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  1. #1
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    Default Exercise Induced Asthma - anyone else?`Anything help?

    Years ago was diagnosed with "exercise induced asthma". As in probably over 30 years ago. I've always just dealt with it. If I run, I'll start to cough. Even riding at a canter for a while, or doing a course, I end up coughing at the end. Don't have an asthma attack, just cough for awhile until I catch my breath.

    About 20 years ago, when I had great insurance, I asked to be tested - they did lung testing, but adding an inhaler only made it worse.

    Yes, have allergies, but now, the docs won't test me, just suggest meds which do nothing. Even talking for hours, e.g. on a road trip, or shopping with a sister, I lose my voice the next day.

    Don't have that much trouble getting around during the day. Am able to get lots done, otherwise in great condition for my age except about 25 lbs overweight. No aches and pains. Great flexibility.

    Am also very short-waisted, and was a preemie - at birth was in an incubator for a month - always wondered if this had anything to do with it - or the stature with a short trunk. Could never swim that far underwater, or anything else that required good lung capacity?

    This is the one thing that really prevents me from pushing myself into shape. I've just dealt with it. Was thinking I'd like to maybe get running so I could once and for all get into shape.

    Anyone else have this issue, and what have you done to overcome it/deal with it? Just push yourself through it and it gets better?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by CVPeg; Apr. 21, 2013 at 10:21 AM.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  2. #2
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    Well, asthma is what I was diagnosed with eventually, as an adult.
    I was in our gymnastic team as a kid and when everyone went out to run some, I just could not make it, ran out of air.
    I could do any other, but was always short of air.

    Galloping race horses, I would get very short of air easily also, but coped with it.

    Guess what, almost at 60, had a heart attack and they found I didn't have any heart disease, but a heart defect, that was the cause of most of my "asthma" for all those years.
    Yes, I do have allergies and some asthma, but that was not the main cause of my "lung" problems that caused shortness of breath when it did.

    I would get to a good internist and have them follow up until they find why you are short of breath like you describe.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Well, my head read that as equine infectious anemia and I thought the affected would have to be put down. This is a wee bit less serious! Hope you get some good suggestions.



  4. #4
    CVPeg is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Well, my head read that as equine infectious anemia and I thought the affected would have to be put down. This is a wee bit less serious! Hope you get some good suggestions.
    Yikes! In a fog this morning. But that's what the doc called it, so I just jotted it down.

    Will edit, I do believe... Thanks.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  5. #5
    CVPeg is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Well, asthma is what I was diagnosed with eventually, as an adult.
    I was in our gymnastic team as a kid and when everyone went out to run some, I just could not make it, ran out of air.
    I could do any other, but was always short of air.

    Galloping race horses, I would get very short of air easily also, but coped with it.

    Guess what, almost at 60, had a heart attack and they found I didn't have any heart disease, but a heart defect, that was the cause of most of my "asthma" for all those years.
    Yes, I do have allergies and some asthma, but that was not the main cause of my "lung" problems that caused shortness of breath when it did.

    I would get to a good internist and have them follow up until they find why you are short of breath like you describe.
    Wow, Bluey - glad that was discovered! But sorry you had to go through that to find it!

    Won't pooh pooh the suggestion, but they did some heart testing years ago when I pulled a muscle in my chest - to rule out a heart attack at age 29. Even though I had just picked up an 80 pound cast iron sewing machine.
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  6. #6
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    I started having it about 10 years ago. Not long after, I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, which affects your lungs, as well as other organs (if you have the chronic kind).

    I have two inhalers that I will use before I run cross country on a hot and humid day. I have an air conditioned vehicle available. If I can get into dryer air, then I can get my breathing back under control.

    If you are in the middle of a ride, stop, get off of your horse and get out of the sun. Try closing your eyes and imagine that you are standing outside in cooler weather. Make yourself take longer, slower breaths. Count them out in your head. Inhale through your nose, as slowly as you can. Picture your lungs filling with air. Count slowly as you let the air back out of your lungs. Do this until you can work yourself out of the attack.

    This happened to me during a Robin Walker clinic in late June. A very nice person, who was riding in my group, had experience talking a person out of the attack. It worked for me.

    Good luck! I hope that you do not have an underlying cause. Have you had a chest xray recently?
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!



  7. #7
    CVPeg is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Also want to ask something more directed. Is lung capacity something that should just improve as you push yourself? Like aching muscles improve with exercise?
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  8. #8
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    You really need a referral to a good allergist. They will do a lung function test, allergy testing. My daughter has asthma and has exercised induced asthma. This time of year, she's on Singulair, Zyrtec and a non steriodal nose spray. Starts with an A. And she has a rescue inhaler. She usually only has exercise problems during ragweed season or in the winter. In the winter, she has to keep a scarf or a mask over her mouth and nose when she's running so she doesn't breath in very cold are.

    A good allergist is your friend.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  9. #9
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    I suggest going to the doctors again, even if you have to go to one that cares more, and asking for more testing.

