Asthma and allergies are both serious medical conditions that can prove potentially fatal if left untreated. Asthma is a condition of the bronchial tubes that can cause the airways to narrow and ultimately making it difficult to breathe. There are medications for asthma available such as inhalers. Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system and causes anaphylaxis.

Severe reactions are treated with epinephrine. Here are some foods to avoid for people suffering from asthma and/or allergies:

1. Milk and dairy
Milk and dairy cannot cause asthma and will not trigger an asthma attack if there is not an underlying dairy allergy. However, dairy allergies are extremely common and frequently develop as a person ages so it is a food that it is best to avoid.

2. Eggs
Egg allergies tend to present as hives and skin rashes rather than difficulty breathing. However, an egg allergy can aggravate asthma symptoms and cause more frequent attacks. It is important to read nutritional labels to determine if a product contains eggs as there are many products that may contain eggs that might surprise you, such as artificial crab meat, some dried pastas, salad dressings, ice cream, and pretzels.

3. Shellfish
Shellfish are a very common allergen and allergic reactions to shellfish are often severe. Individuals with asthma or food allergies should avoid shellfish or take proper precautions if they do choose to eat them.

4. Coffee
While there have been conflicting results from academic studies, most doctors agree that individuals with breathing problems should avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee or other products containing caffeine. There is research to suggest that drinking a small amount of caffeine can help to manage asthma related symptoms because caffeine has many of the same properties as theophylline, a drug used to treat asthma.

5. Salt
Salt therapy is one of the new fad treatments for asthma and allergies that has been making its way around the internet circles, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that salt therapy has any positive impact on either asthma or allergies. Salt should also be avoided in food because it causes water retention which can worsen symptoms such as difficulty breathing.

6. Soy
Soy is another food that is a common allergen. With the sudden popularity of soy based substitutes for animal products it may seem difficult to avoid soy entirely, but soy has been linked to severe allergic reactions as well as less severe symptoms such as hives and rashes. In some cases, eating soy has been linked with difficulty breathing and narrowing breathing passages.

7. Wheat
Wheat gluten is another common allergen that causes the same problems. Wheat is especially difficult to avoid as it is found in many products that would seem to have nothing to do with it, such as salad dressings, so it is best to look for products specifically labeled as gluten-free when avoiding wheat gluten.