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Friday, July 19, 2013

"You are what you breathe"

I was listening to a podcast on Asthma Community Network, and loved this quote from Dr. Jay Portnoy, Director, Center for Environmental Health, Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics , 

He said "Just like you are what you eat, you are what you breathe." I have never heard it worded that way before, but I know that your home can affect your asthma.

He said that he can admit patients to the hospital, but he needs to know WHY they are sick. And he needs to know what to do about it. He would like to be able to send out an Environmental Health Scientist to each of his asthma patient's homes to see if there is something in the home that is making them sick. Do they have mold? High humidity levels? Water leaks?

Many people don't understand that WHERE and HOW you live can affect your asthma. Dr. Portnoy said he can prescribe expensive medicines and just treat their asthma, but he needs to know the underlying symptoms and figure out what is causing problem with his patient's asthma.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of things that can be in your home and make your asthma worse. Check and see if there are any things on the list that surprise you. As I've said before, asthma is a drama queen. What might not affect a "normal person's" lungs, can cause someone with asthma to have an asthma attack and even end up in the hospital.

Since Children Mercy's Hospital in Kansas City has been inspecting the homes of their patients with asthma, they have seen reduced Emergency Room visits, decrease in medication use and an increase in quality of life and satisfaction of life.

Isn't that what we all want? A good life? Watch the podcast and check out EPA's website. You may find some things in your home that you want to change.

Just remember, "you are what you breathe!"


  1. "Many people don't understand that WHERE and HOW you live can affect your asthma". I definitely agree with this fact, people just don`t get things that they don`t have experience in. I wrote some very useful tips to deal with asthma with alternative medicine.
    What Is Asma (Asthma) ? 3 Ways To Treat Asthma

    1. Hi Miralem, thanks for stopping by. Great information, thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Andrea,

    As to where and how you live, cough variant asthma was mine for years before it was even known to be and I had it everywhere I lived. When the cough would come, the standing joke was that I must have ate moldy hay. When ever our horses got moldy hay, they would develop a cough. So, I must have ate moldy hay.

    Now, I am thinking our horses had asthma too as they are what they breathe too.

    I had the normal asthma as a child and was cured of it only to have it come back as an adult and not know what it was (actually I was told I had chronic bronchitis, there was no cure and I had to live with it).

    Then on becoming a nurse (mid life career change), I found a cocktail of OTC drugs worked. That is until the side effects started.

    Now a holistic nurse, I have been attack free for several years, with one exception that did not last more than a week.

    What I did may not work for everyone but I am rather excited about it.

    It is simply drinking alkaline water. After researching the various machines that make it, turns out the most popular ones (the MLM ones) are not as healthy as they claim and in some cases, can be harmful to health. The best is natural alkaline spring water if it can be found.

    I tried the Water Cures ( and it helped a little but it did not work for me as well as it has worked for others.

    It involves simply taking a pinch of salt and dissolving in the mouth then drinking a glass of water. Now that the CDC says we should actually be eating more salt, it will be interesting to see if this is a game changer. It has to be unprocessed sea salt though.

    Here is the way they have you do it with the salt which works for regular asthma...

    Using salt was probably how I got rid of my asthma as a kid. I was a salt-a-holic.

    Anyway, on the chance it could help, try to find some alkaline water.

    The first night I tried it, I had a public speech to give. It gave me 4 hours of cough free public speaking bliss. The next glass gave me a full night sleep.

    That was the last time, again, with one exception, that I had a coughing asthma attack.

    Hope it helps.

    1. Hi Jonathon, I'm glad you found something that works for you! As you well know, asthma is so individual that there is no one-size-fits all.

      You also have to take into consideration if your asthma is mild, moderate or severe. And if you have allergic or non-allergic asthma.

      I'm glad you are breathing well. We have tried alternative therapies to no avail. We'll stick with traditional medications since they work for us, but I'm glad you found a remedy that works for you!