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Does asthma get worse in cold climate?

Q: My 50 years old mother is suffering from asthma and is living in a very cold climate. The patient is having symptoms of fever and cold for the past 15 days. Medicines provide her a temporary relief. What diet precautions should she take to remain healthy?

A:The asthma that your mother has is often due to certain triggers like dust, cold air and sometimes exertion. It also seems like she is now having a cold. Asthma can get worse during a cold due to inflammation of the air passages. In asthma the breathing tubes get constricted or smaller and also have thicker inner mucus lining. The treatment is to avoid the cause like dust and cold air. Sometimes covering the nose and mouth in cold or dusty areas may help. The treatment however with inhaled medicine to open the air passages and also decrease the inflammation is essential for managing asthma.

For maintaining health she may need to have a multivitamin, adequate exercise and a balanced diet. The temporary relief you describe may be due to lack of an anti-inflammatory inhaled steroid to manage the asthma. One other important thing to remember is that all wheezing is not asthma and at her age make sure there is no other cause like heart disease or other lung problems. You should have her get a checkup with a lung specialist or an allergy specialist and share this information with her primary doctor so that the best treatment can be planned for your mother.

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