What to Do When Dairy Worsens Your Asthma

You know that drinking milk is good for your bones and your teeth. But what if when you consume dairy products, your asthma kicks in and you find it difficult to breathe?

Milk and Asthma

Some people believe that milk and asthma can be related. One common theory is that milk and other types of dairy can cause increased mucus to form in your airways. If the mucus is enough to be difficult to clear, this can cause your asthma symptoms to flare.

While this sounds logical, most of the research done in this area doesn't seem to be able to substantiate the claim. Nonetheless, many asthmatics will tell you that when they drink milk, they do find themselves coping with respiratory challenges afterwards.

Milk Allergies

Another possible explanation for the connection between milk and asthma is that an undiagnosed milk allergy exists. Since milk allergies area relatively common phenomenon, this makes a great deal of sense. Further, an allergy to milk can certainly cause asthma symptoms.

Avoiding Milk and Asthma

Regardless of which scenario fits, if you find that drinking milk or eating dairy products seems to make you feel worse, you may be tempted to eliminate this food group completely from your diet. However, most doctors will warn you against this move, since dairy products contain a host of important nutrients, including Calcium and Vitamin D and both of these are essential for their health benefits.

In fact, people who don't get adequate amounts of Calcium may be at risk for osteoporosis. This condition causes your bones to become weaker and more susceptible to fractures. Further, if you take an anti-inflammatory medication to control your asthma symptoms, you can be putting yourself and your bone density at increased risk. The reason is because these asthma medications reduce the amount of calcium your body absorbs from the foods you eat, causing an even bigger gap to exist.

What You Can Do

Do you wonder, then, how best to handle milk and asthma? First of all, if you suspect that milk and the other dairy products you eat and drink could be making your asthma worse, you should check with your doctor for advice before eliminating these choices from your diet. In addition, if you do cut down on dairy, or eliminate it entirely, it's also crucial that you compensate by taking calcium supplements and selecting non-dairy foods that are fortified with calcium, such as orange juice. Making healthy lifestyle choices, including eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding cigarette smoke and engaging in regular exercise can also help head off osteoporosis and other related health problems.


Asthma Foundation NSW

Natural News

Mayo Clinic

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases