The recent wildfires in Canada may pose a significant health risk to Canadian residents.
Amid the recent wildfires in Ontario and Quebec, the focus on respiratory health has never been more relevant. Staying informed about the air quality in your area and taking proactive steps to safeguard your well-being is essential.
We’re here to help you prioritize your health and remain conscious of what you can do to help yourself feel as healthy as possible.
Check out our top Naturopath-Approved tips for respiratory health, and the top products available to you.
Wildfires emit many carcinogenic particles that can contaminate air, water, crops and indoor/outdoor environments. Exposure to these pollutants has been associated with a worsened cardiovascular health, respiratory health and increased inflammatory response. Those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, emphesema, chronic bronchitis, diabetes and heart disease are at greater risk than the general population.
Many people who visit the naturopathic clinic at NutriChem experience respiratory associated symptoms.
Firstly, here are some tips on how to limit exposure and keep your lungs healthy
Monitor Air Quality Health Index https://www.airqualityontario.com/aqhi/locations.php?forecast_period=1&text_only=1
Use the air quality health index for your province https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/index_e.html
- Low Health risk Air Quality 1-3: enjoy outdoor activity
- Moderate Health risk Air Quality 4-6 : can continue with outdoor activity but monitor symptoms (coughing, throat irritation, dry eyes)
- High Health Risk Air quality 7-10 Consider reducing strenuous activity
- Very High air quality >10 Avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion
1. Exercise - regularly
Ok a bit of a no-brainer here but why exactly is exercise SO beneficial for lung health? Well just like any other muscle in the body, your lungs can be trained to improve performance & efficiency. All activity, especially aerobic activity such as running, swimming and cycling can strengthen respiratory muscles and improve gas exchange at the tissue level. Regular exercise also reduces the risk of developing other health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, COPD and lung cancer.
2. Optimize your Microbiome - of your gut and your lungs.
If you're familiar with NutriChem, you probably already know that we're passionate about understanding the microbiome (we highly recommend our founder, Kent MacLeod's book: The Biology of the Brain book for more insights). Notably, our lungs host various bacteria, including the bacteriodetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes phyla. However, the balance of this lung microbiome can be disrupted by smoke, allergens, air pollutants, and other environmental factors, leading to dysbiosis— an imbalance of microbial diversity.
Such disturbances in the lung microbiome can have significant consequences, causing hypersensitivity and hyperreactivity to allergens and exacerbating existing health conditions. But fear not! We have a solution: by increasing your probiotic intake and adopting a diet rich in fiber and prebiotics, you can promote a healthy gut-lung microbiome axis. This will not only support your overall well-being but also safeguard you against potential health challenges in the future.