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Does Coffee Help Asthma Symptoms

How Does Caffeine Help Asthma

According to a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine,Caffeine has a variety of pharmacological effects; it is a weak bronchodilator and it also reduces respiratory muscle fatigue. It is chemically related to the drug theophylline which is used to treat asthma. It has been suggested that caffeine may reduce asthma symptoms and interest has been expressed in its potential role as an asthma treatment.

It is important to understand the role of caffeine as a bronchodilator in patients with asthma for two main reasons.First, we need to know if caffeine may be used to treat symptoms of asthma. Secondly, we need to understand how caffeine consumption may affect the results of lung tests done by asthma doctors.

What Are The Side Effects Of Caffeine

Side effects of caffeine include nausea, irritability, nervousness, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. Allergic reactions to caffeine include rash, itching, hives, swelling in the mouth, lips, or face, trouble sleeping, and vomiting. Severe reactions to caffeine include diarrhea, tightness in the chest, irregular heartbeat, numbness in the hands or feet, hallucinations, weak pulse, changes in mood, elevation of blood pressure, dehydration, muscle pain, seizure, ringing in the ears, tremors, heartburn, and tingling in the hands and/or feet.

Citrus Fruits And Tomatoes

Citrus fruits and tomatoes, though valuable sources of fiber and nutrients, may also worsen asthma symptoms. Though foods affect people with asthma differently, Cutler lists citrus fruits and tomatoes as common symptom triggers. If you suspect acidic fruits such as these negatively influence your symptoms, try avoiding oranges, nectarines, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato paste, sauce and juice. Since fruits provide antioxidants–nutrients that strengthen your immune system–incorporate nonacidic varieties such as berries, kiwi, plums, red grapes and mangoes into your diet regularly.

How Could A Food Stop An Asthma Attack

You already know that different foods have different effects on the body. Some foods are high in antioxidants like berries; other foods are loaded with B vitamins like blackstrap molasses and liver. All foods contain medicinal ingredients that can act in different ways on the body. For example, carrots contain beta-carotene, which is helpful for vision while parsley contains substances that are diuretic in nature.

What is it that coffee contains that is so helpful to asthma? Its actually the caffeine in coffee that has a direct action on the bronchioles, opening them up quickly and making it easier to breathe.

Why It Is Important To Do This Review

Does Coffee Help to Relieve Asthma Symptoms of Make them ...

Despite the amount of information regarding caffeine and its potential effectiveness in obstructive airways diseases, no reviews have been conducted that examine the evidence in a systematic fashion. The results from such a review could have important implications for research and clinical practice.

How To Use Coffee For Asthma

You dont want to rely on caffeine for asthma symptoms. However, studies have found that caffeine may help asthma patients. Caffeine also appears to help the airways function a little better, for up to four hours, in people with asthma. But neither of these suggest that caffeine should be used to treat asthma.

Think of it more like this coffee should not be treating your asthma, but rather it can be used to supplement your asthma treatment.

What Is Food Allergy

Food allergy is defined as a reaction of an immune system which mainly occurs soon after the body consumes a certain food.

This generally happens when our body identifies certain food to be harmful or allergic thereby causing few reactions and medical symptoms in our body which needs special treatment.

These particular foods which cause an allergic reaction in the body are certainly identified as allergens for these types of individuals.

While for some people, the reaction can be mild or uncomfortable; it can be severe, intolerable and life-threatening for others.

Can Food Allergies Cause Asthma Know The Truth Here

Patients who are suffering from respiratory troubles such as asthma, often have this questioning mind! But the fact is, we generally dont link food allergies and asthma.

The truth is, that some food allergies are not exactly what we think of!

Here in this article, we will cover the answers to all these questions in detail along with a list of foods to avoid for asthma patient.

