People who suffer from asthma often describe this plight as “starving for air. " Asthma is a lung disease that causes obstruction of the airways. During an asthma attack, spasms in the muscles surrounding the bronchi (small airways in the lungs) constrict, impeding the outward passage of stale air.
Typical symptoms of an asthma attack are:
* A feeling of tightness in the chest
* Difficulty in breathing
The spasms that characterize the acute attack are not the cause of the disorder, but a result of chronic inflammation and hypersensitivity of the airways to certain stimuli.
If you have allergies an attack may be triggered, if a susceptible individual is exposed to an allergen or irritants.
Common asthma-provoking allergens include:
* Animal dander
* Dust mites
* Environmental pollutants
* Food additives such as sulfites
* Tobacco smoke
Other things that can bring on asthma attacks include adrenal disorders:
* Changes in temperature
* Extremes of dryness or humidity
* Low blood sugar
A respiratory infection such as bronchitis may also be involved. Whatever the instigator, it causes the bronchial tubes to swell and become plugged with mucus. This inflammation further irritates the airways, resulting in even greater sensitivity; the attacks become more frequent and the inflammation more severe.
A predisposition to asthma may be hereditary.
In the last decade, the number of Americans with asthma has increased by one third. Today, asthma affects over 10 million people (3 million children and 7 million adults). Children under sixteen and adults over sixty-five are more likely than other people to suffer from asthma. Among children, the incidence of hospitalization for asthma has increased fivefold in the last 29 years; the rate for adults has doubled.
Use an elimination diet to see if certain foods aggravate the asthmatic condition. Common culprits include:
* Cold beverages (which may cause bronchial spasm)
* Dairy products (including milk and ice cream)
* Red meat (especially pork)
* Processed foods
* White flour
* Furry animals
* Food additives BHA and BHT
* FD&C Yellow No. 5 food dye
* Tobacco and other types of smoke
* The amino acid tryptophan
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It's our gift to ourselves, how we take care of it. We can float through days, months, years, not paying any attention to our health. Yes, we are busy, things to do, children to raise, careers to contend with, but all these areas need us to be healthy. We need clean water & exercise, and nutrition to keep our bodies in good working vibrant condition.