Natural Methods to Relieve Asthma Symptoms

Picture: Mohamed_hassan 

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes a person’s airway to narrow, swell, and become inflamed. It can also cause excess mucus production, making it challenging to breathe. Symptoms of this condition can be mild or life-threatening, and it’s not uncommon to experience coughing, wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. 

Most people manage their symptoms with rescue and controller inhalers, both of which can assist with preventing and managing symptoms. However, some natural therapies do exist that may work in harmony with your doctor-recommended medication. If your physician approves of alternative medicine to assist with your general asthma-related discomfort, you might see the value in trying some of the following methods. 

CBD Inhalers

CBD inhalers look just like asthma inhalers and consist of an administrator mechanism and aerosolized liquid that enters the mouth. If you’ve ever considered symptom management options, you may have asked, do CBD inhalers work? 

Like many things related to CBD, studies are in their infancy. Healthcare professionals don’t yet know how beneficial CBD inhalers can be for asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions, but some people do use them with the goal of experiencing relief. So far, studies into dry powder inhalers have focused on the fast administering of CBD for pain, behavioral disorders, anxiety, and opioid craving. 

Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet is a diet that consists of mostly or all plant-based foods, such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole cereals
  • Legumes 

Some people also include a small number of animal products, like dairy, seafood, eggs, and meat, but these ingredients are the minority. Plant-based diets, such as the Mediterranean diet and DASH eating plan, may be beneficial for people living with asthma, with the belief that natural foods help fight inflammation in the body. 

Yoga

The benefits associated with yoga are well known. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can improve your strength and balance, provide relief from back pain, help you relax and sleep better, and even assist with stress management. Since stress may trigger asthma symptoms in some people, using yoga to learn how to relieve stress and control your breathing might prove valuable for those living with asthma. 

Remain Active

Many people with asthma are fearful that exercise will increase the prevalence of attacks. However, if you exercise with your doctor’s guidance, you may experience many benefits that help you manage your condition. 

Regular exercise might help your asthma symptoms by improving your overall lung health, increasing lung capacity, promoting lung and heart blood flow, and decreasing airway inflammation. You might also notice improvements in your stamina and endurance. 

However, it’s crucial to seek advice from your doctor before starting your new exercise regime. They might recommend ways to reduce asthma symptoms while exercising, such as using a rescue inhaler before you begin, taking your prescribed medication for long-term control, and warming up and cooling down. 

If you’re exercising outside in the cold, wearing a mask or scarf may prevent the tightening of the airway. People living with poorly controlled asthma may like to avoid sports that challenge the lungs, such as long-distance running, ice sports in the cold, basketball, and soccer. 

Dietary Supplements

While more research is needed to look at the efficacy and benefits of consuming dietary supplements for asthma symptom management, some are undoubtedly looking promising. Magnesium’s role in asthma is not yet clearly defined, but studies have explored how it might stimulate prostacyclin synthesis and nitric oxide, with the potential to reduce asthma severity. Other studies have also shined a spotlight on the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, with the potential for prenatal exposure to reduce the risk of asthma in children. 

Weight Loss

Being overweight can affect your health in many ways, such as by increasing your risk of high blood pressure. However, if you carry excess weight around the middle of your body, your lungs might need to work harder. 

By losing weight, generally through exercise, you might be able to improve your lung volume and reduce the risk of weight-related conditions that might exacerbate asthma. Fortunately, there are many different ways to lose weight, such as through eating regular and healthy meals, drinking plenty of water, eating smaller meals, and exercising regularly. 

Consume Caffeine

If you already consume caffeine, you’ll be pleased to know that it might help open your airways since it’s a mild bronchodilator. Some studies have found that caffeine can help your airways function better for up to four hours. Like all other natural remedies, caffeine is not an alternative for rescue and controller inhalers. However, it might complement these treatment options and others recommended by healthcare professionals. 

The Papworth Method

Breathing exercises have long been touted as effective ways to manage asthma-related symptoms, and many are taught by physiotherapists. One of these exercises is the Papworth Method, which combines breathing techniques with relaxation methods. 

It involves learning to breathe slowly and steadily from your diaphragm and through your nose. According to studies, the Papworth method can ease respiratory symptoms and even improve the quality of life in people living with asthma. 

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a mind-body therapy many people rely on to become more aware of their physiological functions and body. This technique even allows you to control some of those functions, such as your heart rate, which is why some people use it for high blood pressure and chronic pain. 

While biofeedback wouldn’t be an asthma treatment option independently, it may be something people with asthma consider to help manage their symptoms and possibly even reduce dependence on steroid medications

Belly Breathing

Rescue inhalers are one of the most common and effective treatment options for people experiencing asthma attacks. When you sit upright, stay calm, and use your doctor-directed medications and management techniques, you may experience relief. 

However, medical professionals may also recommend belly breathing as an exercise to perform during those challenging moments. Belly breathing involves breathing in and focusing on your belly’s movement. Imagine it filling with air like a balloon as you breathe in slowly through your mouth and release the breath out of your mouth. 

Asthma is a life-long condition that many people living with learn how to control from a young age. However, if you’re looking for symptom management techniques alongside more traditional medication options, talk to your healthcare provider about some of the information above.