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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    94

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    Thanks Tina

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    8
    Oh, Onix, I feel your pain!

    I've had asthma since I was a kid (I'm 42 now), and for years if I was on a group ride and we came to a hill, you could literally hear me breathing (trying to breathe) all the way up the hill. Even though others said they were maxing out on their heart rates, you couldn't hear them breathe!

    Anyway, I tried Albuterol before rides, which helped a little--I had always used it for running. Finally I posted a question about his on RoadBikeReview, and they mentioned a couple of things which helped.
    1) Warmups are really important for people with asthma.
    2) It's important to take allergy medicine EVERY day, even if I am not having symptoms
    3) Go to a doctor!

    So,I went to a doctor. He took my blood pressure (92/60), my O2 sats (99) and my resting pulse rate (53) and looked at me and said, "You can't get any better than that!" But, he was a good doctor and sympathized, at least a little, so he gave my Asmanex and told me to give it a try.

    The first time I rode with it, the difference was like, night and day! I remember going up a hill, and air was still going into my lungs! "Hey---I can breathe!" I announced.

    The next weekend I had an event, the Tour of the Litchfield Hills, mostly hills, hence the name. As a crested one of them, I looked down and was amazed to discover my heart rate was 175 AND I WAS BREATHING FINE! WOW!
    It just seemed so much easier than usual!

    Anyway, that's my asthma story. I would highly recommend a visit to a doctor. If you can find a Sports medicine doctor, or at least a doctor who is active you might have better luck. It might be trial and error, too--you might need to try different medicines before you find one that really works.

    Regarding your maximum heart rate, just wear a heart rate monitor and ride with a group faster than you. On your own it's difficult to really push it to the max.

    From years of running and cycling with asthma, I can tell you the better shape you get into, the better off you are. You can almost sort of, get in good enough shape so that the asthma doesnt't kick in.

    Good luck to you!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    94
    Thanks Karate mom.

    Sounds like your past experience on hills is like my current experience! I need to go to the doctor again. I hate dependence on medication--- but it seems like it is time to find a regular set schedule that helps :/

    Thank you for your kind words and well wishes!

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1
    Me too!!!

    I did my first group ride in several years a month ago and got left on a hill gasping for breath and then after that was still struggling for the next few miles. I went to the doctor the following week and got an albuterol inhaler and that has helped. I had a pulmonary function test last week and got the results yesterday. I've got asthma and not just exercise induced. I'm starting on Flovent 2Xs a day and using a flow meter and recording three readings every morning before using the inhaler(s). I also have allergies and take Claritin and Singulair.

    I was trying to blame my breathing on being out of shape and overweight. I had done some riding last year but have been seriously (for me) riding since June 1st and it just wasn't getting any easier - legs felt find breathing didn't. I've got over 450 miles in so far this year which for me is huge.

    I've read over some of the posts about best times to ride with asthma. I live in Las Vegas so if I wait too late in the day, it's 100 degrees or higher. We do have a lot of dust out here, and I'm sure that's part of the problem. But, I love being out on the road!

    I can ride on the flats, it's the hills that get me. What's the best suggestion for improving my performance? I'm over 50, I've dropped 12 pounds since I started riding in June (still have more to go) and I've added yoga to the mix for flexibility and strength. I ride at least 10 miles 4 to 6 days a week and at least one of those rides is around 20 miles.

    I want to do the Viva Las Vegas century in October and/or Tour de Tucson in late November but I know I've got to get my speed up (averaging 10.5 to 11.5 mph) as well as being able to handle the hills.

    Thanks for any suggestions. I think the biggest lesson for me was not to make excuses because of the weight and being out of shape but to pursue the issue on the breathing when I had problems.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    757

    Food Allergies

    I was diagnosed with asthma ten years ago and am symptom free now. I went to a homeopath who did ELISA blood test, and milk and tomatoes were off the chart! Food elimnation has been tough, and I do cheat and pay the price with small attacks, but I was so glad the testing figured it out.

    Also, accupuncture hugely helped. The allegeries here in AZ are horrible due to importation of plant life that simply does not belong in the desert.

    A neti pot can work nicely for sinuses as well, but some people don't like the funkieness of it.

    Lisa

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    94
    Thanks again for more tips and commiseration

    I went to my doctor. I got allergy tested---and tested completely clean!! Totally unexpected. They didn't however do the extensive ELISA ? food testing that someone mentioned earlier.


    They have started me on daily flovent (2x day), which hopefully will help. And, albuterol for rides.

