Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Anyyone else battle Asthma?

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Anyyone else battle Asthma?

Old 08-07-13, 04:18 PM
  #1  
joelh
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central NC
Posts: 117

Bikes: Waterford Rs 22, GT ZuM

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Anyyone else battle Asthma?

I was diagnosed with asthma about 4 years ago At times it has really taken the fun out of riding, I am on a daily inhaler and a rescue inhaler and on bad days, I feel like I m breathing through a straw

Currently breathing well and enjoying my rides, but I am dreading cool weather, that is when things seem to go south

Anyone else, dealing with this?
joelh is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 04:57 PM
  #2  
NMHillclimber
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Southern NM Mountains
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was diagnosed 30 years ago, when i just started riding. Bicycling really helps. Keeps my lungs open. Pace yourself so you don't trigger exercise induced asthma. Work on increasing lung capacity. (You will!) Relax on the bike. Learn how to breath from your abdomen if you don't now (most people don't. Put your hand on your belly and take a deep breath. Your belly should expand, not your upper chest). Maybe something like tai chi or yoga would help that.
NMHillclimber is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 05:11 PM
  #3  
SaiKaiTai
Senior Member
 
SaiKaiTai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,990
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seriously? Turns out I've had asthma pretty much my entire life though I didn't know it until about 20 years ago.
On top of that, it also turns out I'm working with less than 70% of normal lung capacity for my age.
If I know a ride will include some serious effort, I take two preemptive puffs on the inhaler before setting out. It does what it can.
Long, hard climbs can stop me cold so I take a lot of -literally- breathers until I'm not gasping anymore... then off I go.
Once I realized it's "built-in" I stopped thinking that my fitness was the problem. Stay within your means but don't let it stop you. Ever.
SaiKaiTai is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 05:22 PM
  #4  
phread59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Central PA
Posts: 291

Bikes: Old Fuji road,Cirrus Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm a lifelong asthmatic. I'm on Simicort. it has pretty much put the kabosh on asthma attacks. Since switching to this med my lung problems have disapeard. Just hang in there. Ask you're doctor about different treatments. I was on an inhaled cortical steroid. My Doc decided to give Symbicort a shot. Works fantastic for me.

A thought on how to deal with winter. Try a balaclave or some kind of scarf to cover you're mouth and nose. Cold air can trigger an episode. Also try to keep the respirations down some. Shift down gears going up hills. Don't stand and pound unless you must. This will help some preventing an attack. Had always worked for me.

Good luck keeping this disease under control. And enjoy riding as long as you can.

Mark Shuman
phread59 is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 08:12 PM
  #5  
JohnJ80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,396

Bikes: N+1=5

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 99 Posts
I've had asthma since I was a kid. Started treating it in my late '20's with the old standby Albuterol inhaler. I had those stupid things with me all the time everywhere. Forgetting one was a nightmare. Always thought it was such a reactive way to deal with asthma. I was even hospitalized because of it twice when I got serious respiratory infection from the flu. I had allergy induced asthma, exercise induced asthma, and cold induced asthma. Doesn't get much worse than that.

Then, one day, my pharmacist told me to try Advair (look it up). The doctor wasn't keen on it but I kind of pressured him until he prescribed it. The stuff is wonderful - you take a puff in the morning and one in the evening and that's it. I haven't used an albuterol inhaler for 10 years. The stuff is really great, and the best part is it really controls it so very well. I don't have to be reactive anymore, asthma really isn't a part of my life anymore. Cold doesn't bother me, exercise doesn't bother me, pollen doesn't bother me (at least with asthma).

You can totally get over the top on asthma. The trick is finding the medication for you that controls it. Asthma can kill you but asthma controlled gives a mortality rate that is exactly the same as the general population. The whole game is control BEFORE you get an asthmatic attack.

