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!"