Asthma – Milk Irritates More Than Reflux

A reader commented on the last milk article that he developed asthma as a result of his body’s intolerance to dairy.

Understanding how this is possible means first understanding that there are different types of asthma, and thus the triggers for attacks will differ.

For the reader whose asthma trigger is dairy, this suggests that his asthma is “non-allergic.” This basically means that his inflammation is caused by irritants outside the allergy world, such as pollen, dander, and dust.

Keep in mind that an intolerance to something is much different than an allergy. While different types of inflammation occur with both allergies and intolerances, as evidenced in the differing kinds of asthma, the physiology behind the inflammation differs.

Asthma is an inflammation and constriction of the airways, causing the sufferer to not be able to breathe easily. This can range in severity from mildly irritating to life-threatening. People who are no strangers to asthma likely are well-familiar with not only what type of asthma they have, but also what triggers their inflammation.

Ironically, it is known that Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease also causes asthma attacks. This is particularly important to people who have an intolerance to dairy who also have a history of GERD, asthma, lactose intolerance, or any other dairy-related problems.

The point here isn’t so much to teach asthma sufferers about what causes their problems. Rather, it is more of an awareness issue for the rest of us who are not as sensitive to dairy.

It seems anymore that there are warnings popping up all over packages, menus, and even outside certain buildings of the presence of certain food ingredients. I have heard a lot of people complain about these warnings, saying it seems to be going overboard.

However, this is more than the drive to try and be sensitive or politically correct.

Have you ever tried to breathe through a small straw? If you don’t have asthma or allergies, you likely have not had the displeasure of this experience.

If you have ever wondered why there is such a push to disclose the presence of these food items, I would invite you, to give this exercise a try. Take a drinking straw, place it in your mouth, and go up and down your stairs (at a safe pace as to not trip and choke on your straw) at least once. Breathe only through your straw…not your nose.

Don’t overdo it, but just try to get a sense of what this feels like.

This is similar to what people who have antihistamine reactions go through when they are having an anaphylactic or asthmatic reaction to certain triggers, of which dairy is a big one.

The difference is, they can’t take the straw out of their mouths. During an attack, frequently a rescue inhaler, or trip to the ER is all that can turn the situation around. For people with severe food allergies, an Epipen is their constant companion.

Trying to imagine the feeling of GERD at its worst is a little harder to do (safely). But these attacks are easily triggered by dairy, soy, red meat, and other foods- even when eaten in moderation.

Suffice it to say that if you really wanted a sensitivity training kind of exercise here, just imagine the feeling of trying to swallow a 5-pound barbell. The heavy, anxious, painful feeling along the esophagus and near the stomach’s opening isn’t just awful to experience; it can lead to long-term damage.

So I would invite you to try and notice on the packages, menus and buildings the different safety notices that are posted and what kinds of foods are listed. This will help you be a better friend to the people in your lives who suffer from food-related problems such as asthma, GERD and allergies.

To better plan your meals, or to learn more about Acid Reflux, have a look at my natural Acid Reflux Guide today.

by Scott Davis

Glenn Seymour (97 Posts)

Partner & Director of Business Development at Stocks Institue for Age Management. I Promote Age Management strategies including hormone optimization, low glycemic index foods and exercise. I have spent my career in the healthcare industry.

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