Asthma is a common respiratory condition marked by inflamed breathing passages, which makes it difficult to breathe normally.
If you are overweight, a rather common question that could be troubling you is; can being overweight cause asthma?
Now, airway inflammation causes the airways to narrow and become blocked with mucus, which can make breathing very difficult, thus worsening your condition.
Asthma generally ranges from mild (where shortness of breath occasionally occurs) to severe (life-threatening).
Symptoms vary among sufferers; some people may only wheeze lightly, while others may not be able to speak or catch their breath at all.
It can affect children as well as adults; both sexes are affected equally often. Although it appears that asthma primarily targets children, it has not been proven that this is the case.
How does it feel to have Asthma?
Asthma can affect either one person or both in a family, but only one at a time. Symptoms vary from person to person, ranging from mild to severe.
Some common asthma symptoms are wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest, or cough with mucus. Breathing difficulties during sleep which disturbs sleep patterns may also occur when asthma is uncontrolled.
People who have asthma can get better; there are different types of treatment available.
Long-term control medications (not quick relief), controlled diets, and environmental changes, along with regular checkups by doctors, can help manage or cure it completely.
Asthma can affect an individual in many ways. It can affect their school life, job, and activities they do.
Some people with asthma may be more active than others due to different types of medication available; some make them feel hyper while others make them drowsy and sluggish.
If uncontrolled, it could lead to complications such as lung infections which might eventually cause irreversible damage.
Breathing problems can occur anytime and anywhere at any age if an asthmatic person does not carry their inhaler with them every time they go out.
Relationship between Obesity and Asthma:
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing asthma and making it worse because of extra fat tissue around the airways that makes breathing difficult for the obese.
Also, being overweight makes it harder to use breathing treatments such as inhalers and nebulizers, which can lead to uncontrolled asthma episodes.
Will losing weight cure my asthma, OR will it only improve the symptoms?
Asthma and obesity is a complex condition. Asthma lung function may improve with controlled obesity without any changes in medication needed.
Therefore a patient should aim at not gaining additional weight once they have lost some initial body fat because that could put them at risk of developing adult-onset diabetes and heart disease later in life.
What does this mean for people living with asthma?
People who are already struggling with controlling their asthma levels and other health conditions should work towards maintaining a healthy weight, and following a proper diet and exercise plan can help them achieve this goal.
If you are obese, the best thing you can do for yourself is to lose weight.
It may help you control your asthma better. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper exercise and diet along with treatment plans prescribed by your doctor.
You should not be trying to gain more weight to bring your asthma under control because that could put you at risk of developing other health problems later on in life.
However, if you have lost some initial body fat and still continue losing weight, then it is a very good idea for an asthmatic person whose doctor has told you that they need to lose weight to follow a proper diet and exercise plan.
Losing even 10% of their total body fat often helps them with their breathing issues better than some medications they may have been taking before this.
How can I Lose Weight Safely with Asthma?
While it is important for an asthmatic person to lose weight, some precautions should be taken. Here are some tips for asthmatic people who need to lose weight:
- It is very important to go to a doctor before you start losing weight because they will suggest the best diet and exercise plan that suits your situation. If you feel you cannot follow or stick it out for a long time, then maybe hiring a personal trainer would be a good idea.
- Make sure you do not go on diets where you’re starving yourself, as this could lead to complications such as malnutrition which might affect treatment plans. And instead of fasting once in a while, just eat healthy snacks like fruits and soups between regular meals.
- Do not skip any medications prescribed by your doctor even if you’re trying to lose weight because that could lead to dangerous complications that will worsen your asthma and even complicate future treatments for this health condition.
- Having a proper diet and exercise plan is not enough; you should also be able to maintain it with discipline. And if at any point in time you feel that the plan might not work anymore or you are unable to follow it properly due to lack of motivation, again hiring a personal trainer would be a good idea.
- Do not expect results overnight, as losing weight gradually helps keep one motivated throughout their journey towards becoming healthier. And maintain an active lifestyle where even if you don’t go on long walks every day, just try out simple exercises like squats, sit-ups which will help in your weight loss goals.
- Patients who have been told by their doctors to lose weight should also try and stick around people going through the same process because this can motivate them too. And if you find it hard to get out of your bed, do not be disappointed about it because losing weight is a gradual process where one has to stay motivated throughout their journey towards becoming healthier.
Asthma and weight gain don’t really compliment the betterment of the patient’s condition.
Ideally, if an overweight or obese person with asthma wants to see improvement in their condition, losing weight might be the best option.
A healthy diet and exercise plan should be followed while sticking with treatment plans prescribed by one’s doctor.