Lifestyle Changes that Can Help Minimize Asthma Attacks

Apr 01, 2023
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Asthma attacks may come at unpredictable times, completely disrupting your day. While medications can help, there are steps you can take before relying on clinical care entirely.

Asthma attacks are high among adults with this respiratory condition, and even higher among children. In 2020, a whopping 40.7% of adults with asthma reported experiencing at least one attack in the past year, while 42.7% of under-18s had at least one. Among children with asthma under five years old, 52.9% also experienced at least one attack. 

Whether you’re the parent of an asthmatic child or live with asthma yourself, you can get asthma attacks at unpredictable times, and managing the condition can come with a lot of uncertainty.

Here at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, our respiratory experts Ammar Hatab, MD, Fatima Khan, MD, and Donya Imanirad, MD, make sure you have the medications you need when an asthma attack strikes. They also encourage you to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to keep asthma attacks at a minimum. 

Here are three steps you or your child can take to reduce your number of asthma attacks in the upcoming year:

1. Build an anti-inflammatory diet

Where there’s more inflammation, there are more medical conditions and symptoms. Having asthma is no exception to this rule, so you want to build your diet around foods that decrease inflammation. 

Even if you’re not sure what an anti-inflammatory diet is, you can easily build one by maintaining a balance of whole foods in your meals and snacks. Try to avoid highly processed foods while mainly eating:

  • Lean meats
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh veggies
  • Olive oil in place of butter

You should stay away from as many carbohydrates, like bread and cake, as you can and try your best to limit or avoid drinking alcohol. These tactics may also help you manage your weight, which is another excellent way of minimizing asthma attacks and symptoms. 

Our experts can recommend an array of anti-inflammatory supplements to boost the benefits, too. 

2. Keep a diary of triggers, then avoid them

Many people find that their asthma attacks appear mostly in response to a particular trigger, but it takes some investigation to find out what’s triggering your asthma flare-ups. You don’t have to visit our experts to keep a diary on your own, marking down the events and behaviors leading up to your asthma attack (after the fact, of course). 

Some of the most prevalent asthma attack triggers are:

  • Allergens (e.g. pollen, pet dander)
  • Exercise
  • Certain medications
  • Weather and climate changes
  • Foods and food additives
  • Fragrances
  • First- or second-hand smoke

If you see a trend while recording information about your asthma attacks, avoiding their suspected cause can lower your risk of a future asthma attack. 

3. Control your anxiety and stress

If you’re naturally a busy bee, perhaps it's time to prioritize the activities and obligations that take up your time. Among people with a high number of asthma attacks, we often see a lot of anxiety and stress. 

Stress can make almost any chronic disease worse than it was before, but it has a particularly strong effect on respiratory illnesses like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

Our support is available when you need it

You may still experience some asthma attacks or day-to-day symptoms despite doing everything possible in your personal life to continue breathing clearly. Call our office or schedule an appointment online at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates for an individualized asthma prevention plan today.