What Triggers Asthma? Causes of Asthma Explained

What is Asthma

Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system in which the airways become inflamed and lined with mucus. 

While the causes of asthma are uncertain, as they vary from person to person, the one thing for certain is asthma makes your breathing more difficult by constricting the natural flow of air through your airwaves.

Asthma Triggers

Asthma cases are often the cause of allergies. Exposure to irritants such as smoke, chemicals, mould or dust might trigger asthma symptoms in an individual. Other causes which can trigger asthma include: 

  • Respiratory infections such as a cold
  • Cold air
  • Smoke and other air pollutants
  • Exercise
  • Medication
  • Foods and additives
  • Allergies to grass, weed pollens, mould, dust and animals

Foods which cause Asthma

People who suffer from food allergies can suffer from asthma related symptoms. This is because the food allergic reaction can bring along shock to the system, causing asthma symptoms such as wheezing or coughing to flare up as well as difficulty breathing. 

This is not the same if you are intolerant to certain foods. Intolerance which causes belly bloating or stomach aches is not the same as an allergy, as it is not connected to your immune system, and is unlikely to trigger asthma related symptoms. 

Common allergic triggering foods include

  • Eggs 
  • Dairy 
  • Nuts 
  • Soy 
  • Wheat 
  • Fish / Sea Foods 

Certain food preservatives can also trigger asthma such as sulphites – sulphur dioxide and sodium metabisulphite. These preservatives are commonly found in foods and drinks such as:

  • wine, 
  • fruit juice,
  • dried fruit, 
  • artificially sweetened foods


Tips on avoiding the risk of food-based asthma triggers: 

  • Avoid picking up ready meals from the supermarket. Sandwiches in particular are laden with preservatives and key allergen ingredients including Dairy, Wheat and some salads
  • Select free from foods – these are usually free from known allergens and maybe a safer option 

Non-Food Allergies can Trigger Asthma

Non-food allergies such as to dust, pollen or mould can also trigger asthma symptoms. Irritants such as aerosols, cleaning agents and smells from perfumes can trigger asthma. This is because your airways are more sensitive, so can react more extremely to external irritants than the next person. 

Exercise induced Asthma

Strenuous exercise, such as running, swimming or HIIT can lead to exercise-induced asthma symptoms during or soon after the workout completes. 

Your symptoms will be the same as regular: 

  • Wheezing, coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight chest

The wheezing and shortness of breath can occur often immediately during the activity and can occur in children as they play. 

Controlling Asthma

Asthma is a controllable illness (source).

However, modern day science has no cure for asthma. Control treatments are often so effective, many people who do control this illness often suffer from zero to little symptoms. 

As Asthma is an inflammation, there are several methods you can use to reduce inflammation to ease the symptoms and effects of asthma using natural foods.

Garlic – Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory which can be useful to relieve asthma symptoms. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce or inhibit airway contraction and reduce airway inflammation. It may help in relax to relax the muscle tissues in the airways, which is constricted during the Asthma attack. 

Ginger – like Garlic, ginger is also an anti-inflammatory and could have positive improvement of asthma symptoms. 

Steam Showers – steam opens up your nasal passages and airways which can provide a temporary relief against asthma.

Breathing Exercises – taking deep breaths in a controlled pace is beneficial to improve air passage by opening up your lungs and could help reduce the long term need for asthma medication.