Notices
Pills and Ills This is a discussion subforum for the health challenges faced by riders 50+. These discussions are in no way to be considered professional medical advice.

Short of breath

Old 02-02-23, 08:03 AM
  #1  
gthomson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gthomson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Great White North
Posts: 1,052

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Caad 8, 2010 Opus Fidelio, 1985 Peugeot UO14, 1999 Peugeot Dune, Sakai Select, L'Avantage, 1971 Gitane Apache Standard

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 239 Posts
Short of breath

Over the past few months I am experiencing a shortness of breath when I do higher intensity Zwift ride and just can't get enough air into my lungs to be able to perform. I'm OK with mild rides but as soon as I join a group ride or a race I can only keep up for about 15 minutes and then I get dropped because I can't keep up the pace. I've been told runners asthma is what it's called or perhaps allergies? It's not the first time I've experienced this but more intense than in past occasions.

No problems when I'm not active or mild activity but sustained effort really triggers it and then I find I'm weazy and coughing and labouring to catch my breath. I have a puffer I take which helps it but it won't go away. I saw my doctor and he has set me up for a complete exam later this month to rule out anything serious.

Anyone ever experience this?
gthomson is offline  
Old 02-02-23, 10:02 AM
  #2  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,794

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3852 Post(s)
Liked 2,337 Times in 1,266 Posts
Out of breath means you're not getting enough oxygen in your blood.
Possibilities:
1. Lung problems
2. Heart problems
3. Blood problems
4. Insufficient fitness.

Here's hoping for #4.
DiabloScott is offline  
Likes For DiabloScott:
Old 02-02-23, 11:31 AM
  #3  
MoAlpha
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 10,952

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9032 Post(s)
Liked 4,948 Times in 2,641 Posts
Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Out of breath means you're not getting enough oxygen in your blood.
Possibilities:
1. Lung problems
2. Heart problems
3. Blood problems
4. Insufficient fitness.

Here's hoping for #4.
The list above pretty much covers the clinical possibilities. Wheezing and coughing and use of an inhaler suggest decompensating asthma or a new airway issue, so it's good you're seeing your doc.

Just as a point of information, the thing in the blood that stimulates increased respiratory drive at rest is CO2, not O2. During exercise, other systems are recruited to match breathing to metabolic demand and things get complicated and mysterious.
MoAlpha is offline  
Likes For MoAlpha:
Old 02-02-23, 11:49 AM
  #4  
gthomson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gthomson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Great White North
Posts: 1,052

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Caad 8, 2010 Opus Fidelio, 1985 Peugeot UO14, 1999 Peugeot Dune, Sakai Select, L'Avantage, 1971 Gitane Apache Standard

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 239 Posts
Well, not as fit as I was 10 years ago but still stay pretty active. I've still been cycling a lot over the past 3 years (really ramped it up when covid hit) but before that played a lot of hockey, ran, weightlifting, cross country skiing, yoga, etc....so that I was doing something 6 days/week.

This just started happening in the fall and I heard a lot of people mention they had a really bad year of allergies so wondering if that has anything to do with it? I'm doing a total exam on the 24th, X rays, electro caridogram and full fitness test. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
gthomson is offline  
Old 02-03-23, 10:02 AM
  #5  
HIPCHIP
Lance Legweak
 
HIPCHIP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Woodland, California, USA
Posts: 856

Bikes: Felt Z-70, GT RTS-2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 13 Posts
Dont forget to see an allergist. Even if you havent had allergies in the past you could have them now.
HIPCHIP is offline  
Likes For HIPCHIP:
Old 02-03-23, 12:03 PM
  #6  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,889

