AFTER fifteen months that’s me finished with my medical trial.

I’ve been helping GlaxoSmithKline with their research.

I’ve been trooping up to Gartnavel Hospital every four weeks and taking the lift up to the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility on the seventh floor.

There they would either inject me with a new asthma drug, or they’d inject me with my old asthma drug. Even the doctors didn’t know which one I was getting.

I’d fill out lots of questionnaires, they would take my blood, wire me up occasionally and make me do all sorts of tests blowing into an assortment of devices.

I had to answer questions every morning on a wee mobile computer that was bluetoothed to a peak flow meter.

Every now and again they would transfer a tidy sum into my bank account.

My asthma has stabilised, and I haven’t had a steroid tablet for ages. I was eating them like sweeties at one time. Nasty wee things them. They make you put on weight but in my case, chocolate might be every bit as guilty!

Asthma is big business. If you’ve not got an inhaler there must be something wrong with you. When I was at school the only person with asthma was a wee guy who could never risk doing PE. There was one in every school. Just the one!

So why the big explosion in the number of sufferers?

The triggers of the modern lifestyle loom large.

Food and drink have a lot to answer for though not once have I been told to lay off anything in particular. The direct link of foods to asthma is not clear. The link with obesity is though. Skinny folk don’t do asthma nearly as well.

Dogs and cats and all the allergies under the sun get a mention. My mother always maintained that the state of my asthma was always in direct proportion to the state of my overdraft. Stress doesn’t help!

Modern eating is where it’s at though, and not just for asthma. Cut out the gluten for a couple of weeks and you’ll wonder where the mind fog has gone!

Drive-through garbage. Party bags of E-numbers. Takeaways right to your door. Fizzy drinks that take the stain out of metal are not good for your insides. 'Munchy boxes'. Ready meals with enormous shelf lives. Plant based burgers made in a laboratory. MSG. Aspartame.

They tell us to eat better. More fruit and veg they say. Don’t start me on fruit and veg. Talk about tasteless!

When was the last time you tasted an orange that actually had a flavour? Those wee sweet seedless grapes are now just a distant memory from childhood. Now it’s force-fed fruit. Perfect colour. Perfect shape. Nae flavour!

We used to get our tomatoes from the Clyde Valley. The best strawberries were grown up near the airport. They didn’t come off a plane! We ate things that were in season. Then corporate Britain wished that the season could last the whole year.

We are told to eat healthy to save the planet, so we bring in our avocados from Central America and our green beans from Indonesia and you just can’t beat a Brazilian watermelon. Saving the planet? Saving the supermarkets more like!

Anyway, to get back to the asthma. One thing is certain. The drug companies are not in the business of cures. The turkeys are not voting for Christmas. Maintained relief is what they strive for. Inhalers in every colour. Google the price of these guys. What an industry that is! Two whiffs of that one and one whiff of that one every morning is good business.

At the end of the day, we all just have to cure ourselves. It’s much easier to get an appointment with Dr Google than it is a real one.

And what’s the best advice he could give you?

Eat clean!

Fresh fruit and veg (in season), fresh fish, a modest quantity of fresh meat. Make soup. Avoid anything processed. Drink more water.

But we don’t want to do the drug companies out a job, do we?