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March 08 2016


Lifestyle changes for the prevention of asthma

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Asthma is a condition of lungs that may lead to inflammation or swell ing and soreness of air passages. [1] Asthma and similar allergic ailments are substantially increasing with an alarming rate globally. Westernized countries and countries transitioning to a westernized lifestyle have greater incidence of asthma when compared with less advanced countries. Despite the fact that latest scientific studies show that the occurrence of asthma is at peak in developed countries, yet there are no explanations available so far for the same. Scientific studies show the varying situations along with the behavioural patterns associated with the so called “westernized” lifestyle lead to increase in the frequency of asthmatic attacks amongst general population. For example, due to upgrading in hygiene and control over infectious diseases, it is hypothesized that diminutive contact with contagious agents during infancy might lead to the development of asthma and allergies. Accordingly, few reports have publicized that contact with markers linked with contagious and infectious agents like endotoxins, farm animals and pets can decrease the possibility of such ailments. Furthermore, various other attributes of the westernized lifestyle like Obesity and exposure to allergens have been linked to the development of such disorders. Additionally, dietary changes who have happened over the periods amongst all age ranges and in special conditions (pregnancy etc.), is the one other significant facets of modern lifestyle which may have contributed to these conditions. [2]

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Reasons behind Asthma

Some of risk factors attributed by present lifestyle and leading to Asthma are:

- Obesity

- Smoking

- Diet and Nutrition

- Exercise(exercise induced asthma)

- Medications

- Occupational Exposure

- Stress

- Environmental Exposures: Outdoor and indoor Air pollutants; Allergens

[2,3 and 7]


Obesity or excessive weight is probably the major lifestyle diseases. A substantial amount of scientific data reveals that Obesity is a causative factor for Asthma. The information is collected from adults, adolescents and children worldwide and specify an elevated relative risk of asthma inside the obese and overweight and express that Obesity predates Asthma. The mechanical first step toward this correlation just isn't yet established. However, depending on scientists viewpoint Obesity and Asthma share common etiology like common genetic predisposition, similar results of in utero conditions, or that obesity and asthma are mutually the end result of certain other predisposing factors for example physical activity or diet.[4]

Moreover, research studies shows that obese patients have an overabundance of severe asthma as compared with normal weight individuals and such severity can be due to greater respiratory inflammation, which is, airway obstruction or it can also be due to compact results of asthma drugs or medications in Obese patients. [5]

Such people are advised by physicians to adhere to a strict weight management schedule comprising daily exercise and morning walk as a way to have a healthier lifestyle.


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Latest research on enhanced possibility of asthma after the commencement of habitual smoking all the way through upbringing and teenage life corresponds with the substantial data showing that active smoking results in unpleasant and severe respiratory health effects in adolescents and kids after a brief time period of constant smoking. The truth that teenagers who smoke constantly have more severe symptoms and lessen lung function within the initial few years of commencement continues to be acknowledged by researchers throughout the world. In addition to this, studies have proved that regular or continuous smoking raises the possibility of asthma as well as other respiratory disorders which significant long-term effects of smoking aren't just restricted with those developing a history of smoking for many years.

Moreover, recent clinical study studies have established that paternal and maternal smoking (pregnant and breast-feeding mothers who're regular smokers) can bring about undesired health consequences on new-borns, childrens and young adults, making their body susceptible to asthma and other severe respiratory tractinfections.

Efficient tobacco control endeavours centering on the control and protection against smoking in children, teenagers, teenagers, women of childbearing age and expectant women are immediately needed to prevent the severe cases of asthma in these people.[6]

Diet and Nutrition

Scientific studies have established that a diet rich in marine essential fatty acids, peculiarly fish oil, can have valuable effects on inflammatory conditions like asthma.Also, fruit eating can lead remarkable improvement in signs of asthma.Though, the influence of dietary salt reduction in the treatment of asthma just isn't yet established by researchers, however it has been concluded that there is certainly significant improvement in pulmonary function with a low-salt diet. [7]

Exercise Induced Asthma

Exercise-induced asthma is described as a state in which smooth muscles in the lungs starts contracting as a result of physical action. As a result, breathing becomes hard plus a person physical performance declines inevitably. Exercise-induced asthma is much more common in athletes who perform rigorous exercises in their daily routine. The most common symptoms of Exercise-induced asthma are: wheezing, difficulty in breathing, chest tightness, coughing and issues with prolonged sessions of exercise.

The less frequent symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, wherewithal to exercise in cold, chest congestion/discomfort, frequent colds, dry throat and headache

Proper warm -up or cool-down may prevent or decrease the occurrence of Exercise Induced Asthma.Also, as environmental factors like cold, dry air, high altitude, airborne allergens and food allergens like egg-whites, peanuts, almonds or bananas, two hours before exercise can trigger an Symptoms of asthma, it is highly preferable to perform exercises in finest circumstances or conditions characterised by warm, humid weather; negligible level of pollutants or allergens; and a moderate altitude. [8]


Substantial evidence augmented or increased airway resistance is noted in normal individuals and asthamatic patients using medicines like propranolol and aspirin.Similar evidence has been seen in Asthmatic patients using Timolol eye drops for glaucoma.

