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· It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had this nagging cough for the past month and a half. Dry, tingly tickle in my upper chest, and occasional tightness in the chest and difficulty catching a full breath sometimes after a hard effort on the bike. I went to the doc about it a week and a half ago and they shrugged their shoulders and said it was probably pollen allergies (my current insurance/health care isn't the most top notch I've ever had).

But I went back today and demanded that they do a more thorough examination (chest xrays and the whole 9 yards). They still didn't find anything noteworthy, but they had me do that test where you blow into the tube to see how hard you can expell a breath...and I got 440 (dont know what the units are), when normal for a 145 lbs 30 year old is above 600 (no wonder why my last few races have felt like hell), and my dissolved blood oxygen(?) was 93% (fairly low I guess?). So they said that I probably have asthma, and they prescribed albuterol and some other inhaler.

Does anyone have experience with asthma? Does this sound like what you have? How do you manage it with riding? It strikes me odd that this has hit me rather suddenly (as of early May), I've never really had asthma-like symptoms before, except due to allergies during childhood. I find it a little hard to swallow that something like this would just appear more or less out of thin air. Any thoughts?

I went and did a regular 40 mile ride that always do with some tough hills on Saturday and I felt by far the worst I had ever felt on the hills. I almost turned aroudn and went home but I just battled through it.
 

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Do you have code Orange or Red days there?

I take a claritin-d before long rides - otherwise I'll end up with difficulties breathing when I am done riding. I guess they call this exercise induced ashthma..

But sounds like you got something more steady hanging around which might be more normal asthma.

How old are you?



BenWA said:
So I've had this nagging cough for the past month and a half. Dry, tingly tickle in my upper chest, and occasional tightness in the chest and difficulty catching a full breath sometimes after a hard effort on the bike. I went to the doc about it a week and a half ago and they shrugged their shoulders and said it was probably pollen allergies (my current insurance/health care isn't the most top notch I've ever had).

But I went back today and demanded that they do a more thorough examination (chest xrays and the whole 9 yards). They still didn't find anything noteworthy, but they had me do that test where you blow into the tube to see how hard you can expell a breath...and I got 440 (dont know what the units are), when normal for a 145 lbs 30 year old is above 600 (no wonder why my last few races have felt like hell), and my dissolved blood oxygen(?) was 93% (fairly low I guess?). So they said that I probably have asthma, and they prescribed albuterol and some other inhaler.

Does anyone have experience with asthma? Does this sound like what you have? How do you manage it with riding? It strikes me odd that this has hit me rather suddenly (as of early May), I've never really had asthma-like symptoms before, except due to allergies during childhood. I find it a little hard to swallow that something like this would just appear more or less out of thin air. Any thoughts?

I went and did a regular 40 mile ride that always do with some tough hills on Saturday and I felt by far the worst I had ever felt on the hills. I almost turned aroudn and went home but I just battled through it.
 

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After thinking about this - I read in bikeforums.net a while ago - someone having a performance problem too (without a cough).

Turns out after he eliminated the mold spot in his kitchen - his problem cleared up.

Do you have any mold growing in your place? Behind the walls? Black stuff? Shower mold?

Found the post:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=171235&highlight=mold+doctor+kitchen


BenWA said:
So I've had this nagging cough for the past month and a half. Dry, tingly tickle in my upper chest, and occasional tightness in the chest and difficulty catching a full breath sometimes after a hard effort on the bike. I went to the doc about it a week and a half ago and they shrugged their shoulders and said it was probably pollen allergies (my current insurance/health care isn't the most top notch I've ever had).
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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I got diagnosed as an adult... maybe 10 years ago back when I was even more active than now (backpacking, running, plus biking). Who knows where it comes from but like you I was having symptoms and very confused about what was wrong with me.

I've gotten the best results with a twice a day preventative (Advair). Although I carry albuterol and will sometimes pre-treat before an intense workout (esp. in the cold), the Advair just ROCKS. It really has gotten me to a place that I never need the rescue inhaler (albuterol).
 

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Sounds like asthma to me. Some people scoff at the amount of claimed asthma and exercise-induced asthma, but with the amount of air circulating your lungs on a ride....

I'm a lifelong asthma sufferer, and always have albuterol with me on a ride. I've had some success with Advair, but I just don't like the idea of continual corticosteroid use to combat the inflamation. SO, last fall I started seeing an oriental medicine doctor who treated me with accupuncture and herbs. I still carry the albuterol, but only have to use it at the same rate as with the Advair treatment. I was very skeptical going in to it, but desperate for relief from both asthma and allergies after years of steroids and antihistamines.

