preventing asthma attacks

3. Practice Breathing Exercises

Practice pursed lip breathing frequently – at least twice a day. That way if you have an asthma attack, you will know how to exhale slowly with your lips pursed as a means to reduce your symptoms. Ask your health care provider to recommend other breathing techniques that strengthen the lungs, expand your lung capacity and prevent secretions from accumulating in them.

Use Your Peak Flow Meter Every Day

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4. Use Your Peak Flow Meter Every Day

Once you know what your personal best peak flow level is, you will be able to evaluate your breathing and intervene quickly if necessary. You may even be able to identify subtle changes in your breathing before you can feel them. By knowing what your best reading is, you will be able to take appropriate measures before you experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, or other asthma symptoms.

Taking immediate steps to relieve symptoms may prevent the progression to a full-blown asthma attack. Consult with your healthcare provider for specific instructions. Generally, you will need to intervene if your peak flow reading is less than 80% of your personal best.

Plan Ahead When Exercising

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5. Plan When Exercising

Many people who have asthma suffer from increased respiratory symptoms or asthma attacks while exercising. You must engage in an exercise program, despite your asthma. Consider engaging in exercises that are less likely to precipitate an asthma attack. Yoga and swimming are excellent options. Ask your healthcare provider for exercise recommendations.

It may be helpful for you to use a bronchodilator before engaging in vigorous activities. Exercise indoors on days that are very hot or cold and avoid exercising outdoors when air pollution or pollen levels are elevated.

Treat Asthma Holistically

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6. Treat Asthma Holistically

While seeing your health care provider regularly and using medications is an essential part of an effective treatment plan for most people who have asthma, avoid relying on them as your only or primary means of avoiding asthma attacks.

Your lifestyle choices have huge impacts on the health of your lungs, immune system and general level of wellness. Pay attention to your physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental and relationship needs. All affect how well your asthma symptoms are controlled.

Eat Well

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7. Eat Well

Eat organic foods when you can. Consume simple, regular meals that are free from additives, preservatives, dyes, and pesticides. Include plenty of fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. Consume at least one to two cups of berries each day. Avoid foods that increase mucus production, such as uncultured dairy products. Include foods in your diet which contain healthy omega fatty acids. These include flax, hempseed, salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

Pay attention to what you eat and identify any foods you are sensitive to. Consider implementing an elimination diet to help you identify foods that trigger respiratory symptoms.

Keep Hydrated

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8. Keep Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids so that mucus will not build up in your lungs. To know how much water you should be drinking, halve your weight in pounds and drink that number in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink at least 60 ounces of water daily. Consume extra fluids if you are engaging in vigorous exercise or if it is hot outside. Beverages containing caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating. Limit their intake.

Don't Smoke

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9. Don’t Smoke

You know this. You must take steps to stop smoking; even if you do not think that you will succeed. Take advantage of the wide array of smoking cessation programs available. Many public health departments offer free or low-cost assistance.

Avoid Exposure to Environmental Pollutants

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10. Avoid Exposure to Environmental Pollutants

Keep your home and workspace clean. Purchase the best air conditioning and heating system you can afford to reduce toxins in your environment. Be sure that your home is kept free of molds, mildew and dust and choose hard types of flooring rather than carpeting in your home. Ask co-workers to limit their use of perfumes, air fresheners, and other irritating substances. Use natural, unscented products to care for your home and body. You may also want to consider allergy testing.

Consider Taking Natural Supplements

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11. Consider Taking Natural Supplements

Natural vitamins, minerals, and supplements support the health of your immune system, improve your general level of wellness and strengthen your respiratory system. Include a multivitamin/ multimineral supplement labeled as a “stress formula.”

B vitamins are used up quickly when you suffer from asthma, so you may benefit from vitamin B12 injections if you suffer from frequent asthma attacks. Adequate amounts of vitamin B12 can reduce shortness of breath. Vitamin C can help reduce histamine levels which are elevated during asthma attacks and if exposure to allergens occurs. Vitamin E relieves swelling of your air passages. Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell in your body and helps to relieve asthma attacks.

While it is important to obtain most of your vitamins and minerals from your diet, supplementation with antioxidant-rich carotenoids, flavonoids, and other natural plant compounds will help to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks. They help your body maintain healthy levels of vitamin C, reduce histamine release, and help your airways stay open. Quercetin and extracts of grape seed or pine bark are excellent sources of antioxidants that benefit respiratory wellness and prevent inflammation.

Add Herbs to Your Diet

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12. Add Herbs to Your Diet

Herbs decrease inflammation, prevent infection, thin mucus, reduce chest tightness and relieve spasmodic coughs. Thyme, mullein, elecampane, wild cherry bark and hyssop are particularly beneficial for asthma treatment.

If you suffer from anxiety, consider drinking herbal teas made with red clover, chamomile, calendula or linden. Licorice and marshmallow root provide rapid soothing relief to irritated air passages. Be sure to eat or take garlic capsules or tablets each day. Garlic will open up your air passages and help to prevent respiratory infections that precipitate asthma attacks.

Asthma is a controllable illness. By utilizing a wide array of treatments and implementing a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to prevent respiratory infections, and asthma attacks much of the time.

Read more about the importance of nutrition and avoiding outdoor triggers over at NewLifeOutlook.

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