Until quite recently, my only asthma experience dated back to childhood….wheezing kid and a panicked teacher searching for the puffer. This blog is dedicated to KRISTI. In the last few years she found out “being so out of breath” has a name. Pushing weights was never an issue but running is a another story! After years of hearing, “it’s in your head!”… Kristi finally had an answer. ASTHMA! Exercise induced asthma is not uncommon.
Asthma is a breathing disorder. Bronchial swelling, spasms and excess mucous lead to breathing distress. It should not be taken lightly.
Asthma is broken down into two types:
Extrinsic Asthma is an allergic reaction. The body is simply overwhelmed. Pets dandur is a common allergen. Taking medication, bringing a puffer or missing out on events is not a great way to live.
Extrinsic Asthma is an increase in IgE antibodies. These antibodies are produced by white blood cells and bind to mast cells. Histamine is released making it harder to breathe. Symptoms can worsen quickly resulting in a medical emergency.
Intrinsic Asthma is due to external factors. Cold air, stress, infections, chemicals and exercise can bring on the same symptoms.
Looking at ASTHMA from a holistic perspective there are things we can do.
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration promotes the release of histamine. This leads to bronchial constriction. Those suffering from exercise induced asthma must focus on Water! Avoid juices and electrolyte replacements. They may lead to an over consumption of potassium. This increases histamine production. Not good!
- Decrease exposure to food allergens. Food sensitivities put people at higher risk. Elimination diets can help identify allergens. The simplest answer is to get tested!
- Avoid consuming damaged fats! Use the right oil when cooking! Coconut oil is perfect for high heats. Olive Oil for low to medium. Use cold pressed hemp for salads! Avoid damaged fats such as commercial peanut butter and margarine. Avoid processed packaged foods. They contain canola, palm, peanut and other damaged fats.
- Avoid all sulphites. This additive is found in dried fruits, dijon mustard and cheap snacks.
- Avoid all food additives! Aspartame, benzoates and food color are just a few examples. They are only added to entice the eye and extend shelf life!
- Decrease salt in your diet. There is a link between sodium consumption and severity of asthma.
- Vegan diet may prove beneficial for asthmatics.
- Increase the rainbow on your plate!!! Fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet.
Carotene family may improve the lining of our lungs! Think orange…carrots, yams, mangoes and pumpkin!
Lycopene family may suppress allergic response in lungs and blood. It also may decrease the number of mucous secreting cells found in airways. Think red…watermelon, guava and tomatoes!
Flavanoid family includes quercetin which may inhibit histamine release. Think yellow-orange…oranges, lemons, grapefruit and papaya. Quercetin is found in apples, onions and garlic.
There are 6 nutrients that play an important role in preventing asthma.
Adding a few new foods to the menu may do the trick!
- SELENIUM is found in brazil nuts
- VITAMIN B-12 is easily found in meat products! VEGANS should already be taking a daily B12 sublinguial. (1000 mcg)
- MAGNESIUM is in nuts, seeds, bananas and leafy greens! Just one square of dark chocolate contains 24% (go for 85% minimum and fair trade!)
- VITAMIN C is found in citrus fruits! Eat extra! Stress and smoking quickly depletes this precious vitamin.
- VITAMIN D is deficient in most people living north of the equator. Multi-vitamins still leave most people needing more. Sunlight is not always an option! Try adding potatoes and mushrooms to the mix! I do advocate adding D to the diet. Dosing is easy after a simple blood test.
- VITAMIN E is found in nuts, seeds and avocado.
* I love incorporating botanicals!*
- LICROICE: I’m not talking twizzlers! Licroice can be taken in a pill, tincture or as a tea. If you have HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE this is NOT for you!!
- COLEUS FORSKOHLII
- GRAPE SEED EXTRACT
- PINE BARK
- GINGKO BILOBA
- JUJUBE PLUM
- ALOE VERA
Make sure your holistic nutritionist or medical practitioner knows ALL homeopathic or medications you are taking!
HOLISTIC HOUSEHOLD TIPS
- Limit carpeting!
- Regularly clean pillows and mattresses. They harbor dust mites!
- Switch from drapes to shutters or blinds!
- Check for household mold!
- Have a pet? Brush often and outside! Limit pet areas!
- Clean with natural products. Vinegar and baking soda are non toxic and inexpensive alternatives.
- Stop spraying and plugging in chemicals to make the house MOUNTAIN FRESH!!!
- Avoid spraying anything onto sporting equipment. Sweat and chemicals are a dangerous combination. The chemical drips therefore absorbing into open pores! Air ALL sport’s equipment outside.
One of my favorite recommendations is EXERCISE! It does help with asthma ! Be mindful if yours is triggered by exercise. Sprinting may not happen… listen to your body and train accordingly. Breathing exercises are extremely important. Be open and give yoga a try. Acupuncture is another option worth exploring.
Limiting stress, cleaning up your diet, exercising, supplementing and drinking lots of water are ways of taking control! Don’t forget green tea!! It’s an asthma aid!
Let ME personalize your ASTHMA protocol!
*Classifying Asthma is done based on severity, frequency and nighttime symptoms. Consulting a Naturopath or Medical Doctor is your best bet.
*For more information on vitamin and botanical dosages I recommend The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Third Edition by Micheal T. Murray, N.D. And Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.