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  1. #1
    Beer-fueled
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    Coughing fits after exercise?

    About half the time after I go for a jog/run or a 'hard' ride, I end up having coughing fits about an hour later. It's not just shallow coughs, either, it's like I'm going to hock a lung up. I don't smoke at all, so it's not that. Anyone else have the same problem or know what's going on? Or can point me in a general direction?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Yeah...don't post on a frikkin message board to get medical advice. Go to your doctor, tell him or her exactly what you have said here, then listen closely. No it's not acceptable to cough up a lung consistently after hard exercise. It sounds pretty treatable though. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corcis
    About half the time after I go for a jog/run or a 'hard' ride, I end up having coughing fits about an hour later. It's not just shallow coughs, either, it's like I'm going to hock a lung up. I don't smoke at all, so it's not that. Anyone else have the same problem or know what's going on? Or can point me in a general direction?
    I had the same issue before I found out that I had asthma, now I just use an anhaler before I ride and I haven't had any coughing attacks since. As above, go see a doc to make sure.
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  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    There's a reasonable chance it could be Exercise Induced Asthma.

    I went to my GP when I was experiencing similar symptoms, who sent me for lots of tests, and then to a specialist who diagnosed me with EIA and gave me a prescription for an inhaler suited to the type of exercise I do.

    Go to your Doctor!!

  5. #5
    Beer-fueled
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    Quote Originally Posted by rule
    Yeah...don't post on a frikkin message board to get medical advice. Go to your doctor, tell him or her exactly what you have said here, then listen closely. No it's not acceptable to cough up a lung consistently after hard exercise. It sounds pretty treatable though. Good luck.
    Pardon me. It is Sunday, the doctor's office is closed and I don't feel any need to go to an emergency room or anything. I'm going to the doctor this week as it is, but wondered if anyone had an idea in the meantime as to what it is.

  6. #6
    Oldbie bike racer
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    The odd part is that you say the coughing begins an hour after exercise. If it begins right after exercise it could be what people mentioned above. It could also be what track racers call "pursuiter's cough". During very hard efforts you're breathing very hard and the upper part of your lungs and throat get so dried out they get irritated.

    Maybe you're breathing too much pollution?

    -Warren

  7. #7
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    I had simililar issues, went to the doctor. He said that it was just some kind of alergies and send me on my way. To be fair this was the same doctor that told me to stop riding my bike and take over the counter anti flamatory pain killers when I had knee problems (fitting solved my problem). Needles to say, I switched doctors. Point of the story, it's good to get a second opinion.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member doctorSpoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rule
    Yeah...don't post on a frikkin message board to get medical advice. Go to your doctor, tell him or her exactly what you have said here, then listen closely. No it's not acceptable to cough up a lung consistently after hard exercise. It sounds pretty treatable though. Good luck.
    I agree with you, but only to a point... yes, go see your doctor, but I have found that you can get all kinds of good (and some bad) info online if you know where to look... issues, suggestion, myths that you can take to your doctor and have him or her address... doctors are just people too and not all of them are up on the latest and greatest and not all of them have a good idea about sport physiology. the requirements of an athlete are different than joe blow on the street... being an informed patient means going out and getting information from lots of sources and analysing it critically and then conferring with your doctor or several doctors if you want even more sources. doctors know a lot but they are not the all knowing, all seeing miracle workers some of us make them out to be.

  9. #9
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    Is the cough dry or productive? A productive cough CAN represent the inflamatory portion of asthma. Asthma can present both as brochial spasms and inflamation/mucus.

    I do have asthma and have had similar symptoms. Originally, for me, it predominantly presented as EIA. At first I would have attacks and cough during races/track workouts. As the asthma worsened and became something closer to general (as opposed to EIA) asthma, I noticed that I would cough more several hours later or immediately after a longer race. I suppose once inflamed/irritated it takes a while to generate a noticible amount of mucus.

    The inhalers mentioned by others usually treat the spasm part while the mucus is more of an inflamation problem. In my case, I now use a daily inhaled powder that is a mixture of anti-inflamatory steroid and a substance to reduce spasms (beta-2 agonist). Until I had a scare and took care of the problem, it never even occurred to me that other people don't have breathing attacks coming out of T2. Now I don't either.

    Talk to your doctor, but if it is asthma, it doesn't have to be a huge deal. Some of the more famous pros have EIA and Lisa Bently even has cystic fibrosis. At bigger races (i.e. ITU world championships) be sure to declare any asthma drugs with doc notes becuase they are banned unless a proper documentation is provided.

  10. #10
    Beer-fueled
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    Saw the doctor today and she said it was probably EIA, gave me a spacer+inhaler that I will start using before exercising. I've got my first swimming class tomorrow, though it may not be enough to provoke anything. Their new stirometry (spelling?) machine is being built, but will likely be up and running next week and I will go in for a series of tests on it (pre-jog, post-jog and post-inhaler), to see if it is indeed EIA.

  11. #11
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corcis
    Saw the doctor today and she said it was probably EIA, gave me a spacer+inhaler that I will start using before exercising. I've got my first swimming class tomorrow, though it may not be enough to provoke anything. Their new stirometry (spelling?) machine is being built, but will likely be up and running next week and I will go in for a series of tests on it (pre-jog, post-jog and post-inhaler), to see if it is indeed EIA.
    Since you're probably new to EIA, a gradual warmup that ends with a fairly intense segment seems to reduce EIA problems for many people.

    -Warren

  12. #12
    Senior Member cosmo starr's Avatar
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    ive had a coughing fit after a hard ride once.....it was horrible, lasted about 30 minutes and has only happened that one time......i assumed it was due to pollution or it was a bad air quality day......i try to breath through my nose more now

  13. #13
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    I've experienced the coughing that you describe after a hard time trial and sometimes even after a tough club ride when I have been pushing myself to the limit and struggling hard to catch my breath. With me, the coughing sometimes even extends into the next day. I have assumed that it is a symptom of my lungs in poor condition, and the fitter I get, the less coughing I have. I would not see a doctor about it any more than I would see a doctor about sore legs after a hard ride. I have ALWAYS recovered without medication. Of course, if you have asthma, you have asthma and that's something different.

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