    As someone with severe asthma, I can tell you that the meds (I'm on a daily steroid, rescue inhaler, and a nebulizer) are what keep me going. I notice an immediate difference in an attack or even daily living situation. (Ie, should I forget the steroid, by the middle of the day I am exhausted, struggling for air, and couldn't make it up a flight of stairs if you paid me.) So the fact that the meds are not making the slightest difference makes me think that you have something else going on.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    I suggest going to the doctors again, even if you have to go to one that cares more, and asking for more testing.
    ...
    So the fact that the meds are not making the slightest difference makes me think that you have something else going on.
    I agree with this. I recently got an inhaler for EIA and it has made a world of difference in my running. It's low strength, so the wheezing isn't completely gone, but I can definitely hear & feel a difference. I will be going back to get some more specific testing done, but from what I understood an inhaler should definitely show improvement if you're having bronchospasms.

    And in response to your other question - you can definitely train your lung capacity & your breathing.



  11. #11
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    I have it. It only affects me after a hard cardio workout, though, not during. It doesn't matter how gradually I cool down - as soon as my heart rate starts to slow, I start to cough like crazy. I've run marathons without even clearing my throat, only to start coughing and gagging after crossing the finish.

    I've always had it, but smoking did worsen it (took me a long time to admit that). Now that I've quit, I'm hoping things will improve.



  12. #12
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    Yes, I have it. Developed after having Farmer Lung in my mid-20s.

    I will readily admit that I don't exercise much to begin with, so it generally doesn't trouble me. I currently don't take any medicine, but do drag around a rescue inhaler.

    We're having a terrible spring with lots of pollen and I'm feeling wheezy & almost ready to make an appointment with the allergist.

    The year I evented, I had my worst asthma attack ever while in Flagstaff (elevation 7k) at a competition. And, I had spent a year getting in shape, was on meds, and everything.

    I should take it more seriously.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  13. #13
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    I will second, or is it third, the recommendation to see a good allergist. Life is so much more comfortable/productive now that I get allergy shots and use a daily steroid inhaler.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    I have exercise-induced asthma. I was put on Singulair once a day and it has pretty much eliminated my symptoms - I'll get a light cough but it goes away.

    If you keep working out, it does get better. When I was overweight and started exercising, I could be active for maybe 10 seconds before I had to quit. Now I can go for a good 15 minutes before I need to regulate myself. Although, if I go all out and had to like sprint, I'd be done in maybe 20-30 seconds, LOL. Even when I feel the need to start regulating myself, I can pretty much maintain the same pace, I just don't put in as much resistance/push to my steps.

    For me, engaging in a constant activity that I could kind of make easier or harder on the fly worked out best for me. I do Zumba - I can really push myself or I can pull it in, and I can regulate myself with each step, so I kind of customize my workout for my asthma second by second. Find the place where you're just shy of your symptoms triggering, and try to stay there for extended periods.

    When I had to do my health/well section for school, I picked EIA as my research topic and learned a few things:
    - Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth makes it worse for some people.
    - Regulate the salt in your diet. Lower salt diets can result in an improvement in symptoms.
    - Stay very well hydrated.



  15. #15
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    I was diagnosed with adult onset Asthma about 5 yrs ago. At first my symptoms only occurred with exercise. Eventually my chest would feel tight occasionally in the morning.

    I am on a daily steroid inhaler, have an emergency one that i use maybe 3 times a year. I take an Allegra every day & a prescription allergy nasal spray.

    I do think you can improve lung function with exercise, but should have the support of something to hold your allergies at bay first, and maybe a rescue inhaler if things get tight while exercising.

    I'm short wasted too, but I think my tendancy to shortness of breath is just caused by tension - when I practice meditation sessions in the the morning (dvd) I find I can breathe deeper and that I'm able to breathe deeper all day if I practice.

    One hint a mom of an asthmatic kid gave me this year that's really helped - when you feel your chest getting tight, straighten up, open up your shoulders, hold your head high. It's an amazing instant relief!

    I felt "damaged" when I was diagnosed but I've gotten over that and am about as fit & active as I was in my thirties before the asthma diagnosis, so find a management program that works for you and you'll be fine!



  16. #16
    CVPeg is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Going to put a call into the "referring GP" and try to set something up to see a specialist. No more just "getting by"!
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadien View Post


    I'm short wasted too, but I think my tendancy to shortness of breath is just caused by tension - when I practice meditation sessions in the the morning (dvd) I find I can breathe deeper and that I'm able to breathe deeper all day if I practice.

    One hint a mom of an asthmatic kid gave me this year that's really helped - when you feel your chest getting tight, straighten up, open up your shoulders, hold your head high. It's an amazing instant relief!
    Interesting! I do yoga (which focuses on breathing, posture, and meditation) and find that that has helped a ton.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IFG View Post
    I will second, or is it third, the recommendation to see a good allergist. Life is so much more comfortable/productive now that I get allergy shots and use a daily steroid inhaler.
    I 100% agree with this. I take a daily nasal spray and steroid inhaler, but my allergy shots are what changed my world. I have spent multiple days (once was 6 days!) in the hospital on multiple occasions and now that I have been getting shots my asthma has never been so controlled. It has been 4 years since I have had a major attack and for me that is unbelievable. I cannot go longer then 3 weeks without my shots or symptoms start coming back.



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