Causes Of Asthma
The causes of asthma boil down to one, essentially, and that is a predisposition for a heightened sensitivity to certain substances in one's environment or food that are harmless to other people. This heightened sensitivity means the immune system is over-reacting, and when this happens an allergic reaction ensues. For many folks, that reaction takes the form of asthma. Other reactions include hay fever, allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, eczema, or hives. For most people suffering from allergies, that glitch in the immune system is genetic--a gift from some relative who came before them.
An environment full of pollutants, chemicals, etc. that people are exposed to in their lifetimes negatively affects their immune systems, which increases or aggravates symptoms. Other allergens are pollens of trees, grasses, and weeds. The intake of saturated fat (meat and dairy products) and refined foods (sugar, white flour) causes allergic reactions in some of those people; and chronic stress in any form is detrimental to the immune system, and raises the allergic response. Once a person is diagnosed as having allergies, and the causes identified, then steps can be taken to prevent the allergic reaction by making changes in one's habits or environment. Habits may be the hardest, since we are often reluctant to change what we are attached to, even causes of allergies.
Many of the same triggers of allergies such as hay fever, etc., also cause asthma. The asthmatic and the chronic sinusitis sufferer will both need to avoid the seasonal airborne pollens, and keep the indoor dust mites to a minimum. Foods that cause reactions are easiest to avoid unless they are spices that aren't always identified in a recipe, particularly in restaurant foods. Mold is another item listed among causes of asthma, so the home in which they live must be kept mold free. Air conditioning and central heat that keep the interior of a house dry present the best solution to that possibility. Reactions to food are more likely to be causes of allergies other than asthma, but can be very dangerous if they cause swelling of the air passages.
Pets often cause attacks of asthma, but they can also be the causes of allergies that show up in the form of hives or hay fever. For the asthmatic, pets cannot share the same space with them except in very restricted circumstances. They can never be allowed into the asthmatic's bedroom, and in fact should live outside if at all possible. Special dust-free covers on pillows and mattresses are also necessary to prevent dust mites from being frequent causes of asthma attacks. Stuffed toys must be either discarded or washed often in hot water to protect the asthma sufferer from frequent attacks.
Keeping dust out of the air is an important part of making a home allergen free, and that isn't altogether an easy task. Dusting with a damp cloth and mopping floors with a damp mop are recommendations, and a vacuum cleaner is also among the tools that can keep a house dust free. Curtains made of light materials don't gather dust as readily as heavy dark ones, so that is a change one might consider when protecting ones self against the causes of allergies of other types.
Medicines are available for the treatment of allergic reactions, but too frequent use of them will diminish their effectiveness, and that in turn further damages the immune system. Natural or alternative treatments are recommended, and some of them have been mentioned above, i.e., the avoidance of known allergens. In addition, there are positive actions a person can take to help himself, such as making sure he drinks plenty of water, avoid eating animal products, do eat fatty fish, walnuts, flax seeds, fish oil, and flax seed oil. A nutritionally oriented physician can help make decisions about these and other foods, and vitamin supplements that will build up the immune system.
Cold air suppresses the immune system, so is one of the causes of asthma, and could be listed among the causes of some other types of respiratory allergies. It cannot always be avoided, but trying not to be exposed to the weather unless really necessary can be an important action toward maintaining one's health. The causes of asthma and the causes of allergies in individuals are determined by careful testing and gathering of information concerning a persons medical history. There are specialists equipped to make the determinations as to causes and treatments appropriate for each individual suffering any of the debilitating symptoms that can accompany allergic reactions. Despite all our efforts at curing illness, our means are imperfect. Only Jesus had the power to cure anyone of any disease. "And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight." (Luke 7:21)
Asthma TriggerMany people do not understand what an asthma trigger is until years after they contract the disease. An explanation is that the body processes all foreign materials that it contacts. These can be pollens and chemicals that come in through the body's many openings. Most of the time, the natural processes in the body take care of each invasion of a foreign object. Sometimes the material is excreted, but other times, antigens are created to attack the object. This activates the body's immune machinery. The antibodies are like sentries trying to protect the organs from invaders. Histamine is released, which causes all kinds of reactions, including flushing, wheezing, itching, and hives. This is an allergic reaction, and many times requires an asthma attack treatment to resolve the problem. Many times, the severity of the allergic reaction cannot be predicted. Most of the time, the sufferer only experiences mild discomfort. But for some, allergic reactions can be life threatening. And repeated exposure to the same elements can make the symptoms worse.
