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Old 11-19-09, 04:22 AM   #1
garethzbarker
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Asthma

All the asthma posts are a little old so I'm starting a new one. I have asthma but it's pretty much under control now that I don't smoke. Started cycling and I can work up a sweat and get a decent workout without an attack but if i cross into anaerobic work asthma kicks in. I had my first bad attack trying to complete a trail way too hard with an experienced group. I had forgotten how bad a real asthma attack can be.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if i'm having asthma problems or if i'm just working hard though. This is the first time in my life I've ever really worked out. I can tell a really hard asthma attack but sometimes out of breath just feels like out of breath.

today it kicked in again just road riding with a really fit guy. I enjoy just light riding but I'd like to push myself two or three times a week to build muscles and cardio. I keep an inhaler with me all the time but it's really only for emergencies. I'm wondering what meds are out these days that people have success with for extended asthma protection? I only want to use it on days I'll be riding hard. I used to use some steroid but it made me gain weight and i'm riding to loose weight. but when i was taking it i wasn't doing jack and i was using it daily. maybe a steriod would be ok if i only use it sometimes.

Also any advice on what to expect or tips in general as an asthmatic person training in cycling would be great.

Thanks

P.S. I saw a doctor and he just told me not to do any hard riding. but he didn't check my ox levels or heart and i felt like he was kind of rushing me. After I left I thought, "So was he saying I can never work out if it involves heavy breathing? How can I ever make my lungs stronger?"

Last edited by garethzbarker; 11-19-09 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 11-19-09, 07:16 AM   #2
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My doctor told me to use the inhaler before riding. Seems to work for me. Open the lungs up before you need them.
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Old 11-19-09, 02:23 PM   #3
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Use an inhaler before riding (if its a hard ride). It helps
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Old 11-19-09, 02:31 PM   #4
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I used to use Singulair (which is actually an allergy med) to control my asthma, but I took myself off it this summer. I was completely fine until allergy season kicked in, and I was off my bike for a month and a half this September/October. It was a pill that I took every night and I went years without ever needing an inhaler, save for when I had a really really bad cold/cough.

I know your inhaler is an "emergency" thing, but if you use it as a precaution before a ride you might not have a problems at all, thus preventing an emergency. I've been using one before a ride and I've survived rides in the bitter cold of night without a problem at all (which is usually when my asthma treats me the worst).
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Old 11-19-09, 02:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by garethzbarker View Post
P.S. I saw a doctor and he just told me not to do any hard riding.
First thing you should do is find a doctor who specializes in Asthma treatment. Your asthma is not currently under control and there are a number of drugs available that should be able to help. Inhaled corticosteroids (eg pulmicort) worked for my son who had asthma when he was younger.
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Old 11-19-09, 05:52 PM   #6
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i used to use pulmicort and it worked really well. I think you're right, seeing a specialist is a good idea.
Are there any racers with asthma? Can it be controlled to that extent?
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Old 11-19-09, 07:21 PM   #7
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there are different inhalers. Fast-acting for emergencies, and more general-use types of drugs.

You need to get your asthma under control. It isn't a static disease. It comes with significant immune-system involvement (like eosinophilia) and progresses over time.
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Old 11-20-09, 12:04 AM   #8
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Your doctor knows jack. Exercise is the best thing you can do for asthma - but it has to be under control, which yours is not. See a pulmonologist. He/she will fix you right up.
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Old 11-20-09, 12:07 AM   #9
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I'm a life-long Athsma sufferer and have been on a mix of things since I was a kid. As an adult, I think the best luck I've had is with Advair to control my asthma, making the use of my emergency inhaler a lot less frequent. I've tried both using my fast-acting inhaler before a workout and not using it with similar results to others in the thread. It does 'open up' my lungs before a workout, but I've always worried about using that as a crutch, so I've generally avoided it when I can. At this point, the Advair as a preventative measure does the trick for me, and I can work up a good sweat without triggering an attack. Your mileage may vary. I'd recommend the same as the other poster who mentioned seeing a doctor who specializes in asthma. Lots of advances in the last couple of years.

Good luck.
-Don
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Old 11-20-09, 12:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dwhitlow View Post
I'm a life-long Athsma sufferer and have been on a mix of things since I was a kid. As an adult, I think the best luck I've had is with Advair to control my asthma, making the use of my emergency inhaler a lot less frequent. I've tried both using my fast-acting inhaler before a workout and not using it with similar results to others in the thread. It does 'open up' my lungs before a workout, but I've always worried about using that as a crutch, so I've generally avoided it when I can. At this point, the Advair as a preventative measure does the trick for me, and I can work up a good sweat without triggering an attack. Your mileage may vary. I'd recommend the same as the other poster who mentioned seeing a doctor who specializes in asthma. Lots of advances in the last couple of years.

Good luck.
-Don
Let's hear it for Advair, and may their patent run out soon! One can get almost the same effect by purchaing the two medications contained in Advair separately. Depends on your insurance formulary.

You should be able to tell whether it's an attack or just out of breath by taking a deep breath and expelling it as hard as possible. If it's an attack, you'll hear a definite wheeze, otherwise not.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:45 AM   #11
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I have mild exercise-induced Asthma. I seem to only ever wheeze on the inhale, not the exhale. BTW, with those salbutamol inhalers...that stuff can jack your heart rate up, when I ran more I used my inhaler as little as possible because it made my HR skyrocket, I heard somewhere it's not a good idea to go exercise hard like that.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:38 AM   #12
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I am a life-long asthma sufferer, have some lung scarring due to repeated cases of pnuemonia and frequently had bronchitis. I have loads of allergies that also contribute. 5 years ago I had 68% of "normal" lung capacity. I started swimming and cycling and saw a pulmonologist after years of rescue inhalor use (salbutamol).

I have used Advair and Simbicort in the past but am off both. I do use Symbicort once daily but have not needed to use a rescue inhalor in three years. My lung capicity is now at 90% and I do club races and some cyclocross racing but favor brevets.

Long story short, see the right Doctor, find the right meds, do cardio exercise that works and yes, you can race and feel a lot better! OP, Using Ventolin indicates your asthma is not under control.

Last edited by jdon; 11-20-09 at 03:42 AM.
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