breathing – asthma?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by lostmyshape, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. lostmyshape

    lostmyshape New Member

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    just wanted some suggestions as to how to handle my exercise-induced asthma. it's not too severe, but when i work hard (extended periods of 85+% maxHR) i start to huff and puff. i was climbing a couple days ago and got dropped by a friendly cyclist. i got the impression that he wasn't really stronger than me, but i just couldn't keep up because of my wheezing and panting (he was breathing slowly and normally). my legs felt fine, but my lungs... ouch.

    anybody else out there suffer from asthma or other breathing problem? other than medication, how do you deal with it? is there any specific training that helps?

    i'm just a beginner rec cyclist right now, but i'd love to get myself to a condition that i could compete.
     
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  2. Cipher

    Cipher New Member

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    You might try a search for Homeopathic remedies. Many people consider this as an alternative to traditional health care... (I have Asthma, an use a one-a-day tablet called Singular, works great for me!) Good Luck!
     
  3. stevek

    stevek New Member

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    it gets better as you go. I can't push myself hard. I know how much I can push before my lungs start to get tight. I can't really afford the good meds right now.
     
  4. sea

    sea New Member

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    I am a long time asthmatic & bicyclist. I find that bicycling is one of the better sports for asthmatics as long as you learn how to manage your exercise level. The problem is, as you said, managing breathing while bicycling. While I am able to bike long distances at a reasonably high average speed, (14 MPH in Seattle terrain & 19 mph on flat ground.) I have to continually overcome my ego driven urge to prove what I can do. That is typical with exercise driven asthma. You can exercise for extended periods as long as you don't cross that invisible boundary to the level of exercise that triggers an asthma attack.
    I have learned when it's time to stop and that is no where near as easy as it sounds. There is often little warning of impending difficulty as attacks hit after you overdo it and when you are riding well and enjoying it you are not thinking about limits.
    There are some precautions to take. Develop a method that works for you to ensure that you don't forget to take you meds. Pre-medicate with Albuterol, if that is what you use, before starting the exercise. Learn to pay attention to any warning signs. Often just a short rest or a drop down to a lower energy level will prevent the onset of an attack if you do it before it's too late.

    Keep on bicycling and good luck.

    Sea
     
  5. lostmyshape

    lostmyshape New Member

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    you know exactly what i'm talking about, sea. i pre-medicate and, for the most part, that gets me through. it's just that line you're talking about. i'm fine and then the guy i'm talking to on the climb says bye and takes off up the hill. i feel good and, like the rest of you, love that challenge, so i pursue. then, i cross the line and bang, my chest is tight and i'm panting... getting dizzy... did myself in.

    i definately need to get better at recognizing the warning signs. that being said (i medicate carefully, know my limits, etc.), what do i do if i cross the line. do i just back off and recover? or is there some way i can push through it and not give up the chase? breathing techniques?

    and how do i extend that line farther, so i can go harder without my lungs (bronchial tubes actually) imploding? is there some way i can be training to avoid attacks?
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    [
    anybody else out there suffer from asthma or other breathing problem? other than medication, how do you deal with it? is there any specific training that helps?

    i'm just a beginner rec cyclist right now, but i'd love to get myself to a condition that i could compete. [/B][/QUOTE]

    My wife has the same problem. She uses an inhaler before and during our rides. She starts out slow and after about 10 miles she is able to breath fairly normally. It just takes that warm up period to get adjusted for her.I have a friend who has a bike shop that reacts in about the same way to his asthma.
    Of course this time of the year is the worst with the cold and dry.
    The good news is that she seems to improve the more she rides.
     
  7. redstorm

    redstorm New Member

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    I find that I can control my asthma by doing the following:

    - Use medication like Ventolin before exercising.

    - Try to have good sleep patterns. I find that when I have lack of sleep asthma attacks are easier to come by.

    Usualy while exercising the first 10-20 minutes are hard but once I pass that, I get a kind of "Asthmatics Second Wind" :) and things settle down.

    Honestly though I have never gotten to a point of having to reduce effort due to an Asthma Attack. Perhaps that is due to the use of medication.
     
  8. JMAC

    JMAC New Member

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    I;ve always had asthma. Thats partly what kept me from doing sports. Now that i race and train all the time my asthma gets progressivly better it's amasing. Still when i'm doing very hard efforts i use my inhaler before hand. I wonder if my asthma will go completely away one day.:confused:
     
  9. elrohwen

    elrohwen New Member

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    I actually just posted on this exact same issue ... and then realized that you beat me to it :) I'll pay more attention next time.

    But anyway, I know exactly how you feel. I've found that I have to squash the competetiveness and just stop right before I push myself over the edge. I always want to keep going hard, but I know that once I cross that line it'll be a lot tougher to come back to a normal breathing pattern.

    One thing I've noticed though is that keeping my breathing controlled is much easier if I keep breathing though my nose. When I'm climbing, I try to keep breathing through my nose as long as possible. As soon as I can't do it anymore and have to breathe through my mouth I know that I have a very short time before the asthma will start. So I make sure that the hill is almost done or I'll never make it once the asthma starts. So the breathing techniques seem to be very important. I just need to make a constant effort to regulate my breathing and not let it get erratic or out of control.
     
  10. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    I know I'll probably get flamed for this but it might be useful information for someone out there so I'll drop it here and sit quietly in a Nomex suit.

