Dr. Magryta: Asthma and Allergies
If you suffer from one of these two chronic illnesses, then you know how annoying it is to sneeze constantly, have a stuffy nose, and have trouble breathing.
In the United States, 8.6 percent of children suffer from asthma while allergies affect 40 percent. As a pediatrician, the high prevalence of these diseases makes them a target for prevention strategies.
Looking at these problems from 30,000 feet, it is clear that airborne pollution, poor quality nutrition, and chemical exposure are major concerns for the average allergic American.
Here is a list of interventions that can help:
1) Diet is key. Inflammatory foods increase circulating inflammatory chemicals known as prostaglandins as well as increasing lipopolysaccharides derived from a dysfunctional gut microbial makeup. These inflammatory chemicals worsen allergic diseases.
2) Critical: avoid known triggers. If you do not know what you react to, get a blood test and ascertain the triggers. Then go to www.aaaa.com for information on avoidance measures. This has been shown in recent studies to be as powerful as your steroid based asthma inhalers.
3) Control the air quality of your house by keeping air conditioning running through high efficiency filter.
4) Keep your nose and lungs humidified so that your allergen clearing mucous functions well. This can be achieved through nasal saline sprays, humidified saline, and neti pots for irrigation.
5) Have adequate micronutrients in your system, especially vitamin D, zinc and magnesium which play unique roles in immune function. These nutrients help to prevent infections from taking hold in your body which will exacerbate asthma and make allergic symptoms more severe.
6) Take a daily probiotic, consume fermented and prebiotic based foods. There is clear evidence that this will decrease symptoms. All three of these bacterial food types are beneficial for the health of the micro biome which in turn decreases systemic inflammation.
7) Avoid contact with all chemicals either in liquid or aerosol form. For example perfumes, aerosol plug-ins, smoke, strong detergents and cleaning agents.
8) Take your medicines as directed. Those who don’t suffer significantly more disease and sometimes death. The goal is to follow all of the other prevention techniques in order to not need the medicine, however, don’t fool yourself into believing that you will never need medicine.
9) Consider herbals to help with allergies. Quercetin, stinging nettles, bromelain are a few of the potent allergy inhibitors. My personal favorite is D Hist Jr.
10) Reduce stress. Practice prayer, meditation and breath work to keep yourself centered and calm.
Dr. Chris Magryta is a physician at Salisbury Pediatric Associates. Contact him at email@example.com
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