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Asthma Inhalers and Weight Gain

written by: pcheatham • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/18/2011

Learn how you can break the connection between asthma inhalers and weight gain. You can remain on your inhaler and lose weight.

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    Although extremely effective in controlling symptoms, asthma inhalers and weight gain may go hand and hand. Documentation to support this connection is thin; however, experts may have found what links the two and why. The weight gain may be due to steroids. Many of these lifesavers contain steroids and steroids are associated with increased appetite. Thus, if you aren’t watching what you eat, weight gain may be inevitable. Unlike other side effects to these drugs, weight gain is reversible. Commonly prescribed asthma inhalers with steroids are Advair, Asmanex, Qvar, Flovent Diskus and Pulimicort Flexhaler.

    Another reason for this direct link to weight gain and certain asthma inhalers is people with asthma may not exercise for fear of causing an attack. No exercise and eating more is a recipe for weight gain. Because weight gain can cause pressure on the lungs, losing weight is an opportunity to help improve asthma.

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    How to Avoid Weight Gain

    Asthma inhalers and weight gain don't have to be married. Here is how you can, in a sense, have your cake and eat it too.

    • Eat more--vegetables that is. Your appetite is increased by the medication but you still have control over what you eat. So, make better choices to avoid the weight gain.
    • Avoid sugary foods. This may be a challenge but it is necessary. Consider the alternative. When you eat these high sugary foods, they convert to weight gain and you are working against yourself and your asthma.
    • Water is a necessity for life and can flush out the relationship between weight gain and asthma inhalers. Water helps to break up fats and to flush impurities too.
    • Speaking of fat--your fat intake should also be reduced along with the food portions you have on your plate. Remember, you are in control of what you put in your mouth. So let it be something tasty and good for you.
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    Exercise

    Exercise is very important to break the weight gain connection with asthma inhalers. Start slow but get moving. You can begin with a walking program after dinner. All you'll need is a good pair of sneakers and clothes conductive to your area's weather conditions. Walking on a treadmill is also a good idea if walking outside doesn’t appeal to you.

    Like other asthma inhaler side effects, weight gain isn't welcomed. Just because inhalers and weight gain are linked, they don’t have to be synonymous. Asthma inhalers allow people to lead an active life without the fear of an asthma attack. In fact, you may find that you can do more with your maintenance inhaler. Weight gain works against you and becoming more active can help improve your asthma and break the connection between asthma inhalers and weight gain.