J.
JohnJ80 is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 10:30 PM
  #6  
DGlenday
Senior Member
 
DGlenday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,248

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by joelh View Post
Currently breathing well and enjoying my rides, but I am dreading cool weather, that is when things seem to go south
That's me too.

I don't even take an inhaler with me on summer rides. But in winter, the inhaler hardly helps.
DGlenday is offline  
Old 08-07-13, 10:56 PM
  #7  
loneviking61
Senior Member
 
loneviking61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 378

Bikes: Schwinn Trailwise, Surly Pugsley

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have asthma and yes, the trick is to get on the inhaled steroids like Advair, Qvar or the like. Keep the rescue inhaler (albuterol or combivent eg) close at hand. In cold weather, get a Buff rag for cool temps and something like a knit scarf or a Shemagh for cold temps to breath through. Think cotton and not felt like a Baclava. Those Baclavas are nasty as they get wet from your breath and stay soggy and cold. Yuck! Cover your mouth and breath warm air in the winter.
loneviking61 is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 03:54 AM
  #8  
joelh
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central NC
Posts: 117

Bikes: Waterford Rs 22, GT ZuM

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I will check with my doc about advair/simbicort if the breathing issues return this fall. I am on ventolin, which is an older form of a steroid inhaler. Yes when I am struggling on a ride, albuterol doesn't do much
joelh is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 07:29 AM
  #9  
kingsqueak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ cellphone central
Posts: 468

Bikes: Surly Ogre // (old and gone) Cannondale ST400, Rockhopper Sport

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I will caution, I had terrible reaction to Advair. It worked but I had fatigue and pains as though I had Lyme disease after months of use. I discontinued the inhaler amd the issue went away over another month or so. After quitting smoking, I just keep a rescue inhaler around and rarely need it now.


I have allergy and exercise induced asthma at this point. I can control it by feel and I'm lucky not to have severe asthma. The few full attacks I had were pretty scary.
kingsqueak is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 07:58 AM
  #10  
Rick@OCRR
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 6,186

Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Like many above, my problems usually start with the onset of colder weather. During the warm weathrer I'm pretty much asthma free. When it's cold I use the steroid inhaler on a daily basis, then keep an albuterol inhaler in my seat pack . . . just in case.

It has bailed me out in a couple of bad situations but overall the steroid inhaler keeps me (pretty much) asthma free. I just have to remember to use it!

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 10:20 AM
  #11  
Cyclist0094
Banned.
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: ny
Posts: 1,764
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Boy do I have a story to tell. My wife had suspected I had mild asthma for years It didn't seem to affect my riding or my work so I never had myself tested. 2 days before christmas in 2008 I was brushing my teeth and suddenly I couldn't breath well, I felt like I was trying to breathe through a thin straw. I sat down and it took me a good 20 minutes before I could breathe normally again. The same thing happened the next day after I brushed my teeth but I had my wife's rescue inhaler and it cleared me up in 5 minutes.

I went to the doctor who hooked me up with an asthma specialist, The specialist put me on Advair Diskus and prescribed a rescue inhaler. He told me I was allegic to mint and to avoid mint toothpastes. Things went along ok for 6 months or so then the Diskus seemed less effective. so he put me on a high dosage. a few months later a higher dosage. Then we started making the rounds of lung specialists who were all looking for lung cancer or some other disease. I tried using a nebulizer, it cleared me for maybe an hour before my lungs would clog back up.

Fall of of 2012 things got progressively worse, specialists were throwing their hands up in the air and proclaiming I was not taking the medications as prescribed or taking them incorrectly. My wife was sure I was going to die ( though she didn't say it at the time) By December 2012 I can barely get up the stairs at home without running out of breath. Now I'm thinking I may die. I secretly make sure my will and other affairs are in order just in case.

