Asthma makes life challenging for many people. The condition causes a person’s airway to swell and become inflamed, resulting in difficulty breathing.
According to the CDC, about one in every 12 people has asthma, and the numbers are climbing every year. When it comes to reasons for why medical professionals see more patients each year with asthma, there is no shortage: deteriorating air quality, poor diet, poor GI health, and new, weird food allergies.
Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have infrequent symptoms while others have them all the time.
Some people’s symptoms only happen at certain times, such as when they are exercising. If you work in an environment that has chemical fumes, gasses or a lot of dust, you may see your symptoms flare up during the workday. Then again, if you are allergic to your best four-legged friends, you may find they flare up when you get home and take a nap on the couch with Fido and Fluffy.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Five Natural Ways to Beat Asthma
If you have asthma and are currently on an inhaler or other prescription medications, good news! You can decrease your symptoms and even get rid of asthma for good by following these five natural protocols:
1. Try the Elimination Diet
Often, the foods we love and eat can be the very culprits behind some of the health issues we experience. Common inflammatory foods including soy, gluten and dairy can bring on mild to severe asthma symptoms.
An elimination diets is what it sounds like: you eliminate the list of culprits from your diet and slowly introduce them back into your diet, one by one, to see what may be making you sick.
The following food items should be completely eliminated from your diet for four weeks. It is believed that antibodies — the proteins your immune system makes when it negatively reacts to foods — take around three weeks to dissipate. You will need to give your body enough time to fully heal from sensitives and to notice improvements in their symptoms.
- Refined/added sugar
- Usually all packaged, processed or fast foods
Here’s how to do the diet:
- Stop eating all of the common allergen foods from the list above for about three to four weeks.
- During your diet, you’ll want to pay particular attention to food labels so you are ensuring you’re completely avoiding even trace amounts of these foods. Keeping a food journal is a great way to record how you feel during this time. This journal will help you once you start reincorporating the foods back into your diet.
- After the three or four weeks is up, begin to reintroduce foods, one by one, into your diet. Eat each food for one to two weeks and record any asthma symptoms you may experience. Do you feel worse on the food item?
- If symptoms do in fact return after you’ve reintroduced the food item, you can be sure it is a trigger and should be eliminated from your diet again, this time permanently!
2. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Magnesium helps your entire body relax. When your airways are relaxed, it becomes easier for you to breathe. Eat magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, seeds, and fish. You can also take a magnesium supplement, around 400mg per day should suffice.
Be careful, some magnesium like the citrate form can loosen stool. This can be beneficial to those who tend to constipate. If you’re not one of those people, consider taking magnesium glycinate instead, which does not have a laxative effect.
3. Practice Breath Work
Breathing deeply for 15 minutes a day can help your lungs to calm down.
4. Take a Zinc Supplement
Zinc is a crucial mineral for immune system health. People with a zinc deficiency are at a higher risk for developing asthma. 15mg a day is good for most people. Foods rich in zinc include beans, nuts and animal protein.
5. Take Fish Oil
The omega-3s found in fish oil are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Take 1000-2000mg of EPA + DHA per day.
We highly recommend Primal Labs DuOmega. Not only does this supplement contain pure, potent and delicious omega-3, the most powerful inflammation fighter, it also offers omega-7, which health experts now recognize as essential to heart health.
It is important that you work with your doctor when trying to eliminate your asthma medication. Many patients need to wean down slowly. But eventually, if you follow these 5 simple and natural steps, you should be able to breath easier.