How food allergies can exacerbate your asthma, and more.

Posted: November 5, 2012 in Medical
Tags: , , ,

Over the years, I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching ways to improve the condition of my asthma. I tried Quercetin, for instance, which was supposed to be of some help and it was, but very limited. The best I ever felt (as it relates to my asthma) was when I tried the paleolithic diet. I actually liked that diet very much but it was unsustainable, at least for me. Very restrictive.

This year, I happened to come across a website with lots of personal stories from people who had gone on a gluten free diet and claimed that their asthma had improved. I tried it (several times) and did notice some improvements each time but I never stuck with it. Finally – a month ago (Oct 5 2012), I determined to begin a gluten free lifestyle and stick with it. It’s not as easy as it might sound but once you start really learning what does and does not have gluten in it, it becomes easier. Also, our local markets – Shaws, Price Chopper, etc… all are very good about labeling their gluten free products. It’s a good thing, too, because it’s not always easy to tell.

At the same time, I also began a nightshade free diet. In case you don’t know what a nightshade is, you can Google it, but it is essentially a class of plants that contain a specific alkoloid which some people can be susceptible to. It also contains a toxin which the plant utilizes to protect itself from insects. Included in this list are things like potatoes, tomatoes, and a whole host of peppers. That’s certainly not an all inclusive list but it gives you an idea. Aside from being a way to help alleviate the symptoms of asthma, removing nightshades from my diet had another benefit that I didn’t expect but which is backed up by the experiences of others – the arthritis in my left hand and left shoulder has improved immensely. Oh, and I also cut out all dairy products for the simple reason that dairy products increase the thickness of phlegm and if you have asthma that is a really bad thing.

I have to tell you, I feel great. As I come upon my 51st birthday I find it incredibly awesome that I can run in the morning without first needing to use my inhaler. I’ve had tremendous success with these somewhat minor changes to my diet. In the intervening month I have seen my use of the emergency inhaler go from 3 – 4 times a day to only having had to use it on two occasions in the last three weeks. Now THAT is success. It has been 12 years since I was diagnosed with asthma and this is the most free my breathing has been in all those years. As I am loathe to use medications unless absolutely necessary, it is nice to discover that many of the ailments which afflict us can be alleviated through the use of proper diet and discovering what kinds of foods can affect us. I use this column as a way to offer hope to those who suffer from asthma, arthritis, and a myriad of other ailments which can and should be controlled through diet, not drugs. Please feel free to pass the info along…

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Comments
  1. Celiac and Allergy Adventures says:

    Interesting to hear that cutting out dairy improved your asthma. I have severe asthma, a bunch of severe food allergies AND Celiac Disease. I was hoping cutting out gluten would improve my asthma and year-round environmental allergies, but so far it hasn’t seemed to (it’s been over 2 months and I’m extremely strict and cautious). I’ve never tried cutting out dairy, but as a young child I was allergic to it.

  2. bradtilf says:

    You could also look at nightshade fruits and vegetables as a possible contributor to your asthma. These include things like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and a whole host of other things but mostly those. Of course, you also need to look at environmental factors as well

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