A groundbreaking series of studies conducted by various medical research centers in the US concluded that there is a direct link between Asthma and Vitamin D. Some of these studies are part of this FOX NEWS report. In relation to this, the International Journal of Biometeorology released a study a month ago that asthma attacks are higher during cold and rainy season precisely because there is limited exposure to the sun. It is not so much that the body is cold, but the body does not receive enough sunlight to process Vitamin D in your skin which is needed by the body. Conversely, it means that the reason why a lot of asthmatic people prefer to live near the beach is not because of the sea breeze but because of better exposure to the sun.
The studies are very technical, but here are the reasons why asthma attacks tend to increase during rainy and cold seasons:
a. as mentioned, less exposure to sunlight results to Vitamin D deficiency. Almost 90 per cent of people’s vitamin D requirement is synthesised from the sun. Vitamin D plays a vital role in regulating the immune system, and that low levels may increase the risk of allergies, infection, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and heart disease.
b. less sunlight is compounded by the fact that people oftentimes wear jackets, caps and hats, thus eliminating altogether exposure to what minimal sunlight is available during rainy season
c. the rainy days often follows flowering season, thus there are a lot of pollen in the air which trigger asthma attacks. However, if a person has enough Vitamin D in the body to regulate the immune system, the body can withstand the pollen and dust.
d. the rainy season often follows hot summers where people drink lots of cold drinks such as soft drinks and canned juices. These contain preservatives like sulphur dioxide and sodium benzoate which cause tight chests in individuals who have asthma and colourants such as tartrazine (an azo dye) which causes asthma triggers. Days of drinking softdrinks result to accumulation of simple sugar which aggravates asthma.
WHAT TO DO;
Unless you have the luxury of moving to a sunny beach during rainy days, these are some of things that asthmatic people can do to prevent attacks during rainy days:
a. seek the sun – literally. make sure that your skin gets enough sun exposure and that means removing jackets during moments when the sun is out
b. at least once a week, go to a sunny place. Camp Phillips residents can go to CDO at least during the weekends, that way, the skin will be given the much needed exposure to the sun
c. eat food with Vitamin D. This is a list of foods rich in Vitamin D. But to highlight a few: raw tuna, raw oysters, canned mackerel but drain the sauce; shrimps and crabs; orange juice, milk, soyamilk, and mushrooms.
d. increase your omega 3 and reduce omega 6 fatty acids – omega 3 foods include fish oil, flaxseed, pecan nuts, eggs of native chicken (because of the grass diet); and grass-fed beef
e. Avoid MSG and vegetable oil. Never, never use recycled oil for cooking, especially vegetable oils. They contain free radicals.
f. exercise out in fresh air. Walking is good. It helps moderate your insulin levels, and as a result your body produces less insulin, which tends to optimize it. Research has also shown that asthmatics who exercise tend to show improvement in: maximum ventilation, maximal oxygen uptake, work capacity, and maximum heart rate.
g. de-stress – do a twenty-minute breathing exercise in the morning and another at the end of the day; get some massage but make sure to choose those who are familiar with the principles of accupressure – the right amount of force on the right part of the body; and so something that takes your mind off your work pressure.
h. take some Vitamin D supplements. However, you must get your Vitamin D test first. The skin has an autocontrol that turns off the body’s absorption of Vitamin D once it has enough. But, when taken as supplement, that autocontrol does not function. Vitamin D overdose and toxicity is very rare but still it is good to exercise caution.