Asthma Linked to Food Allergy, Plus a Surprising Food to Ease Asthma

Asthma and skin rashes affect many kids, but could undiagnosed food allergies be the culprit? Indeed, kids with asthma or skin rashes may want to get tested for food allergies. As reported by Reuters today, “Researchers found that among 228 inner-city New York children seen at their allergy clinic, 28 percent had a food allergy — with eggs, peanuts and milk being the prime culprits. By contrast, the rate of food allergy among U.S. kids in general is only about 4 percent.” According to the report published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, what made the finding particularly interesting was that the children were not tested for food allergies because they seemed to have a food sensitivity. The children were tested for food allergies only because they had bad cases of either asthma or eczema and were not responding to typical treatment strategies. What this means for parents is if your kid has a stubborn rash, maybe it’s what they are eating that’s to blame.

Indeed food allergies are on the rise in the U.S., and the top offenders are peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, sesame and wheat. Interestingly, food allergy risk was higher among those with a clinical diagnosis of asthma, and the presence of food allergy in this population appeared to be associated with worsened symptoms.  Those with asthma and food allergies were 6.9 times more likely to have experienced a serious bout of asthma in the past year than asthmatics without food allergies. Whether the relationship between food allergies and asthma is causal or not is not clear, yet consuming even a small amount of a problem food can induce asthma attacks in sensitized individuals.

Asthma Diet Trick: Try Perilla Seed Oil

If you’re feeling the urge to get outside and get active this spring, but your asthma is keeping you indoors, consider adding perilla seed oil to your diet. A recent study reveals that this omega-3 fat may help control asthma symptoms in some people. Perilla seed oil is derived from perilla, an herb in the mint family. The taste of the oil has been compared to that of mint or fennel.

Asthma is a disorder in which the lungs and airways are chronically inflamed. During an asthma attack, the immune system kicks in and white blood cells produce leukotrienes, which signal smooth muscle cells, such as those that surround the lungs and airways, to contract, thereby exacerbating asthma symptoms. Omega-3s, like perilla seed oil, inhibit the production of leukotrienes and may subsequently relieve some asthma symptoms. This, and other sources of omega-3 fats, has anti-inflammatory properties.

Finally, if your child does suffer from asthma read this list of 4 At-Home Tips for Asthma Relief.




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  • For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can trigger an asthma attack. Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant and animal matter. Molds can be found almost anywhere when moisture is present. Source: Molds create tiny spores to reproduce, just as plants produce seeds. Mold spores float through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on damp places indoors, they may begin growing.

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