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Why You Need to Understand the Cause-Symptom Distinction that Asthma and Allergy Sufferers Face

Updated on November 8, 2012
Dealing with the symptoms of asthma does not always address the cause of asthma.  You have to deal with the symptoms, but you also have to deal with the cause, otherwise you will not be able to significantly reduce the asthma attacks.
Dealing with the symptoms of asthma does not always address the cause of asthma. You have to deal with the symptoms, but you also have to deal with the cause, otherwise you will not be able to significantly reduce the asthma attacks.

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The Cause-Symptom Distinction of Asthma and Allergies

The Cause-Symptom distinction is the term we use to separate the cause of the asthma problem from the symptoms a person might be experiencing. This distinction is extremely important. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, there is a cause that makes you suffer. Sometimes that cause is genetic. Sometimes the cause is something you have no control over. But many times the cause is man-made, either from a toxic environment you live in from smog and other toxins, or from some of your own lifestyle choices.

It is in these latter cases, that this distinction becomes extremely important. For example, if your asthma is diet related, either from being overweight or from eating foods that cause and inflame your asthma, your treatment of your asthma will involve not only addressing the symptoms (ie. I am reacting to pollen right now) but also the cause (I need to change my diet).

If you're the cause of your asthma is a combination of bad eating and lack of exercise, then your solution will involve addressing both of those problems. The trouble is, when asthma becomes advanced, it becomes complicated. Your problem may have started out with poor diet and lack of exercise, but now your asthma symptoms are so bad, it limits your capabilities to exercise. It is no longer as simple as changing diet and exercising more. You have to find foods that increase your health without triggering your allergies. You have to find ways to exercise that do not send you into an asthma attack.

Life becomes complicated because of the Cause-Symptom Distinction. The Cause-Symptom distinction limits your options and treatment. But it also provides the pathway forward that will lead you towards better health. If you try to solve your problem, without respecting both the cause of the problem and the ongoing symptoms which may interfere with your ability to address the cause, you are likely to make yourself sicker, or have a negative experience that discourages you from looking for change at all.

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