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3589 Post(s)
Liked 1,578 Times in 1,153 Posts
It's just EIA, exercise induces asthma, but you probably also have some basic asthma at the bottom of it. The doc can prescribe meds for you that'll fix you right up. If possible, you really want to see a pulmonologist - get a referral. My wife uses ADVAIR for maintenance and albuterol for a rescue sprayer, very satisfactory. A peak flow meter is cheap and nice to have to check on how you're doing. The doc might even give you one. Most cyclists can hit 800 on one, my wife maybe 350 on a good day, me 600 just now, but I'm having temporary trouble with stuff in my lungs.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 02-03-23, 02:37 PM
  #7  
gthomson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gthomson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Great White North
Posts: 1,052

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Caad 8, 2010 Opus Fidelio, 1985 Peugeot UO14, 1999 Peugeot Dune, Sakai Select, L'Avantage, 1971 Gitane Apache Standard

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 239 Posts
thanks Carbonfiberboy very good information. I 've never heard of a pulmonologist or a peak flow meter. I've never really had to worry about this much up until recently and not sure if it's environmental since I'm now home all the time as opposed to going into an office or something changing in my body.
gthomson is offline  
Old 02-04-23, 07:31 AM
  #8  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,248
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1004 Post(s)
Liked 481 Times in 370 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It's just EIA, exercise induces asthma, but you probably also have some basic asthma at the bottom of it. The doc can prescribe meds for you that'll fix you right up. If possible, you really want to see a pulmonologist - get a referral. My wife uses ADVAIR for maintenance and albuterol for a rescue sprayer, very satisfactory. A peak flow meter is cheap and nice to have to check on how you're doing. The doc might even give you one. Most cyclists can hit 800 on one, my wife maybe 350 on a good day, me 600 just now, but I'm having temporary trouble with stuff in my lungs.
It very well could be. It was my first guess as well. I get a bit of it as well, but mine is mostly only triggered in the cold dry air. For me it can mostly be avoided with a long easy warm up gradually building in intensity,but some days it is difficult. Moving to the Florida panhandle helped too I only ride in a much more limited number of sub freezing mornings these days now that I am in Tallahassee. It still gets into the teens now and then and I ride in the early AM so I do still have to deal with it.

Riding indoors I assume cold isn't the trigger for you. I don't know if that means the long easy warmup will help as much for you or not.

Definitely do see a doc to see if you have other issues or if he can treat for allergies that might be your trigger.
__________________
Pete in Tallahassee
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https:/www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1


staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 02-08-23, 12:03 PM
  #9  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,340

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1459 Post(s)
Liked 672 Times in 420 Posts
One more possibility that was brought to light a couple of times last year at club ride. If you vape, that'll affect how your lungs work. Vaping literally vaporizes an oil which contains the nicotine that smokers crave. That oil then condenses back out in the lungs, where it can coat the surfaces and prevent oxygen transfer. A new member would show up for the rides, vape like crazy until everyone else was literally riding away, then latch onto the back of the group. In about 5 miles, he'd have to bail because he couldn't breathe. He blamed asthma, but we all knew what it was.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 02-08-23, 01:04 PM
  #10  
79pmooney
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,536

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4011 Post(s)
Liked 2,889 Times in 1,879 Posts
Any chance you had a "quiet" un-diagnosed COVID infection? Can your coming round of tests check for that?
79pmooney is offline  
Likes For 79pmooney:
Old 02-08-23, 01:56 PM
  #11  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 680
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 307 Post(s)
Liked 156 Times in 119 Posts
There are different conditions and causes that can result in a doctor diagnosing "asthma". I was diagnosed as having asthma as an infant and later as an adult. In my case the condition was the result of post nasal drip while I slept and this in turn was due to an allergy to wheat gluten. Changing my diet cleared up the asthma 100%.

We have have unusually wet and warm weather and so many areas and have a lot more mold spores and a lot more pollen as a result. An antihistamine is a good place to start and see if this helps.

For my part if I start out with a slow 15 mph clip for the first 15-20 minutes it makes a huge difference in how I do for the remainder of the ride. I need to warm up every part of my aerobic system.

