I’ve had allergic asthma all my life and used both reliever and preventative inhalers regularly for YEARS. This blog is about my journey to living with asthma naturally and no longer using any asthma medication.
I’ve always worried about this continued use of steroids for asthma and whether they were bad for me, causing side effects etc. Naturally when I began topical steroid withdrawal I looked into whether this was going to hinder my progress because the preventative asthma inhaler contains a steroid drug. It was hard to find any advice that I really trusted so I continued to use both.
Asthma can be life threatening.
Every day 3 people in the UK die because of their asthma.Asthma UK(Video) 5 Natural Ways to Reduce Asthma Issues | Sadhguru
“Asthma deathsin England and Wales were recorded at 1,320 in 2017 and 1,422 in 2018 giving us an increase of 7.7%. Asthma UKanalysedasthma deathsdata from the Office for National Statistics,Deathsregistered in England and Wales 2018 .“
I believe many of these could be due to undiagnosed allergies, but I can’t substantiate this.
My asthma history
However during lockdown, purely by chance, the slower lifestyle and isolation, different pace of life, outlook, eating habits and daily routines, I realised I’d forgotten to use the preventative inhaler for months. I felt fine, so I kept on as I was, being very careful, avoiding my triggers and watching my peak flow.
I have a Smart Peak Flow device which was given to me free to review on Instagram. It links up to your phone and you can then easily track your readings, see peaks and troughs and monitor your asthma really quickly in the app. You can also share this with your medical professional so they have up to date information to see. You can buy a Smart Peak Flow unit on Amazon.
At my last asthma consultation I sought advice from my local asthma nurse who, whilst nervous to condone my choice of quitting the medication, admitted my peak flow was normal. She told me to keep an eye on it and get in touch if I needed to get back on the preventative inhalers. The other interesting advice I was given was to stop using the blue one before a run, as had been previously advised. Instead, I should take the inhaler with me and only use it as needed. I now find I rarely need the blue inhaler at all and actually couldn’t tell you the last time I used it.
I still get a little wheezy, I think caused by hay fever, dust and other triggers, but it seems to be very mild. A visit to a cafe can set me off on a wheeze attack due to air borne dairy particles, but this was still the case when I was using both reliever and preventer inhalers. Sitting outside and leaving cafes quickly when I get wheezy is a price I have to pay to stay safe .
Ban the bloody latte!
I’m not a doctor so would not for a moment suggest that anyone stop using their asthma medication. If you are using preventative inhalers and the blue relievers please continue to do so as directed by your doctor. If you are concerned please get an appointment with the asthma centre closest to you for a review.
Natural asthma treatments
Since not using my preventative inhaler I’ve been looking into how to ensure I remain drug free safely. Sometimes I do still get wheezy, on high pollen days and sometimes for no apparent reason that I can determine. Luckily these have been mild and I can manage it myself. Monitoring regularly by taking your peak flow is good practise so you can see any dips and deterioration. By far the best thing was one particular breathing technique that has helped so much and it got me thinking, what other research and things are out there that could help? What else am I missing?
- Buteyko breathing – Buteyko (pronounced Bu-tay-ko) is a breathing technique which can ‘improve asthma symptoms, quality of life and reduce bronchodilator (blue reliever inhaler) requirement in adults with asthma’. To do Buteyko breathing, breathe in normally, hold your breathe by covering your nose with your finger and thumb and keep your mouth closed. Hold for 10 seconds or as long as you can. Let your breathe out slowly when you need to, or after ten seconds and now breathe in and out normally ten times. Every time I do this I find it shifts mucous after only one try, and always by the second cycle. I used to feel like my chest was restricted and that the mucous was stuck, dry and wouldn’t move, leaving me sort of breath. This simple technique works every time I feel a little shortness of breath of wheezy. You can read more about this in my blog about the Buteyko Breathing technique for asthma
- Salt Therapy Inhaler – I’ve not used one of these before but a few of my contacts on Instagram have recommended them to me. I nearly bought one but at the moment I don’t have any asthma to test it on. Check out Saltair inhalers on Amazon.
- Reduce anxiety – This is key, for me there is a direct link between being anxious and itching and wheezing or shortness of breath. It’s not always easy to just do something like cut out stress or reduce anxiety as it’s not simple. But do you what makes you stressed and anxious? Can you control it in any way? or work to make thing better and reduce that burden on your immune system. I have had counselling and continue to work on the things that worry and upset me. I have loads of tools that I’ve learnt over the years and learning what’s not good for me is really helping. Learning to say no when you need to and look after yourself first will start to show a difference in your health. It’s all those little things like maintaining good sleep, healthy screen time, self care, nature and exercise. Don’t under estimate the effect of a busy lifestyle with no time to rest, recharge and rewire.
