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Imagine gasping, wheezing and straining every time you try to take a breath. Sounds terrible, right?
Well, if you have asthma, you don’t have to imagine this uncomfortable feeling — it’s part of your daily life.
People with asthma say that their symptoms make them feel like they’re suffocating, choking or even drowning. And no matter how hard they try, they just can’t get the air their body needs.
But why is the simple act of breathing so difficult for the average asthma-sufferer? It all boils down to…
The inflammation abomination
Numerous health experts will tell you: inflammation is pretty much the root cause of every disease.
In the case of asthma, inflammation invades your airways, causing your bronchial tubes to become swollen and narrowed… which leads to that terrible suffocating feeling I mentioned earlier.
Sometimes asthmatic inflammation is triggered by environmental allergens. Other times it’s chronic and happens whether allergens are present or not. But either way, it’s a scary disease that can kill you if it gets bad enough.
Now, people who have asthma typically take corticosteroids (either in pill form or by inhaler) to reduce inflammation in their airway so they can breathe again. These drugs aren’t necessarily great for your body, but they’re a necessity for most asthma sufferers (the importance of being able to breathe pretty much trumps everything else, after all).
Of course, there are natural remedies that can be used in conjunction with these treatments to reduce inflammation and improve your asthma symptoms… and possibly even help you cut back on your corticosteroids down the line.
One of the most promising of these remedies is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that not only helps your bronchial tubes but the rest of your body too… omega-3 fatty acids.
Fight asthma with fish oil
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers recently found that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil reduce the molecules that fuel asthma-related inflammation…
These molecules are called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). They’re antibodies released by your immune system, and they’re the primary culprit behind allergies and asthma.
In the study, researchers found that the omega-3s in fish oil reduced the production of these antibodies in asthma sufferers. Participants in the study ranged from mild asthma sufferers to severe asthma sufferers. Most of them were taking corticosteroids of some kind. And all of them responded positively to omega-3s to some degree or another…
It’s worth mentioning, however, that the treatment was slightly less effective for severe asthma sufferers. That’s because they were taking high doses of oral steroids to keep their symptoms under control — and oral corticosteroids can block the effects of omega-3s. That’s something to keep in mind if you occasionally use corticosteroids for arthritis or skin allergies.
But when it comes to asthma, any improvement helps. So if you’re a severe asthma sufferer, a daily spoonful of fish oil is probably worth your while, even if it only offers a minor relief of symptoms. And as an added bonus for all types of asthma sufferers, omega-3s also:
- Improve your brain health
- Fight cancer
- Reduce the signs of aging
- Ease osteoarthritis
- Increase your muscle strength
- Battle depression
- Boost your heart health
In the study, researchers used a special fish oil preparation they made especially for their research, so it’s not available in stores. But as long you purchase a high-quality omega-3 supplement, you should experience the same benefits. If you’re unsure which supplement to try, my colleague Virginia Tims-Lawson mentioned her favorite in a recent post. And if you’re looking for more natural ways to ease asthma-related inflammation, check out Dr. Isaac Eliaz’s post on how to find natural help for asthma.
“Asthma in adults.” University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
“What Is Meant By Inflammation in Asthma?” Partners Healthcare Asthma Center. http://www.asthma.partners.org. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
“Evidence points to fish oil to fight asthma.” MedicalXpress. https://medicalxpress.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
“Immunoglobulin E (IgE).”American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org. Retrieved February 16, 2017.