Family, Asthma, and the Power of Twitter

How does asthma affect your family?Asthma doesn’t just affect the individual, it affects the entire family. Whether it’s your child,  your husband, your sister, or your mom: When you have asthma, those around you all feel it in some way.

Tonight we’ll be diving into how asthma affects families on our bi-weekly #BeatingAsthma Twitter chat.

In tonight’s chat we’ll have two guests on board Lillian Cohen-Moore (@lilyorit), a journalist and asthma sufferer, and Dr. Nathan Hare (@AllergyTalk), an asthma specialist and founder of NathanHare.com, a website dedicated to allergy and asthma.

How has asthma affected your family? I hope you’ll join us and share your experiences, as well as your questions.

Asthma and Allergies Twitter Party!

We have an exciting announcement! This Friday, at 9pm ET, we’re hosting a Twitter party where we’ll discuss asthma, allergies, and what you can do to avoid springtime triggers.

We’ll even have a giveaway or two and some special guests. It’s going to be an awesome, informative evening.

So, if you’re around on Friday evening, tune into the #BeatingAsthma hashtag, ask your questions, and learn a little about asthma and allergies from Dr. A!

 

Beating Asthma App and a Giveaway!

We’re excited to announce that the Beating Asthma iPhone App launched yesterday! The app is designed to empower asthma patients to effectively manage their disease as effectively as they can so they can enjoy life on their own terms. This is especially important as recent studies find that adults are taking potentially deadly risks by not treating their asthma.

With this application you will find a wealth of information to get you started on your journey to “beating” asthma. Discover the simple principles that can help you put asthma in its place and get back to living life, free and easy.

Using the simple Asthma Action Plan, test your peak intake score and monitor asthma symptoms in order to best take care of your asthma. Learn about the Rule of Two, the Asthma Control Test, and much more. Download the app for your iPhone today!

 

A Celebratory Giveaway!

Beating Asthma

To celebrate the launch of the app, we’re giving away a digital copy of the Beating Asthma book! If you’d like to enter, simply send a tweet to @SJApaliski telling us how you’re beating asthma to enter!

All entries must be received by Sunday April 15, 2012. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Monday at 9am ET!

Exciting News at Beating Asthma!

Just a quick update to say how excited I was to see this favorable review of Beating Asthma in the Washington Post!

As we continue to make news, be sure to check back for updates!

Beaten by Asthma: The tragic death of Anthony Shadid

Shadid filed by moonlight and satellite modem on a hotel rooftop in Najaf, Iraq, in 2003. (Bill O'Leary/Washington Post)

From what I have learned of New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid, I might surmise that he would meet his end violently during some danger-ridden venture in pursuit of a news story directly from people affected by conflicts in the Middle East. Over the course of his career as an international journalist, he he had been shot, held hostage, beaten, threatened, and Lord knows what else. Relentlessly pursuing the truth, not from behind the safety of a desk somewhere, but from the scene itself, he was always in the thick of the fight. In the classic sense, he was all about “boots on the ground” journalism. Mr. Shadid received two Pulitzer prizes for his work, and was nominated for a third this year. He seemed larger than life, but by all reports he was a humble, dedicated father, son, and husband.

On February 16th this year, Anthony Shadid died, not from bullets or violence, but from asthma.

He was returning to Turkey from a perilous journey into Syria on assignment for the New York Times. It was known that he had asthma, but it is unclear to me how severe. We know from his father that he was highly allergic to horses. We know that those who secreted him into Syria from Turkey and back used horses. Tyler Hicks, an award-winning photographer who accompanied him on this trip, reported that he seemed to have some initial asthma symptoms after the first night of contact with the horses, but these seemed to resolve. Several days later his asthma problems again intensified, and he collapsed. Attempts by Mr. Hicks to resuscitate him failed, and he died along the long lonely trail home.

What can we learn from this tragic story? Just as he sought to inform and teach his readers about current events during life, Anthony informs and reinforces several important points for us to remember about asthma after his death. They are:

  • For those with allergic asthma, every attempt should be made to avoid offending allergens. Prevention by avoiding allergens is a cornerstone of asthma treatment.
  • The asthma action plan needs to be individualized. For those who travel to isolated locations without close medical support, consideration should be given to carrying a course of oral steroids, such as Prednisone, so that more aggressive treatment can begin as soon as possible if needed.
  • A close collaborative relationship with a physician who both understands asthma and your unique needs gives life to your asthma action plan.

