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World Asthma Day 2020: Beware! These foods may worsen your symptoms

Asthma is an inflammatory disease that is caused by the swelling and narrowing of the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs. @Shutterstock

World Asthma Day 2020 is an initiative to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. So, as we marked this day today, we would like to alert you about certain foods that are known to trigger asthma symptoms. Read to find out those dangerous foods.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : May 5, 2020 4:37 PM IST

Approximately 1000 people globally die every day owing to asthma, according to a Global Asthma Report 2018. It is also estimated that asthma affects around 339 million individuals every year. Unfortunately, the disease remains undiagnosed and untreated in most of the kids, leading to their death. The World Asthma Day is a global initiative to improve asthma awareness and care around the world to prevent death due to the disease.

World Asthma Day is observed every year on the first Tuesday of May. It is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) a medical guidelines organization established in 1993 - in collaboration with health care groups and asthma educators throughout the world. Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GINA has postponed promotion of World Asthma Day this year. But it has posted the logo and theme this year celebration on its site. The logo carries a theme that says "Enough Asthma Deaths."

What causes asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory disease that is caused by the swelling and narrowing of the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs. Common symptoms of asthma include repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. However, the severity and frequency of the symptoms vary from person to person. For some, symptoms may get significantly worse and lead to asthma attack. Usually, asthma starts in childhood, but it can also develop in adults, and affects people of all ages. There is currently no cure for the disease, but treatment can help control the symptoms.

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Foods that can trigger an asthma attack

Foods rarely cause an asthma attack, but a severe allergic reaction to some foods can worsen asthma symptoms. So, it is important to know if you're allergic to any food. There are certain foods that are known to cause allergic symptoms in some people. These includer eggs, cow's milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, shrimp and other shellfish, tree nuts, etc.

Food preservatives such as sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite may also trigger an asthma attack. These additives are commonly found in foods such as dried fruits or vegetables, wine and beer, bottled lime or lemon juice, shrimp and pickled foods.

Allergy symptoms and asthma

Usually food allergies may cause symptoms like hives, rash, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But if you have food allergies and asthma, you will also experience coughing and wheezing along with these allergy symptoms. And if not treated quickly, it may result in anaphylaxis -- swelling of the throat, cutting off your airway.

So, if you suspect certain foods are asthma triggers for you, avoid eating them. Always read labels while buying food items. When you eat outside, ask the waiter or cook about the ingredients in the recipe. You may go for allergy skin tests to find out if you're allergic to any foods.

Therefore, if you have asthma and you suspect you're allergic to certain foods, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can give you skin tests to find out if you're sensitive to certain foods.

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