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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-26-12, 07:54 PM   #1
AerobaticDreams
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Excercise Induced Asthma Attacks?

Today I realized that I have been suffering from excercise induced asthma attacks while trying to get warmed up for my daily rides. It was every day at first, but seems to be less often now. Today, I pushed myself to climb a small bridge faster than normal and had a major attack. I the past, at a low level of excercise I seemed to have attacks early in my rides. Then they seemed to go away. Now....if I push too hard I get an attack.

Years ago, when I first found out I had asthma, the doctor explained that the extreme sinus flow, hacking and vomiting (and often nosebleeds) I was having at fencing competitions was caused by the excercise itself. He told me I was very close to giving myself an asthma induced heart attack based on what I had told him was going on. It pretty much ended my competitions as a result.

So my questions is this: Does anybody know if excercise induced asthma attacks lessen when the fitness level gets better?
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Old 12-26-12, 08:28 PM   #2
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Are you sure it's just exercise induced? I developed asthma in my early 40's (now 64) and originally thought it was exercise induced. After much testing and allergy shots for 8 years, I was put on daily inhalations of Advair (purple disc you probably have seen advertised). It's a damn miracle cure/drug. It's a preventative and does not work it having an attack but since taking I have never had an attack when exercising. My daily ride is about 30 miles without a problem. Prevention I was told is foremost with asthma.

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Old 12-27-12, 10:02 AM   #3
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Are you sure it's just exercise induced? I developed asthma in my early 40's (now 64) and originally thought it was exercise induced. After much testing and allergy shots for 8 years, I was put on daily inhalations of Advair (purple disc you probably have seen advertised). It's a damn miracle cure/drug. It's a preventative and does not work it having an attack but since taking I have never had an attack when exercising. My daily ride is about 30 miles without a problem. Prevention I was told is foremost with asthma.

Given that I am getting the same symtoms and reactions to this level of excercise I did before- I am fairly certain this is what I am dealing with. One of my problems is that the doctor won't address other issues like this until I get my diabetes under control. I am using cycling and diet to gain control, but it's a two edged sword when I can't get enough excercise to improve my fitness level....because of the thing I need to address to allow me enough excercise. Next appointment is in about 6 weeks, and I hope to show enough improvement to warrant some forward motion on this and a couple of other related issues...
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Old 12-27-12, 11:39 AM   #4
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I'm going to say that in my experience, weight has not been a factor. I've had asthma for 41 years now, and my weight has not been a factor in when an attack strikes. Cold weather, stress, and allergies play a much larger role for me.

+1 on the advair, it has kept my asthma in check for the last 10 years.
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Old 12-27-12, 12:27 PM   #5
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I've had asthma since I was a little kid and I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes about 20 years ago.

In m case increasing my fitness levels has helped tremendously in keeping asthma at bay. There lots of climbs where I ride and asthma has never prevented me from climbing hills.

I do use Advair and as pointed elsewhere here, it is a miracle drug. Like most miracle drugs, however, there are side effects that you must consider.

I think that your doctor is wrong in not dealing with your asthma until you first have your diabetes under control. Many doctors are good at treating diabetes or at treating asthma. Few, however, are good at treating both simultaneously. If your insurance covers it, get two doctors. It is what I do.

Your doctor needs to understand that if asthma is keeping you from engaging in vigorous, aerobic exercise, then you will have a harder time controlling your diabetes-take it from me. That can lead to frustration, which will worsen both your asthma and your diabetes.

A bad asthma can kill you...I once spent 7 days in the ICU due to a severe and prolonged asthma attack. I was in full respiratory when they brought me in.

That was a wake up call...now, 15 years later I can climb all the way up to Mt. Baldy and my breathing is OK. Diabetes, if not controlled will kill you in the long run, but death by asthma can be sudden.

Good kuck with your asthma and diabetes. Ride safely and healthy.

PM if you like, I have experience in dealing with both diseases.

Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 12-27-12 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 12-27-12, 07:22 PM   #6
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I too am a life long asthmatic. I never had excercise induced asthma attacks. I have had problems with cold and allergy problems. Outside conditions used to limit when I could excersise outdoors. I am on an inhaled cortical steroid now. It has worked wonderful for me. I do not use Advair. I am well controlled on a steroid. I would also reccomend a lung specialist. You need to excersise to control the diabetes.

Good luck with you're quest to control both diseases.

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Old 06-06-13, 12:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams View Post
So my questions is this: Does anybody know if excercise induced asthma attacks lessen when the fitness level gets better?
Not that I know of. I have it... I just know that it goes away after about a 30 minutes warm up. If yours persists it might be something else. It always comes in in the beginning of my ride and goes away as I warm up so I do so slowly and ride at least 30 minutes before ramping it up. I have never had it come on in the middle of a ride... now regular asthma is a totally different animal...
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Old 06-06-13, 01:35 PM   #8
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I have asthma as well, my doc has put me on Symbicort, and it has enabled me to do all sorts of things I could never do before because I couldn't breathe.

If your asthma is preventing you from exercising to get your diabetes under control, that needs to be managed at the same time as the diabetes. Not after. Get a second opinion. Or see a respiratory specialist. Treating asthma and diabetes shouldn't be an either/or situation.
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Old 06-06-13, 02:06 PM   #9
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I am a rare, and not proud of it, but Marine Corps boot camp reject because of asthma that was brought on by exercise. They didn't get very in depth with test but essentially said that between the 47 lbs I lost in 3 weeks while there, the toll from the exercise, and the stress I was going through, I was having asthma attacks during IT sessions. I eventually stopped breathing during one and blacked out. That was the end of my career in the Corp.

That was 10+ years ago now and while at times I get that tight chest feeling, especially when pushing myself when it is cold out, I haven't had it like I did back then. I think now that I am in better shape I probably won't have it anymore, but I do know it was only brought on by exercise and that an there was no drugs I could take to prevent it, just huff an inhaler when needed.

I would say as you improve you will probably not have it be an issue IF it is exercise related. YMMV of course.
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Old 06-06-13, 02:18 PM   #10
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Mine comes and goes, unrelated to my fitness.

Your doctor can't deal with it until you have your diabetes under control? That is a load of crap and arguably dangerous. I'd call the doctor right away and describe the attacks. At the very least you should have a rescue inhaler.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:48 PM   #11
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Get a new doctor. You have to be able to work out to help with the rest. He wont help, find one that will. Doctors are easily replaceable, some thing they forget often.
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Old 06-06-13, 06:49 PM   #12
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Mine seems to be a combination of exertion and temperature. Any colder than 45, and I generally don't ride. Any colder than 55, and I generally don't go jogging.

It has gotten better over the years as my overall level of health has increased, to the point where I don't keep an inhaler on standby anymore.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:39 PM   #13
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Yes. While very young, had severe attacks (now deemed environmentally induced, ie, allergens). When fit in my youth, I went through boot camp and was able to exercise at will. In my late 30's, I've put on a lot of weight and guess what? I need an inhaler again... I, too, get that initial onslaught, then it subsides as I ride (or hike or run...), but I've been a lot more active recently and pre-workout inhaler use has dropped to next to zero.

I'm no doctor, but if you were non-responsive and were hospitalized for that long, you desperately need a pulmonologist. That type of severe attack can lead to sudden death.

Last edited by Erwin8r; 06-06-13 at 10:41 PM. Reason: iPhone typo's
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Old 06-07-13, 06:57 PM   #14
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I'm coming back to this thread again. My doctor switched me to Sibicort. It has been nothing short of a miracle. I'm a lifelong asthmatic. I have used my rescue inhaler only 3 times since put on this drugs in February. I would suggest a new doctor as well. Mine is the first to actually try to help my asthma. Hang in there , with the new drugs you can achieve you're goal.

Mark Shuman
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Old 06-12-13, 08:33 AM   #15
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my asthma is exercise and illness related. but i can control my asthma by pushing harder and harder when exercising. by the end of the season it is like i almost dont have asthma at all. so yes, steroidal inhalers are not required by everyone. now on the other hand if i get sick i am crippled. cannot walk from my car to inside work without stopping once or twice. same with stairs.
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