Diet Linked To Asthma Severity In Pregnancy

Eating well pre-pregnancy could help asthmatics control their symptoms during pregnancy, study says.

AsianScientist (May 27, 2015) – Asthmatic women who eat a high-fat, high-sugar diet are more likely to have uncontrolled asthma while pregnant, according to a study published in Public Health Nutrition.

Study corresponding author Dr. Jessica Grieger from the University of Adelaide said that diet is important for all women planning to start a family but it’s even more essential for women with asthma.

“Asthma is a common chronic condition, affecting 8-13 percent of the population, but many people don’t realize that asthma during pregnancy can be very dangerous for both the mother and the baby–even more so if the asthma is poorly managed,” she said.

“Asthmatic women are up to 54 percent more likely to develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, have their baby early and deliver a baby of low birth weight. And having an asthma attack while pregnant can endanger a baby’s life.”

In their study, the researchers looked at the pre-conception diet of pregnant women with asthma and found that those who regularly ate fast food such as fried potatoes, crisps and refined grains were more likely to have uncontrolled asthma.

Grieger said that pregnancy can change the severity of asthma, with 50 percent of women experiencing a worsening of asthma as pregnancy progresses. However, she noted that women with asthma can dramatically reduce the risk of pregnancy complications by effectively managing their asthma.

“It’s important to have a healthy diet of lean meat, poultry and fish, and lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables before getting pregnant because we know that women rarely change their diet once they become pregnant,” said Grieger.

She also outlined how pregnant women with asthma could control its severity through having a healthy diet and taking precautions.

“Asthma can be managed well during pregnancy with regular use of preventer medication, regular visits to the doctor when asthma flares up, and by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet,” she said.

“Women with moderate and severe asthma should also have a current asthma action plan (which can be prepared alongside a doctor), and this is even more important for pregnant women.”

The article can be found at: Grieger et al. (2015) Asthma Control In Pregnancy Is Associated With Pre-conception Dietary Patterns.


Source: The University of Adelaide; Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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