Something that helps a great deal with conditionining is interval training and the most natural way I have found to do this is with hill work with lots of short grades followed by more flat sections for recovery, and then repeating the sequence with hill after hill. I used to do the same in cities by going out at night when there was far less traffic and then pedaling fast enough to reach each traffic light as it was turning green. Some streets had the lights set for 25 mph and others required 35 mph or evern 40 mph to do this successfully. I would start out on the street that required 25 mph and then go to the one that required 35 mph and then return to the 25 mph street and in effect was doing interval training on flat ground.
Calsun is offline  
Old 02-08-23, 02:00 PM
  #12  
car5car
Full Member
 
car5car's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 251

Bikes: Dead Mongoose XR100, Roadmaster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
How is blood pressure? If it is high, bad diet, clogged arteries. If it is lower than 120/80, you can still have clogged arteries. Do you eat meat and sugar?

Last edited by car5car; 02-08-23 at 02:07 PM.
car5car is offline  
Old 02-08-23, 03:33 PM
  #13  
gthomson
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
gthomson's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Great White North
Posts: 1,052

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Caad 8, 2010 Opus Fidelio, 1985 Peugeot UO14, 1999 Peugeot Dune, Sakai Select, L'Avantage, 1971 Gitane Apache Standard

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 470 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 239 Posts
Thanks everyone for sharing all this information. It shows how important it is to hear different experiences from others because it can't just be diagnosed without considering the multitude of options that are out there. Even my GP wouldn't come to a single conclusion so decided to be extra cautious and send me out for extensive testing. I'm OK with that being 55 years old and having not really seen a doctor for about 3 years. Heart disease runs in my family so you can never be too cautious.

In answer to some of the questions above, I have never been a smoker/vapor in my life nor do I do drugs but am a moderate drinker. My blood pressure is higher than normal but I continue to control it through exercise though I might have to succumb to medication soon. I know it's lifestyle because when I was hospitalized a few years back and was not working, no coffee, no alcohol my BP dropped to normal levels in a few days. I'm hoping retirement will at least fix the work stress.

Quiet COVID, possibly. Fully vaccinated and stayed healthy other than a few colds but always tested negative with the rapid tests. Is it possible it was covid? maybe but I don't have any breathing problems otherwise.

A bit of a break through after taking some of your advice. The last few rides I've got on the bike early enough to get in a good warm up and I've also been taking my puffer before cycling and my breathing has really improved. I also bought a heart monitor and use it to try and maintain a more consistent HR so that I don't lose control of my breathing. If it means I have to slow down a bit, so bet it. This led to two successful Tour rides with no discomfort after the ride. I actually enjoyed them which is something I haven't had in a long while.
gthomson is offline  
Old 02-08-23, 06:54 PM
  #14  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 13,383

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4486 Post(s)
Liked 2,636 Times in 1,706 Posts
Could be long-haul COVID symptoms. Despite being fully vaxxed in early 2021, I caught the Super Cooties in late 2021 as more than half the businesses and customers in my area stopped observing any precautions. Including Uber drivers and most city bus passengers. I had several medical appointments in 2021 (checkups for post-cancer treatment, physical therapy and evals for injuries from 2018 accident), and had to take the bus or Uber since I don't drive. Masks, including an N95, offer limited protection, especially since I have a beard.

No positive tests for COVID -- home quick tests or PCR tests at the pharmacy. But I had all the symptoms. And unlike other bouts with viruses that enter via the respiratory tract, this one hung on for nearly a year. That's very unusual. But also an indicator for both SARS viruses since 2004, in which the respiratory system is only the entry point. But the long term damage can range throughout the body, affecting the vascular and neuro systems, chronic inflammation, etc.

I never needed a visit to the ER or ICU, unlike some younger unvaxxed folks I know who declined the jabs. But I needed a couple of courses of oral Prednisone in autumn/early winter 2021 for chronic upper respiratory inflammation.

