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Friday, November 16, 2012

Stress causes asthma attacks-who knew?!

(Shutterstock image)

I am already starting to feel a little stressed out. Thanksgiving is next week, we need to travel to see family (both sides of the family) I have a busy day at work, and we have a big event my work is sponsoring for 500 people tomorrow. Yikes!!

I was looking on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) website to see what it says about stress. Did you know that when you are stressed out, your body releases a chemical that makes the muscles around your airways tighten? That can make for some fun times when you're trying to breathe. For those of you who don't have asthma, it's like trying to breathe through a straw while you pinch your nose closed. Try it some time.

I am doing some deep breathing right now. I breathe in slowly through my nose and out slowly through my mouth. I can already feel my shoulders relaxing. Ahhh.

There are a few other things in the AAAAI website. They have some good information about choosing a Christmas tree.

And some interesting information about leaving your pets during the holidays. There's something called the "Thanksgiving Effect." If you leave your pets home while you travel, you can have allergy and asthma problems when you get back. You lose some of the tolerance to your pets that you have built up. Weird, huh? To read more, click here.

Take a deep breath, this is the start to a busy time of year. The last thing you need while traveling and dealing with interesting family members is to have an asthma attack. So deep breathe, meditate, do yoga, whatever relaxes you. I found some great webcams sites of  Hawaiian beaches. Wish I was there......


  1. Hi Asthma mom,
    I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog! I have a three year old with asthma and we are struggling, big time. Would you mind sharing your email address? My story is long and I'd rather not post the whole thing here. Thank you

  2. Crisis and asthma; What is your take? I have severe uncontrolled asthma and sometimes when I cry it feels like everything becomes swollen, congested, and impossible to breathe.

    At times I fear for a day of great stress, like if I were to loose a child? Because I wonder if emotional stress can cause an anaphylactic sort of event.

    Do you know if this is possible? Someone otherwise healthy dying of asthma when it combines with a broken heart? How do you prevent something like this in a disaster where you cannot control your loss? Any tips?

    Just some thoughts I had while reading.

    1. What a coincidence, I just blogged about that on today's post! There is an article on Webmd called Asthma, Stress and Anxiety: Risky Cycle. Here's the link

      It talks about coping techniques (deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, etc.) I use deep breathing every time I have an asthma attack. It's a sort of vicious cycle, something happens, you can't breathe, then you really panic because you can't breathe and around and around it goes.

      Here's what I posted today about that

      I have had horrible asthma attacks from crying after I have lost family members, but it didn't result in anaphylaxis. That's usually an allergic reaction to medication, food, stinging insects (and rarely, exercise.) Here's an article from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America about anaphylaxis.

      The most important thing to do is learn to control your emotions. Hopefully those articles will help :)

  3. I also have asthma and I've heard that stress really does trigger an attack. I am allergic to cats, but I have built up an immunity years after owning one. But when I came back from a two week vacation, my immunity was back to zero. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. Good day! :)

    Mei Deere

    1. Mei, I have heard of that happening. Where people leave on vacation, and come back to their pets and having allergy problems. I can't remember where I read the article. The article said that your body had to re-adjust after being away from your pet.

      Hope it doesn't take too long and that you are doing well!