- Meditation – I’ve been learning to meditate now for a few years and I am by no means an expert. I don’t for a moment try to clear my mind or do anything clever, but what it does do for me is to help me slow my breathing down. So many of us are not learning to breathe properly. By taking just ten minutes out of my day to just sit and try to slow everything down I have noticed a huge difference in my mental health and my physical health. Learning to breath properly, deeply and plug into that part of your nervous system that helps you relax is something I think everyone should learn to do. Just try it for 30 seconds and you’ll notice a difference. Just sit with a straight back, feet planted firmly on the floor, try to relax your jaw, your tongue, your forehead and your shoulders and close your eyes and breath in deeply, hold your breath for few seconds and breath out slowly. There are loads of different breathing exercises so give it a go. It’s free, you can do it anywhere and I guarantee it will help. I have the Calm app and find that a guided meditation helps me to keep focus on the breath. If you would like a free month’s trial on Calm let me and I’ll send you a link.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is involved in the metabolism of histamine and prostaglandins, which are involved in bronchoconstriction so it’s a natural antihistamine. It certainly isn’t going to do you any harm because the body doesn’t store it if you take too much. So if you have allergic asthma it should definitely help. Obviously a diet rich in vitamin C will help but you can boost your intake, particularly when wheezy. Get Vitamin C powder or pure ascorbic acid from various places online.
- Magnesium – The reason this mineral can help is because it’s a natural bronchodilator which means it opens up the airways and also helps reduce inflammation. It’s even used by doctors in emergencies either intravenously or in a nebulizer. You can try Liquid Magnesium from Floradix.
- Learn your triggers – My asthma is triggered by a number of things including dust, latex, mould, pollen and grass, airborne dairy particles, some dog and cat dander, horses, other animals etc. Even when I was using all the medication these triggers would still cause asthma. The only way to really manage it is to avoid these triggers as best you can. Really keep an eye on when you get wheezy and what’s happening each time. Keep a diary so you can work out what’s happening. Ie. is it in the bath, in the garden, when at a particular friend’s house, time of year, season of pollen. It takes time to piece it all together but by understanding your body and what it reacts to you can live your life to avoid them as much as possible. So for instance, I always sit outside in some cafes, even in winter, because sitting inside makes me too wheezy.
- Detox your home – I’ve been doing this slowly now for a few years. As things run out I replace with a natural kinder solution. I’m talking about skin care, cleaning products, fragrances, everything. I love my new essential oil diffuser that helps me get calm and chilled for bedtime. I only use 100% pure essential oils now to fragrance my house, those plugin perfume things are awful, honestly really bad for your asthma and general health. Please everyone stop using them!
- Diet – Soya triggers an asthma attack for me, immediately. Could a food type be giving you problems too? Keep a food diary if you think this is the case and request allergy testing from you doctor.
- Dust mite and allergen bedding – This one is also really important if you have a dust allergy. I’ve used them in the past but am currently not as I find that if I stay somewhere else I really used to struggle. The mattress covers are quite a bother to fit, but if you have a serious dust allergy these could be a game changer. You can get Anti Allergen mattress and duvet covers from Allergy Best Buys. You’ll get 10% off if you sign up to their newsletter. They also do some lovely looking Bamboo bedlinen that I have my eye on!
- Pillows – I have got the SleepAngel anti allergen pillow which I really love and take everywhere with me when I go on holiday. It goes with a carry bag so you can easily transport it. It is the only allergen free and waterproof pillow on the market and nothing gets inside it. It’s special coating means you can wipe it clean if you need to a disinfect also so there is no need to machine wash either. Although who ever washes pillows? Or is that just me who’s never washed a pillow? Check out the SleepAngel pillow here. Of course there are lots of pillows that say they are hypoallergenic but I’m getting on really well with my SleepAngel pillow.
- Demystifying Atopic eczema and asthma course – I have just started a course to understand eczema better and some of these tips are from that. I will share a link when I have it so you can find out more too. If you’re interested contact Carolyne Akinyemi on Linkedin.
References and further reading
You may find the following resources useful:
- How to create an allergy friendly home
- Magnesium and Asthma on asthma.net
- Asthma and pathogenesis and novel drugs for treatment (the vitamin c link) from the British Medical Journal
Disclaimer: By using any of the Amazon links above a small amount will be paid to me from Amazon as commission. It costs me money every month just to host and maintain this blog so these links help me keep the blog going.
I do want to stress here I am not suggesting that anyone stops using their asthma medication. I am not a doctor, just a patient sharing their experience. Please make an appointment with your GP or local asthma clinic if you need help or advise about managing your asthma.
How is your asthma? Do you use a preventive inhaler? What do you do to help you manage your asthma?
