Ice cream/cold foods as a trigger?

I've been noticing recently, with more twitchy than usual lungs, that eating ice cream/cold things is tending to set me off a bit. Nothing drastic but I definitely notice my chest tightening in response to scarfing down ice cream (had a nice time with some Ben and Jerry's the other night but it did seem to bring on things noticeably, and get the same with other ice cream/milkshakes etc (not with other dairy things though and it happens with orange lollies so it's the temp not the contents I think).

I asked my consultant about it (less said about that particular appt the better I think, though am hoping next appt better as I really need to get somewhere, so not giving up) However, he dismissed it and said basically that it's total rubbish that eating something cold gives you asthma and it's just that I expect it to and that's why.

Bit puzzled by this as I never actually thought you could trigger asthma by eating cold stuff until a) it happened and b) my medic friend said 'why are you eating ice cream when you're having asthma probs? you know your oesophagus is right next to breathing things right?' (not quite in those words, I'm a bit brain dead atm).

So just wondering - anyone else get this (Curiouser, if you're reading this I have an idea that set you off?) And has anyone's GP?cons etc commented on this as a trigger? I know it's hearsay, would be secondhand and just over a forum etc but just curious!

I would actually prefer cons to be right as in this weather I'd really quite like to be able to eat ice cream and if it were just my perception I'd try to ignore it! However it gets a bit uncomfortable and does seem to require a bit of reliever to sort so debating whether to just think 'oh what the hell' and eat ice cream (my preference) or at least be aware my lungs aren't liking it.

Hopefully they'll settle down soon - not so happy off pred, PFs not great but better than a couple of weeks ago where stopping pred would have made them act up a lot more.

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  • Just to say do, if I gulp down milkshake/any cold drink or eat ice cream with a spoof I cab feel a definate tightness and it makes me cough too. It doesn't happen if I eat a cone of icecream, I guess because you lick it, its warmed up more before going down your throat? Never mentioned it to docs though, just have come to expect it! And no it certainly won't keep me away from Ben & jerrys or a frappachino!

    Sorry for atrocious spelling, kind of feeling out of it, and my phone won't let me edit!

  • ooh thanks Butterfly, actuallly that makes sense as had a cone this evening (mmm) and it wasn't so bad (well chest pretty tight anyway but it didn't seem to get worse. Yes I really wanted ice cream lol, it was hot and a new dessert parlour has opened just round the corner...)

    It was defo more noticeable with the load of Ben and Jerry's! So might just have to stick to cones...what a shame hehe. I do love milkshakes though...

    Hope you're ok btw, seen you've been struggling recently, any better/further on getting pred?

  • ooh thanks Butterfly, actuallly that makes sense as had a cone this evening (mmm) and it wasn't so bad (well chest pretty tight anyway but it didn't seem to get worse. Yes I really wanted ice cream lol, it was hot and a new dessert parlour has opened just round the corner...)

    It was defo more noticeable with the load of Ben and Jerry's! So might just have to stick to cones...what a shame hehe. I do love milkshakes though...

    Hope you're ok btw, seen you've been struggling recently, any better/further on getting pred?

    Ooo, not good, a dessert parlour round the corner and temperatures like this .....I'd be the size of a house! I'm not actually a massive ice cream fan, I never sit there and think 'mmm I fancy ice cream' ....but if I was hot an walking past an ice cream parlour I would think '''ooo ice cream, yes please'

    Mc D's milkshakes do it to me too but they're soooo yummy!

    I'm OK thanks, feeling a bit better now so haven't bothered seeing gp, I'll see how this week goes but pf is back up to around 77% and only 4 puffs of reliever today :-)

  • Cold drinks and foods can completely stop my breathing (usually restarts with about 10-20 puffs in the spacer!). Even now I'm very well controlled I still have to stay away from ice / ice lollies etc etc.

    Very hot drinks and foods can do the same.

    Temperature change is a very common trigger, so unfortunately I think it's something many of us just have to live with. How bizarre for your consultant to dismiss it - mine, and all the GPs I've seen, have all nodded and said that yes, it's no different really to stepping out of a warm car into freezing air in January etc.

