Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs and is a big cause of anxiety for those who have it or have family and friends with it.
My friend has a kid with asthma. She contacted me worrying what would happen to him. She is not the worry type, but she feels this is different because he had respiratory issues ever since he was born and because of it he maybe at much greater risk of a severe case of CV and even worried that he may be “doomed”. This is terrible for any parent to have to experience. I’m in the same boat with this parent and probably many of you. My daughter, fourteen, is also had at least one boult in pneumonia when she was four and a number of respiratory infections and we always thought that she’d be vulnerable in her lung department.
But is it the case? Is someone with asthma more likely to get CV or have a more severe case of it?
The current view is that asthma is a known preexisting condition that make it harder to fight CV. According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, having asthma doesn’t increase your chances of getting CV and there is only limited data that suggesting no effect of CV on asthma. However, flu and other corona viruses have been shown to trigger asthma attacks. So, it still remains to be seen if CV causes asthma attack or asthmatic episodes or if having asthma makes outcomes worse.
That being say, people with asthma are recovering from CV all the time.
Idris Elba is a celebrity asthma suffer who two weeks ago was tested positive for corona virus said, “I have asthma, so I sort of fit in the high category of most at risk, I have a respiratory issue and I’ve had asthma all my life so, catching corona was definitely not on my bucket list at all”. He said, “I’m worried about having asthma and how that could make things really complicated for me very quickly.” But he’s recovering just fine and according to him, he’s “ok so far with no changes”.
In one major study of 140 cases of CV in China that found that COPD weren’t associated with the increased risk of infection and that “older age, high number of comorbidities, and more prominent laboratory abnormalities were associated with severe cases”. However, this is very preliminary and as more cases come in there would be more data linking asthma with worse cases.
But there is good news too! So far, out of over 700,000 cases worldwide and 33,617 deaths, only two deaths under 19 were reported.
So, the chances are extremely small that this would happen to any of your kids and very small chance in someone under 40. The key is overall health and I can’t emphasize this enough. Consider this: 99% of those who died had a preexisting condition. 76% high blood pressure; 36% diabetes, and 33% ischemic heart disease.
If you have mild case of asthma, as most cases are, but you’re healthy otherwise, you’re ok. It’s compounding, coexisting conditions that get people very sick and it’s this that needs to be addressed.
At the end of the day, I know most of you personally and know some of you have asthma or close ones who do, so I want to offer you some reassurance and a piece of mind. Even though my office is closed, I am here for you if you need any help. I’m offering a free 15-minute consultation for all my new and existing patients. So if you’re unsure of what to do, just give us a call, we’re here for you.
But for those who like more info on what they can do, here it is:
- Avoid triggers such as environmental allergens, strenuous exercise, strong scents, fumes, mold, tobacco smoke, stress.
- Identify and avoid food sensitivities.
• Consider breathing exercises. Ask us.
- Manage your weight.
- Build your muscles.
- Limit sugar and avoid white flour products, soy and fried foods; avoid allergenic foods such as wheat and dairy products that can increase mucus production.
- Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces.
• Eat foods high in omega-3s such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, ground flax seeds, chia seeds and raw nuts.
• Eat a phytonutrient rich diet of unprocessed whole foods, abundant in vegetables and fruits, that contain antioxidants like vitamins C and E.
• Consume whey protein isolate daily to raise glutathione levels and keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day.
As most of you know, supplements are individual and I don’t like make general recommendations. So if you want to know exactly what’s best for you, schedule a telemedicine appointment our appointment page or call our office at (818)999-0300 and I’d be happy to create a protocol specifically for you.
Here is some of what I like to use:
- Vitamins D, A, E and K, to helps to support and strengthen the lung blood barrier.
- Magnesium chelate to helps to relax muscle spasms and is a bronchodilator.
- Omega 3s to helps to decrease overall inflammation and improve immune modulation.
- Quercetin vitamin C powder to helps improve the immune balance and decrease inflammation in lungs.
- I also like Stinging nettle and Scuttellaria baicalensis. There is a lot of good research on these helping with lung inflammation and immune regulation.
In the end, if there is any kind of infectious respiratory disease going on, all of us as well as people with asthma should keep themselves as healthy as possible and take usual precautions such as frequent hand washing, physical distancing, staying at home and having a two-week supply of necessities. After all, as Ben Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
This is a very difficult time for all of us, but we will get though this.