A woman looking down worriedly at a huge plate of food

Eating Less Helps My Breathing

Last updated: December 2022

I have long noticed that when my breathing is at its worst, it is always when I have eaten too much. Leaving aside the changing of the seasons and allergy triggers, I think there may be a connection. If I have eaten a big meal or something like bread or rice which really does not agree with me, my asthma is noticeably worse. It feels as if my internal organs are being squashed tightly and my airways restricted. Don’t get me wrong, I do not go into attack mode, but it is a strange realization that I am struggling with breathing properly. Being busy at work or watching a film, one might not even notice that they are struggling. Occasionally, someone will bring it to my attention that my breathing is labored and I will think, “Oh yeah, I am.”

Staying focused on our asthma

Asthma can be very a manageable condition to control for some people. But if neglected even slightly things can soon spiral. The medications now available to asthma patients are incredible. People with asthma can lead very comfortable lifestyles and enjoy the things that people without respiratory conditions enjoy. However, with all these great new advances in medicine and technology, those of us with asthma still need to stay focused on our health and well-being.

It goes without saying that having a decent diet can only be a good thing for keeping healthy. However, one thing that is often overlooked is the amount we eat. People come in all different shapes and sizes and so our dietary needs are a very individual thing. Personally speaking, if I manage my diet properly and eat little but often, the effect it has on my chest is really telling. I do not get that awful bloated feeling. My organs do not feel as if they are being crushed. My airways seem to do their proper job in helping me get an adequate amount of oxygen down into my lungs.

For me, it's about discipline

Eating less and sticking to a routine

Some keep a food diary, while others might just stick to certain routines. Whatever one does, it is essentially about being disciplined. For example, today I had a cup of coffee and a banana. I refuse to eat too much in the mornings. Especially if I feel my stomach has not woken up. In a few hours' time, I will make a healthy smoothie. Most likely something with lots of greens and ginger. Then during the day, I will graze on non-salted nuts.

I will most likely drink a few more cups of coffee which I understand is not a great thing to do but if I am going to fill myself up with something, liquids are a good way of doing it. I could probably do with drinking more water.  This will take me to my evening meal which will be around 5:30 pm/6 pm. I am normally quite good at keeping to this routine but, like anyone else, I have days when life's stresses get on top of me and I will eat way too much. When this happens my asthma definitely worsens.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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