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Control your asthma during health crisis


PEOPLE with asthma are very much prone to respiratory viruses and they should restrict their outdoor movement to avoid getting exposed to elements that can trigger the attack and from getting infected with the coronavirus.

Humid weather, dust, pollution as well as certain foods are just among the common triggers asthmatic person should avoid.

• Dust Mites. Dust mites are tiny bugs that are in almost every home. To prevent attacks, use mattress covers and pillowcase covers to make a barrier between dust mites and yourself. Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters. Remove stuffed animals and clutter from your bedroom. Wash your bedding weekly.

• Pets. If you think a furry pet may be causing attacks, you may want to find the pet another home. Bathe pets every week and keep them outside as much as possible. People with asthma are not allergic to their pet’s fur, it’s the pets’ dander. If your floors have a hard surface, such as wood or tile, damp mop them every week.

• Tobacco Smoke. Doctors advise people with asthma to quit smoking. If you’re not smoking, avoid being a secondhand smoker from people who smoke. “Secondhand smoke” is smoke created by a smoker and breathed in by a second person. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack. If you have asthma, people should never smoke near you, in your home, in your car, or wherever you may spend a lot of time.

Avoid smoke from  burning wood or dead plants. Smoke from these materials is made up of a mix of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing in too much of this smoke can cause an asthma attack.

• Cockroach and mold allergen. Though this is the best time to clean and declutter your home being cooped because of lockdown, cockroaches and their droppings as well as breathing in mold can trigger an asthma attack. Start removing water and food sources in your house. Cockroaches love to feast on food crumbs and leftovers.

Get rid of mold in your home before the rainy season starts. Humidity, the amount of moisture in the air, can make mold grow. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the humidity level low.

Other triggers to avoid includes infections linked to flu and colds, sinus infections, allergies, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux can also trigger attacks. Strong emotions can lead to very fast breathing, called hyperventilation, which can also cause an asthma attack

Speaking of certain foods that can trigger asthma, a new study showed that ketogenic diet may help reduced inflammation of the respiratory tract.

In the study, the researchers put asthmatic mice on aketogenic diet that contained mainly fats, but hardly any carbohydrates or proteins. The cell metabolism changes: The cells now get the energy they need from burning fat. However, this means that they lack fatty acids, which they need for the formation of new membranes during cell division.

As a consequence, the division activity of the ILCs (Innate Lymphoid Cells) in the rodents fed a special diet decreased – dramatically.

ILC perform an important protective function in the lungs by regenerating damaged mucous membranes. They produce inflammatory messengers from the group of cytokines, which stimulate division of the mucosal cells and promote mucus production.

The scientists now want to investigate on patients whether a ketogenic diet can prevent asthma attacks. However, this is not completely without long-term risks and should only be carried out in consultation with a doctor.