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Old 03-07-08, 04:38 PM   #1
phoshizzo
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Frustrated w/ asthma/allergies and racing

Just a little personal venting here

I go through this problem every season.... asthma during race season. For the past few years, I've had to deal w/ asthma and allergies either at the beginning of the race season or in the middle of the season. It usually puts me back about 4-6 weeks.

Last year I put in a good amount of base miles in the off season, started my intervals, won a race and placed top 5 in a hand full of others. Then within a weeks time, going into the month of May, I started riding like cr*p. My chest got tight, my legs had a piercing burn, and was feeling fatigued within 1hr of my normal 4hr loop. During the weekend club rides I was getting dropped quickly by the group in which I would normally be leading up the climbs.

I told myself last season that I would try and peak early in 2008 and take mid-spring off w/ the expectation that my asthma/allergies would kick in during the month of May. Well my problems came earlier than expected this season w/ my breathing problems and fatigue starting at the end of Feb.. It seems like the pollen popped up earlier this year. My training schedule has been put on hold due to the fact that I can’t go med/hard tempo w/o blowing up. I can only do easy/medium. Instead of starting my intervals, I’m going to have to extend my base mile training. So now it looks like I’ll have to play “catch-up” w/ all my teammates in the summer months.

From friends I get the usual, “maybe you’re over-trained”, “you’re tired”, or “you’ll be flying tomorrow”. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. I have a peak-flow meter that I got from the allergist a couple of years ago, and my normal peak flow #’s are in the high 800’s, but now they are in the low 600’s.

Now I have to try and wait it out for hopefully only a few more weeks, and hope all the inhalers and pills they have me on take some effect.

I’m curious to know if anyone else has to deal w/ asthma and allergies during the race season, and does it effect them this bad? And what do you take to help you get through the spring?
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Old 03-07-08, 05:20 PM   #2
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Better living through chemistry?

Yes and no. Ish. At least for me, I've found that in my adulthood if I "tough it out" for the first few weeks of allergy season I'm fine the rest of the year. This fall during cyclocross I thought I might be having asthmatic responses to the cold weather, but the inhaler didn't really make a difference. I think the feelings of constriction were likely due to being anaerobic all the time, and inhaling sand/dust. Everyone gets the "cross cough."

When I was a kid and teenager though, the asthma meds were a major help. It was just the problem of finding what worked best.

Really though, the biggest aid to my asthma/allergies was moving out of the midwest. I lived in an old, moldy, pet dander filled house - and now I live in a newish, clean, animal free house in a mild climate. Oddly enough my problems are far less
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Old 03-07-08, 05:31 PM   #3
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Singulair
Asmanex
Serevent
and
allergy meds
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Old 03-07-08, 05:41 PM   #4
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Singulair
Asmanex
Serevent
and
allergy meds
Yeah, if you are gonna go the drug route, I had good results from Singulair or Serevent in concert with Albuterol and Claritin. The nice thing about Singulair is that it doubles as an allergy treatment.
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Old 03-07-08, 07:43 PM   #5
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allegra
flonase
albuterol
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Old 03-07-08, 08:14 PM   #6
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Singulair
Asmanex
Serevent
and
allergy meds
I suffer from asthma which can be triggered by air pollution and other noxious smells, pets, and allergies. Central Texas has the dreaded "Cedar Fever". Yeah I know, its really a juniper.

Far and away the best drug I have ever used is Foradil (http://www.foradil.com/). I use it in conjunction with Azmacort every day. Albuterol is used when needed. With Foradil I have less day-to-day chest constriction and my breathing capacity has been climbing even as I get closer to 50.

Drugs work differently for different people. What works for me may not work for you. But if you do not think what you are taking is working, change. If your doctor does not go along with it, change doctors. I changed doctors 3 times before I found one who would work with me.
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Old 03-07-08, 10:04 PM   #7
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800! On a good day I can blow 450. Yet another Number That Shows Why I Suck.

