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Three things you must do
Finding out the causes of asthma: Several allergens, irritants & pollutants — ranging from pollen, cold air and air pollution — can trigger asthma attacks. Find out the causes of asthma or causes that worsen your asthma and take steps to avoid those triggers. If you act quickly and immediately stop any activity that may have triggered the attack, you’re less likely to have a severe attack. You also won’t need much medication to control your symptoms. When your peak flow measurements decrease it is time to be alert that you might get an oncoming attack, take your medication as instructed. Also, If your symptoms don’t improve, seek medical help as directed in your action plan.
Making an action plan: Asthma is a condition that needs regular monitoring along with treatment. Taking control of your treatment can make you feel much better. With the help of your physician, make a detailed plan for taking medications and managing an asthma attack. Follow your plan and take medication on time.
Monitor your breathing: Recognise warning signs of an asthmatic attack, such as shortness of breath, trouble breathing, slight coughing or wheezing. With the help of a home peak flow meter regularly measure and record your peak airflow. When you exhale forcefully a peak flow meter measures how fast air comes out of your lungs. Readings from the meter can help you recognise early signs of worsening asthma. Keeping track of peak flow numbers is part of your Asthma daily routine. Your doctor can guide you on how to monitor your peak flow at home.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. Carrots contain antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation which in turn helps protect the airway from damage. Vitamin C is important in safeguarding respiratory cells and fluids from any inflammatory damage.
Carrots can be used in salads, smoothies, and juices form. They can also be used for quick cooking which ensures they preserve more of the vitamin C carrots contain.
Amla is a very rich source of vitamin C which helps in improving immunity and tolerance to asthma. Its anti-inflammatory properties play an important role in reducing the severity of asthma attacks.
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Walnuts are yet another source of omega-3 fats, which protect the respiratory system from excessive amounts of inflammation. This plant-based option can be incorporated into oats preparation, smoothies, salads, and baked goods.
Diets higher in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and beta-carotene lower rates of asthma as many of these substances are antioxidants & anti-inflammatories which protect cells from damage.
Three things you must avoid
Avoid smoking: Smokers are more likely to suffer from major asthma symptoms. But for non-smokers, they should be careful to stay away from tobacco smoke which damages airways and could cause an acute asthma attack.
Reduce stress: Stress can also trigger asthma in an asthma patient. When a person is stressed, the body releases hormones that increase heart rate and breathing also. Finding ways to relax can be very helpful in preventing and reducing allergy symptoms. Meditation, Relaxing exercises and yoga are great ways to relax and can be very effective for asthma symptoms.
Avoid contact from cough & cold: Avoid contacting the individuals suffering from cough &cold as this may worsen the asthma symptoms. Prevent cold by Keeping yourself warm. Avoid cold food items & cold beverages like curd.
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Large amounts of foods high in saturated fat, including processed meats can trigger excessive inflammation throughout the body, including the lungs. Avoid trans-fat that is majorly found in processed food as they may worsen asthma symptoms. E.g., Food like processed cheese, refined flour, refined sugar, and processed meat.
Food that causes bloating like beans, and cauliflower because gas formation can put pressure on the diaphragm and make you feel short of breath.
Sulphites are used as preservatives for food. They can cause severe allergic reactions and have been known to make asthma symptoms worse. Food items containing sulphites are pickles, dried fruits & packaged food.
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A medical doctor by training, Dr Shikha Sharma is the founder and managing director of Nutriwel Health and one of India’s most prominent nutritionists. She has pioneered the concept of Nutrigenetics, which combines modern medicine techniques and the principles of Ayurveda. Dr. Shikha and her team share weekly health and nutrition advice exclusively for EastMojo readers.