Exercise Induced Asthma
I 'think' I have exercise induced asthma, I have not been tested at a docs office, but here is what happens.
I start to jog or run, and within 30 seconds to 5 mins I can start to feel my chest get heavy and congested. If I keep pushing through it, I get more congested, my throat feels narrowed down, I get nauseous, sometimes I get a copper taste in the back of my throat when it is really bad. The effects are different then burning lungs and stitches in the side.
I consider myself 'active', but I have never really pursued cardio for any long period (namely because I get frustrated). I never have any breathing issues outside of when I try to jog/run.
I have been really really trying to get in better fitness shape in the last 6 months. I warm up well, start walking or fast walking before jogging, I practice deep diaphragm breathing (I meditate and do yoga as well). The best luck I have had is slowing down to a walk as soon as it comes on, and then jogging in intervals. Sometimes it doesn't get worse, sometimes it gets worse and worse until I am just walking only. Usually it never passes, I just manage not making it worse in that session. Its frustrating.
I am NOT a runner nor do I really want to be. At most I am trying to get up to running about 2-3 miles on some of the local trails, I love dashing down a wooded trail. On a good day I can run about 1.5 miles before I have to walk the rest of the way. I am not looking for chronic cardio, I just want to have a bit of endurance for some of my other interests.
My exercise for the last few months has consisted of a fast paced hike 1-2x week and a short trail run attempt 1x week. I also do indoor climbing 1x week. About 3 weeks ago I took up crossfit 3x week. So most of my exercise is lifting heavy things and walking.
Here is the thing I don't understand.......I can row at full effort, I can crank through a crossfit workout and have NO problems, normal burning lungs and heavy breathing, but no congestion/constriction. The ONLY time that happens is when I start jogging. This morning we did hill sprints in crossfit, only 40m into an 80m sprint I could already feel the constriction starting. I did 8 sprints total over the course of a 20 minute workout, and 2 hrs later I still feel congested and slightly tight in the chest if I take a deep breath.
Any advice or techniques I can do to improve this?? I am willing to go to my doc, but since I am trying to avoid meds hoping to try out breathing/exercise tips first.
i jsut read an article in mens health (uk) that says cold liver oil (O3) can improve exercise induced asthma by 64% or something.
I'm exactly the same way! I can bike, hike, swim, lift weights, use the elliptical, etc with normal lung function, but I can't jog or run at all. My lungs seize up almost instantly. I used to use advair and albuterol, but I don't take anything anymore. I have celiac disease and it has gotten better since going gluten-free, but I'm still not a good runner at all. Basically, I just avoid running and I'm fine. Weird.
Sounds to me like there may be something environmental that is setting you off since other exercise doesn't bother you. The best advice that any of us here could give you is to see a physician familiar with similar issues. Get tested for environmental allergies. There may be something out there that only bothers you mildly in normal times, but which gets worse when you suck more of it in while running.
You might be able to increase fitness by using sprints which would minimize the time spent huffing and puffing. Or you might huff and puff worse and make the symptoms worse and croak. Hence my suggestion to see a physician rather than relying on us geeks.
Go see a doctor. Full stop. Find an allergist or pulmonologist. If this is exercise induced asthma (which I have) albuterol will clear it up easily. No need to suffer.
Hrmmm, since I wrote this I have been thinking about a few things. I think I might give up dairy for a trial. I have done it before and I do not eat a TON now, but I think it would be a good trial on several fronts. I am still considering the doc visit, which I may do as well. I have been gluten free for several years, but it does make me think about allergens more.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts!
I have exercise/allergen induced asthma, and to be honest the symptoms you're describing don't sound quite like asthma to me.
The "tightness" in true asthma comes from deep in your chest and it feels like you can't fill your lungs; there's not really much effect on your throat. I've also not really heard of congestion increasing during an attack.
Get it checked out, then you'll know for sure. The good news is that if you do have it, then its very, very treatable. I just did a triathlon with it (yes I know, chronic cardio, blah blah blah).
I have suffered exercise induced asthma for decades ! Used the inhalers to recover. Just a brisk walk would bring on my asthma.
TA DAH - I've finally found a simple solution after all of these years ! In my case asthma was caused by acidosis. An acidic urine as measured by inexpensive pH test strips. My urine tested at a VERY sickly 5.0 which is 100 times more acidic than normal.
These 12 steps cured my Acidosis:
Top 12 Ways to Make your Body More Alkaline | Icon Performance Online v3
and I now have a normal pH of 7.2. I was not expecting this, but I can now do my 3 to 4 mile brisk walk without ANY asthma attacks for the 1st time in Decades!
It turns out that Acidosis is the breeding ground for a pandoras box of disease, and is so easily corrected.
Last edited by Grizz; 08-17-2013 at 02:27 PM.
I have been gluten free for several years, but it does make me think about allergens more.
Get your D3 level checked. I have completely eliminated my asthma, including exercise-induced by getting my D3 level up to 80 ng/ml, via supplementation.