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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weekly asthma FAQ

Every day at we get lots of asthma related questions. Below are some questions I thought my readers at the RT Cave would enjoy.

Question: I have been getting recurring pneumonia, could this be from advair?

My humble answer: You are not the lone person to come up with this idea as there has been much written on it, as is the case with this post here and this link here, and this one, and again here in this study. However, this study shows budosenide (an oral corticosteroid siilar to that of which is in Advair) does not cause pneumonia. So, I would imagine more research will be needed to come to a conclusion either way. The ideal thing for you to do is continue talking with your physician to make sure that the benefits to using this medicine outweigh the risks. In most studies, Advair (and Symbicort too) have been proven to be very effective for managing inflammation for asthma and COPD patients.

That aside, there are certain things you can do to try to prevent getting pneuonia that I describe in this post here: "Pneumonia: here's what you can do to prevent it."

Question: What in the body happens to cause asthma?

My humble answer: You've come to the right place to find everything you need to know about asthma. The best place to start is by clicking here or, better yet, here. By following these links you should get a good overall understanding of what asthma is and what "triggers" an asthma attack and what an asthma attack is.

No one really understands what causes a person to develop asthma in the first place, but there are theories, such as this one I wrote about.

The airways of most asthmatics are always inflamed (swollen) to some degree. Depending on the severity of this inflammation determines how bad one's asthma is and how sensitive the air passages are to asthma triggers.

When an asthmatic is exposed to his or her asthma triggers, this triggers the asthma response you can read about in the second link above. This ultimately leads to the air passages in your lungs (check out this link) to become increasingly inflamed (swollen) causing them to constrict (become narrow). When this happens air you breath can enter your lungs, but the narrowed airway traps the air in your lungs (this is called air trapping). Since an asthmatic during an asthma attack has this extra air in his lungs, it feels as though he can't get air in, but the truth is he can't get air out. He then feels like a fish out of water.

Fortunately there are medicines to treat an acute (ongoing) asthma attack like this and even more medicine to prevent an asthma attack. You can read about asthma medicines here.

If you want to read a very thorough writing about what asthma is, you should check out the asthma guidelines I will link to here. Actually, the answer to your question should be in this section.

Good luck.

Question: I have asthma and taking 4 life transfer factor as remedy. i was told by a friend that he has taken 4life transfer factor pills for his immune system and that his asthma has gone away . is this 4 life product as good as they say it is ?

My humble answer: I can neither deny nor confirm this claim. However, I'm sure if this worked to "cure" asthma it would be all over the news and on the front pages of this site. You have to realize that asthma has a tendency to appear to "hibernate" for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. It may be a coincidence that your friend started taking this 4 life transfer factor at the same time his asthma went into hiding. However we want to remain open minded, so the best thing for you to do if considering this is to discuss it with your asthma doctor and continue to keep up on your asthma research for the latest asthma wisdom.

Question: Coughing lots especially at night. Sometimes it leads to vomiting. My doctor says I just have a cold. Is he right?

My humble answer: We really cannot diagnose over the Internet. It is not completely abnormal for a coughing spasm to lead to vomiting and a headache. A common cold can cause nasal drainage which would induce a cough. Bronchitis, asthma, and a lung infection may also cause increased sputum production and induce a cough. Which one of the above is causing your symptoms is something only your doctor can determine.

Question: I am 25 yrs old girl I always get breathing problem whenever i cry a lot or get tired. Is this a symptom of Asthma?

My humble answer: Actually, what you are describing is not a symptom of asthma. To see what the symptoms of asthma are click here. That said, emotions can be an asthma trigger. Asthma triggers are things that can "trigger" an asthma attack. To learn more about asthma triggers click here.

There are some things you can do to help prevent emotions from effecting your asthma. First, you should discuss this with your asthma doctor. Second, you might want to learn and work on some relaxation exercises. When you get emotional you can work on "relaxing" and this can help prevent this from causing asthma.

Better yet, setting aside 5-15 minutes each day to concentrate just on relaxing your body might prevent emotional asthma altogether. Trust me, I've tried this and it works great.

When I was a teenager I had asthma that was triggered similar to what you describe here. Whenever I was tired, stress or anxious I'd have trouble breathing. Fortunately I knew a great asthma nurse who taught me some great relaxation techniques. One I mention in this post, although this post describes relaxation techniques better.

You should also mention this to your doctor, because he or she might have some more ideas that might help.

If you have any further questions email me, or Visit's Q&A section.

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