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Managing Asthma is a Full Time Job!

No rest for the weary ! :()

Those of us with asthma or who care for someone with it know that managing those lungs can get tricky at times! We can believe that we're doing all the right things and suddenly hit a snag that takes us down. It can be frustrating but patients is the key because our bodies are an amazing ecosystem that adapt to the varied changes we expose and put it through.

[ Roxy accompanied Clawdie to her pulmonary appointment and reassured her that keeping her appointments with her health care team will help her manage her

asthma! ]

Our bodies are all different and require individualized care, so what works for a friend or relative may not be best for you. Treating asthma takes a team and it starts with keeping up with communicating with your health care team, having an Asthma Action Plan; which is a comprehensive route to follow outlining what meds to take, and when to change the amounts depending on how you're breathing and what to do when things aren't going according to the plan. :)

Educate your self and get to know your body. It's crucial to understand how asthma effects the bronchials and lungs, and how to care for the whole body in management of asthma. Your health care team is instrumental in helping you to understand a body with asthma, how medications work ( different inhalers work differently in the body), what side effects to look out for, whether any supplements can interfere with the medications and so on, Your pharmacist is another resource for asthma education, especially for those new to asthma.

Remember we're in a war against asthma and we need as many soldiers as possible. Pharmacists can aid in helping you to understand the most effective ways to use inhalers, spacers (a device attached to an inhaler to get the medicine deeper into the lungs), and even help you with your treatment plans. Working together is key to keeping that asthma behemoth at bay!

[ Clawdie's telling Toni about an incident with one of the LivingThruGrace Crew members who tossed her inhaler that she left lying around. She's learning that it's her responsibility to keep track of her medical tools, and that others won't necessarily feel responsible to pitch in to help! Check out my Instagram or click under the Media button on the Home Page to see what went down! ]

We are the first front soldiers in our asthma care. It's vital for those with asthma to follow any health care plans mapped out, to TAKE your meds ( because we don't like

to! :-{} ), follow a healthy diet, and exercise (if it's possible) to strengthen those weakened lungs! One very important factor to remember is to know your asthma triggers!!

Common Asthma Triggers Are:


*Extreme temperature; cold, hot & humid, rain, wind (blows pollens around)

*Getting sick, especially respiratory conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia

*Working out, and other physical activities you participate in

*Mold (indoor & out) Pollen, pets, grass, being near water

*Smog/Smoke ( cigarette or from a fire, or smoke from your stove top if something has burned or falls onto the burner. This happens to me frequently LOL!!! )

* Medications like aspirin and NSAID's ( anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin, check with your doc to make sure you're not taking anything that can trigger an attack )

* Household dust and cleaning products, including Scented Candles & Air Fresheners

( it's best to use chemical free cleaning products if possible, there are plenty on the market nowadays, or you could make your own! Check out my blog post titled: Beeswax Candles Are The Bees Knees! Under Healthy Living & Lifestyle focus)

* Alcohol can make asthma worsen and lead to an attack( may be from the nitrites )

*Body products like perfumes ( most perfumes are made with chemicals. It was a sad day for me to give up my favorite Philosophy's Amazing Grace!! :} )

* FOOD; additives & chemicals, added to food can trigger an attack. One widely known one is MSG chichis in many processed foods.

*Acid Reflux (persistent heart burn) if not controlled will lead to asthma attacks

The point is that asthma can be triggered easily by many and multiple factors. It's up to us (asthmatics) to be conscious of and understand what affects our bodies and to know the warning signs of an incoming attack.

Warning Signs:

* Fatigue (not getting enough oxygen or air will wear you down)

*Wheezing or coughing (persistent)

*Shortness of breath

* Feeling of 'heaviness' on the chase or back

* A tight feeling in the chest

* Rapid breathing

*Difficulty speaking (due to shortness of breath)

*Persistent symptoms even with use of asthma medicine

It's proven that asthma patients who are educated on their personal care, adhere to their asthma plan, and consistently take prescribed medicines can reduce asthma related hospital visits. Of course there are variables that can be beyond our control and that's ok, it's all a part of living with a chronic illness. ( For me every July 4th for the past 2 years I end up in the emergency with an asthma attack. I still have NO idea why?? Strange eh? )

Fueling our bodies with whole natural food helps to keep our immune systems strong, keep inflammation down ( This is KEY because inflamed bronchial & lungs bring on an attack!!!), and give our bodies the right fuel for really feeding our cells!! Now we're all human ( aren't we? LOL :-O) and of course there are times when we eat some form of processed food, sweets candy, pizza!! ( there have been quite a few times over the years that I messed up eating the wrong foods and suffered the consequences from either asthma or food allergies!) It's all a part of the process of learning to live with it!) Keeping it balanced is the key. My method is 80/20, eighty percent whole nutrient dense food, 20 percent whatever I want! Since I have food allergies, even that 20% has to be carefully monitored.

Emotions carry us on many journeys but for asthmatics, they can carry one right into an asthma attack! For some intense crying or even laughing can trigger an attack. The reason for this is there is a change on breathing and airflow in the bronchial becomes restricted. Stress and anxiety can cause the chest to tighten and lead to an attack. Getting emotional support if possible form family and friends, or anyone that you know and trust.

[ Gentle stretching is good for opening breathing pathways ]

Keep moving when you can because it brings oxygen into the lungs and keeps them working, and strong. Do what you like, there are many stretching videos made specifically for asthma. See my blog post: Tai Chi Qigong & Yoga for for Asthma Health: Gentle Stress Fighters. Imbedded in that post are a couple of videos on Tai Chi and other exercises for asthma management.

So now you see why I titled this blog post the way i did? :-[} It is a full time operation keeping our asthma under control!! But...what choice do we have? We can do this, why... because we are Asthma Warriors!!!

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