Asthma is defined as a disease characterized by an increased responsiveness of the trachea and bronchi to various stimuli, and is manifested by widespread narrowing of the airway passage that changes in severity either spontaneously or as a result of treatment. Attacks are brought on by the spasms of the smooth muscles that lie in the walls of the smaller bronchi and bronchioles, causing the passageways to close partially. The patient has trouble exhaling and 'the alveoli may remain inflated during expiration. Causes of Asthma
- Dietary changes: changes in diet in Western countries, such as a high proportion of processed foods, a higher salt intake, a lower antioxidant intake and a lack of fresh oily fish (lower intake of omega-3 fatty acids) may contribute to the development of asthma.
Lack of exercise: spending more time inside in front of the television means that children get far less exercise. Reduced exercise may mean less stretching of the airways, and a greater tendency for the muscle in the airway walls to contract abnormally when exposed to minor irritants.
Occupational exposure: in adults, asthma can develop in response to irritants in the workplace - chemicals, dusts, gases, moulds and pollens. These can be found in industries such as baking, spray painting of cars, woodworking, chemical production, and farming.
Signs and Symptom Asthma
Airway narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath (difficulty in breathing), chest tightness, and coughing, strain in exhaling the air. The asthmatic has to try hard for just getting a breath. In severe cases, the life of the patient becomes miserable and it makes him almost invalid. In medical terms the complicated condition of asthma is called Emphysema.
Prevention from Asthma Attack
Avoid food which can increase the chance of asthma attack Common foodstuffs that increase the chance of this are milk products, animal foods, or food that takes more than two hours should be avoided.
Take special care that your bedroom is free from allergen material.
Dust your room often but not with broomstick instead if possible use a vacuum cleaner.
Wear a scarf round your mouth and nose during cold weather to be on the safer side. This will warm the air and prevent the cold air from entering in and reaching the sensitive airways
Use a plastic cover over your mattress and if possible wash this in hot water every week.
Home Remedies for Asthma
Lemon is another fruit found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. The juice of one lemon, diluted in a glass of water and taken with meals, will bring good results
Indian gooseberry has also proved valuable in asthma. Five grams of gooseberry mixed with one tablespoon of honey forms an effective medicinal tonic for the treatment of this disease. It should be taken every morning
Among fruits, figs have proved very valuable in asthma. They give comfort to the patient by draining off the phlegm. Three or four dry figs should be cleaned thoroughly with warm water and soaked overnight.
A soup prepared from drumstick leaves, and taken once daily, has been found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. This soup is prepared by adding a handful of leaves to 180ml of water and boiling it for five minutes. After being allowed to cool, a little salt, pepper, and lime juice may be added to this soup.
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