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FAQs on Dealing with Asthma
Dr Pradyut Waghray
1. Who is likely to be more prone to asthma?
You may be prone to asthma if you
  • Have asthmatics in the family
  • Live in urban areas
  • Areexposed to second hand smoke
  • Had a low birth weight

  • Had a low birth weight
  • Have other health problems
  • Areexposed to irritants at work
2. What are the Dos and Don'ts for an asthmatic?
DOs of Asthma:
  • Follow a regular sleep cycle
  • Make it a point to exercise (consult your doctor)
  • Take morning walks, try yogasanas, especially pranayama
  • Eata light and early dinner
  • Keep your surroundings, especially the bedroom, clean and dust-free
  • Take your medicines regularly as directed by your doctor
Get frequent medical checkups to keep your asthma in control

DON'Ts of Asthma:

  • Strictly avoid smoking and drinking
  • Donot take medication without your doctor's consent
  • Donot overeat
  • Avoid pets and flowers in your house as much as possible
  • Avoid rugs or carpets in your Bedroom
3. What would be considered a safe diet for asthmatics?

Asthmatic diet:
  1. Avoid foods that are known to produce allergic reactions or which produce indigestion.
  2. Asthma attacks persons predisposed to the disease, especially at night. So asthmatics must eat a light dinner.
  3. Spicy, fried foods, chutneys, pickles, sweets and milk-products should be avoided, especially at dinner.
  4. Consume properly cleaned seasonal fruits and vegetables in abundance.
  5. Asthmatics lose a lot of water through fast and labored respiration, especially during an attack.
    Therefore, drink a lot of water.
  6. Water should be avoided during meals as it dilutes the digestive juices and causes heaviness of the stomach.
4. What food groups are considered good for asthmatics?

Good Foods for Asthmatics
  1. With Magnesium: Spinach, avocados, barley, almonds, buckwheat, oysters, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, amaranth.
  2. With Quercetin: Cabbage, greens, cranberries, grapes, pears, apples, spinach, garlic, onions, grapefruit.
  3. With Vitamin C: Tangerines, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, pineapples.
  4. With Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, tuna, trout.
With Vitamin B6: Sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, tuna, salmon, pork, potatoes, turkey, chicken, bok choy, rice, avocados, bananas, chick-peas, barley, mangoes.

  • Approximately 70% of people with asthma have allergies to substances in the environment that can be inhaled. The best way to manage asthma is to work with your doctor.
  • Asthma can't be cured; however, working with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan helps you self manage your condition on a day-to-day basis. 
Dr Pradyut Waghray is Consultant Chest Physician, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Senior Consultant Pulmonologist, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.

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