I don't think that my asthma is caused directly by allergies- I have had those since I was a kid, but the asthma only showed up in the last couple years. I'm still trying to figure out when and what causes it. It seemed like Singular was working but now not so well, and it's getting worse.
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Old 03-07-08, 10:15 PM   #8
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I tried to tough it out for the first 2 weeks, but finally gave into the meds.

Last year the doc had me on ...

Claritin
Singulair
Albuterol, then later to Xopenex
Astelin
Asmanex, then later to Azmacort

This year I tried to tough it out again, but the fatigue and constant yawning caused me to go back to the allergist.

For the past week he's had me on...

Claritin
Singulair
Symbicort

He also wants me on Nasonex and Xopenex, but I'm trying to limit the meds. I've been on the meds for almost a week and I think they are starting to make a difference. Tomorrow I plan on going out for a ride, and that's when I'll know if the week of meds is starting to make a difference.

I really hate having to take so many meds to help me feel like I can breath normal. My bathroom med cabinet looks like a pharmacy storage shelf
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Old 03-07-08, 10:33 PM   #9
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Have you tried using just warm saline solution, throughout the day? If it's a pollen allergy, it may help to try and just minimize exposure as frequently as possible (air filters in the house, etc.).

Here are some crunchy alternatives:
Stinging nettle
Quercetin
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Old 03-07-08, 11:36 PM   #10
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Yup-

Allegra and Flonase too.

Sinus rinses work really well.
http://www.unimedprod.com/

Came recommended by an ENT. You should see the yuck that comes out.
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Old 03-08-08, 06:25 AM   #11
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Singulair and Albuterol Inhaler here too. Seems to be doing the trick after Zyrtec "quit" working for me.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:12 AM   #12
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Albuterol is all I need, but I have mild asthma, and only exercise induced. It takes a maximal 1m or 5m effort to trigger it, and if it's humid, I may not see any symptoms.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:41 AM   #13
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I don't have asthma but I have pollen allergies so bad that I'm tempted to wear goggles because I can barely see through the tears in my eyes in April-May and then in August-September.

The Stetina brothers (Wayne, now the head of Shimano USA, and Dale, the first domestic-team US Pro I think) were stricken with asthma or allergies as youngsters. Their parents (hippie types) drove around to races in a school bus with a bathtub full of fruits and veggies, or so the story went. The parents found that fiddling with diet essentially eliminated the asthma/allergies. They raced as a family (a third brother was not quite as successful as the other two). Wayne still kicks butt apparently.

One of my ex-gfs had some breathing or some other problems. She found she was allergic to wheat. Ditto a sister-in-law. Ex has decided it's not worth the benefits and eats wheat now. Sis-in-law is religious about not eating wheat. We even had a separate wedding cake for her.

I'd go to an allergist and get tested for allergies, that might be interfering with your asthma stuff.

If it's just pollen in the air (that's me) then just otc meds. I was told to buy Claritin and if it gets worse then come back. I take Claritin maybe once every 3 days, depends on how I feel. Prefer not to take it at all. I also take cold and allergy medicines during the heavy pollen season, otherwise I drive myself and everyone around me completely insane. They were illegal for racing because they contain the cold medicine stuff but now it's legal.

Also check things like your air conditioning filters, car in-cabin microfilter, etc. I find that driving with filtered fresh air or staying indoors in a semi-filtered environment essentially eliminates my pollen symptoms.

hope this helps,
cdr
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Old 03-08-08, 05:29 PM   #14
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allergies and asthma can effect your quality of life for sure, Im sorry to hear you are going through this.
I think a trip to your allergist is in order in my opinion.
If your asthma is acting up so often and you need to use your inhalers quite a bit, it could be that your asthma is not controlled the best it could be.
As many said there are many allergie meds out there and only your allergist and you can come up with what works best for you.

