Does your weight affect your asthma? - Asthma UK communi...

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Does your weight affect your asthma?

Hi all,

In the next issue of Asthma Magazine we will be taking a look at how people's weight can affect their asthma. If you would be happy to share your experience of how losing or gaining weight has affected your asthma, please get in touch!


Elizabeth (Magazine Editor)

17 Replies

I've always been overweight since the age of around 7, I lost over 5 stone a few years back and although yes the breathlessness did improve because I was carrying around less weight my asthma did not improve, I still required the same amount of medication and hospital addmissions remained the same. Unfortunately it all went back on plus some more.

I suppose everyones experiences are different but to me it didnt seem to affect my asthma.

I'm currently trying to loose weight again and have lost nearly 2 stone so far.

I'm 48 and ""normal"" weight (BMI 21.5 - and not the ""apple"" shape that's been publicised as a risk recently), and my asthma's been coming on gradually over the last couple of years. Most of the news concentrates on associations between illness and being overweight, but for women between 45 and 56 a higher risk has been found for those with BMI less than 23. I haven't been willing to gain weight to see if it helps ;).

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2008;121:72-80

Conclusions: Menopause is associated with lower lung function

and more respiratory symptoms, especially among lean women.

I've always been under wieght and currenly have a bmi of 16, i developed after 5 years ago and have found that i lose weight when having a bad patch, i wouldn't say that my weight causes mysymptons but doctors have suggested that a low wieght can mean my boddys hasn't got the strenght 2 fight off infections/ colds which then casue my symtons and hospital admissions etc.

Chloe x

My weight has fluctuated alot over the last 15 yrs and i have found no correlation between it and my asthma control in fact my worst attack was when i was near normal weight. .

I used to think if i was ideal weight my asthma would be fine but i have found that really not true.


I have found there to be no link between my weight and my asthma control/ stability. i have never been over weight but have been under weight when growing and found my asthma control was as bad when under weight as it is when Im normal weight. My weight does fluctuate alot but that is mainkly due to prednisilone but have not noticed a link between my weight and asthma.


I am average size10/12 and 5ft5.and my asthma is all over the place and not yet under control.was size 10 and still all over the place.So I would say weight does not matter x


My weight is awful, but that is due to the steroids and the fact that I am on them long term. Before I started on steroids and all the other medication that I have for asthma, I was a good size 12, weighed about 10stone (I am 5ft 7in) and was havin dancin lessons several times a week, but then the longer I have become steroid dependent, a year later, I am now a size 18-20 ( at a push I can get into a 16 depending on how swollen I am on a daily basis) and I weigh roughly almost 15 stone...It makes me feel ill, the doctors at the hospital always tell me that I am obese but everytime I say I want help to lose the weight I always get told once the steroids are reduced you will start to lose the weight....My GP keeps saying I am cushoid????? I wnt to lose this weight as everyone keeps telling me I am too big, and its extremely noticeable in my face as I that typical side effect of a moon face from the steroids.....It effects my asthma as I am too big, I think it is more to do with the self conscious side due to the fact that I have been told I need to start swimming but because of my size and how I look I will not go....

Weight and asthma

Hi. I have been a size 12, weight about 9 stone for the last 20 years or so. During that time, my asthma was very controlled with me not having has a single attack over that period. However, in August 2008, I had a severe attack, out of the blue and ended up in hospital. I had another in Feb and again ended up in hospital, and another 2 nights ago. Since Feb, I have been on Prednisolone and have found my weight and size to have increase dramatically (3 stone in weight and 4 sizes up). I don't believe that your weight affects your asthma, but I do think that prolonged use of cortocosteroids does affect your weight!

I don't think it makes that much difference, as the only male to respond to this thread so far, i'm 5'11, and 68kg, always have been since secondary school, and I developed asthma last year.

Sam, who cares what size you are, if you want to go swimming then go, may make you feel less self concious if your pool has an adults only sessions, or most pools have a quiet period, early mornings or lunchtimes, pop in and ask, you will feel better for it, and I've seen a guy in the pool who is a lot bigger than you, he was a wrestler and now needs to loose the weight, good luck to him, and you go girl.

