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Do you know the triggers for your asthma and/or persistent cough?

Are you prone to asthma/coughs after having a cold, while exercising or during cold weather?

For many, many years, I suffered from an asthma cough that required the use of Ventolin and Becotide to control. I was relying on these medications so much I was unable to leave the house without my “puffers”. My cough was so bad when I was pregnant with my third child, that I pulled a muscle near my ribs from coughing so violently. The medication became less and less effective. My asthma cough would come and go depending on how well I was. Catching a cold seemed to be the “trigger” for my cough.

When my family went additive free for behavioural and health reasons for our three young boys, I also went additive free. My asthma cough disappeared. Catching a cold no longer caused my asthma coughing fits. After a few food challenges, I discovered that sulphite preservatives were the main culprit, in the wine and dried fruit I was consuming. Other preservatives such as benzoates (in soft drinks) and nitrates (in preserved meats) irritated my cough to a lesser extent.

Sulphite preservatives can cause irritable airways and the exposure to an external trigger can then bring on asthma or an asthma cough. The external trigger may be cold weather, exercising, having a cold, irritants in the air (eg perfume or smoke) or dust.

Simple changes to my diet have meant that I have not used an asthma puffer now for about 18 years. I drink gin or vodka with tonic or soda instead of wine, eat chocolate cake instead of fruit cake, buy preservative free soft drinks (on occasion) and use tablet form of medications instead of liquids.

I do occasionally slip up (usually from hidden sulphites) and my asthma cough return, but the cough is generally manageable and short lived because the rest of my diet is “clean”. A major slip up I experienced about 7 years ago was from unlisted sulphites in Day and Night liquid capsules (sulphites in the actual gel capsules). This caused me to cancel speaking commitments due to being unable to string a sentence together without coughing and gasping for air. An absolutely terrible experience!

Reducing sulphites to relieve asthma

A number of Additive Education clients have experienced huge success for their children (and themselves) reducing or eliminating asthma and other respiratory symptoms, due to changing the food they eat by avoiding additives.

Australian researchers in 1984 found that 65% of asthmatic children were sensitive to sulphite preservatives (220-228). This is not a few people, this is a large percentage!

So if you suffer from asthma (or know someone else who does), try avoiding sulphites. It is well worth the effort. Work with your health professional over time to see if you can reduce or eliminate your puffers as the symptoms reduce.

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