Just after Christmas I have been scouring the internet looking for causes or cures, I run across a post on a medical website about this Bariatric Surgeon, Tejinder(Paul) Singh, based here in Albany who claims that severe asthma can be induced from acid reflux diesease (GERD). I'm looking at it and saying I don't have acid reflux. Regardless I call up my asthma Doc and he says that is BS. I call up my (wonderful)primary doctor and he immediately gives me a referral to a gastroenterologist he knows. The gastro doc schedules me for a PH test the following week and discovers my stomach acid ph is off the charts. She knows Dr Singh and immediately calls him to see me ASAP. A few days later he examines me with a stomach scope and concludes that it is "silent acid reflux" from a weaken lower esophageal sphincter along with a Hiatal Hernia causing stomach acid to get into my lungs. He schedules me for "Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication surgery" to take place 4 days later, At this point I'm popping Nexum like candy and using oxygen to breath while sleeping.

The outcome was after 8 weeks of recuperation I now only have mild asthma symptoms easily controlled with a mild steroid. I'm breathing better than I have in 10 years. I got back on the bike about 8 weeks ago I feel like i'm 20 years younger in terms of output. I no longer have to worry about my weight, I have about 1/2 the capacity of what my stomach was, so 1 cup of food easily fills me. I'm wearing jerseys that haven't fit since 1985
Cyclist0094 is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 04:34 PM
  #12  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,336

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 658 Post(s)
Liked 487 Times in 294 Posts
I deal with asthma also and my allergist has it well controlled. The suggestion to pay attention to breathing with the diaphram (post ?) is also right on. Even high altitude mountaineers do this. Additionally, I recently read an article, somewhere, that recommended breathing through the nose and gave many good reasons for doing so. I've been doing this for several weeks now even though I was sceptical. Usually I'm trying to maximize air intake. To my surprise, it works fine under almost all my climbing situations. The key though is still to draw air in with the diaphram and push it all out. This all takes a deliberate effort. I expect it to be even more effective in winter's cold dry air.
berner is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 07:41 PM
  #13  
CrankyFranky
Procrastinateur supreme
 
CrankyFranky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Franko barada nikto
Posts: 1,213

Bikes: Enough bikes...for today!

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I've had asthma for close to six decades. It seems now that the inhalable treatments are pretty effective, but they do have side effects. For me, the problems are that they mess with my voice so I either sound like a teenager, or else like Brando in The Godfather. Also, I get prone to oral yeast infections. A few decades ago, before steroids, cromoglycate powder inhalers did the trick with no side effects - but they had to be taken 4 times a day, so not as convenient. I don't know why this is no longer available - it was cheap and really worked for me.

Cold weather causes trouble for asthmatics primarily due to lack of moisture in the air. I can completely eliminate this by wrapping a loose-knit acrylic scarf across my nose and mouth. The scarf retains enough moisture from exhalation to moisturize the incoming cold air charge. You just have to find the right weight of scarf - nothing too thick or dense.
Hope you find something that works for you.
CrankyFranky is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 08:37 PM
  #14  
ericm979
Senior Member
 
ericm979's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Posts: 6,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have had EIA most of my life but did not get treated until about five years ago. I thought it was normal to wheeze when exercising. Finally it got bad enough that people in races were asking if I was ok and riders on training rides were telling me to get Albuterol.

I'm now on Symbicort, which is legal for competition in the amounts I'm taking. It works pretty well. i was using it only for harder training rides and races until my doctor told me that not using it could hasten COPD. Aiee. I take it daily now. The asthma is worst for me when the air is cold and wet.
ericm979 is offline  
Old 08-08-13, 09:21 PM
  #15  
loneviking61
Senior Member
 
loneviking61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 378

Bikes: Schwinn Trailwise, Surly Pugsley

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by joelh View Post
I will check with my doc about advair/simbicort if the breathing issues return this fall. I am on ventolin, which is an older form of a steroid inhaler. Yes when I am struggling on a ride, albuterol doesn't do much
Ventolin is abuterol sulfate, which is not a steroid. And for everyone with asthma, just because you are asymptomatic does not mean that the airways are not mildly inflammed, with structural changes going on in the lungs that will result in very bad breathing problems later in life. Get on the steroid inhalers and stay on them.
loneviking61 is offline  
Old 08-10-13, 02:52 AM
  #16  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,178

