Is There An Asthma Diet
Patients who have asthma quickly learn that managing their lifestyle is one of the keys to managing the condition. Certain activities may trigger an asthma attack; even the foods they eat may play a role. Of course, the condition varies greatly from patient to patient, so there is no specific asthma diet, but a variety of studies from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine demonstrate that the foods we eat may have an impact on both the frequency and severity of asthma attacks and symptoms.
In particular, respiratory specialists recommend a well-balanced, plant-based diet with few if any processed foods. Of course, we recommend a natural food diet for all patients; its the central piece of a holistic approach to health and wellness, but it is particularly valuable for patients managing chronic conditions such as asthma.
Asthma And Diet: Foods That May Help
Even though there is no specific diet designed for asthma patients, there are certain foods and nutrients that help reduce symptoms and that studies show help improve lung function.
- Apples: In addition to keeping the doctor away, the phytochemicals in apples are shown to improve lung function.
- Bananas: The antioxidants and potassium found in bananas are believed to help reduce wheezing symptoms in children.
- Beta-carotene: A form of vitamin A, beta-carotene supports lung function and is found in leafy greens, carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
- Magnesium: Studies show that children with low magnesium levels also have lower lung function. A diet rich in magnesium helps improve lung flow and volume. Magnesium-rich foods include chard, pumpkin seeds, salmon, spinach, and dark chocolate.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These plant-based fats reduce inflammation in asthma patients. Good sources of omega-3 include flaxseed, soybeans, and walnuts, but you also find it in some cold water fish, including cod, salmon, and halibut.
- Vitamin D: There is some evidence that vitamin D helps reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks in children, particularly between the ages of 6 and 15. In addition to milk, good sources of vitamin D include eggs, salmon, and fortified juices.
S Everyone Can Take To Lower The Risk Of Getting And Spreading Covid
- Practice social distancing/self-monitoring/self-isolation/isolation as directed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds.
- Wear a non-medical grade face mask in public and when you are in situations where you are not able to maintain physical distancing, like on public transportation or the grocery store.
- Avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, phones and door handles.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, ears or mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick. Encourage those you know who are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms.
- Avoid contact with people who are unwell.
- Make sure that you get high-quality information about COVID-19 from reliable sources. The Public Health Agency of Canada is a reliable source of information, as are provincial and territorial public health authorities.
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The Relationship Between Food And Asthma
Asthma does not look the same for every patient. For some, it has little effect on their daily lives. Others, however, suffer frequent attacks, which may even be life-threatening. Treatment methods vary according to the severity of the condition, but most patients manage symptoms with a rescue inhaler or prevent them with a controller inhaler.
In an asthma patient, the lungs airways are inflamed; they become too narrow or too swollen and produce an excess of mucus. During an asthma attack, the surrounding muscles also become tighter. All of this combines to make breathing difficult and patient experiences the common asthma symptoms: coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and a tightness of the chest.
An asthma diet is one that helps improve or reduce these symptoms. For example, studies suggest that, over the last few decades, the Western shift toward a diet high in processed foods may have contributed to an increase in asthma cases. In contrast, nutrient-rich foods help decrease risk and improve lung function.
Natural Remedies For Asthma
Now that weve covered the top foods you should avoid if you have asthma, lets take a breather and discuss simple, natural remedies that can help ease your asthma symptoms. Youll notice that many of these are foods as well; however, these foods contain potent anti-inflammatory fatty acids that can help ease asthma symptoms, instead of exacerbate them.
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Are Asthma Medicines Safe To Use During Pregnancy
Is It Safe to Use Asthma Inhalers or Corticosteroids While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, doctors may consider some asthma medicines to be safer than others, so your medicines may change. Work with your doctors to find the besttreatment for you. These include:
- Short-acting inhaled bronchodilators
- Anti-leukotriene agents like montelukast
- Some inhaled corticosteroids, like budesonide
Long-acting beta agonists are not considered first-line treatments for pregnant women with asthma. But doctors may consider them if your asthma is not well-controlled by the above medicines.
If your asthma is very severe, oral steroids, such as prednisone, may be necessary for the health of you and baby.
Asthma symptoms may get worse, stay the same, or get better during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider to make sure the medicines you are taking are still the right choice. Update your Asthma Action Plan as needed.
Remember: It is better for you and your baby if you maintain asthma control .
Other Tips For Exercising With Asthma
In addition to choosing less strenuous activities, you can also follow these tips to reduce your asthma symptoms:
- Use an inhaler before exercise. Your doctor can prescribe a rescue inhaler as a pre-exercise treatment. These inhaled medications will relax the airways, making it easier to breathe during physical activity.
- Take medication for long-term control. If a pre-exercise inhaler doesnt manage your symptoms, you may be given another medication. This could include oral drugs or additional inhalers that decrease airway inflammation.