    I like the theory that licking the spoon can be used as a preventer!

  • Thanks Curiouser! My reaction is nowhere near that bad I'm glad to say but I did remember that you had definitely reacted to temp changes. I think mine was a bit worse when I had v hot dinner (I NEVER learn to wait lol and frequently burn my mouth) followed by ice cream.

    As it's not too bad (and lungs are twitchier than usual atm - just bad timing that they are like this in the heat grr) it's definitely not the end of the world (am lucky not to have to avoid things completely like you, must be so annoying) but I was a bit confused when cons dismissed it - it was kind of an 'oh by the way' question at the end.

    On the other hand, he also said some other odd things eg cold air not really setting me off, I just expect it to and it shouldn't unless I'm uncontrolled? (Was saying how my flare in Feb seemed to have been caused by rushing around in the cold). Said English weather not enough to do this - so seemed like he was saying the stepping into freezing Jan air also wouldn't set me off (or anyone? Was some confusion there).

    It felt a bit odd tbh. I know he's highly respected, and has been good before when I've seen him, but this time it seemed like he was really quite dismissive of many of the things I raised as a trigger and seemed to be suggesting that only an infection would set me off and anything else was probably just me overthinking? I am triggered by infections yes, but actually am lucky not to get them too often (more last year but very few this year) and I know that it's not the only trigger and that the others I've identified for myself (cold, heat/humidity, poss barometric pressure, some strong smells (not all), smoke and smoking, exercise and now probs pollen) are fairly common - I'm not claiming to be triggered by the smell of frying mangos or only one brand of exotic ice cream! Perhaps I misunderstood him but a few things just didn't make sense to me. I also don't find that I'm that good at IDing my own triggers - quite a few of them I thought I must be imagining till I'd been on here a while and saw that others were mentioning them as well.

  • Stick to cones? You could just eat B&J more slowly - lick the spoon like a lolly rather than snarf up big bites of the cold stuff. (ok hard to do with chunky monkey - but you'd have the same problem with a cone :-) ).

    I know he's highly respected, and has been good before when I've seen him, but this time it seemed like he was really quite dismissive of many of the things I raised as a trigger and seemed to be suggesting that only an infection would set me off and anything else was probably just me overthinking?

    Confirmation bias? Can happen to the smartest of people. If he was stuck on the idea that you were primarily suffering from hyperventilation syndrome/dysfunctional breathing he may have had trouble taking on board that you have triggers that don't really fit that model.

    Also I've noticed that some doctors seem to be selective in the knowledge they are willing to impart when they are trying to persuade a patient to accept their point of view. My own pulmonologist told me that high variation in peak flow was normal during severe asthma attacks. However, when I was hospitalized one doctor who was trying to convince me that my symptoms were psychogenic tried to tell me that asthma doesn't have big ups and downs in spirometry/peak flow. I find it really hard to believe that he really believed that: intraday variability in peak flow is one of the objective measures used to confirm asthma (8.3% average, 20% is upper limit of normal, > 20% is considered diagnostic of asthma) and is also part of the definition of type I brittle asthma.

    As fcr the weather - is it only the temperature? I find that wind blowing in my mouth and changes in barometric pressure also seem to be factors. Cold+wind+rain is the perfect recipe for breathing problems for me.

  • It was Half Baked....mmm. And from my experiments in Boston last year I have discovered that there are many ways to eat a cone full of chunky stuff ;)

    I don't remember it being a problem before but as I said I'm not always good with IDing triggers etc so maybe it was and I didn't notice - or maybe it's just now while they're more than usually twitchy. Just wanted to check I wasn't going nuts (or sprinkles? :p) Really not sure if it's things other than cold - maybe the wind? I do think humidity has some effect on me. In general though it has to be fairly obvious for me to make the link; I find it odd that I'm being told that the problem may be me over-perceiving when I've had a conversation with my GP about a non-asthma-related thing (and one where there is no possible way anyone can tell me it is in my head) where he was asking me if I'd noticed an improvement with the medication in 2 diff appts and both times I said 'uhh..don't know? Maybe? Can't tell?' (In retrospect - it had but I couldn't tell till it had really improved, and I do also find I don't always notice re breathing what 'not so good' is till I've done 'wow really quite amazing' and can compare.)

