Cough, asthma, breathing difficulty? Science confirms that it could depend on what you eat


asthma_child_inhalerWe’re not surprised, but doctors who treat the respiratory system should jump out of their chairs and take notice in view of the intense dispute that has arisen in recent years.

A wonderful study that was published a few weeks ago on the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Brandt EB et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006 Aug;118(2):420-7) speaks clearly about a situation that many of us have been dealing with for years.

In the case of a persistent cough, our well-founded knowledge of this subject leads us to also propose an analysis of food intolerances and allergies (that often brings about a solution) in addition to the one for respiratory allergies.

The sequence of the scientific study mentioned above is quite interesting: the American researchers studied what occurred in the lungs of laboratory mice (sensitized to egg) that were fed eggs. Even 12 days after food containing egg had been given, the mice’s lungs still showed inflammation and there was an irritative reaction on the part of the respiratory system. Lungs, trachea, bronchial tubes and nose were stimulated to react to the most varied substances such as mites and dust to which they had previously shown no “aversion”.

Practically speaking, if we take the example of a normal Italian child who is intolerant to milk, we’ll find a young patient who will develop a cough, asthma and rhinitis simply because he surpasses his reactive threshold level by eating ice cream or yogurt. Usually, before anyone makes any considerations about diet, the child has been treated with various cycles of antibiotics and has run the risk of becoming diabetic because of the gallons of cough syrup that he has had to swallow.

The fact that food reactivity can cause asthma in 81% of the cases is based on data that was already reported by Hugh Sampson (the world’s most renowned expert in food allergies) in 2002. But the most serious problem remains that of the obtuseness of those who insist upon thinking of food as simply an element that is “to be digested” without seeing the profound effects that it has on the immune system.

Today we the confirmation that we have been on the right path for many years. We know that an inquiry into food hypersensitivity (whether it be food allergy or intolerance) becomes a necessary (and very frequent) step in the search for the causes of a respiratory problem.

We can go further to say that it is necessary even in the case of any inflammatory problem that is not directly caused by a virus or bacteria. We also know that a doctor who once “mocked” and who now “overlooks” could be held responsible for omission and negligence.

When your doctor tells you that you cough because you’re not eating properly, don’t think that he’s gone crazy; he’s probably just starting to seriously reflect upon the global functioning of your immune system.