Obesity causes asthma

  • Dr Anjali Mukerjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • |
  • Updated: May 09, 2012 19:47 IST

You may wonder what obesity and asthma have in common besides making you feel miserable. A lot, as it turns out.                

The prevalence of obesity and asthma are rising significantly, and have a considerable impact on public health. Asthma is considered to be more prevalent among obese people, and studies have found a correlation between being overweight and the subsequent development of asthma.

Causes of asthma
Dietary and environmental factors are implicated in the development of asthma among overweight people. These factors include reduced intake of vitamin D, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids and, possibly, increased
exposure to pollutants.
Hormones: Changes in estrogen and progesterone related to obesity may also contribute to the development of asthma symptoms.
Allergies: The same substances that trigger your hay fever symptoms may also cause asthma signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. This is called allergic asthma.
Lifestyle: Lack of exercise, poor diet and stress can trigger asthma.

Preventive measures
Preventing an asthma attack begins with good food habits.
Make right choices at meal time by eating more vegetables, fruits, sprouts, onions, garlic and complex carbs.
Eliminate milk and milk products from your diet as milk is mucous-forming. Also milk products can trigger allergic reactions.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation can be decreased with fish (which contains omega 3 oils) and alsi seeds for
Bio-flavonoids (anti-oxidant) found in citrus fruits pineapple, and other colour fruits and vegetables can
prevent histamine releases which in turn will reduce asthma attacks. 
Lose weight if you are over weight by making wise choices and walking regularly.
Avoid frozen entrees that are high in calories and fat.
You should eat slowly by thoroughly chewing your food. This process gives your body time to digest the food.
 Water not only hydrates your body, but also provides relief from asthma. Water also thins out your mucous membranes.
 Avoid ice cold beverages as they can trigger asthma attacks.
 Decrease your intake of salt as it will cause fluid retention, which is not good for those suffering from asthma.
A healthy diet goes a long way in preventing symptoms. A good diet may actually prevent a lifetime of chronic illness. With the right
medication, nutrition and exercise, you can easily lead a healthy life.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre


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