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5 Things To Know About Asthma and Complementary Health Approaches

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can affect people of all ages. Symptoms may include wheezing, coughing, or chest tightness. Managing asthma effectively includes having regular asthma checkups with your health care provider, properly using asthma medicines, avoiding asthma triggers, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re considering using a complementary health approach for asthma, here are 5 things you need to know: 

  1. If you have asthma, follow your health care provider’s recommendations on how to manage your condition. Don’t substitute other approaches for treatments recommended or prescribed by your health care provider.

  2. If you are interested in adding complementary health approaches to your asthma management program, talk with your health care provider. If you take medicine for asthma, it’s particularly important to talk with your provider before starting to take a dietary supplement. Some supplements and medicines can interact in harmful ways.

  3. Complementary approaches that help people manage stress, anxiety, or depression might help people with asthma feel better and improve their asthma control. For example, studies in adults with asthma have shown that practicing yoga probably leads to small improvements in quality of life and asthma symptoms. 

  4. There’s no conclusive evidence that dietary supplements are beneficial for asthma. Supplements that have been investigated include herbs, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, selenium, soy isoflavones, and vitamins C and D. None of them has clearly been shown to be beneficial. 

  5. Don’t rely on over-the-counter asthma products labeled as homeopathic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these products for safety or effectiveness.