It may not surprise you to hear that weight loss and asthma are not two conditions that you would normally utter in the same sentence, unless of course you were an overweight asthma sufferer. Then you might be tempted to consider in which way the two are intrinsically linked and how the alleviation of the former may help lessen the symptoms of the latter.

Let’s look a little closer at what I’m talking about here.

When you are overweight, one of the problems that happens to your health is it makes it harder for your heart to pump the blood around your body for a couple of main reasons. They are in the first place, the extra body mass meaning the extra blood vessels that are needed to reach all that extra “body” create more work for your heart and secondly, overweight people tend to have higher bad LDH cholesterol levels which have a tendency to clog up arteries, raising blood pressure.

What has any of that to do with asthma? Plenty.

If your heart is having to work harder, it needs more oxygen to do so. Guess where the extra oxygen must come from? Yep, those lungs and airways that are directly affected by the asthma itself. With more stress placed on the respiratory system to provide the additional oxygen needed to run an overweight body, it means more instances of asthma attacks or more severe attacks because the body is fighting for additional oxygen resources.

So it stands to reason that by removing the problem of being overweight, you will reduce the stress placed upon the respiratory system and thereby help to alleviate the symptoms of asthma and the asthma attacks. And what is needed to bring that situation about?

A good weight loss program specifically designed for asthmatics. This would typically comprise a more diet emphasized plan as although it is still important to exercise regularly, the very exercise that is needed can be a problem for asthma sufferers. However, if you can do some light exercise without suffering unduly, then its a good idea to try to do as much as possible without placing your system under too much stress.

So to the diet as the major means of getting the weight down. Any good, healthy diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetable and good wholesome foods that are naturally low in calories and saturated fats is a good thing.

Try not to totally exclude any food group from the diet excepting of course those items that can’t really be considered true nourishment such as fast food or junk foods such as burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizzas… you know the ones by now and also the sweet foods such as cakes, biscuits, candies, pastries, ice cream and all the other foods that you love to eat but that are only going to pile on the pounds.

At the end of the day, you need to aim to reduce your overall body weight while maintaining a reasonable level of fitness to improve lung function while making things easy for your heart.

More information about asthma and how weight affects the body can be found at this excellent online resource: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/. Good luck!