Asthma - a long term lung condition, the causes of which are not fully understood, affects about 5 million people in the UK

The lungs

The primary function of the lungs involves a process of gas exchange- the transfer of oxygen from inhaled air into the blood and the transfer of carbon dioxide from the blood into the exhaled air.

What happens when you have asthma?

Asthma-diagram.jpg

Normally, when you breathe in, air passes freely through the many airways (bronchial tubes) in the lungs. These airways are surrounded by muscles and contain mucus glands. If you have asthma, the airways are hyper-responsive so when they come into contact with a certain trigger they become sensitised and inflamed and the muscles around them contract, making the airways narrower. The narrowed airways make it more difficult for air to flow in and out of the lungs, causing breathlessness, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing. The inflammation also causes the lining of the airways to make extra mucus which further obstructs airflow. Symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, may flare up at any time, triggered by different things in different people.

Who is susceptible to asthma?

Asthma can start at any age but it most commonly starts in childhood. At least 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults have asthma. Asthma runs in some families but many people with asthma have no other family members affected. People who have allergies – especially those under the age of 16 – are at a higher risk.

There are different types of asthma. Asthma associated with allergy usually starts in children. But some people develop asthma as adults and this is often not associated with allergic triggers.

How do you know if you have asthma?

Symptoms vary from person to person but generally your symptoms will tend to:

  • come and go over a period of time
  • be worse at night and in the early morning
  • be made worse when you come into contact with a trigger

Sometimes symptoms are typical and the diagnosis is easily made by a doctor or health practitioner. If there is doubt then some simple tests may be arranged.

Spirometry. This is usually the first test carried out by your health practitioner to confirm whether you have asthma. During this test, you breathe into a mouthpiece that's connected to a device, called a spirometer, or to a laptop. It measures the amount of air you're able to breathe in and out and its rate of flow.

FeNO test-also called exhaled nitric oxide testing – When your airways become inflamed they produce nitric oxide. Measuring this output indicates the level of inflammation in your lungs.

Provocation tests If your other results are normal but you’ve been experiencing signs and symptoms of asthma, your doctor may order a test that produces a mild reaction under controlled laboratory conditions. If you don’t have asthma, you won’t react to the low doses those with asthma will react to.

Peak flow meter - A peak flow test involves blowing as hard as you can into a small handheld device called a peak flow meter. By measuring how fast you're able to breathe out, your peak flow score can indicate whether your airways are narrowed. If you are diagnosed with asthma, you can use a peak flow meter at home to monitor your condition

Triggers - anything that irritates and inflames your airways making your asthma worse

Common triggers include:

  • Infections- particularly colds, coughs and chest infections
  • allergies to things like animal fur, pollen, house dust mites
  • irritants, like tobacco smoke, spray cleaners and dust
  • heightened emotions/stress
  • air pollution especially from traffic
  • certain medicines
  • Some chemicals

Physical activity, particularly running in cold weather, can make asthma worse. This is sometimes called exercise-induced asthma. But exercise should not be avoided as it is beneficial in maintaining general health.

How BioMed can help alleviate the symptoms of asthma in adults and children

Following an initial health assessment, your BioMed Health Practitioner will carry out a computerised health screening (Quantum Analysis) which will identify any allergies, intolerances and nutritional deficiencies in the body’s systems. (Particularly valuable data in alleviating symptoms of asthma). An individualised treatment plan will then be created using a combination of therapies, treatments and recommended life style practises.

To reduce inflammation:

It is also important to stay well hydrated and adopt a diet low in sugar (too much sugar clogs up the gas exchange process)

Over the longer term the above treatments may alleviate symptoms to the level where an inhaler is only required occasionally.

Testimonial-Sam

"About seven years ago I had been suffering with a number of ailments which included; asthma, sensitivity to a lot of substances, I could not cuddle my cat as her fur affected my chest, I was unbelievably tired all the time, sleep did not help, I felt sick all the time and had continuous bloating and stomach pain, I felt numb and lifeless and constantly felt anxious often feeling very emotional and crying.

I had been to the doctor a number of times and they sent me off for a number of tests, some tests they wouldn't do till my chest was clear! I felt like I was going round in circles. I then came across Claudia Carrillo , she asked me to fill a questionnaire about myself which included some history. I was then given time to think about it whether I wanted to go ahead. After agreeing I had a saliva and hair sample taken. When the results came back they showed I had Adrenal fatigue and I was at the exhaustion stage, this meant that my body was struggling to function in a number of areas.

Claudia worked out a plan for me which included a detox, clearing my chest area, helping with my anxiety and working on my physicality.

During the years of recovery I have learnt to listen to my body. After the day I walked into Claudia's shop in 2011 I am a different person. I no longer have asthma, although I am still sensitive to chemicals, perfume and dust, maybe that's not a bad thing! I can cuddle my cat, if I am over tired I know what to do. I have a wheat and lactose intolerance which helps me to eat healthier and I have learnt how many foods I "can eat"rather than" cannot eat", I tend to eat more homemade food as I know what's in it. I now have a full time position and have been an assistant manager since being unable to work for roughly five years.

This was a very slow process, and took years of perseverance and determination, through all this Claudia was professional, knowledgeable, positive and always cheerful, supporting me and helping me to keep going. She listened when I was so low or upset , I know I would not have recovered if it wasn't for her. I will be forever grateful and have now come to look on her as a good friend".

 

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