Ask them about advair, it is an Inhaled corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory activity, it helps reduce swelling and irritation in the lungs; and brochodilator to stop muscles surrounding the airways from tightening.

Of course every case is different but in the case of my daughter it really improved her quality of life. She went from needing her inhaler( albuterol) 5-8 a week to once a month ( even if that) It just made a huge difference.It really helped control her asthma.

Might be worth checking into or making an appointment with your allergist to see if enough has been done to get your asthma under control.

Also in additon to nasal spray, saline solutions are wonderful.It will kill whatever allergen is stuck in your sinuses.The best thing is this is free of side effect and you can make it at home!!
here's the recipe if you want to try it,this was given to me by a throath and nose specialist.( do this twice a day BEFORE your other prescribed nasal spray)

1 liter of warm water
3Tsp of salt ( sea, kosker or picking)
1 tsp of baking soda
mix well and warm to body temperature. Place in a spray bottle.
Use 2-3 squirt each nostril each time.


Hope this helps and I hope you feel better soon!

Last edited by blonduathlongrl; 03-08-08 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-08-08, 10:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoshizzo View Post
I tried to tough it out for the first 2 weeks, but finally gave into the meds.

Last year the doc had me on ...

Claritin
Singulair
Albuterol, then later to Xopenex
Astelin
Asmanex, then later to Azmacort

This year I tried to tough it out again, but the fatigue and constant yawning caused me to go back to the allergist.

For the past week he's had me on...

Claritin
Singulair
Symbicort


He also wants me on Nasonex and Xopenex, but I'm trying to limit the meds. I've been on the meds for almost a week and I think they are starting to make a difference. Tomorrow I plan on going out for a ride, and that's when I'll know if the week of meds is starting to make a difference.

I really hate having to take so many meds to help me feel like I can breath normal. My bathroom med cabinet looks like a pharmacy storage shelf
Claritin is anti-allergy and will probably not do anything for asthma. Clarinex is a newer, stronger anti-allergy. For me Clarinex works much better.

Symbicort is the same molecule as Foradil and should be taken in conjunction with a steroid such as Azmacort or Asmanex. This is recommended by the drug manufacturer. You should check up on this.

Symbicort and, I believe, Singulair are meant to be taken daily, long-term. I would be surprised if you would notice a difference over a week. I have been on Foradil for 3-4 years and during my last checkup, had my best breathing test ever. I do not remember my absolute number, but normally I am 55-60% of normal capacity and 4 weeks ago I was 80% normal.

What I am trying to say is that for these non-fast acting drugs, they are most effective if you keep taking them. Once you start, you should stay on them.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician but I have been taking different asthma meds for over 20 years to find an effective treatment.
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Old 03-08-08, 11:11 PM   #16
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Drugs combat symptoms only. Wanna' try a fix? Magnesium aspartaste. Take one daily for a month. Ditch the albuterol inhaler and Advair. My daughter did. She runs HS track (competitively on the #1 team in the state) w/no issues now, unless we forget the Mg.

Magnesium expands your bronchial tubes. Your "licensed" MD will never let you in on this secret.
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Old 03-09-08, 12:04 AM   #17
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Wow! Lots of good info. I'll look into all of the advice given. I really appreciate all the help and tips.

Thanks
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Old 03-09-08, 05:09 PM   #18
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Drugs combat symptoms only. Wanna' try a fix? Magnesium aspartaste. Take one daily for a month. Ditch the albuterol inhaler and Advair. My daughter did. She runs HS track (competitively on the #1 team in the state) w/no issues now, unless we forget the Mg.

Magnesium expands your bronchial tubes. Your "licensed" MD will never let you in on this secret.
This Stuff?
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Old 03-10-08, 12:40 AM   #19
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I'm curious as well. Is your daughter taking the "Magnesium aspartaste w/ Potassium" or only the "Magnesium aspartaste"? I wouldn't think it would make a difference.

thanks
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