That said, it can still be a problem for me during allergy season, especially at high altitudes mixed with hard efforts. I had the first serious attack this year at the end of a race that finished atop a 20km climb at 10,500 ft. Albuterol was a life saver.
 

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Your doctor concluded you probably have a little asthma which is probably seasonal(spring and early summer). You will probably find out real soon that you dont need the albuterol. Asthma very rarely shows up in adults, it usually starts in childhood. Chlor tabs taken at night are very effective in reducing allergy syptoms. Stuff like Advair should be restricted to chronic severe asthmatics, although I see from the ads they have tried to market it to allergy sufferers. Its pretty expensive and asthma can be controlled with other medicine.
 

· mercierfils
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Take the Advair

I'm with jtolleson on this one. I had asthma as a kid, grew out of it, "got it back" two winters ago. After a month on Advair I realized (I didn't believe the capacity testing; attributed it to a cold) how low my oxygen processing had gotten - I just thought I was getting old/wussified. I was able to turn all my training around from nursing my cardiovascular system to muscle breakdown/recovery.

Plus I'm batting .347 with 36 homers:D
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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borregokid said:
Your doctor concluded you probably have a little asthma which is probably seasonal(spring and early summer). You will probably find out real soon that you dont need the albuterol. Asthma very rarely shows up in adults, it usually starts in childhood. Chlor tabs taken at night are very effective in reducing allergy syptoms. Stuff like Advair should be restricted to chronic severe asthmatics, although I see from the ads they have tried to market it to allergy sufferers. Its pretty expensive and asthma can be controlled with other medicine.

What? Adults are the fastest growing category. And DON'T lightly encourage folks to undertreat asthma... it can and does kill hundreds of people a year. Let him listen to a pulmunologist.
 

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EasyRider47 said:
Just in case you were wondering - early 50's asthma here - always had allergies, but it exploded onto chronic asthma about three years ago. A nagging cough brought on by an allergic reaction to airborne fumes I rode through - triggering a violent coughing session and persistent breathing problems and continuing deterioration in my lungs. After many - "it's just a cold/allergies/virus"... comments from my local doctor and three months of coughing...after waking up in the middle of the night listening to the gurgling in my lungs, I finally said that maybe they should check further - and guess what - severe asthma, lungs functioning at less than 50% of normal.

Started multiple drug treatments and after a month, I was much better. Daily Singulair, Symbicort when flare-ups occur, and Salbuterol in my pocket when needed. Over three years and I have had about three times when I needed to take the Symbicort for a month or so, and a handful of times for the Salbuterol when my throat starts tightening. Now I also take Claritin for the seasonal allergies.

I continue to ride without any apparent breathing issues - and I do push myself on hills.

EasyRider47

Riding in alot of code red/orange days (poor air quality)?
 

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I think if you live in an urban area there is a pretty good chance like maybe 1 in 10 that by the time you are 50 or so you might have adult onset asthma. You can also give it to yourself by smoking. By the time your 59 or so like Easyrider something is going to be wearing out faster than the rest of your body, it might be knees, heart, arteries, or lungs. If its allergy related asthma it can be treated and the first line of defense should be inhaled corticosteroids. I often wonder about the naturopathy remedies, now there is something to be concerned about. Especially when parents try treating asthma with something the doctor isnt prescribing for their children.
 

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I had a similar problem this spring. I am 37 with no history of Asthma, but I have had pneumonia several times. Anyway in my case I had a bad lung cold in january and it just hung on, long after I thought it was gone. Did you have a flu or cold in the last three months? Does it feel better if you take a few days off?

It sounds like you have something more chronic, but I just thought I would bring it up. As for Albuterol, isn't that an emergency/ preventative type drug and not a daily use type?

Good luck and like the American Lung Association says, "If you can't breathe, nothing else matters." True that! :mad2: You might look at thier web page for some good information.

MTT
 

· Quack
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Like the name says, I see alot of asthma and your symptoms sound consistent with asthma. I would encourage you to see a board certified allergy specialist about your symptoms. The breathing test you performed sounds like a peak flow measurement, which is a crude test of lung function. A better test would be formal spirometry, which most allergists and/or pulmonologists perform regularly. Its a simple test which takes 5 minutes to do. The standard medicine for mild persistent asthma is an inhaled topical corticosteroid-flovent, asmanex, pulmicort, et al. Advair is indicated for moderate or severe asthma. Identifying allergy triggers and other exacerbating factors such as sinusitis or reflux is also very important in managing asthma. There is no evidence demonstrating effectiveness for herbal remedies. Randomized, controlled trials have shown other alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic manipulations to be no better than placebo.