Some other drugs which are recognized to provoke Asthma attack are: Cocaine, Dipyridimole, Hydrocortisone, Interleukin-2, Methylphenidate, Nitrofurantoin, Sulfasalazine, Protamine and Vinca alkaloids.

These drugs must be avoided as much as possible and cannot be taken without prior approval or consultation of Physicians.[9]

Occupational Exposure

Present-day Working place act as an increase occupational respiratory diseases like Asthma on account of inhalation of both organic and inorganic substances. Globally, Asthma may be the prime diseases caused because of inhalation of organic agents. [7]

Commonly related occupations and exposures are: car painting (isocyanates), hairdressing (various chemicals), domestic and commercial cleaning(cleaning solutions), physicians(latex) and baking(flour dust), amongst a great many others.[2]

Avoidance of such substances, specifically for people working in industrialized environment is difficult.[7] Thus, private and public sectors should implicate certain health policies, compensative and preventive measures for the well being with their laboured employees, contributing to the entire wellness of their companies.


 Stressful life circumstances advances the symptoms of asthma. Studies have demonstrated the fact that concomitant parental and disputes enhances the chance of Asthma at an early age, at the much higher rate when compared with other risk factors like parental asthma, education and passive smoking.[10].

Moreover, recent clinical findings have enumerated a variety of emotional states as probable precursors of asthmatic symptoms. It absolutely was confirmed that distinct affective states like sadness or depression are predominantly in connection with an exasperation of sign and symptoms in people who have asthma. Correspondingly, latest clinical trials have revealed that variant emotional and affective states such as anxiety, anger, and joy are similarly effective at eliciting increases in airway resistance in asthmatics. [11]

Environmental Exposures

Outdoor and indoor Air Pollutants:

Indoor Air Pollutants, basically indoor allergens, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, indoor generated particles and dangerous can influence the respiratory system and can cause or aggravate the signs and symptoms of asthma.

Similarly, long-term exposure to combustion related fine particulate air pollution is another significant environmental risk factor for respiratory diseases like asthma.

Here again, relative efforts are essential to government and local public normally to combat the inside and outside pollution by adopting diet and weight loss. [7]


Both indoor allergens like mites, some moulds, animal danders and insects and outdoor allergens like pollens and fungal moulds are normally found to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and also other respiratory disorders. Physicians recommend proper adoption of preventive control measures by general public to diminish the harmful affects of allergens on sensitive lungs.[7]


Asthma can be defined as condition of lungs that can lead to inflammation or swelling and soreness of air passages. Obesity, Smoking, Diet and Nutrition, Exercise (exercise induced asthma), Medications, Occupational Exposure, Stress and Environmental Exposures: Indoor and Outdoor Air pollutants; Allergens are one of the major risk factors attributed by current modernized lifestyle that happen to be responsible for causing or alleviating the signs and symptoms of Asthma. By adopting fitness, consisting of proper diet and resisting to harmful habits of smoking and employ of undesired medications might help in combating the severe symptoms of Asthma. Furthermore, a prominent role is required by government and also sectors as well as by way of a common man to relieve the detrimental effects of outdoor and indoor air pollution as well as the occupational and emotional stress; on sensitized lungs of your normal human-being.

- K.B.Gupta, ManishVerma: Nutrition and Asthma, Lung India 2007; 24:105-114
- Padmaja Subbarao, Piush J.Mandhane, Malcolm R.Sears: Asthma: epidemiology, etilogy and risks,CMAJ.2009 October 27;181(9):E181-E190.PMCID:PMC2764772
- Karin Yeatts, Peter Sly, Stephanie Shore, Scott Weiss, Fernando Martinez, Andrew Geller, Philip Bromberg, Paul Enright, Hillel Koren, David Weissman and MaryJane Selgrade: A quick Targeted Review of Susceptibility Factors, Environmental Exposures, Asthma Incidence, and Recommendations for Future Asthma Incidence Research. Environment Health Perspect.2006 April;114(4):634-640.PMCID:PMC1440793
- Shore SA,Johnston RA: Obesity and Asthma. Pharmacol Ther.2006 Apr;110(1):83-102.Epub 2005 Nov 17
- Gary J.Stadtmauer, Y.Claire Wang: Resolve to Control Asthma First, Then Target Weight Loss. Allergy & Asthma Issues: Winter 2009
- Frank d.Gilliland, Talat Islam, Kiros Berhane, W.James Gauderman, Rob McConell, Edward Avol and John M.Peters: Regular Smoking and Asthma Incidence in Adolescents. American Journal of Respiratory and important Care Medicine. Vol 174,pp.194-1100,(2006)
- Risks FOR CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASES:www.who.int/gard/publications/Risk factors.pdf
- Jon Heck and Kaley Abato: Exercise-Induced Asthma:Recognizing and Managing the Problem
- METIN OZKAN,RAED A.DWEIK,MUZAFFAR AHMAD: Drug-induced lung disease
- Kilpelainen M, Koskenvuo M, Helenius H, Terho EO: Stressful life events promote the manifestation of asthma and atopic diseases. Clin Exp Allergy.2002.Feb:32(2):256-63
- Thomas Ritz, Andrew Steptoe, Stephen DeWilde and Marco Coasta: Emotions and Stress Increase Respiratory Resistance in Asthma: Psychosomatic Medicine 62:401-412(2000)

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