National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month: PCOS, obesity, brain cancer, and migraines

By: Bel Marra Health | Health News | Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 09:00 AM

May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and there are many other conditions that can affect or be affected by asthma and allergies, including PCOS, obesity, brain cancer, and migraines. For this reason, we have compiled a list of articles on these other health issues and how they can affect asthma and allergies.

With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, now is the time to take hold of your asthma or allergies as you may be feeling their impact more and more during the warmer weather. If it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your asthma or allergy plan with your doctor, it may also be wise to check in  to see how you are doing since your last checkup.

In the meantime, you can educate yourself on these issues listed below in relation to asthma and allergies.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack riskPolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack risk

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity raise asthma attack risk. Lead author of the study Anju Elizabeth Joham said, “A greater proportion of women with polycystic ovary syndrome report asthma, and the results of this study suggest that asthma is associated with PCOS and excess weight. These findings highlight that polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex disorder that includes significant inflammatory underpinnings. These results also raise awareness of the need to consider higher risks in other health areas in this condition.”

PCOS is most common in women during their reproductive years, but to date no research has been conducted on the relationship between PCOS, weight, and asthma.

The researchers evaluated the prevalence of asthma in women of childbearing age. They also looked at the impact of obesity on asthma prevalence in women with PCOS, compared to those women without PCOS.

The researchers looked at data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), which has been following over 58,000 Australian women.

The researchers randomly selected survey responses from 9,145 women regarding their PCOS and asthma status. Prevalence of PCOS was found to be 5.8 percent, while asthma prevalence was 15.2 percent among PCOS women and 10.6 percent in women without PCOS. The researchers found that PCOS and obesity was associated with a higher risk of asthma.

Joham explained, “The results of this observational study need to be confirmed with results in other populations, and exploration of these relationships in longitudinal studies is needed.” Continue reading…

Asthma linked to lower brain cancer riskAsthma linked to lower brain cancer risk

Asthma and allergies have been linked to a lower brain cancer risk, according to latest findings. The research suggests that asthma sufferers, patients with eczema, and people with allergies are less likely to develop a type of brain cancer known as glioma brain cancer.
The researchers looked at over 4,500 glioma patients and nearly 4,200 people without brain cancer. The researchers found that a history of respiratory allergies, asthma, as well as eczema, was associated with a lower risk of glioma brain cancer. The risk was 30 percent less than in individuals without asthma, allergies, or eczema.

Study author Melissa Bondy said, “Many other studies have shown this relationship. We sought to verify this relationship in the largest study to date so that we could provide a scientific consensus statement on the topic. We feel it’s now time for the next steps to be taken in this research area.” Continue reading…

Asthma sufferers may have worsened migrainesAsthma sufferers may have worse migraines

Researchers have found that pre-existing asthma may be a strong predictor for future chronic migraines in those who currently experience occasional migraine headaches. Lead author Vincent Martin, M.D., said, “If you have asthma along with episodic or occasional migraine, then your headaches are more likely to evolve into a more disabling form known as chronic migraine.”

The researchers studied 4,500 individuals who experienced episodic migraines, or fewer than 15 migraines a month, in 2008.

Richard Lipton, M.D., coresearcher, added, “Migraine and asthma are disorders that involve inflammation and activation of smooth muscle either in blood vessels or in the airways. Therefore, asthma-related inflammation may lead to migraine progression.”

Nearly 12 percent of the American population suffer from migraines, affecting women three times more than men. A chronic headache is characterized as having 15 or more headaches a month – this affects one percent of the population and impairs a person’s ability to function at work or social settings. Continue reading…

Knowing your allergy triggers can help reduce symptomsKnowing your allergy triggers can help reduce symptoms

Knowing what triggers your allergic reaction can help you better prevent and reduce the symptoms. Many individuals just assume that pollen is their trigger the moment spring arrives, but there are many other allergens that may come up during the pollen season. Furthermore, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says that over two-thirds of seasonal allergy sufferers actually experience symptoms all year round.
Some tips from the ACAAI for reducing the annoying seasonal allergies include:

  • Monitor pollen and mold counts, which can be checked in the local weather reports.
  • During allergy season, keep windows and doors closed and stay indoors at times of the highest pollen counts.
  • Wear a filter mask when mowing the grass or gardening – take appropriate allergy medication prior to going outdoors.
  • Take a shower soon after returning from the outdoors.

You can successfully manage your allergy with over-the-counter medications, along with prescription drugs or shots, which are administered prior to the allergy season onset to help your body build up immunity to your triggers. Continue reading…

Tips to manage asthma and allergiesTips to manage asthma and allergies

With spring in full force and summer just around the corner, asthma and allergy symptoms are on the rise. Dealing with asthma and allergies during the nicer weather months can really put a damper on this enjoyable time and have you cooped up indoors rather than enjoying the outdoors. If you live with asthma or allergies, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has some effective tips to better help manage your symptoms.

Dr. David Stukus from the ACAAI said, “For most teens, going away to college marks their first time living independently. In addition to moving to a new place, many must learn to manage their own schedule, diet, exercise, and health. Young people may find their allergies and asthma neglected due to other, seemingly more important demands on their attention.” Continue reading…


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