Asthma affects over 5 million people in the UK.
When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten, causing the airways to become narrower and the lining of the airways to become inflamed and swollen. Sometimes sticky mucus or phlegm builds up which can further narrow the airways. These changes make it difficult for the sufferer to breathe.
There are 2 kinds of asthma:
Allergic asthma usually starts in childhood and is often related to a family history of allergies.
Late onset asthma is the name given to asthma which develops later in life. This type may be triggered by a respiratory infection or exposure to pollutants such as cigarette smoke.
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
Environmental allergens: airborne irritants such as pollen, dust mites, mould or animal fur can worsen asthma symptoms or trigger an attack.
An Inhalant Allergens Blood Test measures your reaction to possible airborne triggers and is useful way to identify problem substances, helping to minimise attacks.
Food allergy or intolerance: most people with asthma don’t need to follow a special diet, but certain foods including cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, yeast products, nuts and some food colourings and preservatives, can make some peoples’ symptoms worse.
If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance that may be exacerbating your asthma symptoms, Smart Nutrition can advise you on a test to narrow down the triggers, helping you to manage your condition in the long term.
Stress: stress doesn’t actually cause asthma, but it can trigger an attack or aggravate symptoms, making the condition worse.
Since emotional stress can intensify asthma, a stress reduction programme that reduces your stress levels as identified by a Stress Test designed to assess imbalances in stress hormones can help you to manage your condition.
Low stomach acid: research suggests that up to 80% of children with asthma have insufficient acid levels within their stomachs.
Stomach acid is s vital for the proper digestion of food, and is one of the body’s first lines of defence. When this valuable resource is compromised, increased reactivity and sensitivity often results.
Smart Nutrition’s consultations can identify and assess any digestive problems that may be contributing to your symptoms. Our nutritional therapists can recommend appropriate supplementation to help to improve stomach acid levels. Please use the button at the bottom of the page to find out more.
Early weaning: weaning babies too early onto foods such as wheat, dairy and eggs can cause damage to the immature gut and result in children developing sensitivity reactions that are implicated in asthma.
If you have a family history of asthma and are pregnant or have just had a baby, Smart Nutrition’s nutritional therapists can put together a healthy and practical weaning plan which will support your baby’s future health.
Dietary imbalances: certain foods and nutrients are known to aid the management of asthma, and some foods (such as those that promote mucus production) can exacerbate symptoms. Balancing these aspects within the diet can help to make asthma more manageable.