Connection Between Caffeine (Coffee) and Asthma

Caffeine is a mild natural antihistamine. It is similar to the Theophylline, which was commonly used to control asthma before more effective treatments were discovered. Caffeine decreases the inflammation and relaxes the smooth muscles. Caffeine affects the brain and spinal cord to the high level.

AsthmaMethylxanthine is one of the asthma medication which includes Theobromine, Theophylline and caffeine. The main source of caffeine is Coffee.

They work by interfering with certain protein that causes the smooth muscles to relax, and also they decrease the inflammation.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

It is caused by airborne allergens such as, pollen, animal dander, mold, dust mites, respiratory infections, such as the common cold, cold air, air pollutants and irritants such as, smoke, allergic reactions to some foods such as peanuts or shellfish, physical activity (exercise-induced atopic asthma), certain medications like beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.          

In Research studies, it shows that 2 cups of strong coffee, taken during an asthma attack, can significantly reduce the asthmatic symptoms. Because the caffeine makes the bronchial tubes open more, and eases the breathing. If no coffee is available, two chocolate bars can have a similar effect of caffeine.

One another research concludes that taking caffeine within one hour of exercising can lower the symptoms of the exercise-induced asthma. And although 3-6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of weight lowers the symptoms and 9 mg per kilogram was as efficient as an albuterol inhaler.

It is not recommended to take caffeine as a regular treatment for asthma, but can take as a stop-gap measure when the patient has absent mindedly left the rescue inhaler at home, or has misplaced it.

But for daily use, asthma medications such as Bronchodilators, Inhaled corticosteroids, Leukotriene modifiers, Long-acting beta agonists, Combination inhalers, Theophylline and inhaled corticosteroids are used to prevent asthma attacks in the first place. Consuming Caffeine before the Lung Function Test may alter the results, and also the improvement found in the test with caffeine is temporary.

Another concept with caffeine is the rebound effect when the drug clears the system. And the thing that too much caffeine also may actually worsen the asthmatic symptoms. The habitual use of large amounts of caffeine reduce the response to the drug when it was used in emergency condition. So it is wise to limit daily intake of caffeine.

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