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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Will losing weight make my asthma better

Your question: I'm 5"8, and weigh 230..i have severe asthma. will losing weight do anything to improve my asthma

My humble answer: Great Question. The answer is a definite yes. In fact, I actually have my own experience with weight loss as I wrote about in this post and also in this post. I'm the same height as you, and was up to 220 pounds, winded all day, and my asthma was poorly controlled. After dropping 40 pounds I felt like a new man, and my asthma was better than ever. When I stop eating right and exercising, and my weight creeps back up, my asthma gets progressively worse. So in that sense I've learned exercise and eating right is not an option for us asthmatics -- it's mandatory.

So, just based on my own personal experience, I'd have to say the answer to your question is YES!!!

Speaking of studies... and not that we asthmatics need to do a study to figure this out... Many studies have also linked obesity with worsening asthma control. I actually have an upcoming post about these studies, but in the meantime you can click here for more reading about the asthma/ obesity link. Or you can google it.

Other than losing weight, I wrote a post a while back (here it is) about other things you can do to improve your asthma. Click here to link to this post.

I hope this answers your question. If you have further questions, or need some tips how to lose weight with asthma, let me know. Rick.


Medical Mojave said...

I'll be the outlier (my usual position in medicine it seems), weight loss makes my asthma worse.

But then I seem to be the only person on earth for whom weight loss does nothing for my health other than make me look better. My cholesterol is just as jacked up when thin as fat. I get sick more often when thin. It doesn't fix any of the hormonal issues that conventional wisdom says weight loss should improve and so on until one doctor wondered why I bothered. (Because I'm trying to prevent diabetes and I'm vain.)

I seem to have severe flare ups during weight loss which may be related to emerging research showing that stored toxins are also released with the fat.

I suspect whether or not weight loss improves asthma is a factor of how your immune system handles the toxins that come with it and what those toxins are. My autoimmune issues really react strongly and negatively to weight loss.

When I'm fat, my asthma is much much more stable. It's very weird.


Anonymous said...

Asthma, obesity and autoimmune conditions are all associated with an increase in proinflammatory mediators (eg cytokines) - we are finding that customizing an elimination diet with new tools such as MRT food sensitivity testing helps to pinpoint dietary sources of inflammation and gets better results for patients. Also anyone with autoimmune activity should check the literature about gluten being an additional trigger. We are all distinct in response to environment/antigens and a personalized approach helps to cross that threshold. By the way Type 2 diabetes is also an inflammatory condition. And yes the literature on toxin release from weight loss is very interesting, all the more reason to try and tone down the inflammatory response with a clean, whole foods diet.

Rick Frea said...

POP: That is weird. It goes contrary to modern thought. Yet so goes science too.

Anonymous: I think diet is important to controlling any illness, although no always so fun. There are a lot of new studies on what might trigger the inflammatory response and cause asthma and allergies. A post for the future perhaps.