The prevalence of asthma worldwide is around 200 million with a mortality of around 0.2 million per year according to a consensus statement developed under the World Health Organisation - Government of India Collaborative Programme (2004-2005). Though the prevalence is more in the developed countries, the developing countries have a higher total burden of the disease due to differences in population. In India, the estimated burden of asthma is believed to be more than 15 million.
Facts about Asthma
The most common chronic disease among children, it currently affects 235 million people.
Symptoms may occur several times in a day or week in affected individuals.
Failure to recognise and avoid triggers that lead to a tightened airway can be life threatening and may result in an asthma attack, respiratory distress and even death.
Through appropriate treatment the number of asthma related deaths can be reduced.
The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are exposure to indoor allergens such as house dust mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture; pollution and pet dander; outdoor allergens such as pollens and moulds; tobacco smoke and chemical irritants in the workplace.
Asthma triggers can include cold air, extreme emotional arousal such as anger or fear, and physical exercise.
Alternative treatments for Asthma
Asthma sufferers may lessen their need for chemical treatments prescription medications (steroids) and inhalers through lifestyle and dietary changes and nutritional supplements.
Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, indoor and outdoor pollution, and common allergens such as dust.
Avoid food additives and processed foods. The diet should emphasise whole, organic foods as much as possible. Avoid artificial food additives, flavourings, and sweeteners; fried foods; and pork.
Avoid nitrates/nitrites and sulphites. Many asthma patients are sensitive to these substances and should avoid foods containing such additives. This may include deli meats and cheeses, hot dogs, bacon, wine and beer.
Include a balance of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching or yoga in your workout routine. Try to avoid exercising in cold, dry air, and always warm up with at least 10 minutes of lower-intensity exercise.
Supplement with Omega-3s. Fish oil and flaxseed oil, both excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, may help decrease inflammation.
Get plenty of antioxidants through diet or supplements. They decrease free radical activity, which tends to stimulate inflammation.