- Warm up and cool down. Always warm up before exercise to let your body adjust. When youre done, gradually stop the activity.
- Wear a mask or scarf. Cover your nose and mouth when its cold outside. The dryness of cool air can tighten your airways.
- Limit your exposure to pollen and pollution. If youre allergic to pollen, exercise inside when pollen levels are high. Stay in areas with minimal air pollution.
- Avoid sports with continuous activity. Basketball, soccer, and long-distance running can be hard on the lungs if your asthma is poorly controlled. Avoid sports that are done in the cold, like cross-country skiing and hockey.
Most importantly, take breaks as necessary.
You should also ask your doctor what you should do if you have an asthma attack while exercising. By having a plan in place, you can workout with confidence.
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Preventing Asthma Symptoms From Worsening
When it comes to controlling asthma symptoms, prevention can go a long way. Since asthma may be life-threatening, its critical to identify your triggers and avoid them.
Tobacco smoke is an asthma trigger for many people. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. If someone in your household smokes, talk to them about quitting. In the meantime, make sure they smoke outdoors.
You can take more steps that may help prevent asthma attacks if you:
- Create an asthma action plan with your doctor and follow it.
- Get a pneumonia and flu shot each year to avoid illnesses that could trigger asthma attacks.
- Take your asthma medications as prescribed.
- Track your asthma and monitor your breathing to identify early warning signs that your asthma is worsening.
- Use an air conditioner to reduce your exposure to dust mites and outdoor pollutants and allergens such as pollen.
- Use dust covers on your bed and pillows to reduce dust exposure.
- Reduce pet dander by regularly grooming and bathing your pets.
- Cover your nose and mouth when spending time outside in the cold
- Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep humidity in your home at optimal levels.
- Clean your house regularly to eliminate mold spores and other indoor allergens.
Back To School: Asthma During Covid
- Health & Wellness
Back to school time is already upon us! As parents and children begin to prepare for the new school year we once again have to consider how COVID-19 will factor into this year. The 2021-2022 school year is going to be different, with some schools holding in-person classes, some opening virtually, and others choosing a hybrid model. Masking, vaccines, managing asthma and the flu season are currently top of mind. Parents trying to navigate the risks involved with sending a child to school during a pandemic can be difficult, especially if your child has a chronic lung disease, like asthma.
To help you navigate these challenges, the American Lung Association has answered the top searched for questions from parents about children with asthma returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Is it safe for my child with asthma to return to in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. Though if you have concerns they should be discussed with your childs healthcare provider. So, before school starts, schedule a visit to discuss your childs wellbeing and asthma care check-ups. Be sure to get up-to-date on recommended vaccinations including an annual flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine if your child is eligible.
Q: Is it safe for my child with asthma to get vaccinated for COVID-19?
For more information, visit the CDC COVID-19 vaccine guidance: What you need to know or visit the American Lung Associations COVID-19 vaccine tracker.
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Best Ways To Avoid Asthma Attacks During Winter
While winter brings with it the joy of festivals and holidays, it can also act as a trigger for asthma. Cold weather can contribute to asthma attacks;during winter so much so that it might cause;the disease in people who spend a lot of time outdoors in such weather or live in cold, dry climates.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid asthma attacks during winter.
- Wash your hands
Frequent and proper washing of your hands with water and soap is one of the simplest and best ways to avoid catching or spreading the cold and other viruses. Hand sanitisers that are alcohol-based also do the trick. Make sure to emphasize the importance of good hand washing to your children and educate them on it being one of the most basic steps of good hygiene.
- Dont Exercise Outdoors
The cold weather doesnt mean that you have to give up on your exercise routine but make sure to follow it indoors. In cold weather, symptoms are even more likely to appear during exercise because as the air is cold it can irritate the sensitive airways in your lungs. Avoid sports that involve long periods of exertion, such as football, distance running, basketball and field hockey.
- Warm-Up Before Exercise
Studies have shown that people with asthma have a greater lung function and recover faster after exercising when they are warmed up. This is important but especially in winter whenever you work out. Before heading for working out outdoors in the cold, consider doing your first 20 minutes of your run on a treadmill.
Food Allergies And Asthma
Like asthma, food allergies are on the rise, with the American Academy of Family Physicians estimating that around 5.4 percent of children have food allergies today, which is about twice the rate of adults. The most common food allergy is peanuts, but nearly any food can cause an allergic reaction. Common items include eggs, milk, soybeans, shellfish, and wheat, but certain additives also cause allergic reactions.
The symptoms of the allergic reaction vary as well. For some people, food allergies are a life-threatening condition. Others experience little more than an itchy mouth and mild swelling. Some food allergies cause a reaction similar to an asthma attack, particularly wheezing.
