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When You Are Ill

7 minutes

Episode # 12 When You Are Ill

With the best will in the world and despite your greatest care, it is still possible that you might fall ill at some stage, with a bad dose of a cold, some random infection or just be run down.
When you are ill you are more liable to over-breathe and your CP may fall & your
pulse may rise. All infections are stressors, whether flu, a common cold or viral
infection. So how can you combat the adverse effect on your breathing with the increased risk of your asthma symptoms returning and how can you recover quickly?
There are many ways you can help yourself, some may be common sense but others may be new to you.

Firstly don’t add more stress during these times;

  1. Don’t over-eat, avoid foods on the problem food list, eat less, even cut out a meal.
  2. Don’t over-sleep try sleeping 1 to 11/2 hours less, if you are inactive you
    won’t need so much sleep as sleep is the body’s time for repair of the ravages of the day. If your control pause is still low it makes sense to wake your-self up after four hours.
  3. Don’t do extra physical exercises, try to conserve your energy.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Water is best, and according to a world leading expert on hydration most of us do not drink enough water. The rough guide to your ideal daily water consumption is equivalent to your weight in kilograms as fluid ounces, or divide your weight in pounds by two to give you the number of fluid ounces you need to drink per day.
  5. Rest more but don’t sleep more.
  6. Avoid extremes of hot or cold rooms, as both extremes will encourage over-breathing.
  7. Make sure you breathe through your nose, even use a nasal spray if your
    nose clearing exercises are not enough.
  8. Do more Buteyko exercises, up to nine a day, especially if you are resting in bed you will have the time.
  9. Do Mini Pauses, 100 a day will help keep your breathing in order and will also boost your immune system as discussed in episode six.
  10. Avoid the usual cold remedies that dry up mucus, they don’t deal with the underlying infection problem.
  11. Take your reliever & preventer medication as needed.

Now you are skilled at measuring your Control Pause and Pulse you have an early warning system that can forecast if you are heading for a cold or other infection.

Be aware of some of the warning signs
You will notice early warning signs before getting ill, they may include:

  1. Your Control Pause starts falling and pulse starts rising.
  2. You start using upper chest for breathing rather than your diaphragm
  3. The nose starts getting blocked more frequently.
  4. You start feeling extra tired for no good reason.
  5. You may start pressing under your nose.
  6. You may get glassy red eyes.
  7. Peak flow readings start falling if you are still using this measuring tool.
  8. You begin breathing through your mouth more.
  9. You may start getting disturbed sleep patterns.
  10. You may find yourself yawning excessively throughout the day.
  11. You may get dark rings around your eyes.
  12. A persistent dry cough may be noticed, there are three exercises that can help.

Cough Calming Exercises

The first exercise to try is as follows: after a normal breath out , hold your breath for a count of ten. Then take twenty small, silent breaths through your nose, about one second in then one second out. Then breathe normally in and out through your nose once and repeat from the start.

The second exercise is as follows:
At the first sign of a tickling feeling of a dry cough.
Put your hand over your mouth
Take a small breath in and out through your nose, pinch your nose and hold your breath for as long as comfortable.
Release your nose but keep your hand over your mouth.
Breathe small careful breaths through your nose for thirty seconds, all the time resisting the urge to cough.
Take a slow steady quiet breath in and out through your nose.
Repeat the practice twice more or until the tickle has subsided.

The third exercise is very simple. With your mouth closed, breathe out fully through your nose to totally “empty “ your lungs, hold your breath for five seconds then breathe in gently through your nose.

The Morning Control Pause
Probably one of the most important warning signs is a falling Morning Control
Pause, day after day. This is because the Morning Control Pause is the most
reliable measure of your current breathing rate at rest. After sleep and before
breakfast you have not been subjected to all the usual stresses that can change
your normal breathing pattern. Your first morning Control Pause measure will give you a fair idea of how you are going to feel during the day. Obviously if it is lower than normal it is a good idea to do an exercise or two early in the day to bring your breathing back to normal.

The next episode will be dealing with how to reduce your medications safely with your doctor’s support.

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