Should you use your steroid inhaler during TSW?10 tips for successfully managing asthma10 things you need to know about your asthma inhaler
There's no cure for allergic asthma. Therefore, it's important to adhere to your treatments and follow your doctor's advice. Doing so can prevent severe complications, such as airway remodeling, which is permanent narrowing of the breathing passages.How can I resolve my asthma naturally? ›
- Meditation and Yoga. Stress is a key trigger for asthma attacks and a regular yoga or meditation practice can help you learn breathing techniques to reduce stress on the spot. ...
- Acupuncture. ...
- Biofeedback. ...
- Steam Bath. ...
- Diet. ...
- Garlic and Ginger. ...
- Omega 3s.
- Avoid allergens or triggers. Triggers can vary person to person and include a variety of things – some more similar to allergies (mold, pollen, etc.), others more random (cold and flu viruses, humidity, even some foods). ...
- Take your medications as directed.
The best herbs for asthma include astragalus, cordyceps, slippery elm, and lobelia. Supplements: Like herbs, supplements may not offer immediate breathing relief, but their use can offer support and strengthen the respiratory system.Can allergic asthma go away? ›
There isn't a cure for allergic asthma. However, you can control your symptoms and take care to control your environment — avoiding an asthma attack. Your allergic asthma can be worse at certain times during the year.How do you treat allergy induced asthma without an inhaler? ›
- Sit up straight. Sitting upright can help keep your airways open. ...
- Remain calm. Try to remain as calm as you can while you're having an asthma attack. ...
- Steady your breathing. Try to take slow, steady breaths during your attack. ...
- Move away from triggers. ...
- Call 911.
Certain herbal teas may help relieve asthma symptoms. Research suggests that ginger tea, green tea, black tea, eucalyptus tea, fennel tea, and licorice tea may reduce inflammation, relax your respiratory muscles, and boost your breathing, among other benefits.How do you treat asthma forever without medication? ›
Breathing exercises used in yoga have been found to help some people with asthma control breathing and relieve stress, a common asthma trigger. Buteyko breathing. This technique focuses on slow breathing and short periods when you hold your breath.What vitamins are good for asthma? ›
In asthma, observational studies have shown encouraging evidence of a protective effect of several nutrients on disease prevalence and symptoms, including vitamin C,4,5 vitamin E,6 selenium7 and magnesium.What foods trigger allergic asthma? ›
- Cow's milk.
- Shrimp and other shellfish.
- Tree nuts.
Sinus infections, allergies, pollen, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux can also trigger attacks. Physical exercise; some medicines; bad weather, such as thunderstorms or high humidity; breathing in cold, dry air; and some foods, food additives, and fragrances can also trigger an asthma attack.Which food is good for allergic asthma? ›
Almonds, hazelnuts, and raw seeds are good sources, as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale. Vitamin E has tocopherol, a chemical that could help cut how much you cough and wheeze from your asthma.Can turmeric heal asthma? ›
Turmeric may help with arthritis and even cancer. In relation to asthma, one study followed 77 participants with mild to moderate asthma who took curcumin capsules for 30 days. Researchers found that the supplement helped reduce airway obstruction and could be a helpful complementary treatment for asthma.Which leaf cures asthma? ›
Cassia sophera (C. sophera) is used in traditionally for treatment of asthma and bronchitis. Chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethanol fractions isolated from ethanol extract of leaves of C.Does ginger heal asthma? ›
Ginger in no way will cure your asthma, but it may provide some relief if you are experiencing inflammation of the airways. Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there are many different ways to consume ginger in your diet.What is the difference between asthma and allergic asthma? ›
This is because the asthma symptoms remain the same — cough, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath. The major difference is people with allergic asthma normally experience symptoms after inhaling an allergen. They may also experience other non-respiratory allergy symptoms such as hives on the skin.Is allergic asthma serious? ›
Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. Allergies can be dangerous if they cause a life threatening response known as anaphylaxis. In allergic asthma, as well as nonallergic asthma, an asthma attack (exacerbation) can sometimes be fatal.Does allergic asthma get worse with age? ›
As we get older, asthma attacks can be more severe and take longer to recover from. Talk through your asthma action plan with your GP or asthma nurse so you know exactly what you need to do and who you need to call when symptoms flare up.How can I open my lungs without an inhaler? ›
- Sit upright. This opens your airway. ...
- Slow down your breathing by taking long, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose. ...
- Stay calm. ...
- Get away from the trigger. ...
- Drink a warm, caffeinated beverage, such as coffee or tea. ...
- Get medical help.
- Pursed-lip breathing. This slows your breathing and helps hold your airways open longer so your lungs work better. With your mouth closed, breathe in slowly through your nose. ...
- Belly breathing. This technique uses the same steps as pursed-lip breathing.