In This Article …

Are Coffee & Tea Good For Asthma & Bronchitis

In a person with asthma, irritants or allergens irritate the airways, causing them to contract and tighten. This make it more difficult for air to get to the lungs. Asthma patients may make a wheezing or whistling sound as they breathe, the result of trying to force air through these narrowed airways. They may also cough in an attempt to clear the airways. Bronchitis produces similar symptoms to asthma, but in bronchitis the air passages are inflamed and swollen, usually due to an infection. Immediate treatment aims at opening the airways to allow for a freer passage of air. This is usually achieved with medications known as bronchodilators. Caffeine, found in coffee and tea, can act as a bronchodilator.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Using The Papworth Method

The Papworth method has been used since 1960 to help people with asthma. It is a type of breathing and relaxation technique. It makes use of the nose and diaphragm to develop breathing patterns that will suit the asthma patient. These breathing patterns can then be used while engaging in activities that can possibly flare up your asthma. Papworth method is a way of controlling over-breathing that is basically rapid and shallow breaths taken at the top of the chest.

Caffeine As A Bronchodilator

In 1993, Dr. Scott T. Weis of Harvard Medical School studied 20,000 asthma patients and found that those who regularly drank coffee suffered one-third fewer symptoms than those who abstained. Caffeine, the stimulant found in coffee and tea, is chemically very similar to theophylline, a drug used to treat asthma and bronchitis. In Weis’s study, tea had no effect on the asthma patients, possibly because tea has lower levels of caffeine than coffee. A cup of brewed coffee has between 40 and 180 mg of caffeine, while a cup of tea contains 25 to 110 mg. If you suffer from asthma, drinking coffee every day could help relieve some of your symptoms, but it is no substitute for medication.

Data Collection And Analysis

Selection of studies

Two of us independently reviewed the title, abstract and key words of the references obtained from the literature search. For the 2009 and 2011 update this was done by EJW and CC. We excluded all studies that were not randomised trials or that clearly did not fit the inclusion criteria. Two of us reviewed the full text of the remaining articles. Complete agreement was achieved at all stages.

Data extraction and management

We contacted trial authors in an effort to obtain raw and missing data for the original review. Two of us independently extracted means and standard deviations or standard errors. We converted standard errors to standard deviations. Two research staff from the Division of Physiological Medicine, St. George’s Hospital Medical School extracted data visually from graphs. There was little variation in the data extracted by the four review authors. We used the mean figures from the four independently extracted sets in this review.

We entered extracted data into the Cochrane Collaboration software program .

In one paper the mean value provided in the table and that in the corresponding figure were inconsistent ; this was assumed to be a misprint and therefore omitted from the metaanalysis.

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

For this 2009 update, two of us updated the risk of bias according to four domains:

  • allocation generation and concealment;

  • handling of missing data; and

  • selective reporting bias.

  • Measures of treatment effect

    When To Seek Medical Help

    How To Relieve Asthma

    An asthma attack is characterized by shortness of breath. Other signs include coughing that doesnt stop, wheezing or breathing noisily, chest pain or tightness, feeling of air hunger, hyperventilating, sweating, and dizziness.

    However, an asthma attack can feel different from person to person, especially at the beginning, so its important to know what one feels like to you. The sooner you can identify what is happening, the easier it will be to treat it.

    Most asthma attacks can be treated with a rescue inhaler and rest, but if your symptoms dont resolve, or if they get worse, you need to seek immediate medical attention.

    You should seek emergency medical help if you have extreme difficulty breathing, feel your throat closing, feel drowsy or faint, cant speak, and/or need to use your chest muscles to force a breath.

    The Caffeine And Asthma Connection

    There is one component of certain tea varieties that has been studied for its respiratory effects: caffeine.

    According to Karina Keogh, MD, a pulmonologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, caffeine may help relax smooth muscles, like those in the lungs, and act as a bronchodilator, helping open airways.

    In fact, caffeine shares some similarities with a drug called theophylline, used to treat asthma for years before the development of the drugs primarily utilized today, says Dr. Keogh.

    Though caffeines impact on lung function seems to be modest, research has identified it as legitimate. One prior study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, for example, concluded, Caffeine appears to improve airways function modestly in people with asthma for up to four hours.

    The study found that even a low dose of caffeine had a noticeable impact on asthma patients performance in lung function tests, starting with amounts as low as 5 milligrams of caffeine per 1 kilogram of body weight.

    But although the researchers considered 340 mg to be a low dose of caffeine, thats around three 8-ounce cups of coffee or seven cups of black tea which may not feel so low to some people.

