Last updated on January 21st, 2023 at 11:59 am
Are you looking for a diet plan for an asthma patient? Then look no further! In this article, we have provided you with everything you need to know about asthma diets.
What is Asthma?
Quick Jump Table
Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways that causes breathing problems. Learn about the asthma diet plan, and diet options available for asthma.
Whether you are indoors or outdoors, winter will exacerbate asthma attacks. Winter is the most loved season, but it might be unpleasant for patients with lung diseases. An American Lung Association fact-sheet states that asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders and currently affects about 7.1 million children under 18 years. The World Health Organisation Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that 13.8 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost yearly because of asthma, representing 1.8 percent of the total global disease burden.
Diet plan for asthma patient
As a person living with asthma, it’s difficult to decipher what you should and shouldn’t eat. Diet plays a key role in the control of asthma and must be considered when determining how to manage your condition.
For 300 million people around the globe suffering from asthma, the cold winter months often lead to a worsening of their symptoms. The inhospitable environment is not suitable for asthma patients. Their lungs and airway passages are quite sensitive. To a larger extent, asthma symptoms related to winter can be controlled and managed by precise treatment and medication. Because of the swelling in the lining of the airways which leads to their narrowing, and the sticky mucus or phlegm build-up that blocks the airways, breathing is difficult and forced for asthmatic patients.
During winter, the cold air causes airways to tighten further, making it even more difficult to breathe.
Many patients and their family members are misinformed about the causes of asthma and the treatment options available. It is a necessity to educate patients and caregivers about the disease and treatment with minimal side-effects of inhaled corticosteroids, i.e. inhalation therapy. Many pharmaceutical organizations are running campaigns to bust myths around inhalation therapy. Often, the word steroids evoke apprehensions in the minds of patients, causing them to shy away from inhalers. The steroid is produced by the human body naturally to deal with inflammation and it is also safe for children and pregnant women. The inhalation therapy comprises an inhaler pump to send the corticosteroids into airway passages.
According to a research article published in Respiratory Medicine journal, the correlation between inhalation therapy for asthma and clinical efficacy is positive, with improved symptom-control and lung-function shown in most studies of adults, adolescents, and children.
In the inhalation therapy, the inflammation of the airway requires a tiny quantity of corticosteroids around 25 to 100 micrograms but when it is consumed through the oral/intestinal route, the amount administered is very large about 10,000 micrograms since only a fraction of the drug reaches the lungs. This means that every time an asthma patient pops a pill or a tablet, he/she is actually taking almost 200 times the amount of medication required, leading to ill-effects on health.
Inhalation therapy directly gives the body only that amount of steroid needed to control the symptoms. Against this, oral medication first gets dissolved in the blood and then reaches various organs, including the lungs. Thus, inhalation therapy is a simple and easy solution for asthma patients to enjoy their winter to the fullest.
Daily diet plan for asthma
The inhospitable environment is not suitable for asthma patients. Their lungs and airway passages are quite sensitive. To a larger extent, asthma symptoms related to winter can be controlled and managed by precise treatment and medication.
7 Indian diet for asthma patients
- Flax seeds
- Vitamin-D rich foods such as eggs and milk
- Green leafy vegetables
5 Foods to avoid for asthma in India
- Packaged and processed foods
- Sulfites. Foods which contain sulfites are shrimps, pickles and dried fruits.
Can foods I eat affect my asthma symptoms?
There’s no asthma diet that will eliminate your symptoms. But these diet steps may help in the long run and management of asthmatic symptoms;
- Eat to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can worsen asthma. Even losing a little weight can improve your symptoms. Learn how to eat right to maintain a healthy weight over the long term.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They’re an excellent source of antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamins C and E, which may help reduce lung swelling and irritation (inflammation) caused by cell-damaging chemicals known as free radicals.
- Avoid allergy-triggering foods. Allergic food reactions can cause asthma symptoms. In some people, exercising after eating an allergy-causing food leads to asthma symptoms.
- Take in vitamin D. People with more severe asthma may have low vitamin D levels. Milk, eggs and fish such as salmon all contain vitamin D. Even spending a few minutes outdoors in the sun can increase vitamin D levels.
- Avoid sulfites. Sulfites can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Used as a preservative, sulfites can be found in wine, dried fruits, pickles, fresh and frozen shrimp, and some other foods.
It’s also possible that eating less salt (sodium) or eating foods rich in oils found in cold-water fish and some nuts and seeds (omega-3 fatty acids) may reduce asthma symptoms. But more research is needed to verify this.
Making informed choices about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid won’t cure asthma. But eating a balanced diet and avoiding known trigger foods may improve your symptoms and your overall health.
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