    tbh I really don't know what is going on with the cons, but he has shown willingness to listen and change his mind in the past so am giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping we can talk through this next time, when I will hopefully be more focused and have had a chance to think about things; I know I need to stick with someone and get out of the rut. You may be right about what he's saying - various things did seem to be completely against everything else I'd heard which did my head in a bit as it's hard to know who to listen to. He's expert but then others have knowledge too eg I know a physio is not a consultant but I do believe an RBH physio knows what she's talking about when it comes to breathing pattern dysfunction and I'm sorry, I don't believe what he said about hyperventilation being ONLY caused by anxiety; physio specifically said that this was not the case for me although it can in some cases be A cause, that any degree of asthma itself (which they all now seem agreed that I have) can cause bad breathing patterns and that eg she sees a lot of rowers who have bad breathing habits not because rowing somehow makes you more anxious/rowers are more prone to anxiety but because the way they sit tends to make them breathe badly and they get into a habit of it.

    I do hope he's not doing the whole 'selective info' thing as I am quite frankly getting rather fed up with this; all this is going to give me some kind of complex at this rate when I didn't have one before!

    I also found other things odd/contradictory and that may be part of him trying to persuade me eg he is dead set on PF and me doing nothing before 50% apparently, but wanted me off the pred when PFs are well into yellow zone atm and not controlled on the standard measures so something more seems indicated (and he definitely does think I have asthma).

    oops sorry, I have ended up doing a back-door rant/ramble about the appt which I actually was not going to do on here...but it's doing my head in a little. I think the ice cream thing, though minor in itself for me, was just one of the many confusions I had about the whole thing. Feel free to ignore me if you've got this far :)

  • I do hope he's not doing the whole 'selective info' thing as I am quite frankly getting rather fed up with this; all this is going to give me some kind of complex at this rate when I didn't have one before!...oops sorry, I have ended up doing a back-door rant/ramble about the appt which I actually was not going to do on here...but it's doing my head in a little. I think the ice cream thing, though minor in itself for me, was just one of the many confusions I had about the whole thing. Feel free to ignore me if you've got this far :)

    No worries.

    I think an appointment like you had can easily mess with one's head: when a person one has gone to for advice pushes their own interpretation too hard and ignores your experience and doubts (or worse yet throws the psychological resistance or ad hominem cards down on the table, i.e. you just disagree because you are stubborn/resistant/arrogant/etc), it becomes a ""whose reality is it anyway"" game. That creates the need to reach out to others (i.e. this forum) for a reality check. The irony is: if you really were stubborn, resistant, arrogant, etc you probably wouldn't be so bent out of shape and trying to incorporate his reality into your own viewpoint: such people don't generally care all that much about accomodating other people's reality.

  • I don't remember it being a problem before but as I said I'm not always good with IDing triggers etc so maybe it was and I didn't notice - or maybe it's just now while they're more than usually twitchy. Just wanted to check I wasn't going nuts (or sprinkles? :p)

    oops sorry, I have ended up doing a back-door rant/ramble about the appt which I actually was not going to do on here...but it's doing my head in a little. I think the ice cream thing, though minor in itself for me, was just one of the many confusions I had about the whole thing. Feel free to ignore me if you've got this far :)

    Sorry to hear the appointment didn't go quite to plan. I find it so frustrating when people have already formed their opinions and then selectively hear what you are saying (I had the nurse a month or so ago who in her first sentence said ""I don't know why you are seeing me, it is probably just stress so you need to find some to do relaxation"" and she had never met me before so had definitely looked at my notes and came to her own conclusion). I do find though that when talking about my asthma, most nurses, gps and cons vary from appointment to appointment so hopefully the next one will be better.

