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asthma



Coughing: What Does it Mean?

This story on MSN.com was of particular importance to me, because I have coughing issues. I’ve been diagnosed with mild asthma and possibly an allergy of some sort. It’s a life-altering condition, because when a cough attack comes on, it can be uncontrollable and breathtaking, in the most literal sense.

Not to get too much into my psyche and the opinion I have of HMOs, doctors, etc., but I definitely want to be treated and diagnosed by specialists. I just feel like the diagnosis is based on very minimal inquiry. I got a breathing test to see what my lung capacity is, a steth0scope to the chest and back, and that’s it.

Maybe that’s all that can be done. But, I feel like the docs are just sort of guessing based on minimal testing and then treating symptoms with a pill. Again, maybe that’s all that can be done. But if there’s a natural way of treating it (like avoiding something I may be allergic to) or even an alternative like acupuncture, I’m game.



Three Cheers to New Study on Alcohol

There’s apparently more good news for those of us who like to imbibe. We already knew that red wine has been shown to improve your heart health. Now a drink or two a day may also help you breathe easier. Lung function seems to improve – even for smokers – for people who partake in moderate regular drinking.

“This is the biggest study that’s ever looked at the possible protective effect of alcohol involving the lung,” said study author Dr. Stanton T. Siu, chief of pulmonary medicine at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Oakland, California.

Dr Sui goes on to say that he found that “if you drank less than two glasses of alcohol that you had much less likelihood of developing obstructive airways disease, which includes asthma and emphysema.”

He goes on to reveal some surprising news.

“You do seem to get some benefit if you drink three to five drinks per day,” added Siu.

“But it wasn’t as good if you drank just a little. And if you drank six or more, it actually had a bad effect. It made your lung function worse.”

Siu said light drinking’s protective effect roughly translates to a 20 percent reduction in the risk for developing lung disease.

“There was a little more of a positive impact for women,” Siu said, “but not a huge difference. And, in fact, when we looked at three to five drinks per day, then the men did better than the women.”



Housework May Not Give You a Clean Bill of Health

Are you looking for an excuse to not do your housework? Well, a new study says that it may be hazardous to your health.

According to the study, cleaning as little as once a week with common cleaning sprays and air fresheners could raise the risk of asthma in adults. Other studies have linked these products with increased asthma rates among cleaning professionals, but now it’s implied that it can put others at risk.

Weekly exposure to such cleaning materials could account for as many as one in seven adult asthma cases, the researchers wrote in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“Frequent use of household cleaning sprays may be an important risk factor for adult asthma,” says Jan-Paul Zock, an epidemiologist at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, who led the study.

The most unfortunate part of the study was a lack of an alternative. Here’s the depressing catch-22: You keep a clean house, you may become asthmatic. You don’t clean enough, then the dust will get you.

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