Cyclists are used to dealing with discomfort- don't try to tough this one out.
 

· Call me a Fred
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A warning about the Advair and other beta-agonist inhalers.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/June06/Salpeter.COPD.kr.html

the same meta-analysis (which combines the results of the numerous studies) found that regularly inhaled beta-agonists (metaproterenol [Alupent], formoterol [Foradil], salmeterol [Serevent, Advair] and albuterol [Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax and others]) increased the risk of respiratory death more than twofold, compared with a placebo.

...

A recent meta-analysis by the Salpeters also revealed that beta-agonist inhalers increased both hospitalizations and deaths in asthma sufferers of all ages.
 

· It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the input, everyone.

Well I just turned 30 the other day and this is really the first that I've experienced asthma symptoms since I was a kid, with the exception of a horrible, HORRIBLE 3-week chest flu that I had a few years ago where I felt like I was breathing thru a straw and honestly feared for my life (this was right around the time SARS was making headlines, so a few doctors actually thought I had SARS).

But in any case, I had pneumonia when I was 12 or 13, and was diagnosed as a kid with asthmatic allegies (or allergic asthma?) from allergies to dust mites. I pretty much outgrew that, but I DO have some history of lung difficulties.

This recent thing has more or less come out of nowhere. I *think* my cough started when I took a sip of water and it went down the wrong pipe, so I gagged and coughed and had that sort of tight, irritated feeling that you get when something goes down the wrong pipe. It never really went away.

Other thoughts about this: I DO live in a place where mold is common (the PNW), so what bas said about mold may be a possibility. Also, I have been under a fair amount of psychological stress due to work and whatnot, and I just read that asthma can be brought on by this type of effect.
 

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I would never suggest that acupuncture or herbal therapies should be the only treatment option that someone should persue to deal with asthma. But, as a lifelong asthmatic, I can say my experience is the acupuncture has both lessened my dependence on albuterol in exercise as well as advair for chronic treatment. Corticosteroids are wonderful anti-inflammatories, but they are also catabolics. By the way, the chinese herbs used in my therapy were Jade Screen and Xanthium, used for the treatment of chronic sinusitus, which I also suffered despite repeated treatments with antibiotics, flonase steroids, and all the rest. The combination of the herbs and acupuncture also ended my use of those drugs-- without recurrence of sinusitis this allergy season.

Call it anecdotal, but I don't care. For what it's worth, asthma is one of the ailments listed on the NIH consensus statement as potentially treatable with acupuncture.
http://odp.od.nih.gov/consensus/cons/107/107_statement.htm
 

· Quack
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<i>the same meta-analysis (which combines the results of the numerous studies) found that regularly inhaled beta-agonists (metaproterenol [Alupent], formoterol [Foradil], salmeterol [Serevent, Advair] and albuterol [Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax and others]) increased the risk of respiratory death more than twofold, compared with a placebo</i>

That meta-analysis is pretty suspect since 75% of the patients in it, and nearly all the deaths, come from a single horrendously flawed trial, the SMART trial. Garbage in, garbage out.

Dr. Salpeter has a huge axe to grind against beta agonists, she has published multiple papers with the exact same conclusion. The authors of this paper are not asthma specialists. In fact the lead author, her father, is an astrophysicist and another co-author is her son, a high school student. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I was shocked when this study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is probably the most respected internal medicine journal. Her conclusion that 4/5 of asthma deaths in the us are due to long acting beta agonists is asinine and irresposible.

/rant
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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I also see that study involved COPD patients, not asthmatics, so the quote used re: it is very misleading in omitting the COPD reference.

Advair changed my life. After being a serious athlete for many years, I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma at 32... moderate to severe. The albuterol was always close at hand. Finally I saw one of the best at National Jewish in Denver, got on Advair, and barely touch the albuterol expect on very cold days or when allergies have been triggered really badly.

Again, I think scaring people away from treatment is a mistake.
 

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It took my mother years as a kid after I first asked her to test me for a test for asthma. I know I know, tell the shrink later on in life.
I've found that my asthma is exercise and allergy induced, and its worse in the winter when the air is so cold, dry, and thin. So even if I take one wrong breath or cough to hard it brings on an attack and its all down hill from there.

*What I've found what to do with biking and other exercise is to a) obviously bring the inhaler with you, but b) do the reccomended inhaler boosts before you start, after you stretch and warmup to get on the bike. Most of the time, using the inhaler before I start cures it all.
 
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