    The researchers note that while caffeine may mildly improve short-term lung function, more evidence is needed to understand whether this small improvement is associated with a better quality of life, and to see how caffeine tolerance changes this impact over time.

    Aafa Explains: Will Coffee Or Caffeinated Drinks Help My Asthma

    This post discusses claims that caffeine can be used to treat asthma symptoms. It is part of our AAFA Explains series looking at complementary and alternative medicine aimed at asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wants to guide you as you decide between choices that may be likely safe or potentially unsafe.

    What is asthma?Asthma is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. There is no cure for asthma. The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take prescribed medicine to prevent symptoms, and be prepared to treat asthma episodes if they occur.

    Common symptoms of asthma are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. Asthma may lead to a medical emergency. It is important to know the signs of a severe asthma attack, and know how to treat it if it occurs.

    What is caffeine?Caffeine is an ingredient found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and cocoa and in over 60 plants. Drinks that contain caffeine are called caffeinated or energy drinks.

    Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. It can temporarily make you feel more awake, energetic and focused.

    What does science tell us about caffeinated drinks and asthma?Clinical studies have shown that caffeine is a weak bronchodilator, improving lung function for two to four hours after it is consumed. However, it is not as strong or fast acting as rescue bronchodilators like albuterol.

    Key definitions:


    Quality Of The Evidence

    Interpretation of the results of this review must include consideration of methodological limitations. All of the studies employed a crossover design. Although the method of allocation was in all cases reported to be randomised, none of the authors assessed order effects, and only two authors explicitly stated that the patients could not discern which treatment they had received . Sample sizes were small and the existence or effect of outlying values were rarely discussed. Outlying values are important in small studies using crossover designs, as each subject provides a large proportion of the data.

    This review was restricted to an analysis of clinically relevant data in terms of a patient response and excluded the scientific issue of whether caffeine affects airway response to bronchoconstricting agents.

    What Happens During Asthma Attacks

    Asthma attacks may start as minor but if not managed effectively, can turn dangerous. During an asthma attack, the airways become swollen and constricted more than usual. Breathing properly becomes quite tough. Some signs of an asthma attack are:

    • Wheezing while breathing in and out
    • Extremely rapid breathing

    Read More on Asthma Causes & Triggers

    Caffeine Effective For Preventing Exercise Induced Asthma

    Caffeine may also be beneficial to athletes who have asthma.  Researchers from the University of Utah Exercise and Sports Science discovered that 6-9 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of caffeine consumed before exercise provides significant protection against exercise-induced bronchoconstriction .

    How many cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages would an athlete need to consume to benefit?  A person weighing 150lb/68kg would require 408-612mg of caffeine.  This means that an athlete would have to drink four to six 10oz cups of coffee just before exercising.  The same athlete would require 13-20 Coca colas to ingest that much caffeine.

    Though these numbers seem hard to attain, caffeine in doses as low as 3 milligrams provided improved symptoms, including wheezing and coughing.  The study suggests that the negative effects of daily use of short-acting beta agonists could be reduced by increasing caffeine consumption before exercise. 

    Clear Out Cockroaches And Ladybugs

    Cockroaches are one of the worst allergy and asthma triggers, says Lee, and getting an exterminator to eliminate them is worth your while. But another insect trigger you may not know of is the ladybug. “And ladybugs cross-react with cockroaches,” Lee adds. Whenever ladybugs arrive in droves, they settle around the house and then break down into a dust-like powder that’s a powerful allergen. It might sound mean, especially to seemingly innocent ladybugs, but Lee recommends that you vacuum them.

    Include Ginger In Your Diet

    Just like garlic, ginger has anti-inflammatory qualities too. A study conducted in 2013 showed that ginger supplements were able to ease symptoms of asthma. Having some ginger daily can help you get some relief. Add ginger to your tea during winters. You can also add ginger while cooking your food and reap its benefits.

    Asthma And Copd: What’s The Difference And Is There A Link

    Asthma Caffeine Effects

    Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are lung diseases. Both cause swelling in your airways that makes it hard to breathe.

