Foods That Make Asthma Worse

Written by Katelyn Schwanke (last updated September 5, 2008)

Children and adults who have been diagnosed with asthma should avoid a variety of foods that can exacerbate asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath) and contribute to obesity. Doctors and dieticians have compiled a variety of lists with a variety of foods to be avoided, but the general consensus says that shrimp, dried food, processed potatoes, wine and beer should all be avoided. All the foods on this list contain chemicals called sulfites that contribute to the respiratory discomfort experienced by asthmatics. Beyond these foods you may also need to avoid others that irritate your respiratory system specifically (these foods vary from person to person).

As previously mentioned, foods that contribute to obesity should be either avoided completely or consumed in moderation. Increasing rates of obesity correspond with increasing rates of asthma in the United States. The medical community is drawing a line between the two and have concluded that America's high-fat, high-sodium, high-sugar, low-fiber diet and low activity level is leading to this chronic respiratory illness. Children and adults alike spend less time in the great outdoors, breathe in less fresh air and spend more time sitting on the couch indulging in inactivity and high-calorie foods.

With an increase in fat tissue surrounding the chest it is difficult for the lungs to fill properly. By inhibiting the lungs, tubes called bronchioles became irritated and inflamed limiting the amount of oxygen that can pass through properly. When air cannot pass through the bronicholes properly you experience wheezing, coughing and other symptoms of asthma. An increase in the size or number of fat cells also contributes to the inflammation of the bronchioles and ultimately difficulty breathing. Inactivity, even without obesity, can contribute to frequency of asthma attacks because intercostal (between the ribs) muscles are not strengthened by cardiovascular activity; by participating in moderate physical activity you can strengthen intercostal muscles and allow your body to breath more easily.

Ultimately, one key to controlling your asthma is avoiding shrimp, dried food, processed potatoes, wine, beer (as well as those that make your symptoms worse) and foods that contribute to weight gain. Foods that contribute to weight gain include processed foods high in saturated fat, Trans fat and sodium. Even if you eat foods low in fat, if your intake of calories exceeds your output (exercise) you will likely experience weight gain. Go for a walk, eat some more vegetables and whole grains and you will find that your risk for experiencing symptoms will decrease.

Author Bio

Katelyn Schwanke


Diabetes Supplies

It is important to know what diabetes supplies are available and necessary. With the appropriate supplies you can more ...

Discover More

Signs of Prostate Cancer

It is important for men to recognize early signs of prostate cancer. If prostate cancer is caught in its early stages, ...

Discover More

What Causes Asthma?

Asthma is one of the most frequently diagnosed chronic illnesses. This article discusses what causes it.

Discover More
More Health Tips

Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma is a particularly distressing, and debilitating, respiratory ailment that can put a serious crimp in your ...

Discover More

Allergy Induced Asthma

One of the more common forms of asthma, is the type that is caused due to allergies. However, to truly understand allergy ...

Discover More

Treatment for Asthma

Asthma keeping you down? Don't let it put a crimp in your lifestyle. There are quite a few treatments for your condition.

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)