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Asthma – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 by

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects an individual’s airways. The human airways are tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. If a person has asthma, the inside walls of their airways can become sore and swollen.

This makes the airways very sensitive, and it may react strongly to things that an individual is allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they get narrower, making a person’s lungs get less — which makes it difficult to breathe normally.

Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines that can stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines that will prevent various symptoms of the disease.

Known side effects of asthma

Symptoms of asthma include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing (especially early in the morning or at night)
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Take note that not all people who have asthma will show these symptoms: an individual displying these may not always mean that they have asthma.

A healthcare professional will diagnose asthma based on lung function tests, a person’s medical history, and a physical exam. Patients may also be asked to undergo allergy tests.

An asthma attack occurs when a patient’s asthma symptoms are worse than usual. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can be fatal when not addressed immediately.

Body systems harmed by asthma

There are several risk factors for pediatric asthma. These predisposing factors can include:

  • A family history of asthma
  • Previous allergic history
  • Living in urban areas, which means more exposure to air pollution
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Low birth weight, children with a poor health status
  • Obesity
  • Rhinitis- stuffy nose
  • Sinusitis, leading to inflamed sinuses
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Frequent respiratory infections

Food items or nutrients that may prevent asthma

Individuals with asthma must eat more of these foods:

  • Vitamin D-rich foods – Sources of vitamin D include salmon, milk, fortified milk, fortified orange juice, and eggs.
  • Beta-carotene-rich vegetables – Food rich in beta-carotene include carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, and spinach.
  • Magnesium-rich foods – Eat more magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, chard, dark chocolate, and salmon.

Avoid these foods because they can trigger asthma symptoms:

  • Sulfites – A type of preservative that can worsen asthma, sulfites are found in wine, dried fruits, pickled food, maraschino cherries, shrimp, bottled lemon, and lime juice.
  • Foods that can cause gas – Avoid foods like beans, cabbage, carbonated drinks, onions, garlic, and fried foods.
  • Salicylates – A chemical found in plants, salicylates are found in coffee, tea, and some herbs and spices.
  • Chemical preservatives, flavorings, and colorings – These are often found in processed and fast food.
  • Foods that trigger allergies – People with food allergies can also have asthma. Dairy products, shellfish, wheat, and tree nuts are among the most common allergens.

Always consult a healthcare professional before avoiding certain foods.

Treatments, management plans for asthma

An overall healthy lifestyle can help patients manage their asthma. Some of the ways can include eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly.

Diet and lifestyle changes complement an individuals existing asthma treatment. Do not stop using prescribed asthma medications without consulting a healthcare professional first.

Traditional asthma treatments include:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Oral leukotriene modifiers
  • Long-acting beta antagonists
  • Combination inhalers
  • Fast-acting rescue medications
  • Allergy medications
  • Allergy shots
  • Bronchial thermoplasty (used for severe asthma cases that don’t respond to medication)

Where to learn more


Asthma is a chronic disease that affects an individual’s airways.

Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines that can stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines that will prevent various symptoms of the disease.


Sources include


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