Comment re. humidity and cool summers as major factors in development of asthma (not problematic births.)   Only one or two European papers suggest that there is 20% to 30% more asthma among people who had surgically assisted births. My great grandfather had asthma so serious in Plymouth it drove him to suicide. I doubt he had caesarean birth. Now I have developed asthma since moving to Plymouth and my GP's nurse said that the climate here did the same thing to her. Humidity on cold-sea coasts seems to impair the quality of air in older buildings; I had no asthma on the warm Indian Ocean coast in South Africa, even in old buildings.
   COLD-SEA coast humidity and cooler summers, not bacterial deficiency, have given me asthma:
Before moving to Plymouth in 2004 (where I first began to notice asthma occasionally in 2008, after taking a bath), I only ever had one true asthma attack: on a bus in Cape Town in 1970. The western Cape is distinct from the rest of southern Africa in having wet winters with strong winds. The Jo'burg area, on a high plateau, has bone dry winters (or used to!) and there I completely forgot about asthma. I also had no asthma in Iowa (11 years), where people buy humidifiers in the winter (although I did react to an old carpet in a rented room, during a warm, humid summer - their summers are noticeably humid.)
    I felt that 1. The documentary encourages a preoccupation with quality of birth. 2. It was not logical to conclude that people need to "re-engage" with bacterial "old friends" by eating probiotics and exploring "pre-biotic re-engagement". They had said already said that there's no way to compensate for having missed 'the education of the immune system' that the baby normally receives during birth; it was indulgent to spend the rest of the programme campaigning to get kids 'dirty' with "pre-biotic" bacteria in the garden (would anyone want a child to catch tetanus?)
(Let's not forget that scientists work in an environment where publishing papers is the key means for career survival. The NHS doesn't routinely ask asthma patients if they had assisted births, so we cannot readily test the European idea.)

Natural remedies - their helpfulness was noticed before the daily asthma became severe.

If your asthma is triggered by weather and exercise and you want to minimize the use of puffers, try vitamin c tablets (100mg) just before exercise. If desperate at the moment with nightly wheezing (not asthma), take two tbsp of honey before bed. Use honey in place of sugar in hot drinks.
19/07/14 - Asthma and migraine seem to be associated. A friend of mine said she worked for a lawyer who had terrible migraines. Then he discovered that real orange juice helped him and he would bring a flask of it to work every day. He said it was "miraculous". I tried it last night as was getting a migraine (from waking up a bit angry about hostility in a pub.) I drank a small cup of the orange juice and really it did help a lot, and it stopped a low level asthma that was threatening to get worse.
xx/10/2012 Since writing this blog, night asthma and wheezing returned with the onset of cold weather in September 2013. I was surprised to find that drinking half a cup of soya milk in the evenings prevented the heavy wheezing which would wake me in the early mornings. That remedy has in turn, reduced the severity of the asthma attacks, which are usually triggered by cold air (see also 14 foodsthat fight inflammation.) Any light asthma in the morning can also be relieved by a couple of Aspirin tablets (if there is no aspirin-intolerance.)
22/11/2012:  Much colder weather has arrived and it's getting harder to suppress my asthma with natural interventions. I have begun to use my Reliever for occasional stubborn episodes.
27/12/2013:  So far so good; very few asthmatic incidents now.  Full length pyjamas and a small light plastic tarp on the bed seems to have helped me get back to a state where I hardly think about the asthma now (as well as an electric blanket before bedtime.)
08/03/2014:  I have almost no asthma now except a little on the bicycle on cold damp nights, - manageable without using reliever. However, since I stopped using the Preventer steroid in January last year, I recently had one blackout that was very similar to those when using the pump. I had taken 1/3rd of a 99mg potassium supplement pill to see if it improved my sleep. The next morning I had a blackout while drinking coffee at home. The potassium lowers blood pressure significantly. I feel more certain than ever that the steroid was bringing me the blackouts by interfering with my b.p.  ('Have started eating banana in the evening before bed and found that they have a good effect. Even if I do wake up in the night, it's less disruptive and easier to get back to sleep.)
06/04/14  Looking back to October, that was a scary time of severe wheezing and sudden asthma attacks when getting into bed. All my advice to be cautious with steroid meds seemed to be looking foolish. However, using the foods suggested by did have results, even if it was a case of trying one after the other and not always getting the same result. Then it all stopped quite suddenly, the croaky wheezing and asthma, I mean, and I still get a sense that a bit of soya milk now and then does something beneficial. Just last week, England got hit by a sort of dust storm that turned the air grey-white all over the country. There were warnings to be alert for asthma and other allergies.  My eyes started watering a lot, but so did those of my cat. A friend on facebok, without any prompting, said she was sneezing a lot, as I was. My conclusion: asthma can turn one in on oneself, but remember sometimes your body is reacting to something different going on in the atmosphere. My cat sometimes has been a bit wheezy too, which kept me company.
09/07/14: Am starting to swing back to my original observation: It was use of the Reliever "Salamol" that preceded the blackout. It does seem the Reliever can also cause blood pressure-related blackouts, and chewing gum might be associated with the reaction. At the moment I am using just one puff of BD preventer daily, because of a return of bed-time asthma (triggered by getting into cool pyjamas or going into a cold bathroom.) I might try enjoying chewing gum again in a few weeks' time, although experiments that might trigger blackouts are not something I take lightly and I might give up chewing gum for life. 
18/07/14: The grim sensation of going into a blackout happened today after only three days back on Preventer BD.

