Asthma & dairy/wheat: When I entirely... - Asthma UK communi...

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Asthma & dairy/wheat


When I entirely cut out wheat and dairy from my son’s diet within 3-4 days his asthma clears up. I think dairy is a problem but not necessarily because it may be mucus forming but for some other as yet unknown reason. I would love to hear from people who have completely eradicated all wheat and dairy from their diets for a month and found no improvement to their asthma?

14 Replies

Dairy products are known to sometimes act as triggers for asthma, so removing them from your son's diet could in certain situations alleviate or even remove his symptoms (presuming they are a trigger for him).

However, sad to say, there isn't a dietary cure for asthma, wonderful though that would be.

If there's a food allergy or intolerance it will aggravate asthma due to phlegm and inflammation.

Sadly, I love dairy and I know it's a trigger. I'm completely off dairy right now and feeling pretty good.

Try dairy free and gluten free and if it works for you, who cares why. So much about the response of our immune systems we still don't understand.

I have been wheat and dairy free for many years. Through control of diet my eczema has greatly improved. But, unfortunately, my asthma has not responded in the same way. I remain a chronic asthmatic, but my asthma is under control. I put this down to fitness, keeping clear of certain foods and Symbicort.

I don't pay attention to medics who say that diet has on effect on health. it patently does. Your son's asthma and food intolerances may change over time. Well done to you for experimenting with his diet and the dramatic results.

I think you've hit the nail on the head - as asthmatics we have to learn what our triggers are & steer clear. That's not a cure for asthma, but it's an obviously sensible management strategy. I used to find that if I had more than 2 eggs in a week, I'd get wheezy, so I avoided them. Nowadays, I don't get any adverse reaction from them...I still tend to avoid them but don't see them as a trigger in the same way.

Unfortunately, I could live on bread & water, but stick a cat on my lap & I'd be ringing an ambulance within 20 minutes.

IChoose in reply to Minushabens

Same here!

I’ve recently read a book called Fed Up with Asthma by Sue Dengate. Following her own children’s experiences with asthma, she researched links between food chemicals and symptoms. It’s quite an old book but it makes a lot of sense to me. For example, processed meats like sausages contain sulphites, which she believes can cause a reaction in some asthmatics. My son loves them.

However, because he is only 2, I’ve been told by a few people that I shouldn’t be eliminating things from his diet without expert help. When I mentioned it to one of the doctors last time he was admitted, I was told that this theory is not supported by medical evidence.

I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experience of this.

lakelover in reply to TMR16

I'm no expert but I wouldn't worry about stopping his sausages. Asthmatic or not we are all told not to eat too much processed meat, & it's easy to replace what's in a sausage with food that is better for him. Could you not form "sausages" out of minced meat & tell they're special, just for him? He could well thank you when he is older.

TMR16 in reply to lakelover

Thanks, and I agree that it’s no bad thing. I’ve been vegetarian myself for nearly 30 years and I’m happy to cut out processed meats from his diet.

The thing I’m struggling with is that in the book it mentions all sorts of foods, e.g. some fruit is high in a substance that can cause a reaction if you’re sensitive. So you would avoid grapes, but pears are okay. The diet seems quite limited but if it works it would be worth it.

I’m only just learning about asthma. This forum is a great source of information and suggestions; thank you for replying.

strongmouse in reply to TMR16

Allergies and intolerance are possible factors as they can cause inflammation. Doctors become worried about cutting out foods as they have little understanding of allergies or nutrition. If you do cut out a main food group such as wheat or dairy in your child's diet then you need to make sure that they are getting all the nutrition they need while growing, especially calcium for dairy products. Check that any books on allergies are written by a nutritionist or someone with suitable training / expertise before trying any drastic diet.

A well written book is "The Allergy Bible" by Linda Gamlin and Professor Jonathan Brostoff. The organisations Allergy UK and Action Against Allergy both have some useful information.

TMR16 in reply to strongmouse

Great, thanks. I’ll add that book to my reading list.

I cut out wheat ,everybody is individual, so if your son is better without wheat and dairy I would cut them out and find alternatives

It doesn’t matter if something is not known to trigger asthma , everyone is different therefore would have different triggers

I never eat too much dairy I have IBS but gave up all bread and wheat stuff a weak ago gave up soft drinks 3 weeks ago my IBS seems much better my asthma is the same but early days yet things might change Oh yeah i broke out and had a breakfast no bread but sausages etc feit a twinge in my stomach a few hours later.

From what I understand it has to be not a drop of dairy for 1 month to truly know if it is dairy or not for an adult.

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