The story outlines a patient who has symptoms of asthma, and went through the classic course: antibiotics, then inhalers, then medication for gastric reflux, all of which did nothing. The patient finally saw a doctor who connected medication with inflammation and food intake and her symptoms of cough and shortness of breath. She didn’t really have asthma at all, but was given the diagnosis and subsequently treated for it.
Sometimes I blame doctors for just handing over the easy fix of inhalers. But I also have to blame patients for continuing to consume inflammatory foods. Some inflammatory foods are obvious: drinking tons of coffee or soda, putting hot chili sauce on everything…. And then there are some foods that seem bland and harmless, but can wreak havoc on your system.
A true diagnosis of asthma is made by a combination of tests: a Pulmonary Function Test, a sensitivity to Aspirin, amongst other things. Wheezing is not always a sign of asthma.
But back to the inflammatory part: most of America is eating very acidic and/or inflammatory foods. In the Huff Post article, Dr. Boham talks about the elimination diet: classically, it’s one or more of the following that are the offenders: corn and soy, dairy, or wheat.
After spending the better part of this year researching food additives, I am not sure if it’s the actual corn or soy as it is the type of food, i.e. GMO, processed, bleached, or otherwise. If someone wants to cut out dairy completely, great. But maybe they need only switch to organic dairy: no Rbst (an antibiotic fed to cows), no milk from grain fed cows. Home-made yogurt without thickeners or stabilizers, no Natamycin or colorants added to shredded cheeses. And another highly inflammatory diet staple now: canola oil has to be the biggest offender of all in the American diet. Pesticide and herbicide residues, solvents, and traces of other chemicals are routinely found in these oils, not to mention fake butter flavorings. It’s enough to make me wheeze just thinking about it.
I’m not saying that you can’t get off your inhalers, but if you have taken a pulmonary function or spirometry test and your doctor has determined that you have a reversible component, I would advise you to first clear out as many inflammatory foods as possible before trying to ‘wean’ yourself off of any pulmonary medications.