Among the causes of bronchial asthma, doctors assign a significant role to the state of immunity, the health of the respiratory system and the allergic component. Household dust, pet hair, food products, medicines, chemicals in the ambient air lead to pathological reactions from the immune system and, with a weakened protective function of the mucous membrane, create the prerequisites for the formation of persistent changes in the bronchi.
Genetic predisposition or inherited asthma is a conditional concept. Doctors always pay attention to the presence of the closest blood relatives with the indicated diagnosis, but the disease will form in the descendants or not, depends on many factors. The course of pregnancy, lifestyle, living conditions, dietary habits, environmental conditions and health in general affect the pathogenesis of the disease.
Is asthma inherited
The etiological factors of the onset of bronchial asthma make it possible to class it as a multifactorial pathology that occurs mainly with the involvement of the immune and respiratory systems. When planning to have offspring, many couples face fears that the presence of an asthmatic in the family will inevitably lead to the birth of a sick child with this disease. Numerous studies in the development of asthma have led to the conclusion that heredity is assigned the role of a provoking factor, which increases the risk of morbidity, but is not a definitive diagnosis.
It is useful for parents to know the basics of genetics in order to understand how the transfer of pathological genetic material occurs. The structure of the child’s DNA is formed from the genes of the mother and father, with importance being given to the duration of the carriage of the damaged portion of the molecular chain in time and degree of saturation. Simply put, if asthma is diagnosed in only one of the parents, then the risk of developing the disease in a child is negligible or not at all. In the case when the disease is transmitted simultaneously through the paternal and maternal lines, from grandfather and grandmother along the blood chain of inheritance, then with each subsequent generation the likelihood of pathology increases, even in cousins.
The predisposition to the disease and the hereditary factor in its development are due to more than 50 genes found on the 5th and 11th chromosomes. These sections of genetic material are responsible for the production of specific antibodies, that is, it is not bronchial asthma that is inherited by the child, but the probability of an allergic reaction to certain substances is inherited.
Can a mother pass asthma to her baby during pregnancy?
According to statistics, cases of transmission of the disease through the maternal line are more common than inheritance from the father. At the same time, the likelihood that a genetic predisposition will manifest itself in a daughter is higher than that of a son. This is due to the peculiarities of the gene structure, as well as to the fact that the father only transmits the gene material, and the mother carries the fetus for 9 months.
During pregnancy, a woman can carry a viral or bacterial infection, be exposed to chemicals and food allergens. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk of having a child with bronchial asthma. That is why it is necessary to protect the pregnant woman as much as possible from irritating environmental components, to ensure proper nutrition and care. Since asthma is associated with the immune system’s response to allergens, breastfeeding is an important stage in the life of a newborn. With milk, the mother transfers to the child protective antibodies that are not in the formula for artificial feeding, so it is so important to keep lactation for up to a year if possible.
Is asthma inherited from father
The transmission of bronchial asthma through the father is determined only in 10% of cases. The presence of an altered gene is a risk factor for the development of pathology in a child, but the likelihood of its manifestation depends on many reasons. The severity of asthma, the presence of the disease in the next of kin on the father’s side, the genetic structure of the mother and the peculiarities of the course of pregnancy. The factor of heredity in the development of asthma plays a role, but is not decisive; future parents need to know about this and pay close attention to prevention.
How to avoid transmission of asthma if you have a predisposition
Preventive measures in the presence of burdened heredity for bronchial asthma and allergic diseases are aimed at the formation of resistance to typical allergens. Household factors, food products and chemicals that have the ability to provoke the development of allergies are controllable and must be completely excluded from the child’s contact environment in the first three years of life. The course of pregnancy also affects the health of the unborn baby, so it is important for a woman to adhere to the principles of a healthy diet and lifestyle, exclude bad habits and reduce the intake of allergens from the external environment.
Prevention of bronchial asthma with a genetic predisposition:
- It is necessary to reduce the influence of household allergens, which will be helped by simple measures – daily wet cleaning and ventilation, the destruction of mold and the fight against harmful insects, the rejection of bad habits and the exclusion of smoking in the room, the timely cleaning of air conditioning, humidification and heating devices in the living room, prevention contact with pets.
- Food sources of allergies can provoke the development of asthma with burdened heredity should be excluded from the diet of a pregnant woman and child in the first years of life. Breastfeeding helps to strengthen the immune defense, and the timely introduction of the recommended complementary foods should be carried out in consultation with the doctor.
- Reducing the influence of exogenous factors, which play a significant role in hereditary predisposition to respiratory asthma, is to exclude the effect of household and industrial chemicals, tobacco smoke, pollen and synthetic fabrics on the child.
Measures for the prevention of asthma with a hereditary predisposition include timely detection and treatment of diseases of the respiratory and immune systems, refusal of arbitrary prescription of antibiotics without detecting sensitivity, optimization of the diet of pregnant women and newborns, as well as all types of immunization, including vaccination.
The initial manifestation of the disease – pre-asthma – is a reversible pathology and, if therapy is started on time, passes, but it can become permanent in the presence of additional risk factors and the absence of adequate therapy. If signs of bronchial asthma are detected in a child, it is necessary to undergo a complete examination with the determination of the sensitization of the body, and also to take all possible preventive measures to ensure the transition of the disease into a chronic form.