What Else Affects Asthma Symptoms?
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Diets High in Calories
If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. That’s bad not only for your general health, but for your asthma specifically. People who are obese are more likely to have more severe asthma symptoms, take more medication, and miss more work than people who maintain a normal weight.
Many people have food intolerances such as lactose intolerance, but these are not true allergies and rarely worsen asthma. Only about 2% of adults with asthma have true food allergies to milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, or other foods. When exposed to even small amounts of the foods to which they have become allergic, these people can have life-threatening anaphylactic attacks, including bronchospasm, which requires immediate asthma medication.
Sulfites, which are used to keep food fresh and stop the growth of mold, can trigger temporary asthma symptoms in a few people with asthma. Sulfites can give off sulfur dioxide that can irritate the lungs. Sulfites are no longer added to fresh fruits and vegetables in the U.S. But they are still used in many processed foods, and may also be in condiments, dried fruits, canned vegetables, wine, and other foods.
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