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What causes asthma?

By June 13, 2008 November 28th, 2011 No Comments

Our poor personal training clients are suffering with the proliferation af lawn mowers and flowers out here in Berkshire. Here is the second part of our asthma special

Asthma has many different causes. Scientists still don’t know exactly what these are. You may have oversensitive airways, a family history of asthma or be allergic to one or more asthma triggers.

Some doctors believe the airways become oversensitive because cells in the lungs are damaged by viruses. Others believe the initial damage is caused by an allergic reaction causing the lungs to over-react to viral infections.

One of the most common predisposing factors for asthma are allergies to house dust mites, mould spores, pollen and pets, and sometimes food allergies. Most people find there are several things that can trigger their asthma.

Asthma tends to run in families that are prone to allergies. So, belonging to a family where some members have asthma and others have other allergies, such as eczema, hayfever or allergic rhinitis, makes a person more allergy-prone.

However, because there are so many factors involved, it can be difficult to predict exactly who in a family will develop asthma.

Although asthmatic and allergic tendencies are inherited, there is no single gene involved. Rather, there are a number of different ones that react with factors in your environment to trigger the onset of asthma.

Scientists are searching for the genes involved in asthma and this may eventually lead to a cure.

Environmental factors that increase the risk of developing asthma include:

  • Exposure to allergens during pregnancy (eg from foods in the mother’s diet) that sensitise the unborn baby’s immune system
  • Infections such as colds during early life
  • Being brought up in a house where there is a pet (especially a cat)
  • Being introduced to certain foods such as cow’s milk and eggs at a young age
  • Being born at a time of year when the pollen count is high
  • Being exposed to cigarette smoke in the uterus or early life – babies whose mothers smoke are twice as likely to develop asthma
  • Air pollution

Again, the right type of exercise can help to control asthma; Diets Don’t Work trainers are highly qualified and able to train special populations such as asthma sufferers.

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