Lesson 11: The Respiratory System (page 10 of 19)

All of the above. Asthma can be triggered by allergies, infection and emotional factors.


Do Allergy Shots Help Asthma?

Not according to a medical study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1/30/97). In a study of 121 children, researchers examined the effects of allergy shots on asthma and found that the shots were of no benefit. Allergy shots are commonly given to children with asthma in the belief that a decreased sensitivity to allergens will decrease the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. The researchers had not intended to discredit the shots, but had hoped to quantify their effectiveness. They were so shocked by the outcome that they urged caution in accepting their own results.


Is There a Dietary Link to Asthma?

At the Annual International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, Dr. Anne Woolcock presented research from the University of Sydney, Australia, reporting that children who consume high amounts of sugar and trans-fats apparently have a higher risk of asthma. In a study of 213 children, researchers discovered that children with hyper-responsive airways took in 25 percent more fat and sugar than normal children. Children whose diets included fish oils, on the other hand, had half the risk of other children.

As we discovered in the previous section on allergies, “junk foods,” that is, foods that are high in trans-fats and/or simple sugars (including white sugar and white flour), increase histamine production in the body, which increases inflammatory and allergic reactions. So one thing that we can do to help allergies and asthma is to eat a healthier diet, avoiding “junk foods” as much as possible. In a latter section of this lesson, we will also look at some nutritional supplements, including herbs, that may help allergy and asthma sufferers.

True or False:
Other than the obvious food allergies, diet has little to do with Asthma.



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