For me, it is not so much the weight affecting my Asthma, more that it affects my fitness which is understanding. In the past I have been 23 stone because of the high dose steriods, but now 18 though have been lower. For me I try not to worry about my weight, I feel it is more important that I concentrate on trying to achieve the best fitness that I can so that my breathlessness is more manageable

Of course I get cheesed off with the round face and wide middle, but I dress to make the best of what I got, and feel that if people can not see me but only see my size well they are not worth knowing. The only exception to these people is the little girl outside Asda yesterday who said to her Mother (I was with my 73 year old Mother in Law) ""look mummy 2 grannies,"" but she doesn't understand and if anything 24 hours later I am still laughing about it.

Thank you all so much for your replies - it's interesting to see how little most of you feel your weight does directly affect your asthma.

FAO Shebobjb

I can't reply to your message as you have opted not to receive messages, if you would be happy to be part of the feature please send me a message with an email address you can be contacted at.



I don't think weight affects asthma.I am 5 ft 5, 22 months ago I weighed 18 stone 3. I have lost 8 and a half stone and now weigh 9 stone 10. However my asthma hasn't changed and I still need 3 inhalers morning and evening as well as montelukast.

weight and asthma

Despite having flu jabs, viral infections are my worst asthma trigger and I've been getting increasingly acute symptoms over the last few years.

When this happens I'm left with a bad chest for weeks afterwards. I'm also a lot hungrier and in spite of eating more I don't put on weight (even when prescribed steroids) and sometimes lose it really quickly! (Usual weight around 8st, goes down to 7st - I am only 5ft1"" tall!)

After a visit to A&E last year I vowed to up my weight to just over 8st and do varied fitness activities 3-4 times a week. I felt stronger, didn't get winter chest infections BUT May this year ended up in A&E again after getting flu, became allergic to my antibiotics plus all sorts of other things since including foods.

I'm currently following a balanced but healthy diet - absolutely no pre-made foods and avoiding any suspect trigger food. I've gone down to and maintained a 7st weight - look lean rather than 'skinny ill' my 'muffin top' has gone! I've noticed a couple of times in the past when I've stuck to home made food (this does include cake!) and cut out anything I suspect may cause problems I've lost weight

Do you think there's a link between weight gain and food allergies/intolerances?

My weight doesn't have any effect on my asthma, but my asthma has a detrimental effect on my weight. I'm allergic to steroids, and even the small amount in my inhalers cause severe oedema, resulting in a weight increase. This allergy also causes another problem: having brittle asthma I have to make sure that if I have a bad attack and get treated by Paramedics that they are not allowed to attach a nebuliser to me. That could prove fatal!

I did not have a weight problem until my ashtma took a rather dramatic downturn. I went from being under weight size 12 almost 6ft and weighing in at 9.5 stone to having the most awful pred hydro-cort weight issues. We also have dreaful trouble balencing my NG feeding needs with what I can etc as all NG feeds seem to be high calorie but in my case I need the one with partially digested protien strands however it is high calorie. Back in the day I could burn excess off by charging around like a mad thing but I don't charge anywhere now except in Old Sparky. All we can do is keep an eye on my weight as keeping eating even small amounts of ""allowed"" food will keep my gut working and that is important as one day it might even accept gluten and animal protiens again, I live in hope!


drop in amount of exercise has greatest effect on my asthma

My weight has dropped from 115kg or so when i used to play rugby and needed a bit more protection back down to 106kg and i maintain my weight at that level by eating the same amount of food daily thereabouts. A great tip i learned was to drink a pint of water 1/2 hour before meals and no liquid with meals -quenches my appetite a little. My BMI is just over 26 but the extra weight didnt affect my asthma at the time. When growing up i would have been underweight and that probably meant i wasnt very robust either physically or with my immune system resulting in far worse asthma symptoms. My asthma underwent its greatest change (after trying different diets and therapies) through practicing the buteyko method.

Whenever i have had enforced spells away from training/ exercise (due to injury or work) i do find that my asthma sneaks up again on me. My asthma is at its best with 6hours plus intensive exercise which is not always possible with a young family. Unfortunately this is still the case with buteyko which means i have to work hard on my breathing at times of inactivity.

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