ASTHMA.JPG

ASTHMA

FOODS THAT HARM

  • Dried fruit
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • White grape juice
  • Instant soup mix
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Soy sauce
  • Mushrooms

    FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Berries
  • Green leafy vegetables

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • More than 27 million people in North America
  • 300 million people worldwide
  • 9.4% of people who have asthma in the United States are children Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which airways narrow, causing wheezing, chest tightness, and labored breathing
    Asthma is attributed to a combination of factors, including exposure to cigarette smoke, urban pollution, dust mites, cockroaches, pets, and pollen
    Although asthma is a chronic disease, the changes that occur during an attack are temporary, and the lungs generally function normally at other times
    When asthma starts during childhood, the frequency and severity of attacks tend to lessen as the youngster grows and may disappear by adulthood
    Some adults, however, suffer a recurrence, often as an aftermath of a viral infection

    Nutrition Connection

    In many asthma sufferers, food Allergies can cause asthma attacks; in these cases, identifying the culprits may require considerable detective work
    See the Food Allergies entry for more information
    These general guidelines will help lessen chances of attacks or complications: Avoid sulfites
    Many foods have these preservatives added to them
    Sulfites are common in dried fruits, dehydrated or instant soup mixes, instant potatoes, wine, beer, and white grape juice
    Anyone sensitive to sulfites should carefully check food labels for any ingredient ending in “-sulfite” as well as sulfur dioxide
    In addition to causing an asthma attack, sulfites sometimes lead to anaphylaxis in people who are hypersensitive to them
    Avoid salicylates
    These compounds—which are in the same family as the active ingredient in aspirin and are also found naturally in many fruits, especially dried fruits and processed foods—can trigger attacks
    Know your trigger foods
    People who are allergic to mildew or molds may react to molds in foods such as cheese, mushrooms, and hot dogs, or to fermented foods, including soy sauce, beer, wine, and vinegar
    Scan ingredient labels carefully and notify restaurant personnel when eating out
    Eat more fatty fish
    Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, mackerel, sardines, and other cold- water fish, have an anti-inflammatory effect and may counter bronchial inflammation
    Aim for 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables
    Evidence continues to grow on the protective effects of fruits and vegetables on lung function
    An array of different colors ensures you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants important for healthy lungs
    Vitamin C, in particular, found in berries, green leafy vegetables, and many others, helps promote a healthy immune system and may be helpful in reducing wheezing in children with asthma
    Talk to your doctor
    A healthful balanced diet is sometimes difficult if Allergies require eliminating entire food groups (for example, milk and other dairy products)
    A doctor can recommend substitutes or supplements to maintain good nutrition, and counteract asthma drugs’ side effects
    For example, long-term steroid use causes bone loss, but vitamin D and calcium supplements can prevent the problem

    Beyond the Diet

    Some asthma attacks are quickly reversed by a bronchodilator medication that opens the constricted airways
    Other episodes are more prolonged, and may require an injection of epinephrine and a corticosteroid drug to stop the attack
    Your best bet is to prevent attacks with the following tips: Reduce exposure to triggers
    Limit exposure to tobacco smoke or fumes, cold air, exercise, or an allergen
    Seasonal asthma is usually due to various pollens, molds, and other environmental factors

    QUICK TIP:

    Lessen an attack with coffee Drink one or two cups of coffee or tea to sidestep a mild asthma attack
    Caffeinated coffee and tea contain theophylline, a bronchial muscle relaxant used to treat asthma in people who are not sensitive to salicylates
    (To diagnose an allergy to salicylates, doctors will often administer an exposure test
    ) Anyone taking a theophylline drug, however, should not drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages, as this can result in an overdose
    Monitor your weight
    Some studies have found a correlation between weight gain and adult-onset asthma
    In addition, when obese people with asthma lose weight, there can be an improvement in asthma symptoms