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Asthma

As Minister for Health Simon Harris launched the first ever Asthma Awareness Week today, the Asthma Society shared some scary statistics about the illness.

Asthma-related deaths are on the rise, with one person in Ireland losing their life every five days as a result of closed airways.

Worryingly, two out of every three people with asthma do not have an Asthma Action Plan and are therefore at risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack.

Society is now calling on those suffering with asthma to get an Asthma Action Plan. Research was conducted after the troubling recent figures for asthma deaths were published, and are still on the rise.

Only 63 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed knew there was a 5 Step Rule for managing an asthma attack, and two out of three people with asthma haven't spoken to their doctor in the last six months. Three out of five people with asthma also don't use their inhaler all year round.

90 percent of people with asthma don't carry an Asthma Attack Card with them at all times, and 20 percent wouldn't know the six most common symptoms of an asthma attack, according to the Asthma Management.

CEO of Asthma Society, Sarah O’Connor, said: 

“It is truly frightening that asthma deaths are on the rise in Ireland. The survey results showed that, in the event of an asthma attack, most people wouldn’t know the necessary steps to take to save a life (the 5 Step Rule). 470,000 people in Ireland have asthma and 60% do not have their asthma in control, greatly increasing the risk of suffering a fatal asthma attack."

UK research into asthma deaths showed that having an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan made it far less likely that a person would experience a fatal asthma attack. Through Asthma Awareness Week, it is hoped that people nationwide will put an Asthma Action Plan into place.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said: 

“I am strongly supporting the Asthma Society’s campaign today, encouraging people to take control of their asthma. Asthma management is extremely important. It allows people with the condition to live a longer, healthier and happier life. I encourage everyone to put an Asthma Action Plan in place – it is the one of the best asthma management tools available.

"People with asthma can work with their GP or asthma nurse or phone the Asthma and COPD Adviceline for help to create their personalised plan on 1800 44 54 64.”

People with asthma should carry an Asthma Attack Card with them at all times. which details the 5 Step Rule for managing an attack and the symptoms and can be given to a member of the public. This card also contains the person’s emergency details including their next of kin.

Asthma Awareness Week will continue until Friday. To support the Asthma Society, text BREATHE to 50300 to donate €4. 

The society's free advice line is 1800-44-54-64 and don't forget to check their website for more information on managing asthma.

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According to a recent study, one in three individuals who have been diagnosed as asthmatic do not, in fact, suffer from the condition.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa studied 613 individuals who had been diagnosed with asthma in the last five years, and established that one-third did not actually have the condition.

With the assistance of a lung specialist, researchers were able to conclude that 33 per cent of their participants did not have active asthma, and a staggering 90 per cent were able to stop their medication and remain off it for a year.

The study established that almost half of those diagnosed had not undergone airflow tests to ensure a correct diagnosis  – something which Dr Shawn Aaron, lead author and respirologist at the Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa, struggles to understand.

"Doctors wouldn’t diagnose diabetes without checking blood sugar levels, or a broken bone without ordering an X-ray. But for some reason, many doctors are not ordering the spirometry tests that can definitely diagnose asthma," he said.

"It wasn’t a surprise to most patients when we told them they didn’t have asthma," he added while the study confirmed that those who had been misdiagnosed actually suffered from allergies or heartburn.

Elaborating on the study's findings, Dr  Aaron acknowledged that it was difficult to ascertain which patient was misdiagnosed and which had 'inactive' asthma.

"It’s impossible to say how many of these patients were originally misdiagnosed with asthma, and how many have asthma that is no longer active," he said.

“What we do know is that they were all able to stop taking medication that they didn’t need – medication that is expensive and can have side effects.”

Reflecting on his participants' reaction to the news of their misdiagnosis, Dr Aaron said: "Some knew all along that their puffer wasn’t working, while others were concerned that they might have something more serious."

"Thankfully, the majority of the conditions were mild and easily treated."

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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It was reported yesterday that Chris Brown's ex, Nia Guzman has accused him of giving their daughter asthma because she inhales second-hand smoke.

In Nia's case, she claimed that Chris smokes so much marijuana and cigarettes around Royalty, 1, that he has made her sick.

But, Chris is calling her out, and in a deleted Instagram post, said she just wants more money.

On the post, Chris wrote: "I quit cigarettes on New Years. NO ONE smokes around my daughter."

He also added that it's "obviously a play to get some sort of increased income," which we have to admit could be true since Nia is demanding a very steep rise – from $2,500 (€2,300) a month to $16,000 (€14,700). 

We can't see this fight calming down though, so expect more to come. 

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It's not good news for Chris Brown today as the singer's ex has claimed he gave his child asthma from smoking too much marijuana.

Nia Guzman has revealed that their one-year-old daughter, Royalty, has developed asthma and it's due to the amount of secondhand smoke she is inhaling when she's around Chris, as he is known to be a "weed and tobacco enthusiast," reports TMZ.

Nia also said that Royalty comes back from her visits with Chris smelling like smoke and she's worried Mr Brown may be abusing drugs in front of their daughter.

Ms Guzman also wants more money from star. As it is, she receives $2,500 (€2,300) per month, but now she wants to raise it to $16,000 (€14,700) per month. Ouch.

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There are a number of reasons why someone can end up with dry skin, from genetics to allergies and in some cases even asthma. But, a lot of the time, external factors are the biggest cause for dry skin.

Here are ways you can tackle it:

  • Use cleansers that are suited to your skin type.
  • Don’t over-scrub your face as it will strip your skin’s natural oils and leave you with a dry and uncomfortable feeling.
  • Always use a moisturiser after you’ve cleansed your face. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, your skin needs to be moisturised.
  • Make a habit out of exfoliating. This will remove any dead cells lying on the surface of the skin.
  • Since saliva has enzymes that draw the moisturise from your lips, it’s best you avoid licking them. Instead, use a balm whenever you feel your lips are dry.
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There is some good news if you’re an asthma sufferer as research shows eating fruit and vegetables can help with the condition.

Whoever said that you are what you eat was on to a good thing. Research published in Nature Medicine journal claims that what we eat can influence immune cell development and disease outside the gut. If you have asthma, eating your five a day can go a long way to help you deal with your condition.

However, it is not just asthma sufferers who benefit from this kind of diet. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome can also benefit as both conditions are caused by the same inflammatory reaction.

People who don’t suffer from asthma or IBS can also benefit from a fibre-rich diet as it can help reduce heart disease and certain cancers.

So, when doing your weekly shop, make sure you pop some extra fruit and veg into your trolley.

 

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Due to its rather pungent taste, mustard is kind of like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.

However, if you’re not a fan of the yellow condiment, you may be missing out, as mustard is actually good for you.

The ingredient does more than just bring a kick to your curry or thicken a sauce –  it is also an excellent source of selenium, an element that is thought to be cancer-fighting.

You can thank the process that breaks the glucosinolaes into isothiocyantes (yay, science!) for the yellow sauce’s eye-watering taste. However, that process also seems to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, most notably in the gastrointestinal tract and colon.

The condiment can also help control symptoms of asthma, help you lose weight, slow the ageing process, and relieve arthritic and muscle pain. That little sauce certainly does a lot of work.

Mustard sauce can be used to spice up dishes, mustard oil is great for cooking with and the powdered form can be use for garnishing.

Before you use any form of it in your food, be sure you’ve picked the right kind; English mustard is stronger than the European one, while wholegrain mustard can be very vinegary.

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