Certain food additives may also cause an allergic reaction. Many patients are sensitive to Yellow No. 5, a common food coloring additive. Other additives that may cause asthma symptoms include benzoates, monosodium glutamate , and sulfites. Many people also experience asthma-like symptoms after consuming artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. These are not common asthma triggers, but if you notice a pattern after consuming such items, talk to your doctor.
Other Tips For Symptom Management
The ALA recommend managing asthma proactively. Working with a healthcare provider can help people with asthma develop an action plan to avoid triggers and use their prescribed medication effectively and at the right time.
Keeping an eye on symptoms and recording them will help people with asthma identify what steps they can take to avoid foods, activities, or environments that may cause an asthma attack.
Obesity the symptoms of asthma. Staying active and enjoying a diet that is low in fat and high in fruit and vegetables will help people with asthma maintain a healthy body weight.
Foods That Can Help Asthma
Diets rich in whole, plant-based foods may be particularly beneficial for individuals with asthma, according to research in the field. A 2015 study published in Lung found low rates of asthma among children who ate the Mediterranean diet for years compared to children who did not. Although there is not a clear link between a plant-forward Mediterranean diet and asthma, findings indicate that antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may minimize free radical cell damage and help reduce inflammation in the lungs, Pitts says.
Even though there isnt a recommended diet for this illness, here are are five foods you can try that may have a positive effect on asthma and its symptoms:
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Protect Yourself During Asthma Peak Week: Tips To Help You Avoid Asthma Episodes
This week is known as Asthma Peak Week the week out of the year when asthma episodes, attacks and hospitalizations tend to be the highest. In the third week of September, both adults and children with asthma are exposed to more asthma and allergy triggers such as ragweed pollen, respiratory infections, and dust and mold in school buildings.
It’s best to start preparing for the Asthma Peak weeks, or even months in advance. But now that it’s here, there are still ways you can protect yourself. An article by Forbes, “Its Asthma Peak Week Heres How to Get Ready,” offers some tips to stay healthy, including:
- Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid people who are sick
- Remove your shoes before going indoors to avoid tracking in pollen and mold
Also get familiar with the early warning signs of an asthma episode or attack. At the first sign of symptoms, follow your Asthma Action Plan. And if you start having emergency symptoms, get help right away!
You can start planning for next year now. Make a note or set a calendar reminder for next summer to talk to your doctor about ways you can prepare for the next Asthma Peak Week.
Eating Right Is The Ideal Asthma Diet
While following a balanced, nutritious diet will not cure you of asthma, it does improve overall health and may help reduce your symptoms and improve lung function. You also benefit from avoiding certain items, particularly processed foods.
When monitoring your asthma symptoms, it helps to consider everything that might have triggered the attack. If you arent already, start listing the foods you ate before an attack occurred. This helps you determine possible lifestyle changes to successfully manage your condition. As always, talk to your doctor before making any significant dietary changes.
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What Are Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers are things in your environment that cause worsening of asthma symptomsor asthma attacks. Triggers can be anywhere, and avoiding triggers that are under your control will help you be better prepared to deal with triggers that are more difficult to avoid like pollen, smog and viruses.
Triggers often bring on asthma attacks. It is important to avoid your triggers in order to keep airway inflammation to a minimum and reduce your asthma symptoms. Your personal triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Knowing what your triggers are is an important part of managing your asthma.
Taking steps to ensure your asthma is properly managed is the key to living a symptom-free life. Speak with your healthcare provider about taking a controller medication, creating an Asthma Action Planand proper inhaler technique. Since some asthma triggers are impossible to avoid, its important to always carry your reliever medication with you just in case of a trigger causing an asthma attack.
Asthma And Diet: Foods To Avoid Or Limit
Just as there are foods and nutrients that support lung health, there are also foods that trigger asthma symptoms.
- Chemical preservatives, colorings, and flavorings: Some asthma patients have increased sensitivity to these, which are found in most processed and fast foods.
- Gassy foods: Certain foods are more likely to cause gas, which puts extra pressure on your diaphragm . Limit intake of beans, carbonated drinks, cabbage, garlic, fried foods, and onions.
- Omega-6 fatty acids: Although these are an essential fatty acid, they may increase inflammation when eaten in excess. You find these in refined oils, including flaxseed, hempseed, and grapeseed oils. You also find omega-6 in raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and pistachios.
- Sulfites: This is a preservative found in pickled foods, bottled lemon and lime juice, dried fruits, wine, shrimp, and maraschino cherries.
You may also discover that eating large meals triggers an asthma attack, as it puts pressure on your diaphragm, similar to the effect that eating gassy foods has.
Before making any major dietary change, whether adding or eliminating foods, always talk to your doctor first.
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