Respiratory Problems

We all catch common colds from time to time, causing us to experience a runny nose, bouts of sneezing or congested sinuses which can be uncomfortable until the cold clears and the airways return to normal.

However, when these symptoms persist, it can be the result of a different condition such as sinusitis (an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses) or rhinitis (recurrent runny nose). These conditions could cause shortness of breath, pain and headaches, leaving you feeling run down.

Congestion and swelling can be alleviated by the use of nasal steroid sprays whilst antibiotics can treat bacterial infection. Other drugs can reduce the risk of attacks and ease discomfort but these can often cause unwanted side effects and often do not tackle the root cause of the problem.

In one UK survey, over two thirds of asthma sufferers thought that various foods exacerbated their symptoms. Aside from common environmental allergens such as dust, pet hair and pollens, food and drink ingredients can often contribute to the presence and persistence of respiratory problems.

Respiratory Symptoms

Typical symptoms or respiratory problems include:

  • Persistent runny nose
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Congestion of sinus, ears and/or nose


Respiration and Diet

If you find yourself experiencing breathing difficulties, without an obvious cause you should always visit your GP to rule out any underlying medical conditions which may be causing you to feel unwell.

If you are continuing to experience persistent rhinitis or sinusitis, it may be a good opportunity to take a closer look at your diet.

As individuals, our reactions to the foods and drinks we consume varies a great deal. An ingredient which may cause problems for one person could be completely acceptable for another. At YorkTest, we like to refer to this as our personal ‘food fingerprint’.

For those with respiratory problems, discovering and understanding your own personal food and drink intolerances, and the effects they have on your health and wellbeing is important to ensure you make the best possible choices to optimise your diet and quality of life.

The Results Speak for Themselves

The University of York conducted a survey* to understand the benefits of elimination diets based on the results of a food intolerance test.

Out of the 104 people who were experiencing sinusitis, 89% reported an improvement having removed their ‘trigger’ foods. We define these as foods which show a positive IgG reaction to antibodies in the blood.

Overall in the study, 76% of people who rigorously followed the recommended diet reported a benefit, 68% of which experienced this after 3 weeks.

Main Condition Reported % of people who reported a benefit
Low Energy
e.g. Fatigue, Lethargy
e.g. IBS, Bloating etc
e.g. Asthma, Sinusitis, Rhinitis
e.g. Migraine, Headaches, ME
e.g. Eczema, Acne, Psoriasis
e.g. Arthritis, Joint Aches & Pains
e.g. Depression, Anxiety

Information provided above regarding Food Intolerance (defined by YorkTest as a food specific IgG reaction) is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. YorkTest do not claim to treat or cure the aforementioned symptoms and recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a GP before undertaking a YorkTest programme.

*Survey carried out with a total of 5286 people who had taken the YorkTest – or to give it its scientific name – a food-specific IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) blood test.

View the full report here

Why YorkTest

What our clients have to say

Jo Wimble

Jo Wimble

Symptoms: sinusitis, weight gain Food Reactions: cow’s milk, grape varieties, yeast, wheat, cashew nuts
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Fin Bigg

Fin Bigg

Symptoms: breathing issues Food Reactions: wheat, eggs
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Amy Cowley

Amy Cowley

Symptoms: acid reflux, sinus problems Food Reactions: yeast, milk
Read more