    The ice cream thing is interesting - as a child I wouldn't eat anything cold as it ""made me feel funny"". My parents thought that it was going to my head but I think it made my chest tight (still get it sometimes and my GP said that it is unusual but makes sense). Totally agree with some triggers being more of a problem when lungs are twitchy as I don't usually find perfumes a big problem but at the moment I am really reacting to them.

    How are you feeling now? Are you still on the pred?

  • I can't drink a McDonald's Thick Shake with out suffering. Luckily I don't have them often, but when I do...

    Geina x

  • I can't drink a McDonald's Thick Shake with out suffering. Luckily I don't have them often, but when I do...

    Geina x

    I love those! Don't want to think about what's in them, but...mmm. So :(

    mm milkshake...I keep finding them on offer atm, buying and regretting it ;)

  • sugar, milk and flavouring x

    Geina x

  • Geina - for some reason I figured they were full of all sorts! Not that I care too much ;)

    Beth - thanks :) That's good to hear from someone. I think what's bothering me now is that he said 'I don't think you're crazy, it's reasonable to have a question mark over what's going on' but other things he said basically made it seem as though he's saying my personality (one he doesn't yet really know as he did admit himself) has made me ill, which is almost worse than someone telling you you're crazy! I know it's more complex than that and I may have misunderstood, but it's how I felt. And while I didn't at all enjoy the admissions (which he said were unnecessary and just junior drs being over cautious - but one was by a cons, second time was kept in another night by a cons) I was just working out the whole 'hmm asthma seems to be having a strop and I don't like being on pred/not being able to get off it' but being grateful not to be dismissed as anxious by OOH/hospital, when suddenly I'm back to 'well all that's not true and you didn't need to bother with getting help' from someone I had thought would be the last one to play the anxiety card based on how he was before! A lot to get my head round really. Like Kayla says, I'm hoping the next appt is better; I'm thinking of some more focused questions (I""d not had much sleep before the last one for various reasons which didn't help me discuss things coherently).

    Kayla - no he took me off pred, which I find a little odd as PFs are still in yellow zone. I think in general I'm better than I was a few weeks ago as based on dropping a little then I wouldn't have reacted well to that and I am managing though needing reliever a fair bit. So more stable but still IMO having far too many symptoms which is what I want to address, regardless of admissions.

    ON the other hand I do feel quite zonked a lot of the time right now, since stopping, which I suspect is from coming off the pred so suddenly, I don't at all think it's anything serious/lasting but am a bit annoyed as I wonder if I could have avoided feeling like this if I'd done even a short taper - he said it wasn't necessary after a month, is a longer period where you need tapering and current guidelines are overly cautious but even if that's to avoid adrenal crisis, I would like to have avoided feeling wiped out if possible and have not felt like this before after stopping!

  • I think what's bothering me now is that he said 'I don't think you're crazy, it's reasonable to have a question mark over what's going on' but other things he said basically made it seem as though he's saying my personality (one he doesn't yet really know as he did admit himself) has made me ill, which is almost worse than someone telling you you're crazy! I know it's more complex than that and I may have misunderstood, but it's how I felt. And while I didn't at all enjoy the admissions (which he said were unnecessary and just junior drs being over cautious - but one was by a cons, second time was kept in another night by a cons) I was just working out the whole 'hmm asthma seems to be having a strop and I don't like being on pred/not being able to get off it' but being grateful not to be dismissed as anxious by OOH/hospital, when suddenly I'm back to 'well all that's not true and you didn't need to bother with getting help' from someone I had thought would be the last one to play the anxiety card based on how he was before! A lot to get my head round really. Like Kayla says, I'm hoping the next appt is better; I'm thinking of some more focused questions (I""d not had much sleep before the last one for various reasons which didn't help me discuss things coherently).

    Is this the ""new"" cons that you tried to switch to?

    Kayla - no he took me off pred, which I find a little odd as PFs are still in yellow zone. I think in general I'm better than I was a few weeks ago as based on dropping a little then I wouldn't have reacted well to that and I am managing though needing reliever a fair bit. So more stable but still IMO having far too many symptoms which is what I want to address, regardless of admissions.

