Asthma occurs in people who have sensitive airways.  It can cause wheezing, coughing, a feeling of having a “tight” chest or a feeling of breathlessness. There are many factors that can trigger an asthma attack such as environmental allergens, having a cold/flu, exercise, stress and smoke.

Can diet help?
For some people, making some dietary modifications can help their asthma. E.g. some people have a food allergy or intolerance which seems to make asthma symptoms worse. Learning how to avoid these foods and sill stay well nourished is beneficial. Additionally, there is also emerging evidence on the role of our gut health and how this may affect inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Asthma Foundation
This website offers helpful information for managing asthma along with information on their research and training activities.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition. One of the main problems associated with it is it’s effect on the lungs.  Mucus covers the lungs causing frequent infections and blockages.  Cystic Fibrosis also causes a problem for the enzymes that help with the digestion of food thus causing problems with nutritional intake.

Can diet help?
Diet is extremely important for anyone with Cystic Fibrosis. The requirements for energy, protein, some vitamins and salt are much higher than the average person.

Seeing a Dietitian is therefore very beneficial for anyone with Cystic Fibrosis.

Search for a Dietitian in your local area to chat further.

Cystic Fibrosis in Australia
A great website with factual information about Cystic Fibrosis along with information on fundraising and research.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

This disease is actually a term used for lung conditions where you have shortness of breath. Examples of such conditions are bronchitis (where the airways are irritated and swollen) and emphysema (where air is trapped in the lungs).  Smoking is the most common cause of COPD.

Can diet help?
Making dietary changes can help in many ways including:

  • A focus on your overall health and maxmising nutrients you eat will help (in addition to staying as active as possible)
  • If you have COPD and using a lot of energy, coughing (and breathing!)  then changing your diet to maximise your nutrient intake can help. It will help improve your overall health, strength and make it easier to fight infections
  • Medications used to fight COPD can affect some of the nutrients in your body. Therefore for some people extra effort to ensure you are staying well nourished and taking in additional nutrients may be required.

The Australian Lung Foundation
This foundation provides a national patient support network, information on the various lung diseases and conducts fundraising and research.