Foods That Can Make Breathing Difficult

Foods That Can Make Breathing Difficult

From allergies to asthma, breathing difficulties are a common issue that many people encounter in life. These issues can lead to symptoms like nasal congestion, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. It is important that people suffering from breathing difficulties know what environmental triggers worsen their symptoms, and take extra care to avoid those triggers.

For people with asthma, in particular, asthma may be triggered by the following foods:

1. Acidic foods and drinks
Though the cause of the correlation is not yet clear, it has been observed that people with asthma are two times more likely than those without asthma to have a chronic form of acid reflux known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD causes stomach acid to rise into the esophagus — causing damage to the throat lining and airways to the lungs. This, in turn, can cause difficulties breathing. Asthma may equally worsen GERD symptoms, as the swelling of the lungs puts pressure on the stomach. For this reason, acidic foods like tomato sauce or citrus fruits can exacerbate breathing difficulties.

2. Cold cuts
Two of the most common sensitivities are sulfites and histamines, which combined, can make eating processed or smoked meats trigger an asthma attack. This is because histamines are produced naturally by foods and beverages like yogurt, wine, and cheese — and smoked meats. Sulphites are preservatives that are used in both pickled foods and processed meats, as well as alcoholic beverages. If these are foods and drinks you find yourself gravitating toward, it might be worth investigating whether or not they are a trigger for your breathing difficulties.

3. Carbonated beverages
Studies suggest that drinking soda might raise the risk of breathing difficulties like asthma. For some, carbonated beverages may cause a burning sensation or coughing, and bring extra gas into the lungs. They can also cause acid reflux — which, like with eating acidic foods, is a good indicator that it could be one of the causes of asthma attacks.

4. Dairy products
For multiple reasons, dairy is often linked to asthma. In addition to potentially worsening asthma symptoms by creating more mucus, dairy allergies often present very similarly to those of people who suffer from asthma. Typically, though, dairy products are not a trigger for asthma-sufferers, and can be eaten so long as a dairy allergy is not already present.

5. Excessive salt
Some studies have found that a high-salt diet can lead to worsening breathing problems and a decrease in lung function. What they found was that people who eat high-salt diets have increased inflammation, which in turn causes worse responses to asthma. It is important that asthma-sufferers try to balance their salt consumption and eat a diet with more modest amounts of sodium, in case it is a chief culprit in triggering their asthma or other breathing difficulties.

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