Asthma – Understanding the Pathology and Management of Asthma


Asthma – Understanding the Pathology and Management of Asthma

The acronym ASTHMA (American Society of Clinical Endocrinologists, Health & Fitness) is a remarkable scientific breakthrough that has dramatically improved the lives of asthma patients in all parts of the world. It stands for the Association of Speedy Emotions and Handling Disorders. It was established in 1980 and represents a collaboration of practitioners with scientists. It has helped to bring about a paradigm shift in medical practice with regard to patient care and treatment. With its simple acronym, ASCE, it brings to light the fact that there are several key factors that trigger asthmatics’ respiratory problems and it offers a plan for overcoming such problems.



Asthma is a chronic, lifelong disorder that generates various complications for the patient in his every day life. Asthma is also commonly referred to as allergic rhinitis, chronic cough, dyspnea and airway irritability. In layman’s terms, it is the inability of the respiratory tract from functioning properly due to an overactive response by the immune system. When this condition exists, the airways swell and/or get inflamed resulting in difficulty in breathing. There are various types of asthma:


The most common type of asthma is as follows: mild, moderate, and severe. The term “mild” is used here since mild and moderate asthmatic attacks do not require much treatment and control medications compared to severe attacks. There are different categories of these controllers depending on the severity of the condition. These are:


Table 3 – Characteristics of Asthma controllers according to the AHA standards are categorized into three main categories: Safety, Reserve, and Emergency. Among these is the category of safety controllers, which are prescribed according to the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA). These include such devices as inhaled corticosteroids, a protein combination that reduces swelling and inflammation, and an anti-inflammatory. This table shows that there is a significant positive correlation between asthma severity and the use of safety controllers.


Asthma severity, which is defined as the number of AQLPs required to achieve the target score of 20% for the overall severity of the condition, was negatively correlated with the percentage of responders who were receiving baseline treatment according to the AHA guidelines. The adjusted analysis found significant associations between the percentage of responders receiving baseline treatment and the severity of the condition. Those in the highest category of asthma severity were less likely to have responded to the treatment compared to those in the lowest category of severity. The adjusted analysis also found significant positive correlation between the percentage of responders receiving at least one AQLP during the acute phase of the attack and the percentage of responders who were still alive at the end of the attack. However, the study had several limitations including the use of only a single AQLP, the use of only non placebo AQLP, and the use of a cross-over design.


At this time, there is no current evidence to support the use of AQLP to treat patients with moderate or severe asthma symptoms. It has been hypothesized that the effects of AQLP are additive; ie, it may provide improvement for some patients but not for others. Studies indicate that long-term safety of AQLP is unknown. There are no clinically proven effects of AQLP on patients with mild or moderate asthma symptoms. Because the effects of AQLP may be additive, it is unlikely that AQLP is useful as a short-term treatment for asthmatics.


Patients with asthmatic conditions should be under the regular care of an airways specialist (e.g., pulmonologist) due to the complexities involved in treating this condition. In addition, patients with asthmatic conditions should avoid viral infections, in particular viral infections associated with asthma such as pericarditis and pyogenic granuloma. Viral infections may be responsible for triggering a flare up of asthma symptoms, therefore, these patients should avoid viral infections and pay attention to their health. In addition, asthmatics should not smoke, use herbs containing steroids such as stadol and prednisone, and should avoid animals that are known to be contaminated with diseases such as SARS-experiencing animals infected with AIDS or HIV. Smoking can be deadly for asthmatics.


Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to prevent the onset of symptoms of asthmatic conditions. A well balanced diet including a variety of foods from lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and soy products, should be maintained by asthmatics. A low fat, low carbohydrate diet should also be followed by patients with mild asthma. Smoking should be avoided by asthmatics. AQLP has been recommended as additional therapy in the management of patients with mild asthma or those with severe asthmatics.


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