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 742 Post(s)
Liked 659 Times in 272 Posts
Oh, asthma ... as a kid, I had it bad enough to be hospitalized a number of times. I had an inhaler and pills (Marax), but only took them when I had symptoms. Thankfully, they gradually disappeared. For the past 35 years or so, about the only time I'm reminded of it is when I have a chest cold.

Broke 4 ribs, in a bike crash in 2008. After I healed up, my doc gave me volumetric breathing test, and I blew it off scale. I think all those years struggling to breathe as a kid may have done me some good.

I don't carry an emergency inhaler ... probably should.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

Biker395 is offline  
Old 08-10-13, 11:17 AM
  #17  
bkaapcke
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 36 Times in 17 Posts
Mine went away completely when I eliminated fermented (fungus or mold) foods from my diet. Undiagnosed food intolerance can be a real bear. bk
bkaapcke is offline  
Old 08-10-13, 03:31 PM
  #18  
Cyclist0094
Banned.
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: ny
Posts: 1,764
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
Mine went away completely when I eliminated fermented (fungus or mold) foods from my diet. Undiagnosed food intolerance can be a real bear. bk
Yep, leavened breads ,cheese and yogurt are non-no's for me except for fat free Frozen yogurt which seems to have no effect.
Cyclist0094 is offline  
Old 09-02-13, 06:38 AM
  #19  
jcg878
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 99

Bikes: make me happy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
I've had asthma for close to six decades. It seems now that the inhalable treatments are pretty effective, but they do have side effects. For me, the problems are that they mess with my voice so I either sound like a teenager, or else like Brando in The Godfather. Also, I get prone to oral yeast infections. A few decades ago, before steroids, cromoglycate powder inhalers did the trick with no side effects - but they had to be taken 4 times a day, so not as convenient. I don't know why this is no longer available - it was cheap and really worked for me.

Cold weather causes trouble for asthmatics primarily due to lack of moisture in the air. I can completely eliminate this by wrapping a loose-knit acrylic scarf across my nose and mouth. The scarf retains enough moisture from exhalation to moisturize the incoming cold air charge. You just have to find the right weight of scarf - nothing too thick or dense.
Hope you find something that works for you.
I'm a pharmacist who has had asthma all-my-life that was poorly controlled until I moved to Advair, a combination of a long-acting albuterol-like drug and a steroid (like Symbicort). I take 2 inhalations of albuterol before hopping on the bike and I'm good to go... in the spring and summer. Come the beginning of colder weather, it comes back and eventually I keep the bike on the trainer starting around mid-October. I dug up this thread looking for ways to extend my riding season and I think I will try the scarf method - thanks.

I quoted this particular post because the yeast infections that you are mentioning are preventable by washing your mouth (swish and spit some water, then swallow a little more water). It is happening because the steroid is locally immunosuppressive and allows the yeast in your mouth (which is always there) to overgrow. If you rinse your mouth religiously it should stop it almost completely.

The other note of caution I wanted to sound is to the person who says (s)he manages asthma by feel. I do this as well, but you should know that you've lost lung capacity before you can feel the difference, so be careful with that approach and use the albuterol then.

The poster who said that Ventolin = albuterol is correct. Ventolin is a brand name.
jcg878 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ztmlgr
Fifty Plus (50+)
17
02-14-17 05:42 PM
cellery
Road Cycling
22
05-07-14 12:55 AM
icyclist
Fifty Plus (50+)
16
02-09-13 04:20 PM
frantik
Training & Nutrition
11
09-22-11 10:28 PM
wheelgrabber
Training & Nutrition
9
07-31-10 11:29 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.