Thankfully, death from asthma is rare compared to deaths from heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, but it still can and does occur, 11 times each day in the United States. Anthony Shadid’s untimely death is a painful reminder of this.

My condolences go out to his family, and, thank you Anthony for informing us, even after you are gone.

Asthma treatment: LABA’s should not be used alone!

Study: Asthma drugs raise risk of complications in children

When used alone, the asthma medications known as long-acting beta-agonists are associated with an increased risk of serious complications, new research indicates.

*This headline appeared in USA Today Online over the past several days. Similar headlines have recently appeared elsewhere in the media.

Should you be frightened?

I don’t think so, and here’s why.

First of all, this is not really “new research”, not in the purest sense. It is a statistical review of a lot of clinical trials (research studies) using asthma medications that have all been done in the past. The “researchers” are looking at many trial results that were obtained in the past and trying to increase the power of conclusions that may be drawn from combining a lot of diverse data. It (meta-analysis) can be helpful, but, in this case it does not really tell us anything new.

Why?

Well, the standard of care in treating asthma for at least the past 3-5 years has been to not use LABA (long acting bronchodilators or beta agonists) alone as the sole treatment agent for asthma because of the increased risk of complications when this is done. (these LABA drugs are salmeterol and formoterol)

In this same article a physician from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh really sums it up well when she states:

“It looks like LABA alone may not be the right treatment for the pediatric population, and we don’t use it alone.” said Dr. Allyson Larkin, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the division of pulmonary medicine, allergy and immunology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.* (emphasis added)

So, what is my point to all this?

Good question! I have a few points.

Here they are:

First, while headlines are sometimes intended to make it appear that the sky is falling, more often than not there is little reason to run for shelter! It is essential to learn more before drawing conclusions from a sensational headline.

Second, as always, I also think it is wise to never make any sudden unilateral decisions about changing your medication regimen without speaking to your physician partner in care first!

And, lastly, if you are being treated by a physician who has you using LABA alone, find an allergist (an asthma specialist) for evaluation!**

Be kind to yourself!

Category Archives: Breaking news

Family, Asthma, and the Power of Twitter

How does asthma affect your family?Asthma doesn’t just affect the individual, it affects the entire family. Whether it’s your child,  your husband, your sister, or your mom: When you have asthma, those around you all feel it in some way.

Tonight we’ll be diving into how asthma affects families on our bi-weekly #BeatingAsthma Twitter chat.

In tonight’s chat we’ll have two guests on board Lillian Cohen-Moore (@lilyorit), a journalist and asthma sufferer, and Dr. Nathan Hare (@AllergyTalk), an asthma specialist and founder of NathanHare.com, a website dedicated to allergy and asthma.

How has asthma affected your family? I hope you’ll join us and share your experiences, as well as your questions.

Posted in asthma, Breaking news, Twitter Chats | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Family, Asthma, and the Power of Twitter

Asthma and Allergies Twitter Party!

We have an exciting announcement! This Friday, at 9pm ET, we’re hosting a Twitter party where we’ll discuss asthma, allergies, and what you can do to avoid springtime triggers.

We’ll even have a giveaway or two and some special guests. It’s going to be an awesome, informative evening.

So, if you’re around on Friday evening, tune into the #BeatingAsthma hashtag, ask your questions, and learn a little about asthma and allergies from Dr. A!

 

Posted in Beating Asthma book information, Breaking news | Comments Off on Asthma and Allergies Twitter Party!

Beating Asthma App and a Giveaway!

We’re excited to announce that the Beating Asthma iPhone App launched yesterday! The app is designed to empower asthma patients to effectively manage their disease as effectively as they can so they can enjoy life on their own terms. This is especially important as recent studies find that adults are taking potentially deadly risks by not treating their asthma.

With this application you will find a wealth of information to get you started on your journey to “beating” asthma. Discover the simple principles that can help you put asthma in its place and get back to living life, free and easy.

Using the simple Asthma Action Plan, test your peak intake score and monitor asthma symptoms in order to best take care of your asthma. Learn about the Rule of Two, the Asthma Control Test, and much more. Download the app for your iPhone today!

 

A Celebratory Giveaway!

Beating Asthma

To celebrate the launch of the app, we’re giving away a digital copy of the Beating Asthma book! If you’d like to enter, simply send a tweet to @SJApaliski telling us how you’re beating asthma to enter!

All entries must be received by Sunday April 15, 2012. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Monday at 9am ET!

Posted in asthma, Breaking news, Prevention | Comments Off on Beating Asthma App and a Giveaway!