[Asthma suffers know that fish out of water feeling that can appear out of nowhere when living with this lung affliction! ]
Anyone who lives with Asthma already knows how challenging it can be to manage it and continue on with normal life, but toss in a sudden illness or another unforeseen health issue and it can leave your asthma suddenly out of control! Oh No!! :0
[ Clawdie's pretty honest about her feeling living with Asthma LOL! However, since living in the Crew house she's learned so much about her health management. Let's hope she didn't scare Vanessa off! LOL ]
It's easy to allow frustration set in when you're already less than well and trying to seek help for other health issues that have developed. But as Asthma Warriors, yep that's what we are :() we must remain steadfast when managing our health. We must move into the new and even complicated space what we've arrived in and take the wheel!
Whenever Asthma strikes when you're dealing with other illness seek out your Asthma Health Care Team. it's so important to keep close relations with your doctors who assist you in managing your asthma. I'm dealing with this very thing right now. I've been dealing with a couple of unexpected health issues and suddenly or perhaps because of the new issues my asthma has begun to flare and cause more distress! :(
I've been to my Allergist as well as my primary doc and am making the needed adjustments for breath control, however sometimes a change in medicine [inhalers] can effect a prior health issue so it's best to keep close communication with your health care team during these times.
Let's start with breath control! I've spoken about this in my Asthma Health Care blog posts; the possible effectiveness of Breath Exercises for strengthening the lungs and reducing asthma symptoms. Current research has found that breath work along with perscribed asthma meds resulted in marked improvement of quality of living compared to people who solely used their medicines. For more info check out this link: www.breathestydy.co.uk
Breath work can be hard, I have an apparatus I breathe into that raises a ball for breath workouts, but it leaves me whipped! LOL The Breath Builder Volumetric Exerciser Spirometer I use can be purchased from www.amazom.com for just about $8.00 :) There are many others to choose from. Okay, now let's take a gander at the info graphic below!
Now that we're keeping up with our health care team, our Asthma meds ( and any other changes that may be necessary), and we're whipping our tired lil' lungs into their best shape :() let's look at layered illnesses:
When you're experiencing an illness such as a virus/flu, you already know that it's going to aggravate your asthma! It's important to be prepared even though your may not have the energy for the upcoming fight your body's in for! LOL
*HYDRATE, it's one of your top weapons against foreign invaders and to keep those weak bronchial tubes moist and hydrated so they don't seize up! You may need extra help in the form of Electrolytes [ Minerals found in our body fluids, that help to maintain proper fluid balance in the body and to keep nerve and muscle functions working sufficiently. ]. If you loose too many electrolytes, you may feel weak and dizzy, over fatigued, random muscle spasms and changes in blood pressure. When we are suffering from a viral illness we are bound to loose electrolytes from sweating [ fever] vomiting and diarrhea.
**Electrolytes can be obtained from an electrolyte heavy drink like Pedi Lite, or Gatorade (Yuk!). I choose Coconut Water which is full of Natural electrolytes: Potassium * Sodium * Magnesium * Phosphorus * Calcium.
**Coconut Water contains the 5 electrolytes listed above without all of the added sugars (although coconut water does contain sugars), and artificial ingredients like colorants and flavors. Coconut water is Natures 'Gatorade'! In some remote parts of the world coconut water was used as an IV fluid replacement because of it's close makeup to our bodily fluids! Woo Hoo!
[ Pure drinking water with added fruits like berries, citrus or herbs will provide the body with extra flavor as well as minerals required for health boosting & maintenance. ]
**Alkaline Water [Referring to the ph level- 8 or 9- which is higher than pure water] is another hydration option although not necessary during normal times in our health.
[ the Lord made water to quench and hydrate just as it is! ]. But when you're depleted of those electrolytes, alkaline water is another option. However, at any other time, I would stick to good old H20. There various claims of health benefits deeming alkaline water a necessity are unproven. For any electrolyte drink always check with your doctor first! :)
[I also took to making health boosting drinks like Oregano Tea, and Matcha Tea, both drinks are full of Antioxidants and Oregano has loads of Anti-Viral properties!]
If you're dealing with layered or multiple health issues at once (like I have been), it's important to keep careful track of symptoms, dates and even feelings during this time. Journaling this information can be of great help for your health care provider during this time.
Take it easy on yourself. I had to take my own advice! I don't like not being in control of my life [ it's the type A in me! ] but shutting down in order to heal is taking control! Remember, lean onto our Lord through these dark valleys and he will carry you through.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
[ No one wants to pull up and see this sign, but at times it's a necessary part of life :/ ]
In my case, I was dealing with sudden out of control blood sugars too, along with the other 'layers'! While I'm still waiting to see a Gastrointestinal doc, my blood sugars are now at a healthy and manageable level and the nasty virus has left the building! It's been difficult to say the least, with unexpected trips to the ER :/ but I'm grateful for the care I received regardless of how awful I've felt!
