I’ve had asthma since I was a kid. I don’t know if I was born with it or if it developed after a serious case of pneumonia that saw me hospitalised when I was around 8 or 9, and which left me with scarred lungs and a pathetic peak flow score. Unfortunately, since the NHS has lost all my medical records, I cannot ever know for sure when the asthma first started (as in, was it caused by the pneumonia or did it predate it?), but I know I have had it most of my life.
By about my early twenties, although I retained a pathetic peak flow score, I had mainly grown out of the asthma except for when I was ill. Then it kicked in with a vengeance and it seemed like every respiratory bug (aside from covid) went straight for my lungs as a weak point. I have had pleurisy about six times and pneumonia about four. I dreaded flu season and have always tried to be proactive about keeping my immune system healthy because of this.
In my early thirties, as I have said before, I developed what I called ‘winter asthma’ whereby, between late September to March of every year, I would get a constant and serious flare up of the asthma, as well as chronic sinusitis and other hay-fever-like symptoms. At some point, a nurse in an allergy clinic told me to supplement with vitamin D which helped somewhat. I later added in turmeric and black pepper supplements actually for my arthritis, but it turned out to have a big effect on the asthma symptoms instead. I would say that the vitamin D plus turmeric supplementation 90% solved the problem.
However, these were control mechanisms: if I didn’t take them for a couple of days during the winter months, the asthma and other allergy-like symptoms would come right back. Moreover, they did not make a difference to the fact that, whatever the time of the year, if I caught a respiratory virus, the asthma would severely flare up.