    Taking you off while still in the yellow zone is not as strange as it may seem. I used to think that a longer time on pred would mean further improvement. Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is the body just gets used to the higher level and it stops having the same powerful effect it once did. So more time does not necessarily mean more benefit. Also because the body gets used to the higher level, going off pred can actually make the asthma a bit worse until the body readjusts to the lower level of cortisol.

    But I totally agree you should keep pushing re symptoms. Your cons needs to get more creative (or you need to look more broadly for solutions perhaps) so that you can reduce the impact of symptoms on your life without constantly being on prednisone. Being off pred and being able to fix serious flares with a leap to 40mg and back down is a lot better over all for the body than being on maintenance pred and needing to be blitzed with dexacort or hydrocortisone to get the same effect.

    ON the other hand I do feel quite zonked a lot of the time right now, since stopping, which I suspect is from coming off the pred so suddenly, I don't at all think it's anything serious/lasting but am a bit annoyed as I wonder if I could have avoided feeling like this if I'd done even a short taper - he said it wasn't necessary after a month, is a longer period where you need tapering and current guidelines are overly cautious but even if that's to avoid adrenal crisis, I would like to have avoided feeling wiped out if possible and have not felt like this before after stopping!

    Even a slow taper can make one zonked. Speaking from experience, the first few days at a pred level I hadn't been at for a long long while resulted in some minor leg muscle weakness and overwhelming fatigue, but it got better after a few days.

    Hope you start feeling better soon.

  • I think what's bothering me now is that he said 'I don't think you're crazy, it's reasonable to have a question mark over what's going on' but other things he said basically made it seem as though he's saying my personality (one he doesn't yet really know as he did admit himself) has made me ill, which is almost worse than someone telling you you're crazy! I know it's more complex than that and I may have misunderstood, but it's how I felt. And while I didn't at all enjoy the admissions (which he said were unnecessary and just junior drs being over cautious - but one was by a cons, second time was kept in another night by a cons) I was just working out the whole 'hmm asthma seems to be having a strop and I don't like being on pred/not being able to get off it' but being grateful not to be dismissed as anxious by OOH/hospital, when suddenly I'm back to 'well all that's not true and you didn't need to bother with getting help' from someone I had thought would be the last one to play the anxiety card based on how he was before! A lot to get my head round really. Like Kayla says, I'm hoping the next appt is better; I'm thinking of some more focused questions (I""d not had much sleep before the last one for various reasons which didn't help me discuss things coherently).

    Is this the ""new"" cons that you tried to switch to?

    Yep. I wanted to see him again because he'd done more for me than the others and in the past seemed willing to listen. This time was a bit of a surprise as I really hadn't expected all this... But as I asked to see him, and made my GP's life a bit difficult, I'm not giving up easily. I just need to work out how to make the next appt go better/be able to advocate for myself and not let him push his agenda too much. I also would like to develop a good working relationship with one cons as I think it would be good to have someone know me properly; it does help with GPs. Just v hard to do in practice, as discussed on Laura's thread about Soph's appt!

    Taking you off while still in the yellow zone is not as strange as it may seem. I used to think that a longer time on pred would mean further improvement. Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is the body just gets used to the higher level and it stops having the same powerful effect it once did. So more time does not necessarily mean more benefit. Also because the body gets used to the higher level, going off pred can actually make the asthma a bit worse until the body readjusts to the lower level of cortisol.

    But I totally agree you should keep pushing re symptoms. Your cons needs to get more creative (or you need to look more broadly for solutions perhaps) so that you can reduce the impact of symptoms on your life without constantly being on prednisone. Being off pred and being able to fix serious flares with a leap to 40mg and back down is a lot better over all for the body than being on maintenance pred and needing to be blitzed with dexacort or hydrocortisone to get the same effect.

    Ah I see, makes sense. I definitely don't want to be on pred indefinitely, though I was tapering anyway. I just am a little stuck when I'm in this yellow zone place with no other options as everything else is maxed out, but it seems to be very hard to get any cons to listen to this (other one insisted I was well controlled despite objective evidence to the contrary). It seems like a similar issue you had with your dr where they don't seem interested unless it's life-threatening, whereas the daily symptoms really bother me and also I can't see how it's a good thing in general to have such frequent ones.

