To Your Health
January, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 01)
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Natural Relief from Asthma and the Allergens that Can Cause it

By Ellen Cutler, DC

 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Asthma is a respiratory condition that affects more than 10 million Americans and is one of the leading causes of school and work absences.

In severe cases, asthma can be life-threatening for both children and adults. In the past decade, the incidence of asthma in preschool children has reached epidemic levels - new cases are increasing at more than twice the rate of adults.

Research suggests allergies may be a major contributor to the development of asthma. People who suffer from chronic asthma are usually imbalanced in their digestive tract, experience an overreactive immune response to the presence of allergens, and have abnormal reactions to foods, environmental stressors or pathogens. And because they are so reactive, their immune system becomes overloaded simply by fighting off everyday sensitivities.

The result is that these individuals have little immune support to fend off real threats from bacterial, viral or parastitic infections. Their system becomes chaotic and weakened. Chronic disease or chronic symptoms can set in.

Asthma: Primary Causes and Potential Solutions

 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Food Allergies

In my 20-plus years of practice, I have found that a major contributor to asthma symptoms is specific food allergies to the following foods: cow's milk, various nuts, corn, seeds, soy and soy products, wheat, citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, most grains, spices, yeast products, alcohol, baking powder, baking soda, gum mix, tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. Plants that contain gluten, such as wheat, rye, oats, malt, and barley, can also contribute to asthma symptoms.


Taking a full-spectrum vegetarian digestive enzyme can help relieve or reduce most food allergies by helping your body better digest some of these foods.

 - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Food Additives

Food additives such as sulfites are also big contributors to asthma symptoms. Sulfites are used as a preservative in foods such as wine, beer, fruit drinks, cider, certain baked products, gelatin, starches, beet sugar, and dried fruits, and to prevent discoloration in fresh shrimp, raw vegetables, and salads. Sulfites are also commonly used in the manufacturing of many drugs, including asthma aerosols. Therefore, some of the medications people use daily can actually contribute to the severity of asthma. Be sure to inquire with your doctor about possible sensitivity to it. Food additives and food dyes are also linked to asthma.


Eating fresh organic fruits, foods and vegetables, and buying foods with less packaging and processing, can help alleviate the onslaught of sulfites and food additives.