    Apparently there have been some studies done concerning asthma and diet. One such study performed at the University Hospital in Linkoping, Sweden put severe bronchial asthma patients on a diet devoid of meat, fish, chicken, eggs or milk. After one year 90% of the patients who finished the project reported major improvement in the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. Some of the patients were so improved that they were able to give up their asthma medication as long as they stayed on the diet.

    For what it's worth.

    :)
     
  11. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    You got a link or reference for this baby? Info on research method? Number of participants? How was it controlled?
     
  12. lostmyshape

    lostmyshape New Member

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    hmmm... no, not giving up my steak or tuna sashimi for something as insignificant as breathing. :D yeah, i've heard that changes in diet can improve asthmatic symptoms, but i'm always sort of skeptical about these studies. would definately be interested in some more details of that study though.

    elrohwen, i'll try the breathing through the nose thing. right now i'm just sucking in as much air as i can any way possible. doing some more controlled breathing might be helpful. at least then i might have a way to guage whether i'm on the edge of an attack or not.

    do you have any way to get through an attack after it starts? or do you just back off and let it pass? i find that it can take a long time to get breathing back to normal after an attack.
     
  13. Cowboyathlete

    Cowboyathlete New Member

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    I just now joined cyclingforums.com. I am pleasantly surprised to find out how many of us are avid cyclists who also have asthma.

    I was diagnosed with asthma in 1998, but suspected for years that I had it. I currently take Advair (a combination of Flovent and Serevent), Allegra, Flonase, albuterol as needed, and occasionally Singulair. I also take a regimen of vitamin C, other vitamins and herbs, and Bronkaid as needed. It sounds like a lot, but I have yet to ever go to the ER because of asthma.

    Like many others here, I have had troubles breathing when I first start out cycling. However, as with others, it seems to mostly be when I first start out on a hard off road ride (I am a mountain biker). Once I get settled into a ride I am generally fine, and especially when the season gets going and my lungs are used to it I am fine. I also find I have to pace myself because I do a lot of weightlifting (I can squat close to 400 pounds), and my legs get ahead of my lungs.

    Unless it has been mentioned already, I also find it is EXTREMELY important to keep my apartment DUST AND MOLD FREE!!
     
  14. 76Olym

    76Olym New Member

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    My observation has been that over-training triggers pulmonary problems, even in athletes not prone to those problems. Not fully
    recovering from a chest cold or infection will also exacerbate the underlying condition, if one continues to ride and push the envelope, without fully recovering.

    Mentholated cough drops -- or peppermint drops mixed in with
    H2O -- is soothing and opens up the airway.
     
  15. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    Have you gone completely missing? Can you provide any evidence whatsoever (as previously requested) that this study actually exists?
     
  16. Cowboyathlete

    Cowboyathlete New Member

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    In other words, avoid all the major sources of protein????? That alone makes me very skeptical of this study, if indeed this is what they found.
     
  17. Cowboyathlete

    Cowboyathlete New Member

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    I rely on a combination of standard and herbal treatments. As for standard, I take Advair, Allegra, Flonase, and Singulair - and in my case, I need all of them. I also take large doses of vitamin C, garlic, fish oil, menthol cough drops, etc. I also make sure I keep my living quarters dust and mold free, and I watch it when there are ozone warnings outdoors.

    After reading many posts elsewhere in this board, it seems that many of us have exercise induced asthma. Apparently many of us have found that if we start off slowly and warm up, our lungs will not tighten and we can ride heavily later on with little difficulty.
     
  18. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    There is a study by Falth-Magnusson and Kjellman from the University of Linkoping. It studied allergy prone families, and removed cow's milk and egg from the mother's diet from gestational week 28 until delivery. Asthma, eczema and other allergic diseases were EQUALLY common amongst both groups, food intolerance of egg was more common amongst the group whose mothers had abstained from it.

    There is a significant body of work coming out of Sweden with regards to Asthma, if you search for Linkoping and asthma on pubmed you find a lot. If you search for 'egg' or 'diet' in addition to these terms there is only one result; the one I have already explained.

    BeasTT it is a reasonably serious matter to go around making up studies, or lying about the results of studies that already exist. Is this what you have done, or can you please provide a reference or point us in the right direction?

    What I don't understand is why you would even want to make this stuff up...

    You mentioned you would get flamed when you posted about this at first, I don't mean to flame you, but I am seriously beginning to question the authenticity of this alleged 'study', and that doesn't reflect well on you at all.
     
  19. Cowboyathlete

    Cowboyathlete New Member

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    In other words, it is far more specific than what the earlier posting had indicated.
     
  20. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    In other words, it involved adjusting the diet of the pregnant mother, then measured the child's response to allergens. The study concluded that their were no differences for Asthma, Eczema, or anything else. Actually, the one thing they found is that the group whose mother's had eliminated egg had a greater probability of experiencing gastro-intestinal upsets after consuming egg. There was no, repeat NO, reduction in Asthma amongst the group whose mother's changed their diet.

    It isn't more specific, it is entirely different. However, it does come from the University of Linkoping, and it did study diet and Asthma. I suppose BeasTT didn't make ALL of it up...

    Looking forward to being contradicted with a reference, so I can put faith in this and solve my Asthma problems forever, but BeasTT seems to have gone strangely silent... where have you gone... where is the love BeasTT? I'm sure you're just trying to find the journal you read it in now...
     
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