include the following: Vitamin D- rich foods (such as milk and eggs), beta carotene- rich vegetables (such as carrots and leafy greens), magnesium- rich foods (such as spinach and pumpkin seeds), fruits (such as apple, bananas, pumpkin seeds , orange).
Inhaling magnesium, through nebulizer, is another good way to treat asthma attacks.
Foods to avoid; Sulfites- which are found in wine and dried fruits. Foods that can produce gas such as beans, cabbage, garlic, fried foods, carbonated drinks. Artificial ingredients such as chemical preservatives, and other flavours
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News