How do I distinguish asthma from COPD?
Asthma and COPD are the two most common chronic diseases of the respiratory tract, but they differ from each other in many essential ways. While COPD only causes respiratory distress when under stress, asthma is a seizure-like condition and not necessarily caused by stress (although this can also happen). In many cases asthma is an allergic disease, but this almost never occurs in COPD. Another important difference is the course of the disease. COPD is a downright progressive disease, whereas asthma can also cause the disease to come to a temporary halt.
What role does vitamin D play in asthma?
Vitamin D, like many other vitamins (for example vitamin C), provides enormous support for the immune system. In recent years, vitamin D has become the focus of more and more research, and more and more studies have been conducted on it. However, the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood.
Vitamin D is needed as a messenger substance for many synthesis and metabolic processes in the body. A sufficient vitamin D level strengthens the body accordingly, which can have a positive effect on certain diseases. A study from Israel provided interesting results in this respect: in asthma sufferers with low vitamin D levels, the disease worsened over time.
Conversely, an increased level of vitamin D is associated with a significant improvement in the symptoms of asthma. It is therefore recommended to consume sufficient vitamin D. A regular stay in the sun is sufficient for this purpose and it is not necessarily necessary to resort directly to food supplements. However, if this is desired, vitamin D3 is recommended.
Can I take a sauna with asthma?
With an asthma illness it is important to strengthen the immune system regularly. A visit to the sauna is very well suited for this purpose, as it stimulates the body’s circulation and metabolic processes. The warmth of the air promotes the blood circulation of the mucous membranes in the lungs as well as the inhalation of water vapour or, depending on the sauna, other air ingredients. The relaxing effect on the musculature is also beneficial for the respiratory auxiliary muscles, as these are particularly stressed in attacks of shortness of breath.
The incidence of bronchial asthma, like that of other allergic diseases, continues to rise sharply. In Germany, approximately 10% of the childhood population and 5% of the adult population are affected. In children, bronchial asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases. If the parents have “atopic” diseases (e.g. allergies) the risk of a child suffering from asthma is up to 50% higher. Differences between East and West Germany are now becoming more similar, whereas in the past a significantly lower incidence of bronchial asthma was observed in East Germany, which supports the assumption that certain living conditions (e.g. increasing hygienisation) support the occurrence of the disease.