From comments in facebook:

"Thanks, I didn't realize that about the Reliever (mostly having no steroid content). Perhaps this time the Reliever precipitated my reaction to long term use of the Preventer." (here I'm suggesting that the Reliever might have compounded a condition of low blood pressure and declining stamina caused by the BD. On the other hand, the Reliever might have played no role in the January blackout.)
"All round it seems these meds give the body a bit of a knock. I just found this (about Reliever): Broncholdilators are relatively safe, if used as prescribed. You may experience side-effects such as tremors, headache, nervousness, tachycardia (increased heart rate), and insomnia."
Everything still points to the Preventer being responsible for a general compromising of one's physiology by down-regulating the body's natural maintenance of blood pressure.

"I hardly used the Reliever and preferred a light usage of the Preventer pumps. I used the pumps so sparingly that a nurse seemed amused, and warned me that the doctor might cancel my ongoing prescription. I feel a lot better now that I don't use any of the medication. I'd like to emphasize that the side-effect I have described crept up slowly, making it hard to work out what was happening. It took me more than a year to get a sense that the asthma medication was inducing the blackouts. I had to use the pumps in my last accommodation due to poor heat insulation and dust. Where I live now I have no serious need for them. In summary, I'd say avoid using corticosteroid inhalers; rather do everything you can to live somewhere better."
K A I actually think this blog post is dangerous and poorly informed. Using inhaled steroids is the safest way to use them, they go right into your lungs and unless you are using very high doses then they should not effect the rest of your body. Most people would use between 400-800mg a day which is not considered a high dose, and means that the levels of beclomethasone in the blood are sub-therapeutic.

In a clinical trial with 54 patients, on 1000mg (A very high, dose used by hospital consultants) a day the blood plasma levels of beclomethasone were completely normal in 48 of the patients. The other 6 patients were only a few mmol outside of the normal range (150-700mmol). Meaning it goes into the lungs and stays there - even at really high doses.

Inhaled steroids are safe, except in perhaps the tiniest minority of people, and your post could cause some serious damage, with people thinking that they should stop taking them because they are bad for them. Asthma kills, and inhaled steroids are one of the most effective ways to reduce the chance of asthma death.
19 July at 09:13 · Edited · Like · 1
G L   The blog is revised now so maybe it makes more sense. I am saying that low level dosing is a problem with regard to causing occasional drops in blood pressure. Inhalation is similair to topical application: dosing has to be repeated often if a steady supply of hormonal effect is to be maintained. It's the start-stop effect of dosing by inhaler that can cause a problem, with the body struggling over and over to compensate and regain hormonal stasis. The difficulty comes when a normal, low beclomethasone dose is stopped temporarily, the adrenal glands then having to jump back into action to supply cortisol. What's been observed is that suppressed adrenal glands can take time to recover when substitute hormone 'runs out', and that's when one's own cortisol levels are too low to maintain a healthy blood pressure. The experiment you mention is interesting: a very high dose of beclomethasone was given to tested patients and yet a normal blood hormonal level was observed. To explain it, I'd say that body's 'priority' is to keep blood hormones at critical levels required for healthy metabolism, regardless of whether the hormone was produced in the body or supplied through inhalation. In the test you describe above, you point out that a very high level of beclomethasone was inhaled and it was retained in the lungs for some time. This is the situation that would mask the effects of exogenous adrenal gland suppression. The patients had a 'tankful' of hormone to last them some time, whereas the average user, preferring to use steroids sparingly, will more often have periods where beclomethasone concentration in the blood has declined, and that's when the effects of adrenal gland suppression (e.g. low blood pressure) will be suffered until endogenous cortisol production has had time to recover.

