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Q. Will a diet without protein and fat cause chest tightness and breathing problems?

Answered by
Dr. Zubayeralam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 27, 2020

Hi doctor,

I live in a cold place where it is extremely cold. Before six months, I started to follow a special diet. I took carrots with beetroot juice, lemon, and honey or any kind of vegetable juice with tea and hot water in the morning. I had a normal lunch with less oil, salt, and chili. During dinner, I took fruits and raw vegetables. I use to drink plenty of water at least three to four liters per day. After three months, I started to have a common cold with a cough. I consulted a doctor and he gave me medicines.

Within a week, the cold was gone but I was not able to drink cold water and breath cold air. During breathing cold air or drinking cold water, I have chest tightness and it was a severe issue. I thought that it would go within a couple of weeks by using a scarf against my nose when I am going out. I stayed indoors and I was drinking hot water. The problem got worsened day by day. I visited the doctor again and explained the problem. he took a chest X-ray and blood test. I had no problems with the result.

He also asked me to take an asthma test (using the peak flow meter method). I am currently blowing every day into the meter and recording the reading. I understood that this is not indicating asthma as the reading remained the same before and after taking medicines. Please say whether I have this problem due to my diet without non-vegetarian or any other reason. I continued my diet for five months and lost about fifteen kilograms of weight due to it. kindly advise.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from chest tightness and unable to breathe cold air or drink cold water when you were on a special diet that was fat-free and animal protein-free for reducing your weight and you were successful to reduce 15 kg body weight.

According to your queries, all these problems can occur due to your diet menu which was fat-free and animal protein-free. Fat acts as a thermal insulator that holds the body temperature and protects us from cold weather. As you have lost fat from your body by reducing body weight, your body is unable to keep body temperature against cold and so you suffer from these health hazards.

Your body can produce heat by burning protein. As your diet was animal protein-free, you have also lost protein by reducing body weight and so your body is unable to produce enough heat in the body to keep you warm. It was unable to cope with cold weather. So, both fat and animal protein are essential to produce enough heat. In cold places, people use to consume alcohol like Whiskey to produce enough body heat and keep the body warm. In case of any other query knock me and I will try to reply you further.

Thank you doctor,

So, If I continue eating normally with chicken and lamb everyday, will it help me? Will my problem go away?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, your problem can go away when you start taking chicken and lamb in your diet. You should take a balanced diet with protein, carbohydrates, and fats for gaining some bodyweight. This will help you to cope up with the cold weather. Again you can take hot drinks and meals like tea, coffee, hot soup also to produce heat in the body. You should take a proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat-enriched meals with vegetables and fruits daily. In case of any other problem, knock me.


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