10 Foods That Can Trigger Asthma
There are several medical conditions that have such a high prevalence they’ve established a sense of notoriety. Asthma is a very common health condition, so many people around the world are familiar with it.
About one in every 13 people have asthma, according to CDC measurements. That means that over 25 million adults and children suffer from the disease in the U.S. alone. Luckily, there are many medications to help treat symptoms, and living with asthma is manageable for most individuals.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease that is characterized as the swelling of airways. It’s a long-term disease that can make it incredibly difficult to breathe at times.
Having asthma doesn’t mean your airways will always be swollen, but certain triggers can irritate your symptoms and cause acute problems.
Everyone experiences the disease in different levels of severity, and in response to different triggers. Some of the more notable triggers include weather and activity level. Many people who suffer from asthma are limited to the level of strain they can put on their bodies as an intense workout could cause severe problems.
Likewise, bad weather, mostly due to pollen count, can also trigger symptoms. What is not as apparent to many patients is that what you eat can also lead to problems.
How Do Diets Impact Asthma?
There are several ways in which diet can impact your asthma symptoms. Indirectly, taking care of your body and keeping your fitness up can help reduce how asthma impacts you. This doesn’t mean that fit people can’t experience asthmatic symptoms but exhibiting a healthy body weight can reduce the strain on your airways and give you the best fighting chance.
Diets can also have a direct impact on asthma in some individuals.
Certain foods may act as an allergen on your body. This means that eating certain foods can have critical repercussions. Having an asthma attack in response to an allergic reaction can incredibly dangerous, especially to children.
Foods That Can Trigger Asthma
Foods that trigger your asthma symptoms will vary between yourself and other individuals. Allergens are not a universal thing. Having just a sensitivity to a certain product can trigger an asthmatic attack.
There are some food allergens that are more common than others. Some of the major allergens include:
- Tree nuts
Common sensitivities (which don’t trigger as severe reactions as food allergens do) include products that incorporate:
- Histamines: This substance naturally occurs in many food and beverages. This is especially true for any products which undergo an aging process, such as wine, cheese, and yogurt.
- Sulfites: Sulfites are a substance that is often used as an additive ingredient aimed at keeping food fresher longer. This preservative is found in many processed foods such as lunch meats, cider, and beer.
Remember, there are many allergies that people can experience that are not found on this list. It may even be difficult to make the connection between an ingredient and an allergic reaction without having the proper tools.
Getting a Diagnosis and Treatment Options
If you believe that you or a loved one are allergic to a specific food product, visit a doctor immediately. Even if you don’t know what you could be allergic to a doctor can offer some insight. A licensed physician can conduct the appropriate test to safely determine whether a food allergen is responsible for asthmatic responses.
In some cases, a different underlying medical condition may be responsible for your symptoms. Acid reflux is an example of such a misleading condition.
Always be sure to let people know about your allergies before they cook for you. It’s also a smart idea to examine the ingredients of any ready-made food from stores. In cases where you want to eat out at a restaurant, it’s a good idea to call ahead or let the staff know to make your food separately.
If one is deemed “allergic” or “sensitive” to a specific food, avoid it. If you have a particularly intense allergic reaction to ingesting such food, consider carrying around some medications as a precaution.
In some cases, a physician may be able to offer “preventative” medications. By taking these preventative medications, you may be able to enjoy the food you love without suffering the consequences later. Allergy medicine or an EpiPen can help treat an allergic reaction in an emergency.
It’s important to keep in mind that new allergies can develop (or disappear) as you age. Your physician can help you develop a nutrition plan when an unexpected allergy eliminates something major for your diet.
While there is currently no cure for asthma, taking steps to avoid triggers can greatly improve how you live with it and manage your symptoms.