Avoiding Asthma Triggers

In his book The Bible Cure for Asthma (Siloam) Don Colbert, M.D., says that some food additives might trigger an asthma attack. Read labels carefully and avoid the following:

  • Preservatives BHA and BHT, found in cereals and other grains
  • MSG, often used as a flavor enhancer in Asian food
  • Food coloring, namely tartrazine (yellow dye #5), found in candies, cake mixes, margarine and some soft drinks
  • Foods that contain salicylates, or aspirin, including apples, cherries, cucumbers, pickles, grapes, raisins, oranges, peaches, plums, prunes, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. Food sensitivities can also aggravate asthma. The most common food sensitivities include dairy products, wheat, corn, yeast, eggs, chocolate, caffeine, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, soy, shellfish, fish and peanuts.

    If you think food sensitivities may be worsening your asthmatic condition, Colbert recommends asking your doctor to perform a blood test called the ALCAT to determine your food sensitivities and allergies.

    Colbert also says that many medications, even some asthma medications, may include sulfites. He recommends checking the label on your inhaler. If it contains sulfites, it may actually be making you worse instead of better. Talk to your doctor if you feel a change may be needed.


    Walt Larimore, M.D., is one of America's best-known family physicians. He is the author of Why A.D.H.D. Doesn't Mean Disaster, which he co-wrote with Dennis Swanberg and Diane Passno (Focus on the Family/Tyndale). Visit www.DrWalt.com for more information on this subject and many other health-related topics.
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