Food and drink allergies and asthma. - Asthma UK communi...

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Food and drink allergies and asthma.

digg profile image

Hi Folks,

Just wondering if any one in the forum has allergies to food/drink, having been recently diagnosed i really need to get to know just what i am allergic to.

I know that i have allergies (not entirely sure it is dust mites though) so it will be interesting to find out roughly what my allergies are.

Has any one found through a blood test either with nhs or private company allergies to food or drink that may effect asthma.

It is all a steep learning curve for me regarding this asthma situation and any extra knowledge is always very helpful.

Have you managed to cut out certain foods and drink and found that your symptoms have improved.


30 Replies

I have a dairy intolerance and allergy to citrus. X

digg profile image
digg in reply to Jenzzie18

Hi Jenzzie18,

Just had results from blood test and have a dairy intolerance and borderline reaction to yeast/wheat and anise seed ( no idea what that is at the moment) so guess i'll switch to vodka and gin.

Have to start checking products carefully many products are laden with dairy.


Jenzzie18 profile image
Jenzzie18 in reply to digg

Ah yeah dairy intolerance is a nightmare although easier than it used to be. The citrus I find a complete nightmare as it’s not common it’s not normally listed in bold on ingredients yet they put it in so much. Good luck with it all. X

I don't have any serious food allergy issues, but have noticed most of my life to be careful of dairy; eggs especially. Occasionally if I have eggs, particularly fried/boiled when they are runny, it can set off a bit of wheezing. I've never tested for it though; just something I've noticed down the years.

Hi true allergies are relatively rare and intolerances are much more common. Dust mites among other things are a well known trigger for asthmatics. I know I am intolerant to them because they make me wheeze and cough.

One of my sisters (no lung problems) had a bad dry cough for years until she cut out all dairy foods then reintroduced them one by one. She found she was intolerant to cows milk and ice cream. Once she stopped eating them her cough stopped completely. x

I notice if I eat bread made with wheat flour, my diaphragm becomes heavy and I feel like I’m suffocating. I’m fine with rye bread. I also avoid dairy products and wine. They definitely trigger severe allergic rhinitis and possibly aggravate my asthma.

Chilli is definitely a trigger for me and has gradually got worse. Kiwi is another but I am allergic to latex which goes hand in hand. They say to avoid coke. My consultant said to me once Your a naturally allergic person so you would be okay with something one day and not the next.

I find that I'm fine with most foods however,orange squash and red wine are triggers for me. Plus garlic bread for some reason. These things not only set of my asthma but also my ibs. Maybe try keeping a food diary and see if a pattern emerges.

I have lots of environmental allergies, like dust, pollen, and dander but no food allergies that I'm aware of. I think pets are my biggest trigger

I have multiple food and drink allergies. I also have some intolerances. I have epipens, antihistamine etc to manage. Most have been discovered using food diaries and exclusion. Allergies some bloods when in resus.

I have been screened for food allergies after my consultant gastroenterologist requested that I be checked. I’ve had a number of years of digestive issues and (given that I have asthma) he wanted to rule out food allergies as a possible cause.

I was screened for about twenty foods which are known to cause issues. It’s done via blood test. I came back negative on all of them (which wasn’t really a surprise to me). The same screening process did, however, identify that I had a high IgE count - nine times what is considered normal - which is a known marker for allergies Given that I was symptomless at the time I was screened - though I had had sniffles earlier in the day - that came a bit of a shock.

However, certain foods do cause problems for me, but that is more usually as a result of reflux, and silent reflux can result in symptoms (finding it harder to breathe, cough) that are very similar to those that are typical of asthma.

That said, we do know that I am allergic to iodine. This came to light after I had a reaction to the iodine contrast dye used it CT scans. However, I have no problems eating fish, or certain types of shellfish, although I do have to avoid molluscs (but that I suspect is an intolerance, given that the above mentioned screening came up negative for blue mussels - definitely a mollusc:-)).