While I've practiced a Health Supporting diet for years now, blood sugar issues can spring up for a variety of hidden reasons. Diabetes and Hypoglycemia are both genetic factors in my family and I've experienced both ends of this spectrum. Careful blood sugar monitoring along with strong sugar/carbohydrate balancing and taking my prescribed meds are landing me back in the drivers seat with this issue!
As I reexamined the changes in my life over the last couple years, I could see how things slowly swerved out of control with my health. Being under physical/emotional stress with sudden asthma issues [ Steroid overload :0 ] this combined with having Shingles [ More steroids topically for nerve post issues, SEE my blog post on Shingles A New Meaning For The Word Pain & Living With Shingles Pt. 2 under Healthy Living for more info ]; sent my body into chaos, this accompanied with the loss of a family member and dealing with difficult family personalities all while still trying to manage my asthma and other issues took a toll on my body! Before I realized it my blood sugars were in the crapper, and I found myself needing to get back to making healthy lifestyle choices that I know support my health. One layer at a time! :()
[ Food is information! ]
One of the foodie changes [ luckily there weren't too many]; needed to make was my sweet tooth had to change no more comfort snacking! Uh Ooh! :0 Luckily, I love foods like Coconut yogurt switched to Unsweetened, still delish, topped with frozen wild blueberries and slow roasted nuts! Eating supportive slow digesting snacks along with three meals instead of skipping meals and relying on food bars; a habit I've developed over the last few years! :o :[} I needed a wake up call that if I'm not taking care of myself, I can't help anyone else. My adrenals were shot, my body was sending me a wake up call, but it took me some time to answer :/ Sometimes lessons are hard learned...
[ Canned coconut milk is a delish thickener when added to smoothies! ]
[ Canned beans are another fiber filled option for thickening smoothies and adding extra fiber and nutrition! ]
However, as I peeked into my current dietary habits I did find many grains I like that weren't conducive to slow absorption into the bloodstream. I love golden potatoes
[ the petite ones! ] and could eat them daily in a perfect world! LOL I'm focusing more on sweet potatoes; I like the white yams :) A healthy focus on carbs like quinoa
(actually a seed), which was already in our diet, millet, and wild rice instead of so much of the white jasmine rice that I adore! I've bumped up the lentils and beans for my hubby and myself and thankfully we already enjoy these foods. I've begun adding white beans into my smoothie as a thickener change up from the almond butter that I LOVE and it's a great way to get in the fiber and protein from beans and the taste cannot be detected! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on Smoothie Thickeners that don't involve bananas LOL :)
Supplementing is a dicey topic because there are conflicting beliefs on whether our body really absorbs some supplements or just eliminates them through our urine. Of course you should always check with your health care provider before you add any supplement to your diet. I'm on the Anemic side so when my blood work shows the need for iron therapy it's added into my diet. I've also been prescribed Vitamin D, something so many of us who don't live in the Mediterranean are lacking! LOL!! Since having blood sugar issues I've been deficient in Magnesium so I have a good supplement for that too.
[ I'd much rather get nutrients from real whole foods, but the reality is that it's not always possible...when we're still deficient we have to seek out the health supporting vitamins/minerals our body requires... ]
The soil these days that our foods are grown in are depleted of many of the crucial vitamins, so it's not uncommon for many of us to be deficient even if we're consuming a healthy diet. It's not always affordable for everyone to buy organic
[ which is supposed to have higher amounts of vitamins/minerals from the healthier soil they're grown in ], so sometimes supplementing becomes a necessity. Getting the proper amounts of nutrients is crucial for the functions of our cells that provide energy throughout our brains and body, our heart and muscle function, skin and hair health, and our immune system; which is our defense against fighting illness an disease.
[ Like an onion our health has layers of requirements to sustain our body; physical, emotional, nutrition etc...Sometimes illness strikes in layers too, and in Layers we take on these challenges to heal...]
As you can see healing in layers can be challenging to say the least! it can become all too easy to forget our health when we're wrapped in stressful health situations, or life situations. Seeking convince and comfort through foods and lack of healthy habits can add to the havoc that our body's are already experiencing.
[ Life like this gift is beautifully layered (and complicated); we must treat it with care kindness, and awareness! ]
It takes time, help [ Health Care Team ], and the realization that our health maintenance must be recognized, & revamped when needed. Health is a gift and not something to be taken for granted. It's so easy to slip away into our stresses and neglect our health; as I have realized...But fortunately, our bodies can respond to a revival.
We cannot control serious health problems that need continuous medical attention,
[ something I am recently experiencing ], but we can make the decision to be diligent, to not give up or into the hard road that we've been redirected on. We don't have full control over our lives only our Lord knows the plans he has for us, but allowing him to lead us though the valleys and dips in life's difficult situations, leaning on him in faith over fear [ though NOT always easy to do! ] is what our Lord asks of us. Trust in him and breathe...
Don't give up, I am here to encourage anyone else going through difficult health challenges. We need one another, we lift each other in spirit and encouragement here at LivingThruGrace.. It is by the grace of our Lord that we can!
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