There are different types of asthmatic conditions: extrinsic, intrinsic, and mixed. Extrinsic means exposure to elements in the environment such as dusts and pollens. The causes are usually determined through skin tests. Intrinsic asthmatic conditions are usually made worse by an infection, psychological or emotional stress, or changes in the environment or climate. Usually, a diagnostic symptom for this type is wheezing. Mixed contains elements of both extrinsic and intrinsic causes. The causes of all these types vary. Many times this disease may have a link to heredity. Most sufferers can point to a family member who has had the same condition, even to a list that contains the same triggers for the disease. And because the symptoms include difficulty breathing, many patients experience panic during attacks, and panic can make the condition worse, causing spasms of the airway muscles. That's when it's essential that the sufferer remembers his personal asthma trigger and begins the process of an asthma attack treatment to counteract the panic and the reaction.
Atopic asthmatic disease is related to allergies. Medical authorities define an allergy as a hypersensitivity to a specific substance, usually called an allergen or an antigen. This results in a wide array of reactions, including eczema, hives, hay fever, vascular problems, wheezing, shortness of breath, and mucus production. An allergy actually comes from the activation of an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These cells normally fight off parasites in the blood, but in our modern hygienic world, we do not often encounter these parasites. But IgE cells are still being produced in great numbers. Some people have higher levels of these cells than other people, which means they are more susceptible to having allergies. This is usually a genetic disposition.
There are some diseases that look like an asthma trigger but aren't. Some of these are: emphysema, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and foreign objects that may get lodged in the airways. Since none of these illnesses are treated the same way as an asthma attack treatment, mistaking one ailment for another can have serious consequences. For example, both emphysema and asthma may have wheezing as a symptom; however, emphysema is an irreversible illness, whereas an asthmatic has hope of reversing his disorder. If the condition first appears before age 5, then it is non-atopic or intrinsic. If it appears between the ages of 5 and 20, it is atopic, or caused by allergies. If it begins after the age of 20, then if normally is non-atopic, or intrinsic. The disease is more common in children because they have smaller airways, and therefore are more susceptible to constrictions and blockages. That's also why the condition is often more severe in young children. As they grow older, they don't necessarily "outgrow" their problem, but since their organs get larger (especially their lungs and esophagus), the problem becomes less severe. Hyper-irritability of the airways also decreases with age. But just because the symptoms have disappeared does not mean that the problem has gone away. Sometimes older individuals who have experienced more than one asthma trigger in their childhood can once again experience these attacks when they encounter certain irritant materials or when they exercise strenuously. Children also can develop immunity to the infections, which may be asthma-triggering bugs, but then later as adults once against succumb to the same infections.
For adults, a dangerous asthmatic incident may crop up following environmental or climatic changes at any age. These causes can be difficult to pinpoint. However, wheezing is a symptom that deserves immediate attention by a medical professional. Even if a patient has not had an incident for years, it is wise to be prepared for an emergency and to be close to sources for an asthma attack treatment. Most patients carry their inhalers on airplanes, in foreign countries, or on a simple drive to the country. To be wise about the disease, a person must also be aware of places that allow smoking, which may be an asthma trigger for many. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8) In other words, the wise man prepares for whatever may come. The ant prepared for winter so that she could survive in cold weather. Those who suffer from this disease must also prepare for the future, whether that means having the right asthma attack treatment close at hand at all times or understanding places to avoid that would cause reactions. With a few precautions and a few changes in lifestyle, most asthmatics can live long and productive lives.