Asthma and Obesity - a complex relationship
Thomas Friedman, an economist and author of the best-selling book The World is Flat, was famous for saying that the world is getting ‘smaller’. Should he have chosen another vocation, say, epidemiology, and perhaps looked at the statistics on obesity, he surely would have claimed the opposite that the world is most definitely getting ‘larger’.
Worldwide, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. There is also a concern now that obese people, especially children, have increased odds of getting asthma as well as having a higher severity of the disease. If you don’t believe the stats, have a look around. Take a stroll through offices, living rooms and schools to get the clear picture. Researchers found that children carrying extra weight are between 1.16 to 1.37 times more likely to develop asthma symptoms than normal-weight kids, with the risk growing as their body-mass index (a measure of body fat encompassing height and weight).
Obese children are at higher risk of getting asthma disease at an early age because it is difficult to get them on a well-balanced diet, educate them on portion control and avoid processed foods laden with mass-produced simple carbohydrates. Asthma is giving tough time to adult population also, thanks to our sedentary lifestyle and food choices. Unfortunately, it leads to laziness, inactivity, and weight gain.
Although obesity may not cause symptoms of asthma in many cases, there is clear evidence that obesity changes how people respond to chronic and acute asthma treatments. Obese asthma patients need more intensive treatments when they are hospitalized. Such asthmatics get more breathlessness because of the extra weight on their chest/lungs. They find it difficult to perform routine activities like climbing stairs, walking to the nearest station, running after their children at the park, etc., which brings the feeling of helplessness and lack of confidence.
Regardless, weight loss is crucial for our overall well being. Maintaining healthy weight not only reduces our risk of conditions such as heart disease, daibetes, stroke and certain cancers but it can improve asthma symptoms by 48-100%, decreases the need for medication, reduce hospitalizations and improves lung function.
Hence, the best thing you can do to manage asthma symptoms is to help yourself with proper nutritious diets and maintaining an appropriate BMI. However, you may find it difficult to do exercise or any form of physical activity while suffering from asthma disease as it may trigger your asthma symptoms. But, you need not worry; you can contact your healthcare professional and take guidance from him/her about the activities you can do to lose some extra fat while keeping your asthma symptoms at bay.
Exercise and activities such as dancing, gardening, housework and walking – whatever you can manage – can help to burn excess calories and boost your mood! Our homeopathic doctors may also help you to put together a personal weight loss program along with the medication.
Combining exercise routine, diet plan with asthma treatment in homeopathy can become your best bet to address the condition. Because, asthama treatment in homeopathy treats the person, the individual, by taking a holistic outlook - it examines not just the asthma symptoms one experiences during an attack, but also all the changes and variations that occur on the physical, mental and emotional levels. This helps to determine how a person’s health and well-being have been altered. Homeopathy treatment for asthma analyses the hereditary factors and environmental triggers, too — to complete the individual’s constitutional portrait, while stimulating the individual’s immunity by treating the cause of the illness — and, not just the illness state or diagnosis.