What is Asthma?
Asthma is a health condition which affects millions of people worldwide, both adults and children. It is a chronic lung disease which makes it harder to move air in and out of the lungs due to airways being swollen and inflamed. Many individuals with MTHFR mutations struggle with Asthma, which is why it is important for us to discuss common asthmatic triggers and how to reduce exposure to improve your overall health.
Typically, asthma creates triggers, or things that your lungs are more sensitive too, whether it be smoke, pet dander, the weather, dust. When you breathe in a trigger, this causes the insides of your airways to become even more inflamed. This can make breathing more difficult and is what is commonly known as an “asthma attack.”
One way to get better control over asthma is to find out your triggers, and work to reduce or eliminate them in your environment or find ways to work around them. Many people with asthma are on medications to help their symptoms. This list is not an alternative to medication. However, reducing exposure to these triggers can help lessen asthmatic attacks and make asthma more manageable.
Common Asthma Triggers
Environmental toxins are a major trigger for asthma and unfortunately, there are many kinds of environmental triggers.
- Cleaning products (bleach, 409)
- Personal care products (perfumes, hairsprays)
- Biotoxins found indoors in homes/buildings
- Air pollution (smog, exhaust, fumes)
- Pet dander
- Smoke (cigarettes, fireplaces)
- Weather (pollen, extreme temperatures, high humidity)
- Weeds, trees, grass
These are just a few of the most common environmental toxins that play a role in triggering asthma, as well as many other chronic diseases. The best thing to do is to try and minimize exposure to these environmental toxins, as much as possible. This can be difficult, because some of these toxins are not in our control, so start with the toxins that can be controlled. It will require a little extra effort and some major lifestyle changes but reducing these toxins from your life can help make managing asthma easier and create an overall healthier living environment. Your body will thank you for reducing exposure to pollutants and toxins.
A few suggestions to help control toxins:
- Switch to natural/toxin-free cleaning products and personal care items.
- Search the house for mold and other biotoxins.
- Improve your air filter and air quality.
- Drink filtered water.
- Choose allergen free pets.
Diet is so imporant. What we eat, affects how we feel. Diet is a major trigger, not only for asthma, but for many other health conditions such as Hashimoto’s, Arthritis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Intolerance or sensitivity to foods can trigger Asthma. One way to help figure out what foods your body is sensitive to is by taking a food sensitivity test. This can allow you to find your trigger foods. Sometimes foods that are healthy, such as fruits and vegetables can cause reactions. Click here to read more about food sensitivities.
An alternative to food sensitivity testing is to try an elimination diet, in which you remove certain foods such as gluten or dairy from the diet for sixty days, to see if you notice an improvement in symptoms. Food sensitivity testing works quicker and can give you a larger selection of foods to test at once, whereas the elimination diet takes more time. Click here for BiomeIQ’s Food Sensitivity Test which tests for 184 foods.
Another thing to watch out for is hidden toxins in food. Heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, GMOS, additives, folic acid are a few of the potential toxins consumed in a typical diet. Consuming a diet high in sugar can also be problematic. Sugar has zero nutritional benefits, and it is inflammatory. Click here to learn tips on how to reduce sugar consumption.
Digestive issues such as SIBO, chronic gut infections, and leaky gut are other common triggers for asthma symptoms. Gut health is key to overall health, therefore, taking care of anything going on within the gut, can help relieve symptoms of asthma. Address SIBO and work towards getting bacteria within your gut balanced and regulated. Digestive enzymes are one way to support gut health. Probiotics are another option. Probiotics support and regulate the immune system. As well as maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Click here for more information on Digestive Enzymes.
For most people, getting a cold or flu is manageable and can run its course within a few days to a week, but with asthma, these illnesses can create asthmatic flare ups and complications. Avoiding people who are sick and maintaining a healthy immune system can help reduce your exposure to respiratory infections and illness. Make sure to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands and avoid touching your face.
Improve Immune Health
After identifying and addressing which triggers are contributing to your asthma flare ups, it is important to focus on immune system health. Balancing and maintaining a healthy immune system is essential in feeling ones best and for helping the body to fight off certain troubling triggers such as respiratory infections. The immune system can be supported through diet or supplementation. Such as eating foods high in Vitamin C or supplementing with an immune boosting multi-vitamin.
Support the immune system with nutrition:
Another way to help support the immune system is by going outside and getting natural Vitamin D from the sun. Sunlight provides many benefits for the immune system. Also, regularly exercising does wonders for immune health. Just make sure you are exercising in a way that is healthy for your lungs and speak with a doctor about an exercise plan. Click here to read more about improving immune system health.
Do you have an MTHFR mutation? Take our survey to get information regarding your specific mutation.