Oh, the coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The symptoms asthma sufferers deal with are not only inconvenient ‘” but frightening. No wonder people with asthma go out of their way to prevent an attack. One way is to avoid those things that trigger asthma symptoms such as dust, cigarette smoke, air pollution, cold weather, and mold. Now, a new study shows that food allergies and asthma may be more intertwined than most experts realize – another reason for asthma sufferers to watch what they eat.
Food Allergies and Asthma: What’s the Relationship?
In a new study published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers found that food allergies are twice as frequent in asthma sufferers – and allergies to foods may be a common trigger for asthma attacks.
In this study, researchers tested asthma sufferers for levels of IgE antibodies to four different foods that commonly cause food allergy symptoms – eggs, milk, peanuts, and shrimp. IgE antibodies are the type of antibody a person produces when they’re allergic to a certain food. In this study, males and black children were the most likely to test positive for both asthma and food allergies.
Not only were asthma sufferers in this study more likely to have food allergies, those who had more severe asthma were the most likely to be allergic to foods. Almost sixteen percent of asthmatics who had visited an emergency room for an asthma attack over a twelve month period had food allergies, and they were seven times more likely to have food allergies overall.
Asthma and Food Allergies: How Common is Food Allergy Induced Asthma?
Food allergies seem to be more common in people who have asthma, but it’s hard to say whether allergies to foods actually trigger asthma or whether food allergies are part of an overall allergic picture that includes asthma.
Nevertheless, if you have asthma, it’s a good idea to keep a food diary to get an idea of foods that can trigger asthma attacks, so you can avoid them. Foods that bring on asthma may include shellfish, fish, soy products, milk, eggs, nuts, and some types of fresh fruits. Food additives and preservatives can also trigger asthma in some people. Another option is to see an allergist and get allergy testing to find out what foods to avoid.
Food Allergies and Asthma: The Bottom Line?
Food allergy induced asthma may be more common than most people think. If you have asthma, take a closer look out what foods bring on the symptoms of asthma – by keeping a food diary. It could make life a little easier for you.
Eurekalert.org. “Food allergies raise risk of asthma attacks”