    ON the other hand I do feel quite zonked a lot of the time right now, since stopping, which I suspect is from coming off the pred so suddenly, I don't at all think it's anything serious/lasting but am a bit annoyed as I wonder if I could have avoided feeling like this if I'd done even a short taper - he said it wasn't necessary after a month, is a longer period where you need tapering and current guidelines are overly cautious but even if that's to avoid adrenal crisis, I would like to have avoided feeling wiped out if possible and have not felt like this before after stopping!

    Even a slow taper can make one zonked. Speaking from experience, the first few days at a pred level I hadn't been at for a long long while resulted in some minor leg muscle weakness and overwhelming fatigue, but it got better after a few days.

    Hope you start feeling better soon.

    Thanks! I""ve never felt like this before after coming off I have to say, which is why I thought the taper would have improved things. I think I will say that next time (assuming he is willing for there to be one where necessary, and I will get rather annoyed if he starts in on how I never need it as sometimes I know I do though of crouse I don't want t be on it). I saw my GP yesterday (good one who isn't my usual) and she was debating the best thing to do but gave me a mini-course of 10 for 3 days, 5 for 3 days and then down in 1s. Also reassured me that I'm not going crazy and that the admissions I had weren't me or the hospital massively overreacting which seemed to be what cons was saying. They weren't severe attacks as I knew, she knew and the hospital knew but they explained their reasoning behind keeping me in.

    Hoping next time is better. I'm making notes of things I want to raise, and hoping we can talk things through. He's shown willingness before to change his mind and listen; I only hope he can again as I'm not willing to be left in no-man's-land again; I'm fed up with that regardless of admissions etc! (And I don't think that's going to happen again any time soon; it seems just to have been a bad month, but would have liked it acknowledged that that can happen and discussed potential reasons for it without being told it was just an overreaction - it's not happened before!)

  • Both cold and hot foods trigger me. Ive been told its fairly common in reactive/spasmodic asthma (more common in children, but Im 33!) where the airways tighten very suddenly rather than the inflamation type which can be more gradual. You can have both at once (I do).

  • I get this, though I don't eat ice cream as I'm diabetic, but I get it with cold water or cold yoghurt. I'm wondering if it happens because my throat has got over sensitive through the cough due to asthma/small airways disease ? I noticed today when I was in our car with the air con on that the cold air made me cough too.

  • Cold drinks always get me. I can't have ice in drinks because it makes me cough etc. Same with milkshakes etc, although I hear often that asthmatics shouldn't have dairy as it inflames the airways or gloops them up or something (see how medical I am!), but I don't know about all that. I have very little dairy (not due to asthma) and notice no change to be honest. So yeah, room temperature all the way baby!

    Cold weather/windy days always get me. Even windy summer days.

    I am trying the Buteyko method at the moment (lots of nose breathing, never through the mouth so that the air gets warmed and filtered etc). So far, so good.

    :)

  • I am trying the Buteyko method at the moment (lots of nose breathing, never through the mouth so that the air gets warmed and filtered etc). So far, so good.

    I was coughing due to the cold air con in the car even though my mouth was closed !

    I've got the Buteyko book 'Close your Mouth' and I agree it's very important to breathe through one's nose. Actually I never breathe through my mouth, I hate it when on a few occasions in my life my nose has been completely blocked due to cold/sinuses, and I'm forced to breathe through my mouth for a short while. However, I wonder if sometimes I mouth breathe at night ? The thought of taping my mouth closed is abhorrent and I just can't do it - I try to make sure I don't roll onto my back in my sleep as I'm pretty sure my mouth comes open then as I wake up with an exceedingly dry mouth.

  • Yea I have the same problem when I eat icecream and drink milk and I'm so addicted to eatting cereal but instead of regular milk I've just started to use almond milk it has no diary and it so far has been good to me! and for some reason the doctor doesn't know what's going on and kinda looks at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that milk and icecream makes my asthma flare up but other than those two I can eat eggs and everything else 

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