More dialog (Feb 2015):

- That article has a huge list of substances asthmatics should be wary of. No mention what beclomethasone does though. Big Medicine would hate it if everyone switched to aspirin at 25p a pack xx
- They are probably playing safe because they know a few people are allergic to aspirin and yes, god forbid that people have a cheaper form of medicine xxx
- it's a bit like backing up against a lion's cage because of a mosquito buzzing around near you xx have just got a thing passed to make MPs further the use of these meds. The MPs would save lots o lolly if aspirin turned out to be helpful xx
- but it’s not just the money. I genuinely felt that I could come seriously unstuck on those meds xx
and they make one passive. You take your puff and put your feet up. With this aspirin I monitor things more closely. I was still getting attacks with the meds anyway xx
you also get a better sense of what manages to give you asthma the most xx
- that's a good way of putting it
they should investigate the benefits of aspirin and asthma more. I hate drugs myself, they do have horrible side effects and make you feel dopey etc. The doc gave me some tramadol once and I was in bed vomiting all one day with it - never again. that was ages ago, and for a long time I have managed with just paracetomol if my joint pain bothers me. Steroids have terrible effects, which we have talked about before. Yes, when you are not full of these drugs you can get a clearer sense of what is more helpful to you xxx
- it's as if aspirin is a whipping boy. They all attack it xx
you can guarantee not one of the had their test subjects stop using the 'right' meds before seeing what aspirin can do xx
- I can't understand it because it is serious and people do die from a serious attack, when I have had it before it;s very frightening and when I've had the allergic reaction its been very frightening and painful too when you cannot breathe, its awful
- I'm a bit fired up because they have these campaigns where they make posters to tell kids they MUST keep using their brown pumps even in the summer etc xx
- what you say is the crux: nobody can take the chance and ask people to stop taking the meds while they test aspirin, because there's too much risk involved. Even I have to rely on my serevent now and then xx
so they can only do surveys in which people 'say' that aspirin messed them up. There could have been other things going on at the time . Even if it was the aspirin, it was probably a combined effect with the other meds they take. Some people have their kids on a whole list of meds. The poor kid has no chance to work out what’s what x
- Yes, they cannot risk someone perhaps sueing over something or risk something happening to someone. I have just learnt that it was on the radio the other day that women going through the menopause can suddenly suffer from asthma, its all to do with hormones, so even hormones can affect your body and give asthma. It seems that asthma is an individual complaint and that as you say, people and children should have the chance to work out what's best for them. And yes, aspirin could interact with other drugs too which should be looked into xxxx
- ya and I bet half the asthmatics who are aspirin sensitive, might not be if they paused their conventional meds xx
- If it works for you Gerry it must work for other people too xx
- too many suffering in silence and bullied by nurse
- Nurses should not bully people. I can honestly say that the nurses at my doc's surgery are all very nice, not that I have to see them a lot but they were all nice to me the other week with my knee xxxx
- well it feels like bullying when they want you to tow the line with asthma treatment. I think that's why a lot of docs prefer a hands-off approach. but the asthma uk keeps trying to nail the GPs for not being more 'pro-active'
- asthma uk also want smoking banned in cars with kids. I first got asthma on a bus in Cape Town in 1970 and we left there straight away. The next time I got it was here in 2007/8. All the time I smoked from age 14 to 33, I never had asthma.

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