Last updated on October 13th, 2022 at 12:47 pm
People with chronic illness are subjected to particular health problems and have particular needs with regard to support on stress and anxiety. People who have respiratory infections such as aspergillosis are one group who have chronic health condition, many including asthma. This very useful article was written and promoted by Asthma UK on World Mental Health Day 2016.
Article written and published by Asthma UK: full article
Most of us will feel stress at some point in our lives because there are so many situations and experiences that can put extra mental or emotional pressure on us. Feeling lonely, anxious or worrying a lot can lead to stress, as can poor sleep, diet, or problems with money.
If you have asthma, and you’re going through a stressful time, keep an eye on your asthma symptoms – 69 per cent of people with asthma tell us stress is an asthma trigger for them.
Why is stress an asthma trigger?
Stress causes a surge of stress hormones in our bodies. These are released to prepare us to either run away from danger or fight it (the “fight or flight” response). We react with symptoms such as a faster heart rate, tense muscles and breathing that is shallow and fast (hyperventilating). This change to our breathing pattern can put us at a higher risk of all our usual asthma symptoms, such as tight chest and coughing.
Another reason why stress can trigger someone’s asthma is because of the things people do when they’re stressed. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily when you’re under stress, and anger is itself an emotional asthma trigger. Stress can mean we drink or smoke more, both asthma triggers in their own right. People with asthma who are stressed may also feel less able or willing to take their asthma medicines as prescribed, especially if long term stress means they’re also dealing with anxiety and depression.
How do I know if stress is triggering my asthma symptoms?
It’s usually not that difficult to recognise the things that are making us stressed. But sometimes we don’t make the connection between stressful events and our asthma symptoms.
- If you think you might be under more stress than usual, ask yourself if your asthma’s feeling worse than usual.
- If you’ve noticed your asthma is feeling worse than usual, consider what’s going on in your life at the moment. Could a stressful situation have triggered your asthma symptoms?
- Try keeping a record of stressful situations alongside a symptom diary – this might show a pattern and help you recognise stressful situations or events that trigger your asthma symptoms.
A written asthma action plan helps you keep an eye on worsening symptoms and know what to do if you notice any.
The full article goes into more detail and contains terrific information for asthmatics on the following:
- When is stress most likely to trigger asthma?
- How can I cut the risk of stress affecting my asthma?
- Top stress tips
We can’t always avoid stress in our lives but there are things we can do to help manage it. Whatever’s going on for you, being aware of how stress is affecting you and your body is the first step to managing it. There’s lots of advice on stress in books and online and plenty of methods you can try that may help you feel better and help you learn coping skills.
- Finding ways to reduce stress in your life is good for you and your asthma.
- Can I talk to someone about how stress affects my asthma?
Go to full article.
Submitted by GAtherton on Mon, 2016-10-10 11:04