I have allergies to grass and tree pollen, mould, house dust mite and pets confirmed by consultant after blood test. I am also allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and am sensitive to sulfites and chlorine. My dentist and gp suspect I am allergic to nickle. All of these flare my asthma up badly. I carry epipens for anaphylaxis. The sulfites have been very hard to avoid but cutting them out has made the biggest difference to my asthma.

My triggers are hard to avoid and my GP thinks I am likely to be allergic to more things. I take zafirlukast and fexofenadine to help.

Hope you find your triggers and that they are easy to cut out. Xxx

digg profile image
digg in reply to Emily-G


Thank you for your reply, once i get the results i will hopefully able to avoid the foods which give me a tight chest and effect my quality of life.


Hmm. Not sure about private tests.

I had patch tests done through Dermatology (I made the GP refer me) and they said I was allergic to 2 things: Fragrance & Balsam of Peru - which is in a million things including loads of food & drinks.

I was given an info sheet on each one & told to avoid. I took those sheets and researched the hell out of those to find out what they really were. My whole diet & personal care products has to change.

But you can’t always avoid - my asthma actually came about from Anaphylaxis last year. I now have JEXTPENs (epipens) and take antihistamines and have learned that some things I eat accidentally, I get a rash, others my throat closes up 😔and that if I breathe in some things I have an asthma attack instead.

My advice is do your research and always have your meds just in case and see who your GP can refer you to for testing.

My chest goes tight immediately after drinking diluted blackcurrant juice, like Ribena. But then it eases off and I can drink some more of the juice if I wanted to. I tend to avoid diluted blackcurrant juice. Does anyone else have this experience?

Chest1 profile image
Chest1 in reply to 3lle

Do you drink wine and/or other diluting juice. I ask because they have sulphites in them (a preservative) which many are sensitive to. So it might not be the berries, it could be something else in the juice.

3lle profile image
3lle in reply to Chest1

That’s really interesting, thank you. I think am ok with wine and other diluted juices.

When I’d be admitted to Alder Hay Hospital every other week as a child with asthma attacks, that’s when I discovered the blackcurrant thing - in the hospital. We would be given the blackcurrant on the wards. I’d tell the nurses it made my chest tight, so they switched to orange.

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I'm not sure if I have food allergies. In general my asthma is not allergic but I do have hayfever (odd but possible). I had negative allergy tests but appear to react to trees based on the season; grass is fine.

However I am really sensitive to a number of plants in any form - I am no botanist so I'm not sure where the link is but rose, lavender, violet are particularly bad; smelling hibiscus tea as well, and I can't drink even a sip of gin which I am assuming is the juniper or maybe something else in it. I will have an asthma attack just from smelling a colleague's rose hand cream or lavender wheat pack (not hospital worthy quite but takes a long time and a lot of Ventolin to resolve).

I also cannot eat any of those things - even if I don't smell them they have the same effect, but if it's a cheap knock-off but with a convincing smell I won't react at all. This is the opposite to perfume where if it is cheap I react to the scent and usually expect expensive perfume not to be an issue (except Acqua di Parma which uses plant essences/scents, and costs a lot so pretty sure they use real ones!).

I haven't yet worked out if this is an allergy or a respiratory sensitivity like I have with perfumes and sprays. I did recently react to pure mango juice with a small asthma attack (of the multiple puffs variety), which was unexpected. I have a friend who does have severe allergic asthma and reacts to mango juice but not the whole fruit! I hadn't expected to react to that too as she is definitely allergic type and is on Xolair.

Yes, I have allergies to food and other things (including penicillin, wasps stings, prawns, eggs....) long before I had asthma.

Tests were initially the patch tests, but these are not always reliable. Indicative though. Then I had some subcutaneous tests when a small amount of the allergen is injected just under the skin with the supervision of a doctor. This was more accurater and is available through GP referral on NHS but lenghty waiting list. Plus I had RAST blood tests and these are fairly accurate, but not cheap.

