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Understanding Asthma Attack Symptoms and Signs

When someone experiences physical indicators of an acute breathing problem, understandably their very first concern might be whether they are experiencing asthma attack symptoms. An asthma attack is a frightening yet extremely common medical emergency associated with asthma, a chronic and long-term respiratory condition that affects approximately 25 million people in the United States alone. These numbers are staggering, especially when considering that over 25 percent of the sufferers are children.

The disease is characterized by swelling, inflammation, and eventual narrowing of the airways, which may cause mild, moderate, or even life-threatening health crises when not managed properly. While asthma is highly responsive to treatment at any point after its development, prompt and early assessment and intervention can prevent the deterioration of one's health, and help to retain the ability to enjoy previous hobbies and physical activities. Recognizing the symptoms of an asthma attack can save lives, which is why education about asthma and its physical signs is important.

What Do Asthma Attack Symptoms Look Like?

As discussed above, a full-blown asthma attack can be a dangerous and even lethal emergency — one that everyone who has asthma should be well-prepared for at all times. Fortunately, in most cases, some warning signs precede the impending attack, usually appearing as mild or moderate symptoms 24-48 hours earlier. By being able to recognize asthma attack symptoms as soon as they emerge, it is possible to spot the attack quickly before a life-threatening situation develops. These early signs are the following:

If these warning signs are not caught in time, the asthma attack will progress, manifesting as more noticeable and severe symptoms, all of which are likely to require medical assistance. These advanced symptoms of an asthma attack are:

When one notices the very first signs of an emerging asthma attack, it is crucial to take precautions: slow down, sit down, take deep and relaxed breaths, try to avoid feelings of panic, and use your inhaler if possible, or after the passing of the asthma attack, make an appointment with your physician to discuss the need for one.

Signs and Symptoms of Having Asthma

Asthma presents itself with various symptoms even in between asthma attacks, causing difficulties in day-to-day activities or during recreation. While some of these signs are strikingly similar to those that indicate allergies, asthma is a more serious condition, requiring regular medical attention. It is important to learn to distinguish between these two conditions in order to not accidentally dismiss symptoms that could indicate asthma. These signs are listed below:

Not treating the symptoms and the root of asthma properly could lead to the development of various respiratory complications, such as chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, or even obstructive lung disease. This is why seeking early medical attention is imperative. An experienced physician can detect the difference between allergies and asthma, and offer treatment for both, before the worsening of these conditions.

The Importance of Working with an Integrative Physician

Integrative health services provide a combination of contemporary and alternative medical solutions in the treatment of asthma and asthma-like conditions. Treatments are always centered around the patient and their individual needs since causes and symptoms may vary from person to person.

Since asthma is an inflammatory condition, your integrative physician will first begin by uncovering the hidden root problem that causes your body's heightened immune reaction, then create a personalized treatment plan that matches your exact needs to halt disease progression, and even reverse your symptoms and respiratory health problems. Strengthening your immune system with the help of nutritionally dense food choices, supplementation, and the removing of allergy-causing substances will further improve your health. Your integrative physician can even assist you with creating an ideal meal plan that will help improve your health.

Psychological factors may also influence the severity of asthma symptoms or the frequency of attacks. This is why integrative health also focuses on stress reduction, restoring emotional and mental well-being, aiding good quality and quantity of sleep, and teaching proper breathing techniques, including mindfulness meditation.

Do you need an integrative physician in San Francisco?

Dr. Payal Bhandari, M.D., located in San Francisco, would like to assist you on your journey towards a completely restored respiratory health. May it be asthma or other, bothersome asthma-like allergy symptoms that worsen your life quality right now, her expertise in integrative medicine, along with her sincere devotion to her patients and the practice of personalized healthcare will help you to feel better and to find enjoyment in your favorite activities once again.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to

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