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Severe Asthma? Let's Look Closer...

Living with Asthma is certainly a great challenge, but for many who are diligently doing everything they're supposed to to no avail, Severe Asthma could be the culprit. Asthma itself can cause bouts of anxiety, but when it becomes a behemoth that literally takes over your life it's time to step up the fight!

If you suspect that your asthma has grown beyond it's norm for you, see your health professional, you will most likely be lead to a Pulmonologist ( if you aren't already seeing one) who can help to smooth our that Asthma Action Plan and provide additional assistance. Your doctor may suggest a blood test to get a more detailed look at your asthma, this will allow them to provide specific medical help for whatever is specifically going on in your body.

Never just diagnose yourself, but if you've noticed changes with your asthma and it's not responding to your rescue inhalers and other treatments it could be a sign. Here are some other signs to keep track of and share with your healthcare provider:

More Wheezing

An expanded chest that docent deflate after an exhale

Tight, strained neck and abdominal muscles

Dry Cough


Feeling breathless when you lie down or sit, or feel the need to stand in order to breathe more efficiently

Tightness in the chest area

Difficulty speaking in full sentences

Shortness of breath

Fast breathing

Bluish tint to lips, nails or face

While you may normally experience a few of these symptoms with your asthma, worsening of these symptoms or additional ones like stated above could be a red light to get additional help.

[ Never give up hope. There's always another door to be opened, you just have to keep looking. ]

Though there is no cure, Severe Asthma isn't the end of the line. We live in an age where we have many health support options that can assist us in managing our asthma. Speaking with your health providers on what different new strategies [ along with different meds ] need to be implemented will create the treatment plan catered to your asthma needs.

Acquiring a healthcare team could be the best option as this allows for different professionals all working for your greater lung health together,

Allergist - who specialize in treating Allergies and Immunological diseases which include Asthma and Allergic Asthma.

Pulmonologist- specializes in the treatment of respiratory disease, including asthma.

Primary Care Provider- Probably your main doc, an internist or Family Physician who manages your overall care and who can refer you to other specialist for treating your asthma.

Respiratory Therapist - who is trained to teach how to improve lung function, how to safely workout and manage daily activities more effectively.

Nurse Practitioner (NP)/ Physician Assistant (PA) licensed medical professional who help to oversee your healthcare needs and provide education about asthma as well as prescribe medications. [ differs from state to state ]

The cause of severe asthma is unknown but when classifying your asthma type, your doc will take into consideration factors such as:

physical exam,

medical history,

lung function tests

blood tests - checking for cells related to lung inflammation

allergy testing

The types of severe asthma include:

Eosinophilic Asthma- caused by a type of white blood cell normally for fighting disease; however when too many are present in our airways, chronic inflammation and increased asthma symptoms can be the end game. This condition is often resistant to even high doses of standard doses of asthma medication.

Medication-Induced Asthma- where attacks are triggered by allergic reactions to medications, (like aspirin) or blood pressure or other medical drugs.

Allergic Asthma- in which symptoms are triggered by common allergens like pet dander, dust, pollen and molds. This type of asthma can be determined through allergy testing. Avoiding your triggers is a pertinent part of therapy for this.

All of this being said, there are lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in managing asthma. Having a support system can make a big difference, someone who understands what you're going through and can be there for you when it's needed.

[ That includes ALL cigs meaning E-Cigs as well. ]

Obvious ones would be avoiding cigarette[s] and secondhand cig smoke as well as wood burning smoke from fireplaces or barbecues or burning leaves. [ It can be really difficult living in states that have been affected by devasting fires because the air is not conducive for lung health...] Stay tuned for our next blog post on what to do if you live in California or other affected states.

[ You might not want to go hiking through any wooded areas in hot humid weather! Come to think of it, if you may be dealing with Severe Asthma, it's best to just keep away from activities like this; at least until the asthma's under control!! :() ]

Stay prepped for weather/pollution changes in your state such as cold dry air or high humidity.

[ Feel free to visit some of our other informative blog posts on life with Asthma under Asthma Health & Care! ]

Avoid your trigger allergens as well as you can manage. These would be pet dander, pollen, mold, food allergens, strong odors [ like the perfume areas in stores and malls! I avoid them like the plague if possible!! LOL; and others that have been deemed no-no's by your healthcare provider!

[ Remember to put good foods into your body so their Nutritional Power can do their part in supporting lung health. Here one of our LivingThruGrace ladies has made a Red Velvet Hot Cocoa! Simply add 1 tsp beetroot powder and 2 tbsp cocoa powder into your fave milk, we used almond, and whisk and heat. Add in a sweetener of choice, we used a tbsp of maple syrup and topped with So Delicious Coconut Whip! Full of nutrients from the beet root and the cocoa! Delicious! ]

Self Care, this means emotional mental and bodily care are all important factors in managing asthma health through managing stress. Now, we may not be able to obliterate stress from our lives but small steps daily on throughout the week add up in our brain-k-accounts! That's our brain bank accounts! :() Being over stressed can quickly derail our health, and that includes our asthma!!

[ Clawdie loves to read, it calms her and allows her to escape her own asthma reality even if just for a bit... ]

Spend time in prayer, our relationship with our Creator is the most important one we can have! Meditate, meaning simply spending a little QUIET TIME to shut out the world and allow our brains and spirits rest is more healing that many realize! Do something you enjoy.

[ Violet's girls night out didn't stop her from filling her body with Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, Good Fats and good taste! With options, it's not too hard to choose wisely! ]

Diet matters! Eating an anti-inflammatory diet helps keep our lungs in working order! Keeping sugars and processed foods to a minimum also can aid with controlling inflammation. Loading up on foods like veggies fruits whole grains, nuts & seeds, healthy meats/poultry/fish {unless vegan} fills our body with healthy omegas, vitamins minerals and energy for battling asthma.

[ Reading...expands the mind, or allows you to escape from it!! :() ]

I know time is a major factor in many of our lives! Even a half hour or 20 minutes vegging out doodling [ more on benefits of this soon too!], get into a chapter of a good book; [ or listen to one with audiobooks0 there's nothing like getting lost in a good story!! One of the most important ones; LAUGH, laugh more its literally medicine for the soul. We're never too old to be silly, to goof around for a bit, or listen something funny. Pets and Kids are the ultimate laugh makers! Watch funny videos, however you choose, just laugh, your health, mind and heart will thank you!

[ Keeping an open mind to alternative modalities can be key to whole health management! ]

Homeopathic/Holistic care is another option that may provide needed results for asthma complications. There are many options available, though many are NOT covered by insurance so be prepared and weigh the worth of this care against the costs of other health care management options. Acupuncture, Chiropractic Care, Nutritional Therapy are just some of the alternative modalities that can benefit asthma and severe asthma. Our LivingThruGrace Crew will have an upcoming post detailing alternative modalities and their benefits soon! :() There's no reason that both western and eastern medical care can't compliment one another!!

Remember, open & honest communication with your healthcare team is one of the keys to asthma management, along with understanding the proper way when to take your medicine. Have that AAP Asthma Action Plan on deck right on the fridge or somewhere you and your loved ones have access to visually.

Stay on top of any vaccines recommended by your doctor as well to help prevent further respiratory infections and complications.

[ Well, if this gal's dealing with severe asthma, perhaps giving thanks in a field of flowers isn't the best idea! :() ]

We are blessed to have so much at our doorstep available for managing asthma in the age we are living in. I'm praying for even more advances that help to make our life quality higher, and that help save lives from future asthma attacks!!

[ Included here is a free printable or download to keep and display in your home or your phone/tablet for instant access to Severe Asthma Symptoms! ]

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