4.5 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, and the cold weather, such as that we’ve been experiencing this winter, can often be a trigger.
So how can those who suffer with asthma protect themselves at this time of year?
Firstly, it’s important for you to keep warm and dry- wear layers of clothing, a hat, scarf, gloves, and carry an umbrella. If sudden changes in temperature can trigger your symptoms (such as going from a warm house into the cold street), try wrapping your scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to warm up the air as you breathe. You can also try breathing out of your nose as you nose warms the air while you breathe.
Taking your medication as advised seems like obvious advice- but it’s very important. You can also get the flu jab to prevent irritation, and if you find that you’ve been needing your inhaler more than usual, make sure you speak to your GP.
In addition, a healthy and balanced diet may help manage your symptoms. Vitamins D and A are recommended for asthma sufferers- and can both be found in animal products such as cheese, butter, eggs, oily/canned fish.
Vitamin D is also in oats, almond milk and orange juice. It is also recommended for UK citizens to take supplements if vitamin D from October to April every year. Vitamin A is also found in liver, and many veggies such as carrots, spinach, kale and sweet potato.
So there are some things you can do, but there are also things to avoid which will help improve asthma symptoms.
Sulfites are common in many foods and drinks- and 5-10% off people with asthma are also allergic to sulfites. They are often found in beer, wine, and cider, jams, fruit juices, eggs, and some fruits and veggies.
Eating too much in one go can put pressure on your diaphragm causing breathing difficulties. It’s best to avoid large meals, and instead to eat smaller portions frequently. You can also prevent stomach fullness by avoiding gassy foods, such as broccoli, cabbage beans, cauliflower, onions, garlic, and sausage.