Full body images, especially of the chest, in 2022 revealed some lung scarring. Doc said it was impossible to say whether it was recent or due to childhood and adult bouts with pneumonia. Before the mid-2000s I had bronchitis and/or pneumonia almost every winter. And asthma. So I always had some limitations to my aerobic capacity.

The most persistent symptom was vertigo. That lasted long past the point where other symptoms cleared up. I hardly rode a bike outdoors at all from October 2021 through mid summer 2022. I switched to jogging, figuring if the vertigo caused me to lose my balance I wouldn't have far to fall. I fell once, on grass, no injuries.

So I got a little faster running, a little slower on the bike, but overall I'd say most of my decreasing fitness is age related. I'm 65 now and unless I can afford a course of medically supervised PEDs to stave off the effects of aging, it's all downhill from here.
canklecat is offline  
Likes For canklecat:
Old 02-08-23, 08:27 PM
  #15  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,340

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1459 Post(s)
Liked 672 Times in 420 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Masks, including an N95, offer limited protection, especially since I have a beard.
Masks are primarily to limit the size of the potential infection plume coming from you, if you are sick. They don't help much if an unmasked infected person breathes on you.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 02-09-23, 08:46 PM
  #16  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 13,383

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4486 Post(s)
Liked 2,636 Times in 1,706 Posts
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Masks are primarily to limit the size of the potential infection plume coming from you, if you are sick. They don't help much if an unmasked infected person breathes on you.
My careers included health care, maintaining perfectly (insofar as possible) sterile rooms for organ and tissue harvesting, infectious disease control, doing grunt work for NIH researchers, and occupational safety and health. And I still follow blogs by epidemiologists and read medical and research journals to keep up with the latest info. The efficacy of respiratory protection is well established, and was long before SARS-CoV-2 came along.

The only reason an N95 wouldn't protect me is because of my beard. Period. I knew it was a risk and took my chances. When I had to pass annual respiratory protection checks for my job I had to shave. And I shaved again and repeated checks in the morning before any inspection that required wearing respiratory protection.

An N95 and even a double surgical mask provide remarkably good protection from airborne viruses because the viruses are virtually always droplet borne. At a minimum they can reduce the viral load, which is often the difference between mild illness and recovery, ending up in the ICU, or dying.

But any respiratory protection is only as good as the weakest link in the chain, which often includes careless handling while donning and doffing a respiratory, and reusing a mask (which some of my friends who are EMTs, paramedics, doctors and nurses had to do back in 2020 due to shortages of PPE). I gave away some of my personal stash of masks back then to people who needed them more than I did. And I recycled masks and N95's by using a hot steamer, an ordinary Conair fabric steamer which emits hot enough steam to kill virtually any bacteria or virus without damaging the material. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Masking, minimizing exposure, getting vaxxed and boosted every six months kept me out of the hospital, despite my long-term autoimmune disorder, while younger, seemingly healthier folks I knew ended up in the ICU or morgue.

Unfortunately the CDC and WHO not only dropped the ball throughout the pandemic, they fumbled and punted it into the peanut gallery, playing a bizarre game of political acquiescence, one-upmanship with rival colleagues, and paranoid butt covering. Those two agencies may have done more harm than good and will undermine public confidence in disease control for years to come.
canklecat is offline  
Old 02-17-23, 07:32 PM
  #17  
car5car
Full Member
 
car5car's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 251

Bikes: Dead Mongoose XR100, Roadmaster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Heart disease runs in my family so you can never be too cautious.
My blood pressure is higher than normal but I continue to control it through exercise though I might have to succumb to medication soon. I know it's lifestyle because when I was hospitalized a few years back and was not working, no coffee, no alcohol my BP dropped to normal levels in a few days. I'm hoping retirement will at least fix the work stress.

.
High BP factors:
1.Saturated fat from meat, eat only fish.
2.High glycemic index carbs.
3.Lose fat %%
4.Resistance training IF BP is lower than 130.
There are tests for clogged neck arteries and heart arteries.
When all generations eat bad food, heart problems "run in family"
car5car is offline  

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 or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.