If you have asthma, you may be on some sort of maintenance program that requires you to take a special inhaler solution once or twice a day. Along with that, you probably have an emergency puffer of albuterol (or other bronchial medicine) for those acute asthma attacks that strike when you least expect them.
Weight is hard to manage because the steroids in asthma medicine are combative toward it. Still, breathing is more important than maintaining the perfect body image, so you opt for the obvious choice and follow your doctor’s orders, preferring to remain on an asthma maintenance regimen that limits your daily breathing troubles.
As with all chronic illnesses, there are different elements of each plan that need to be considered in treatment programs. Asthma maintenance programs minimize symptoms, allowing you to breathe consistently on a daily basis. On the surface, this sounds like exactly what you need, but if you look a little deeper, you soon realize that they do not always help you improve your overall lung function for the duration of your life.
Many of these programs actually make you dependent on the medicine they use, as opposed to decreasing your asthmatic problems, and possibly reversing them altogether.
Self management of asthma is a primary goal in controlling asthma and making it go into remission. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, “Patient self-management programs have become an integral part of asthma treatment.
The goal of such programs is to strengthen the partnership between patients and health care providers in controlling the condition.” This study, conducted through Westminister College, Utah, analyzed self management skills of asthma sufferers over a period of seven years. Conclusions of the study performed by Caplin and Creer indicate, “The self-management skills they (patients) reportedly used were performed to monitor and prevent a return of asthma.”
Maintaining asthma is important for overall health. The ultimate goal of self maintenance should be to improve lung function, enabling people with asthma to minimize use of steroids and other medications that may cause dependency by treating symptoms without improving lung capabilities. Anyone with asthma knows there are times when medicine is required. However, specific educational studies indicate that steroid maintenance programs may not work as well as one might hope, and in fact may cause long term health concerns for those relying on them. (Asthma Maintenance Medications)
Building lung strength is vital for people suffering with asthma. When your lungs are strong and can endure breathing challenges with minimal medication intervention, your entire health is optimized allowing you to control asthma, rather than let asthma control how you live. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, “There is evidence to suggest that aerobic exercise, e.g., running or cycling, may improve asthma symptoms and control in children. However, there are currently no studies that have systematically assessed the effects of exercise on asthma control or symptoms in adults.”
The implications of maintaining asthma through natural methods are obvious. To increase lung function, you need to use your lungs, gradually improving endurance and overcoming challenges. Exercise helps accomplish this. Limiting dependency on steroids and other asthmatic medications may increase the ability of lungs to endure breathing problems, decreasing complications for asthma sufferers over an extended period of time. Working together, asthma patients and doctors can minimize the devastating effects of this suffocating illness.
~ NCBI, Pubmed.gov: A Self Management Program for Adult Asthma; Caplin, Creer (2001)
~ Dr. Rose Peripheral Brain – Asthma Maintenance Medications
~ ClinicalTrials.gov: Impact of Aerobic Exercise on Asthma Morbidity (Ex-Asthma)