Conceptually, the best approach is to consider that an asthma attack is triggered when a person’s total load exceeds their capacity to adapt. While there may be a specific trigger, such as a stress or cigarette smoke perhaps, these triggers can be seen as ‘the last straw that broke the camel’s back’, rather than the cause. Therefore the goal becomes increasing a person’s adaptive capacity and lessening the total load. Here’s how:
1. FIND OUT WHAT YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO
There are two kinds of allergies: IgE and IgG. IgE, which stands for ImmunoglobulinE reactions are conventional allergies. People with asthma are often found to have higher levels of IgE, making them hypersensitive to certain substances. You can test your IgE sensitivity and identify specifically what you are reacting to from an IgE blood test. If you have asthma you may already have had this done. If not, this can be done privately through York Test Laboratories. The test involves taking a pin prick of blood with an easy to use home kit and posting it to the laboratories for testing. To find out more click here. Most asthma suffers also have IgG sensitivities to foods. These type of intolerances are not so obvious and may not always precipitate an asthma attack. If they do, asthma symptoms may not occur until 24 hours later. Common foods that cause reactions are milk products, gluten cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats) and yeast. Your doctor is unlikely to offer an IgG allergy test, so you can get yourself tested for up to 113 different foods with York Test laboratories in the same way as the IgE test.
2. AVOID YOUR PROVEN ALLERGENS OR FOOD SENSITIVITIES
Once you know what you are reacting to, you need to avoid your allergens. IgE sensitivities last for life, while you can grow out of IgG sensitivities if you avoid the allergens strictly for six months. However, not all allergens are easy to avoid. If, for example, you are allergic to pollen you won’t be able to manage to avoid it completely. So, if you are pollen sensitive, I highly recommend avoiding all grains (which are grasses) and dairy products (made from grass) during the pollen season as the body can ‘cross react’ to similar proteins. If you are allergic to housedust mite, which live in mattresses and carpets, you’ll need to go to war on these critters by changing your bedding. Housedust mite allergy has gone up big time since central heating, because these bugs love moisture and don’t like big temperature changes. Either get a new mattress or put yours out to sunbathe on a couple of extremely hot days. Then cover in a housedust mite proof cover, which you can buy from most major department stores. Also get some housedust mite proof pillow cases and covers. Wash your sheets and pillow cases frequently in hot water and dry really well. Invest in a bed base that lets the bed air really well. Don’t make your bed. Leave it to ‘air’ and, ideally, let the room air as well. Ideally, don’t have a carpet in the bedroom and don’t leave wet towels lying around the place. Do your drying in the bathroom. All these actions also reduce exposure to moulds (which can trigger off an allergic reaction).
3. IMPROVE YOUR AIR QUALITY
Most people with asthma are hypersensitive to changes in air quality and do much better in clean air. It’s well worth investing in a decent ioniser for the bedroom or your major living space. Ionisers take dust and other particulate matter out of the air, including smoke and pollen. Now a new type of ioniser is also able to replicate the natural ions found in nature that can be absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream. Research from Australia’s National University, The Pavlov Institute in Russia and St Bartholomew’s in London has shown that improved lung capacity and relief from asthma symptoms are achieved quite rapidly by exposure to these type ions. In addition to ionisers for your home you can now buy discreet personal ionisers that can you can wear and help protect you whether you are out in the fields or in a smog filled city street.
4. IMPROVE YOUR BREATHING
It isn’t just what you breathe, but how you breathe that makes the difference. Most of us breathe very shallowly and deeper, slower breathing can greatly help reduce asthma symptoms. Breathing techniques are an important part of yoga and tai chi. My favourite daily exercise routine, Psychocalisthenics both teaches an excellent breathing technique called Diakath breathing and incorporates this breathing into the exercise routine. Breathing in this way is also a great way to de-stress and calm down. There are also some other breathing exercises you may like to try, developed by Frank Goddard, who had suffered from asthma all his life and had been on broncho-dilators since they were invented! At the age of 82 he had had enough and, through a combination of optimum nutrition, identifying and eliminating his allergies and certain breathing exercises, he is now both asthma and drug free. Frank invented a highly effective lung exercise tube that trains you to breathe in a way that helps bring oxygen to the brain and reduce the symptoms of asthma. These tubes cost £6.95 and are available to order from Frank’s website www.diyhealth.co.uk
5. IMPROVE YOUR DIGESTION
One of the major ......
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