New Study Associates Asthma with Premature Births

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The reasons why some mothers give birth to premature babies are essentially endless—they can be the result of an infection, inhalation of smoke, poor diet, or cervical incompetence just to name a few. But according to a new study, another reason to add on the list is acute asthma. Researchers say that pregnant women who suffer from severe and poorly managed asthma are at a greater risk of giving birth to premature or underweight babies than those who do not have the disease.

These conclusions sprout from a team of American and Australian researchers who investigated old records of more than a million pregnant women with asthma between 1975 and 2009. According to the researchers’ analysis, the records showed that women with asthma not only give birth to babies that on average weigh 0.2lb less than babies of mothers who do not have the disease and have a 25 percent more chance of having a pre-term birth, but pregnant women with asthma are also more at risk at contracting pre-eclampsia by at least 50 percent. The findings were published in the July issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

With that said, physicians suggest that pregnant women with asthma should be monitored on a monthly basis and should participate in asthma management strategies to lower risks. Some of the more obvious strategies include not smoking and taking asthma medication as needed. But other tactics can include eating a healthy and well balanced diet. The following particular foods, however, are known to help alleviate the symptoms and complications specifically associated with asthma:

  • Red Grapes—Because red grapes are loaded with fiber and resveratrol, two nutrients that work to reduce inflammation and mucus, researchers say that grapes, including grape products like juice, can actually reduce and help alleviate wheezing and coughing.
  • Chili Peppers—Aside from giving your palate a little kick, chili peppers can help alleviate asthma symptoms in a variety of ways as well. For example, the chemical that gives chili peppers it’s heat, capsaicin, is what also helps reduce the formation of “substance P” in the body—a neuropeptide that encourages inflammation and blocks air from properly flowing through one’s air passages. The hottest peppers—habañeros, cayenne pepper and jalapeños— contain the highest levels of capsaicin and thus are better equipped to block “substance P.” Chili Peppers are also a great source of vitamin A. This vitamin alone is crucial in ensuing that you epithelial tissues healthy, including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts, maintain healthy. While experts say it’s perfectly safe for pregnant women to consume spicy foods, know that chances of heartburn during the late stages of the pregnancy is likely.
  • Pineapple—This fruit it high in antioxidants which is needed to flush out harmful free radicals in the body that make you sick and induce asthma related symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. A diet rich in pineapple and other fruits and vegetables that that are loaded with antioxidants, such as oranges, grapefruit and dark leafy greens and legumes, will ensure that your body’s defenses are in tip top shape and will boost your lung function.

This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes for online classes. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: [email protected].