Did you know that there is a link between food allergies and asthma? Allergies and asthma are both allergic disorders, but what other facts do you need to know?
- Food allergies can be a predictor of asthma later in life. Children who have food allergies as babies often grow up to develop asthma, and one-third of children with food allergies have asthma.
- An allergic reaction happens when a foreign protein is inhaled, touched or eaten. The immune system sends inflammatory cells to attack and get rid of it. In the process, mucus and fluid fills swollen airways and triggers the cycle of asthma.
- Certain foods are known for triggering asthma attacks in those with allergies, including sulfites, which can be found in wine and other processed food.
- Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, can present itself with primarily respiratory symptoms in those with asthma.
If you or your child with asthma have never been tested for allergies, find a board-certified allergist recommended by your primary care doctor to get tested.
If you have both food allergies and asthma, your doctor will help you create a detailed action plan to combat your food allergies and asthma together. As always, knowing your triggers and what to avoid will be an important part of managing your conditions. Also, The Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) has a booklet for parents and children called “My Personal Allergy and Asthma Guide” that can be very beneficial for those newly diagnosed with asthma and/or allergies.