Asthma medications prescribed by your allergist will help to relieve the coughing attacks. These include a fast-acting bronchodilator inhaler, which expands the airways in the lungs and offers quick relief, or a corticosteroid inhaler, which relieves inflammation when used daily. Often both types are needed.What immediately helps asthma? ›
Quick-relief medications give fast relief for tight, narrowed airways and the symptoms of coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness that happen with asthma. Examples of quick-relief medications: Proventil HFA, ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, albuterol, Maxair, and Xopenex. View a complete listing of asthma medications.What fruit can cure asthma? ›
Apples and Oranges
If you're looking to alleviate asthma symptoms, start by adding more fruit to your diet, Prehn says. Fruit is a good source of beta carotene and vitamins C and E, which can reduce inflammation and swelling in the lungs, according to Mayo Clinic.
Caffeine has been found to open the airways when asthmatics are wheezing or otherwise having trouble getting air. And since each 12oz can has 34mg of the hype, you have an excuse to keep chugging until you catch your second wind.What are 5 treatments for asthma? ›
- Inhaled corticosteroids. These are the most common long-term control medications for asthma. ...
- Leukotriene modifiers. These include montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate) and zileuton (Zyflo). ...
- Combination inhalers. ...
- Theophylline. ...
Many people with asthma also have allergies, which are another important flare-up trigger. If not treated, a flare-up can last for several hours or even days. Quick-relief medicines (also called rescue medicines or fast-acting medicines) often stop the symptoms pretty quickly.Can asthma naturally disappear? ›
A. Asthma can go away, although this happens more often when asthma starts in childhood than when it starts in adulthood. When asthma goes away, sometimes that's because it wasn't there in the first place.Is honey good for allergic asthma? ›
The beneficial effects of honey in allergic asthma have been shown in both mice and rabbit models where previous studies have supported that honey is a promising candidate to treat allergic asthma.Is Egg good for allergic asthma? ›
People with more-severe asthma may have low vitamin D levels. Milk, eggs and fish such as salmon all contain vitamin D. Even spending a few minutes outdoors in the sun can increase vitamin D levels. Avoid sulfites.Is cold water good for asthma? ›
Answer: Cold is a known trigger for asthma. Ingesting cold drinks and foods may cause fleeting mild asthma symptoms, like cough.
While a chest X-ray may not be able to show whether you have asthma per se, it can confirm if another condition is responsible for the symptoms. Similarly, when you come into the ER after a severe asthma attack, doctors will also require you to have a chest X-ray done.How do they test for allergy asthma? ›
The provider pricks your skin using a needle with a small amount of allergen. If you are allergic, the spot will get red, swollen, and itchy. The other test injects a small amount of allergen under the skin. If you think allergies may trigger your asthma, talk with your healthcare provider about getting tested.Can allergic asthma affect lungs? ›
Asthma can cause permanent damage to your lungs if not treated early and well.What medicine can cure asthma permanently? ›
There's no cure for asthma. However, it's a highly treatable disease. In fact, some doctors say today's asthma treatments are so effective, many people have near-complete control of their symptoms.Does allergic asthma go away with age? ›
The answer is yes—well, sometimes. While children are more likely to outgrow their symptoms, adults may also see their symptoms disappear and go on to lead asthma-free lives. But outgrowing asthma is not true for everyone. Sometimes symptoms can come back on their own—even many years later.What is the newest treatment for asthma? ›
In December 2021, FDA approved tezepelumab-ekko (Tezspire–Amgen Inc. and AstraZeneca), a first-in-class medication indicated for patients with severe asthma. It is the most recent biologic to gain FDA approval for use in asthma and is the first biologic treatment that has been approved for all types of severe asthma.What is the root cause of asthma? ›
The most common factors for developing asthma are having a parent with asthma, having a severe respiratory infection as a child, having an allergic condition, or being exposed to certain chemical irritants or industrial dusts in the workplace.How long does it take to recover from allergic asthma? ›
It can take days — or even weeks — to fully recover. If you've ever had an attack, the thought of having another one can be frightening. Taking some time for yourself after an asthma attack can help you recover — and possibly lower your risk of having another one.Can exercise cure asthma? ›
In fact, regular physical activity can decrease asthma symptoms by improving your lung health. The key is to do the right kind — and amount — of exercise. You can determine what this looks like for you by working with a doctor.Which inhaler is best for allergic asthma? ›
Short-acting beta-agonists are the first choice for quick relief of asthma symptoms. They include albuterol (ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA), epinephrine (Asthmanefrin, Primatene Mist), and levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA).
The provider pricks your skin using a needle with a small amount of allergen. If you are allergic, the spot will get red, swollen, and itchy. The other test injects a small amount of allergen under the skin. If you think allergies may trigger your asthma, talk with your healthcare provider about getting tested.What is one common trigger for allergies and asthma? ›
Sinus infections, allergies, pollen, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux can also trigger attacks. Physical exercise; some medicines; bad weather, such as thunderstorms or high humidity; breathing in cold, dry air; and some foods, food additives, and fragrances can also trigger an asthma attack.