You need to become your own detective. Note when you feel worse and what you have eaten or where you have been for the previous 24 - 48 hours (Some reactions are delayed ones). You may then notice a pattern in terms of where you have been or what you have eaten. This will help to identify what you might be reacting to. The Allergy UK has useful information amongst others. 'The Allergy Bible' has lots of useful information, including intolerance and other reactions to chemicals and food which may not be allergies as such. All the best.

digg profile image
digg in reply to strongmouse


Thank you for reply, i find it very difficult trying to find out what my allergies are, especially when the weather goes cold and i get a tight chest ( not looking forward to the next few days)

I will check out with asthma uk and the allergy bible, i will hopefully find solution and control my asthma, just waiting for the results from my blood samples.

Once i have an idea what my allergies are then i hope i will have some control of my life.


strongmouse profile image
strongmouse in reply to digg

It isn't easy digg especially as asthma can happen without a cause of when its cold or as a part of an allergic response. Yup I agree about the cold weather making it worse!

No quick answers but as you say it does help to know anything which triggers worsening of symptoms. Sounds like you are getting there, even if it is slow, which it is because it can be complicated! :)

Anything with sulphites gives me asthma attacks (when I really can't breath). Dust and pollen, too, and when its really really cold I always need my inhaler....

Anything with sulphur diokside causes me immediate asthma attacks, like non-organic, cheap red wine, since it contains sulphur diokside as preservatives. But organic red wine causes no harm, in contrary. Also I realized that taking too much chemical sugar causes asthma attacks, in this case all desserts on the market shelves, especially the ones with glucose syrup and palm-oil and alcohol.

digg profile image
digg in reply to felixrufus

Red wine with all that bad sulphur stuff effects me to, learned the hard way several months back started to cough really badly when drinking the stuff.

just trying to figure out at the moment which foods and drink make me feel rough.

Where can you get organic red wine from? is it available from the usual big stores.

Chest1 profile image
Chest1 in reply to digg

Wine, including organic wine contain sulphites (which are different to sulphur). It is a preservative so it's rare to get a wine or cider without. Also present in many manufactured foods, sauces, liquid medicines and drinks. I've been told that decanting the wine helps to destroy the sulphites as does cooking.

Hi Digg,

I have no allergic traits in my blood samples, however I'm very sensitive to all sorts of stuff. Here is my list so you will realise how many unrelated things cause problems in just one individual. You will also see how keeping a diary is important in the initial stages. Perhaps even a supervised exclusion diet.

My list:

Dairy, gluten, zinc, chlorohexadine (a skin cleanser used in hospitals and antiseptics), sulphites, caffeine, kiwi, walnuts and finally asprin and even the anti inflammatory cream rubbed on just a finger will cause me to shake and wheeze. I get very congested and need antihistamines between April and September. This only came to light when I had removed a lot of the other irritants and noticed I was worse during the summer.

Good luck.


I have had asthma all my life now 34, and have worked in a bakery since 16. I recently had a blood text done to see what triggers my asthma as i thought flour could be a potential trigger the result were dust mites, cats and dogs and grass pollen in that order. It turned out I'm not allergic to foods or so it seems. Very rarely when I have a alcoholic drink my face goes red and chest tightens up this lasts for an hour or so. I'm still wanting to know what causes it??.

digg profile image
digg in reply to DeanSamson


when you mention alcohol what are you drinking to make your chest tight! wine is known to be a common trigger for people with asthma.

I just drink gluten free lager when i go to the pub and it helps me a lot.


Hi, usually later beer or something similar sometimes its after the first drink. Whiskey is a bad one aswell I try to stay clear of it.

There are so many decent lager/beers (UK and European ) at the moment all gluten free from all the big supermarkets.

Not to sure about the whisky side of things..sorry

Try a few and see how you feel..don't forget the munchies.

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