Living With Asthma By Johanna Hicks

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Living with Asthma

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               More than 1.5 million people in Texas are affected by asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, this number does not include those who have the disease and have not yet been diagnosed. So, what exactly is asthma and what can you do about it?

               Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to tighten and swell, making it difficult to breathe.  When this occurs, it is referred to as an asthma attack and is often accompanied by coughing or wheezing.  While asthma attacks only occur when triggered, the disease itself never goes away.  Common asthma triggers, as stated by the CDC include:

·        Tobacco smoke

·        Dust mites

·        Outdoor air pollution

·        Cockroach allergens

·        Pets

·        Mold

·        Smoke from burning wood or grass

·        Sicknesses such as the common cold or flu

Asthma is most common among children and young teens; however, adults can have it too. While asthma requires a diagnosis from a medical doctor, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists recommend watching for these warning signs:

·        Frequent cough attacks

·        Difficulty breathing after physical activity

·        Chest tightness

·        Wheezing

·        Family history

Depending on the severity of the asthma, a doctor may prescribe medicine to help with the attacks. To help mitigate and prevent asthma attacks, following some steps are recommended.  First of all, know what triggers your asthma and do your best to stay away from them.  If medications has been prescribed, take your medications as ordered by the doctor.  Track your asthma and recognize warning signs that may show that it is getting worse.  Always seek medical attention if your asthma is getting worse or if your attacks are becoming more frequent.

County 4-H Contests

               This is a super busy time of year for our Hopkins County 4-H members!  Last month, numerous 4-H members exhibited in the NETLA Junior Market Show (and did very well, I might add!)  The month of March offers the opportunity for 4-H’ers to participate in a variety of events and contests.  In addition to club meetings, archery events, and the Tractor Supply 4-H Paper Clover campaign, our 4-H kids are busy preparing for the County 4-H Fashion Show, Food Show, Educational Presentations, Public Speaking, Fashion Story Board, Food Challenge, and Share-the-Fun contests.

               We will be sending a team of four to the State Fairgrounds in Dallas on March 22 to compete in the District 4-H Food Challenge.  A total of 71 teams from northeast Texas will be competing for the top 3 spots in each age division.  Our Hopkins County team is comprised of Diego Childs, Eliana Moreland, Rylie Carroll, and Lena Reyes.

               On March 26, many of our 4-H members will exhibit their skills and talents as they participate in the other 4-H contests at the Extension Office.  The Food Show contest includes an interview with a panel of judges, as well as required entry forms and exhibition of their selected dish (breads & cereals, nutritious snack, fruit & vegetable, or main dish).  The Fashion Show includes an interview, required paperwork, and modeling the garment (either construction or consumer buying).  For Educational Presentations, the 4-H member selects a topic and presents information using posters, models, power point (senior 4-H members), and other visuals in front of the judges and parents.  Participants have a limit of 12 minutes.  Public Speaking consists of giving a speech on any selected topic without the use of visuals or props.  A time limit of 7 minutes is given.  Share-the-Fun is similar to a talent competition.  4-H members may select from one of 12 categories, and are given a time limit for setting up, presenting, and taking down any props, music equipment, etc. 

               All these opportunities help 4-H youth gain confidence in speaking before an audience.  Through the process, they learn about various projects and have fun while doing so!

Closing Thought

Begin with the end in mind.  Everything you do in life is created twice:  first in the mind, then in reality – Stephen R. Covey

Recipe of the Week

BBQ Pepper Steak


·        3 medium bell peppers – green, red, yellow – cut into strips

·        1 small onion, cut into strips

·        One pound boneless beef top round steak, cut into strips

·        1 garlic clove, minced

·        ½ teaspoon pepper

·        3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

·        ½ cup barbeque sauce

·        2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice


1)      Heat large skillet, sprayed with cooking spray, on medium heat.

2)      Add bell peppers and onion; cook and stir for 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl and cover to keep warm.

3)      Add meat, garlic and pepper to skillet; cook and stir for 3 minutes.

4)      Add soy sauce; cook until meat is done.

5)      Stir in barbeque sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.

6)      Toss meat mixture with vegetables and spoon over warm rice to serve.

Nutrition information per serving: (serves 4)

320 calories; 4 g dietary fiber; 50 mg cholesterol; 570 mg sodium; 29 g protein

Source:  Dinner

Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Family & Community Health Agent

P.O. Box 518

1200-B W. Houston

Sulphur Springs, TX 75483

Phone: 903-885-3443

[email protected]


Johanna Hicks Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Consumer Sciences 1200-B W. Houston P.O.Box 518 Sulphur springs, TX 75483 903-885-3443 – phone 903-439-4909 – Fax [email protected]
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Author: Chad Young

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