Asthma Control by Increasing Intake of Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy ,Whole Grain Products and Fish.
Childhood asthma and adult asthma have the same underlying cause — continuous inflammation of the airways leading to the lungs. This inflammation makes the airways overly sensitive and prone to tightening and constricting when irritated. Fortunately, childhood asthma is treatable. With the right medications and action plan, a child with asthma can enjoy normal activities with few disruptions.
In children, the most common triggers are viral illnesses such as those that cause the common cold. This airway narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing, which respond to bronchodilators. This swelling in the airways gets worse during an asthma flare-up, making it hard to breathe. During a flare-up, or attack, the lungs also may produce a lot of sticky mucus, which clogs the airways. And the muscles around the airways tighten up, making the airways really narrow. All of this can lead to some pretty serious breathing trouble.Between episodes, most patients feel fine.
Children with asthma may be able to breathe normally most of the time. When they encounter a trigger, however, an attack (exacerbation) can occur. Below is a list of common asthma triggers.
- tobacco smoke
- viral infections, such as the common cold
- animals (hair or dander)
- chemicals in the air or in food
- changes in weather (most often cold weather)
- strong emotions
- aspirin and other medications
Each person with asthma reacts differently to medication, the environment, triggers, and changing allergens that affect symptoms.When it comes to controlling your asthma symptoms, one size does not fit all. Everyone with asthma suffers from inflammation and airway constriction, but symptoms are different for each person — and can change over time. Asthma cannot be cured, but careful management can help you avoid asthma attacks and keep symptoms under control.
Food allergies occur when your immune system makes a mistake. Normally, your immune (say: ih-myoon) system protects you from germs and disease. It does this by making antibodies that help you fight off bacteria, viruses, and other tiny organisms that can make you sick. But if you have a food allergy, your immune system mistakenly treats something in a certain food as if it's really dangerous to you.
The same sort of thing happens with any allergy, whether it's a medicine (like penicillin), pollen in the air (from flowers and trees), or a food, like peanuts. So the thing itself isn't harmful, but the way your body reacts to it is.
Children who eat goodly amounts of whole grain products and fish seem to have a reduced risk of developing asthma, according to findings published in the medical journal Thorax.
"The rise in the prevalence of asthma in western societies may be related to changed dietary habits," write Dr. H. A. Smit, of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, and colleagues.
They note that studies of children have shown that asthma is less likely with increasing intake of "fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grain products, and fish."
The researchers examined the intake of these foods in relation to asthma in 598 Dutch children between the ages of 8 and 13 years enrolled in the International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood 2 (ISAAC-2).
Parents completed food questionnaires, which were used to estimate the kids' dietary intakes. Wheezing and asthma were also determined with questionnaires, as well as from medical tests.
No clear associations were observed between asthma or wheezing and intake of citrus fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, but there was a link with consumption of fish and whole grain products.
"The crude prevalence of current wheeze was observed to be 19.4% in children with a low intake of both foods compared with 4.2% in children with a high intake of both foods," Smit's team reports. "For current asthma the crude prevalences were 16.7% and 2.8%, respectively."
After adjustments, whole grains and fish were linked to a reduction of 54 percent and 66 percent, respectively, in the likelihood of having asthma, and similar reductions of 45 percent and 56 percent for wheezing.
The researchers recommend forward-looking studies to further clarify the relationship between dietary factors and asthma, and the possible effects of diet modifications.