    Interestingly, my allergist told me that my albuterol will be more effective if I warm up before using it (not 30 minutes before like I had always been told).

    Something about your body starts creating the "fight asthma" stuff in your body when you are warming up...then you use the inhaler, which doubles the effect, while at the same time keeping your body creating the "fight asthma" stuff instead of your body solely relying on an inhaler pump before a ride. Sorry I can't be more scientific here It did seem to help today though. YAY!

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by lo123 View Post
    For me, it was a matter of looking at my HR when riding normally, when exerting myself and then when I started having the erratic breathing (which happens to me around 175, but I'm in my late 20s, so yours could vary wildly depending on age, general fitness, etc). When my issues are HR related, it kinda feels like asthma, but kinda not... For me, it's less a feeling of constriction in the chest and more like my throat is constricting. It sounds weird like that, but it's the best way I can describe it.

    On the diff between allergy/asthma and pulmonologist:
    I've been seeing a pulmonologist, but I'm looking to change. He's just not that interested that I take my inhaler on average 4 times per hour on a ride As my GP says, "the goal is to not need the rescue inhaler, ever". I think the downside of a pulmonologist is that they may not see many active people. I'm usually the youngest by at least 40 years when I go see him and one of the few not on oxygen. That could just be his practice, but it's not terribly encouraging.

    I've seen allergy/asthma specialists in the past. The big downside, in my opinion, is the pushing of allergy shots. They work for a lot of people, but I've been there done that, didn't work. I prefer not to have to justify my decision on every office visit, but your experience could be different. But, they seem to be used to dealing with younger and more active patients. They are much better at treating the underlying allergies to allergic asthma and building a comprehensive treatment plan to cover the allergy and asthma parts of the equation. So, if you think allergies might be playing a role, that may be the way to go.
    Hi, was this like your throat was shutting off? I feel like this when under stressful conditions (ie: racing) and when it's cold. I had one doctor that said something may have been triggering like a spasm in my larynx or pharynx (sorry not sure!) which stopped my breathing. But why it is stress related..?

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    199
    Quote Originally Posted by ABeezles View Post
    Hi, was this like your throat was shutting off? I feel like this when under stressful conditions (ie: racing) and when it's cold. I had one doctor that said something may have been triggering like a spasm in my larynx or pharynx (sorry not sure!) which stopped my breathing. But why it is stress related..?
    Not really the throat, but lower. I start making a weird gasping noise and have to really concentrate on controlling how I'm breathing. It's weird. Concentrating helps, but that tightness is still there.

    On a side note, I have an appointment with an allergist next week after discussing my issues with my GP. She thinks my allergies are the problem since I haven't had a 'random' asthma attack in over a year.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    7

    thanks 4 bringing this subject up.....

    I have exercise induced asthma, ferocious allergies which have transcended to the food group as well. I react to my allergies shots for heavens sake. I do albuterol and sometimes a powdered inhaler. I have my good times and bad with my cycling. I do a tough ride on Sats "the old man's shoot-out" here in Tucson and sometimes especially winter I simply have to let off -or die. Most of the time I can hang until right before the bridge as the ascent increases and strains my lungs to the max. It is uphill that puts such a high demand on our bodies for blood and oxygen.The men I ride with understand I have a problem and wait for me,hard to ignore this locamotive coming down the line.I have been doing Mt. Lemmon 2x's a week with a long warm-up and then into intervals, sometimes I try to go farther, I feel like this has helped.I do El Tour de Tucson but my warm-up is hampered by having to stand still too long for the start after my warm-up. Last year when they said go, its a sprint start, I was struggling with drowning in mucus, couldn't get air,debated pulling over and calling a paramedic,kept pedaling once out of the pac cleared all the clutter in my lungs and kept going, catching onto pacs as they passed. I eventually caught back to my son, then my husband who had blown up several miles down the road(did that feel good or what) I fell off once again at Rattlesnake pass,due to the climb,but once again clawed my way back on the other side. I was shocked to see that I had won the female portion of the mileage distance we signed up for(not the full race of 100 miles!). I am 60 years old so I just keep plugging along. For me warm-up is the key to racing and as far as hills go, I have small improvements and sometimes I am not last!

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    199
    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    I react to my allergies shots for heavens sake.
    OMG - so glad to know I'm not the only one! I quit taking them because the reactions got so bad.


    I've found that if I 'tough it out' for climbs I do better if I keep riding. If I stop after getting totally worked up, it's like my body freaks out. So that may be something to keep in mind for others. Just don't push too far-it's a fine line

 

 

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