    With asthma, the swelling is often triggered by something youâre allergic to, like pollen or mold, or by physical activity. COPD is the name given to a group of lung diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

    Emphysema happens when the tiny sacs in your lungs are damaged. Chronic bronchitis is when the tubes that carry air to your lungs get inflamed. Smoking is the most common cause of those conditions .

    Asthma gets better. Symptoms can come and go, and you may be symptom-free for a long time. With COPD, symptoms are constant and get worse over time, even with treatment.

    Get Reacquainted With A Dust Cloth

    A review of vacuum cleaners, including ones with HEPA filters, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found that although vacuums can suck up dust bunnies and other allergens that make you sneeze and wheeze, some work better than others. Both the machines and the act of vacuuming itself stir up allergens, worsening your exposure and your reactions. Furthermore, bacteria can live in the vacuum cleaner bag for up to two months. Those same bacteria get reintroduced into the air every time you turn on the machine. To help your asthma, try using a dust cloth with furniture spray or a cloth sweeper that attracts and holds fine particles it may be more effective and less expensive. If you rely on a vacuum cleaner, even in part, consider upgrading to one with the latest technology, make sure it works correctly, and change the filter and bag regularly.

    Yoga And Practising Mindfulness

    The benefits of yoga are manifold. If you want to get relief from your asthma symptoms, make sure you do yoga every single day. Yoga incorporates breathing and stretching exercises. It will help to increase your flexibility and also boost your overall fitness. Some yoga poses that can help open your throat and chest are the bound angle pose, bow pose, bridge pose, camel pose, cat pose, cobra pose, cow pose, and cat pose among many others. Meditate every day and increase focus on your mind and body. The focus on breath and stress control from yoga and meditation will help you a lot in breathing easily.

    Also Read: Health Benefits of Meditation

    Other Than High Caffeine Content Whats So Special About Coffee

    Coffee is very similar to theophylline3, a drug that John wrote about in the post I mentioned earlier.4 While no longer commonly used in asthma treatment, theophylline is a bronchodilator, and very closely related caffeine as found in products like coffee and tea. Theophylline relaxes the airways, by way of relaxing the muscles that wrap around the airways that begin to clamp down when asthma symptoms are experienced.3 So, why is this? It appears that when the liver breaks down caffeine, one very small byproduct is theophylline.6

    Now, for emphasis: very small amounts of theophylline. So yes, its true that coffee or in greater amounts, tea can help your asthma symptoms but, its far more effective to carry your rescue inhaler. If youre caught in a lurch and have relatively mild symptoms and no inhaler, a cup of strong, black coffee might help . But dont rely on coffee to make your asthma better in the long-term. If your breathing is getting worse, its safer to visit a doctor or emergency room rather than drinking a bunch of coffee!

    Believe It Or Not But Bitter Coffee Can Help Abort An Asthma Attack And Act As First Aid In Case Of An Emergency

    The national burden of asthma cases in India is estimated to be as high as 17.23 million patients, says a recent study conducted by the Epidemiology of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms and Chronic Bronchitis in 2015 . Asthma can cause restrictions in one s daily activities due to lung function impairment due to which patients tend to have a reduced quality of life. In fact, there are about 489,000 deaths globally which are attributed to asthma annually . Did you know, asthma increases the risk of suffering from nearsightedness at young age?

    During an asthma attack, the lining of the airways becomes swollen or inflamed which is caused by the tightening of muscles around the airways. The symptoms of asthma include severe wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing, and difficulty talking. While the first aid of asthma usually involves making the patient sit upright and loosening tight clothing along with using an inhaler, what does one do in a situation where an inhaler isn t available? If the symptoms of asthma are ignored for too long, it could result in the patient developing bluish lips and they could eventually lose their ability to talk because of low oxygen levels in the blood. At this point, the wheezing also stops and if the patient isn t rushed to a hospital immediately, the patient may lose consciousness or eventually die. These are the 10 facts about asthma you should know.

    Effective Ways To Treat Asthma At Home

    In people with asthma, the airways become narrow and produce a lot of mucus. It triggers difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Several factors can increase the risk of suffering from asthma. Some of the risk factors include having a blood relative with asthma, smoking, being overweight, and passive smoking. For some people, asthma doesnt pose many problems. However, there are others who suffer from asthma attacks.

