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Diet and exercise can relieve asthma symptoms

credit: pixabay

credit: pixabay

Andjela Ergic, ECU Reporter

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A balanced diet and regular exercise may be able to lower asthma symptoms in non-obese patients, according to new Danish research.

Asthma is a chronic lung condition which causes patients to have to have sensitive airways that flare up when triggered, causing difficulty in breathing. These triggers can include pollen, cigarette smoke, and dust mites according to Asthma Australia.

The study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, randomly divided 149 patients into four groups.

The first group was under the instruction to eat six vegetables daily, whilst maintaining a diet high in protein and a low GI (blood-sugar level). The second group were ordered to exercise 3 times a week at a hospital. The third group participated in the exercise whilst also following the diet, and the fourth group (the control group) did none the above.

Researches asked participants about their symptoms and also tested their lung output functionality and fitness.

The results found that non-obese people who exercised three times a week and followed a healthy diet reduced their asthma symptoms by 50 percent, in contrast to the control group.

Those who monitored their diets and did exercised regularly (but not both) rated their asthma symptoms score 30 percent better than the control group.

However, there was no significant improvement in lung function.

The researcher who presented the findings, Dr Louise Lindhardt Toennesen, said that asthmatics sometimes find exercise challenging which leads to a decline in fitness.

“Our research suggests that people with non-obese asthma should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet and can safely take part in well-planned, high-intensity exercise. It also shows that exercise combined with a healthy diet can help patients control their asthma symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life,” said Dr Toennesen.

“These are important findings since we know that not all patients have good control over their symptoms and consequently can have a lower quality of life. We also know that many patients are interested in whether they can improve their asthma control with exercise and a healthy diet.”

According to the National Asthma Council Australia, people diagnosed with asthma should not abstain from physical activity, despite the possibility of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

“Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can be managed effectively with relievers and preventers (or both) and should not stop people with asthma participating in physical activity, including competitive sport,” it said.

In Australia there are 2.5 million (10.8%) asthma suffers, approximately one in ten adults and 1 in 9 children, making it the second major long-term health condition in the country. In 2015, 421 deaths were caused by asthma, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Dr Toennesen and her team hope to investigate asthma symptoms further and ultimately see if lifestyle changes can replace asthma medication.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diet and exercise can relieve asthma symptoms