Today’s trending news says that growing up with a dog in the family can help to reduce asthma in children. Researchers in Sweden have found that exposure to a dog in the first year of life was linked to a 13% lower risk of developing asthma in later childhood.
But did you know that growing up on a farm is even better for you? Being a young farmer is said to cut the risk of having asthma by up to 50%. Being around all those large farm animals is more than just stinky business.
Here are 5 things you should know about asthma:
1) The Amish Have It Right
A study done by a researcher in Indiana in 2012 looked at America’s Amish and found that Amish youth are much less prone to having allergies and asthma when compared with children who don’t grow up on farms.
“The Amish live a 19th century lifestyle, spending time in the barn, drinking milk directly from the cow, all the things that used to expose us to these substances early in life,” says Mark Holbreich, MD, of Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Indianapolis, in a report on WebMD.
The study concluded that the process of making homogenized milk breaks up the fat molecules that have an impact on the developing immune system-those that are trying to help make kids less prone to all allergies.
While it isn’t recommended that you start drinking unpasteurized milk as there is a chance that it contains disease-causing bacteria, maybe some regular trips to a farm on weekends to hang out with the herd isn’t a bad idea.
2) You Need Germs
Like that household disinfectant? This goes hand-in-hand with being on a farm, where it’s impossible to keep everything spotless and germ-free.
The latest research shows that cleaning too much is a problem. As we clean all the bad away, we expose ourselves to fewer and fewer infectious agents, which are the very substances that help train children’s developing immune systems to recognize and fight allergic disease.
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and allergy rates have been increasing since the early 1980s according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Time to get a little dirty.
3) Often, If You Have Asthma, You Have An Allergy
If you suffer from asthma, it may be useful to know that you likely have an allergy that’s an underlying problem that is exasperating your symptoms. It could be dust mites, pollen, cockroaches, or cat dander, or something else. About 60% to 90% of people with asthma have allergic asthma. Asthma is a condition with a genetic origin, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, (AAFA but avoiding the source(s) that trigger your symptoms may reduce your breathing troubles.
4) Getting Angry Can Make It Worse
According to AAFA when you experience strong emotions, even if you don’t have asthma, your breathing changes. So, if you do have the big A, getting angry, laughing or crying a lot can cause wheezing and breathing trouble to surface.
5) The Weather Channel May Be Your Worst Nightmare
Don’t blame the weatherman! In addition to other triggers such as exercise, infections and irritants, changes in environment such as dry wind, cold air, or anything sudden can sometimes start an asthmatic episode.
Chances are, if you know you have asthma, you also already know what your triggers are. But if you notice your child or someone you know having trouble breathing when you don’t think they should, some of this info could come in handy. See a doctor. And, maybe some time with a few four-legged friends could help strengthen things for the future-or at least provide some awesome bonding time!