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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest remedy for severe asthma

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16218 Questions

Posted on Mon, 2 Nov 2015 in General Health
Question: My Girlfriend has severe Asthma and has been taking prednisone for many years, her skin is like paper and I think her body is breaking down from all the steroids (inhalers and breathing machine). I have done some web based research and it seems diet (specifically milk) can cause the inflammation for an asthma attack. I have suggested she modify her diet but she will not follow any of my advice. Is there any way her attacks could be eliminated with a better diet? If so, how can I convince her? She also has some mental health issues (which she takes medication for) that I think are exacerbated by the steroids. Her legs also have water collecting and sores that won't heal and back problems (vertebrae that are damaged in two different areas). Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
food or drinks can act as triggers

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is true that the chronic use of oral steroids can affect mental health and impact the immune system so that she is either more prone to infections or current infections take a long time to heal.

The inhalers and nebuliser steroids would have less of a systemic effect because the majority of this remains in the lungs and only a little is systemically absorbed.
It is possible to have systemic side effects such as those mentioned but the chance is low.

As you mentioned, foods can be a trigger for an asthma attack. In persons the food trigger may differ.

She should consider a food diary for 2 to 3 weeks so that she would be able to note if there is any link with any particular foods that she uses and her attacks.

The food diary showing a link would help to convince her. Some persons have other triggers as well such as cold air, exercise, dust, perfumes etc

If she has a history of GERD (reflux) or post nasal drip, both of these also prevent good control of asthma
If these are controlled then asthma attacks would decrease as well

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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