Asthma Anxiety – A Vicious Circle


Are you wondering whether asthma and anxiety are interrelated? Does anxiety in any way cause or affect asthma and vice versa? If you are confused with these question, think no further. The fact is that anxiety and asthma are interlinked and they form a vicious circle. Several studies have shown that one may have more frequent episodes of asthma during anxiety and stressful period, and, also, it is difficult to control the episode of asthma when one is quite anxious. Anxiety and stress directly affect the body and make the symptoms of asthma worse, thereby making it difficult for you to manage asthma less effectively. The greater the anxiety sensitivity, the worse are the symptoms of asthma, and it also results in a reduced lung function.

A range of stressful events can trigger asthma. For instance, loss of job, a death of a loved one, an increase in financial obligations, exams, marital separation, the traumatic event such as natural disaster, and other stressful events can trigger the symptoms of asthma. In such stressful conditions, the body responds by decreasing cortisol receptors and worsens the respiratory distress. And, if you are wondering how anxiety and stress are related to asthma, read on to learn all about it.

How Anxiety Affects Asthmatic Patient Adversely?

Here are some changes that can affect your asthmatic symptoms adversely when you are more anxious and stress.

  1. Excess Release Of Histamines & Leukotriene: Anxiety and stress cause physiological changes that may provoke an asthma attack. Strong emotions trigger the release of chemicals, such as histamine and leukotriene, which stimulate narrowing of the airway.
  2. Muscle Tension: Anxiety and stress may cause more muscular constrictions. In asthma patient, it causes constriction of the smooth muscle of airways and more chest tightness than normal. When you are anxious for a long time, the muscles never leave the contraction phase making your asthmatic attack turn worse.
  3. Inflammation: The link between anxiety, stress, and inflammation is well-documented. We are aware that inflammation is a response to an injury, and injury may not always be a physical one. A continued emotional stress and anxiety cause inflammation in the body, and in asthma, it causes inflammation of airways and making it harder to control.
  4. Over Breathing: The emotions and breathing go hand in hand. As anxiety levels increase, there is a change in breathing pattern. Anxiety is associated with restricted breathing. The respiratory system fails to synchronize and function together causing more difficulty in breathing.
  5. Weakened Immune System: Stress and anxiety weaken and alter the immune system making one more prone to the viruses and illnesses that trigger asthma.

It is important to reduce anxiety and stress in asthmatic patients as much as possible. Just like other triggers like dust, pollen, and, smoke, reducing anxiety and stress is also an important key to manage asthma.

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How To Overcome With Asthma Anxiety?

As asthma and anxiety are interrelated, split them and breathe easy. You cannot avoid or control the stressful situations in life, but you can definitely develop ways to deal with it in a better way.

  1. Medicines: First and foremost, it is important to take the prescribed medicines on time.
    1. Practice Meditation: Make sure that you take time out for relaxation. Breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation can help reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
    2. Stay Active & Healthy: Have a sound sleep for adequate timespan daily Exercise regularly. Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid eating sugary and processed foods. Try quitting smoking and drinking as well.
    3. Figure Out Triggers & Manage Stress: Identify the stressors. Once you know your stressors, work on resolving them or ask for the right help to resolve the same. Talk to your friend or family members. Share how are you feeling. The support of loved ones helps tremendously.  You can also seek help from a counselor, psychologist.
    4. Stay Enthusiastic & Positive: A positive approach always helps to counter negative emotions. Focus on the present moment. Do not spend time worrying about the past unpleasant bad memories. Surround yourself with positive people and positive things that make you stay happy.
    5. Enjoy Every Day: Take time out of your busy schedule to have some fun. Pursue your favorite hobby. Listen to music. Watch a movie. Go for a walk in a park.
  2. Homeopathic Treatment For Asthma:

    Homeopathic medicines help enhance the immune system of your body and improve your resistance power. So, the tendency to have a frequent cold and cough infections reduce. Gradually, the frequency, duration, and intensity of asthma attacks reduce. Homeopathic medicines are absolutely safe and can be taken along with other conventional medicines. They help in obtaining an overall improvement in your health. Homeopathic medicines not only act on physical levels but also work on your psychological levels. They help to cope with the negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, restlessness, and frustration, let you develop a joyous state of mind, improve your body’s stress coping system, and help in soothing your mind.

    Now that you know how anxiety asthma form a vicious circle, following the above mentioned helpful tips and homeopathy can help you obtain a great relief from discomfort due to asthma.

    -Written by Dr. Mithila, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah

 

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