Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Asthma is a chronic condition, and it is increasingly common in the United States. A person with asthma has airways in her lungs that are more sensitive and easily irritated than other people's airways. When her airways become irritated, they start to close up, or narrow.

Narrowing Airways

The airways narrow for two reasons: bronchoconstriction and inflammation. Bronchoconstriction is a very complicated word for a simple action. In bronchoconstriction, the muscles which surround the airways in the lungs squeeze tight. They sometimes spasm. Inflammation is the other cause of narrowing. In this case, the airways change color, becoming reddish, and they swell.

The result of this narrowing is the symptoms most commonly associated with asthma. These symptoms include wheezing, difficulty breathing, a tight feeling in the chest, and severe coughing. An asthma attack can be brought on in a variety of ways.

Some of the triggers for asthma include cigarette smoke, dust, cold air and stress. It is extremely important for those people with asthma to not smoke cigarettes. Smokers who have children who are diagnosed with asthma should also quit smoking immediately. Allergens can also bring on an attack. Common allergens include mold, cat and horse secretions, pollen from trees, weeds and grasses, and dust mites. Respiratory viral infections are also very troubling for people who have asthma, and can make attacks more severe.

People with asthma might also begin taking supplements to improve the health of their immune systems. Much evidence points to the powerful impact glutathione levels can have on the health of a person. Glutathione is a tripeptide that naturally occurs in every cell of the human body. In those who are sick, glutathione levels tend to be low. Oral glutathione supplements are not effective, because glutathione is digested and broken down in the stomach, meaning very little actually reaches the bloodstream. It's important to take a precursor or building block of glutathione, and the most important of these is cysteine. Cysteine is best supplied by bioactive undenatured whey proteins. People with asthma can benefit from undenatured whey proteins that raise their glutathione back up to a normal, healthy level.

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