    Are you tired of having to latch on to your inhaler and your asthma medications? Do not let them go just yet. Make a few changes to your lifestyle see your symptoms ease up a lot.

    10 Home Remedies for Asthma are:

    What About Caffeinated Beverages Other Than Coffee

    For similar reasons, tea is also noted to have a similar effect.1 However, even the article from 1993 notes that caffeinated sodas and teas do not have the same bronchodilator effect as coffee seems to.3 CaffeineInformer lists a cup of brewed coffee contains a very high amount of caffeine, at 163 mg per cup.5

    Conversely, a generic black tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, clocking in at 42 mg .

    Tea, conversely, only has 42 mg of caffeine per cup over three times LESS than a cup of coffee.

    Caffeinated sodas vary widely, but seem to average between 1.8 and 4.5 mg per fluid ounce based on the most commonly consumed sodas.5 This works out to 14.4 to 36 mg of caffeine per cup which explains why, even per the hypotheses from 1993, carbonated, caffeinated sodas dont produce the same effect as coffee on asthma.

    Caffeinated Tea Or Coffee

    The caffeine in black or green tea and coffee is believed to help treat asthma. It works similarly to the popular asthma medication theophylline, which opens up the airways.

    A 2010 research review, the most recent available, found that caffeine may slightly improve breathing function in people with asthma for up to 4hours.

    Still, there isnt enough evidence to show whether caffeine can improve asthma symptoms.

    Keep An Asthma Trigger Journal

    Asthma Attack And Caffeine

    For people who live with asthma, knowing what triggers their attacks can offer some clues on how to better manage the symptoms and prevent further episodes. While attacks may seem to come on randomly, there is always a trigger that causes airways to swell and symptoms to arise. Keep a small notebook with you at all times. If you develop symptoms, use your prescribed rescue inhaler, leave the area where the attack occurred, and write down as much about the experience as possible. Include details about where you were, what time it was, and what emotions you felt just before the attack, as well as any possible triggers you suspect, may have caused it. By keeping a record of your asthma attacks, you may be able to isolate a few common triggers that cause them. Once you understand what triggers your attacks, then you can take steps to avoid them as best as possible.

    Coffee And Acute Bronchitis

    Although the caffeine in coffee may have bronchodilating effects, prescription bronchodilators, particularly inhalers, reach your lungs immediately. In contrast the caffeine in coffee must travel through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream. In addition, FamilyDoctor explains that it’s important for acute bronchitis sufferers to remain hydrated to help maintain a productive cough. It recommends drinking water and juices and not caffeinated beverages like coffee, which can have a mild diuretic effect.

    Drinks With Vitamin D

    A 2016 study notes that children and adults with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to experience asthma symptoms and that those who include vitamin D in their diet are less likely to require hospitalization due to asthma.

    Fortified cows milk or plant-based milk may contain vitamin D, which might help prevent asthma attacks in some cases.

    Does Coffee Help Asthma Symptoms

    Many people ask, Is coffee good for asthma? or Is coffee good or bad for asthma? The answer is that coffee can be good for asthma, but it is not without some words of caution.

    One study found that people who drink coffee every day have 29% fewer asthma symptoms. This same study did not find the same results for people who drink tea, which typically contains much less caffeine.

    Also remember that caffeine acts as a mild bronchodilator. So, any caffeinated drinks may offer some bronchodilation. However, the bronchodilator effects may depend on the amount of caffeine in the drink. Caffeine also helps lower respiratory muscle fatigue and can temporarily improve lung function. These are all good things for patients with asthma.

    The Food and Drug Administration says that healthy adults may safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This is equal to four to five cups of coffee per day. Used in safe doses, coffee can be good for asthma.

    On the flip side, high amounts of caffeine can be dangerous, even deadly. A toxic amount of caffeine is normally about 1,200 milligrams ingested quickly. There are products, mainly marketed for weight loss, that contain large amounts of caffeine that are very risky. Also, consider that an energy drink may contain up to 250 milligrams of caffeine. If you are drinking several energy drinks in a row, you are getting a lot of caffeine quickly. In large quantities, caffeine poses a risk to asthma patients and non-asthma patients alike.


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