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Thread: Can't breathe

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
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    Can't breathe

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    Hi - I have read that some of you have "Exercise Induced Asthma" on this forum, and I am not sure if that's what I have. I don't want to run to the doctor telling him I have something wrong with me if what I am suffering from is normal.
    Sometimes when I am riding, I will feel fine with my legs feeling strong, pacing myself on the gears, then I will feel like I am starting to get short of breath - and before I can even think to slow down, I am having an attack of some kind. It comes on fast - like within a 30 sec period of when I start to feel it. I can recover in a couple minutes though which doesn't sound like asthma.
    When it hits, I can't get a full breath in - like I need to yawn really bad. My breaths are super short and I can't exhale well. I really try to breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth - I flatten out my back and try to give my lungs room to expand, etc. But when it happens I get super scared. I am afraid that there will be a time when I CAN'T catch my breath.
    Am I just psyching myself out? and hyperventilating? that's not really like me, but.......
    I have no idea how I would explain these symptoms to the doctor - or what doctor to go to.
    Any ideas?
    Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
    John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Start with your GP/internist and tell her you think you may have exercise induced asthma because you have difficulty breathing when you're riding - describe the symptoms, but leave out the hyperventilation speculation. Ask for a referral for a pulmonary function test.

    It's possible you may have EIA and a "rescue inhaler" like albuterol may do the trick. But they should do a test and make sure there's nothing else going on. (Says the person who struggled for months with "asthma" only to find out she also had pulmonary emboli....)
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  3. #3
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    If you can't breathe easily, it's best to get things checked out right away. I had similar experiences when I was racing, and turns out I had asthma related to allergies. It was just more noticeable when I was exerting myself. Albuterol was my solution, but yours may be different.

    Doctor time! That's what they're there for!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    from someone who has asthma that it not only exercise induced but with trigger allergies etc, the symptoms you describe sound very familiar. I would definitely have a doctor check to see what is going on. sometimes, when you start to have an asthma attack, most of the time they are sudden, you can get a sudden panic attack along with it due to the fact you can't get a breath. your mind focuses on the fact you can't breath and you panic that you don't know if it will ever stop (been there, done that)
    first things first though, set up an appointment with your doc to be check for exercise induced asthma to rule out anything else and as others have said, you will likely be given an albuterol inhaler for rescue (attacks) and possibly a second inhaler of some sort (I use Qvar) as a preventative to heal the lungs. My asthma has been acting up quite a bit lately as well, but if it continues to get worse instead of better, I'll be having it checked as well to make sure I haven't got something else other than my asthma going on as well (like maillotpois)
    Asthma can be a scary thing because it's like you're trying to breath through a straw, but it can be managed.
    Good Luck and keep us up to date,
    Mary
    Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches

  5. #5
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    I figure it is best to error on the side of caution. Call your doctor's office and describe your symptoms. Keep us posted.
    Jennifer

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
    -Aristotle

  6. #6
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    i use to have asthma really bad as a kid then it got better. only needed meds every once in a while. a few years ago i had an asthma attack for 2 weeks straight. couldn't sleep or lay down or anything. had to do with nail products that leaked in my bathroom. i finially broke down and went to the dr and got in big trouble (good thing my dr was use to me showing up a few weeks later when things were pretty bad, did it once with a malconcussion.) so she gave me an strict regimine of drugs. felt much better.

    since moving to cleaner air i have no problmes at all, except once when i first started cycling, but that had to do with a number of things.

    moral of my story: don't do what i do and get it checked out if your worried about it. better safe than sorry.
    "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it." – William C. Durant

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  7. #7
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    A friend with asthma told me that contrary to expectation, asthma sufferers don't have trouble breathing in -- they can't exhale. At least that's what she suffered with as a kid. Does it vary from person to person?

    “Hey, clearly failure doesn’t deter me!”

  8. #8
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    Oct 2005
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    cherinyc, please get this check out by your doctor. As an asthma suffer it sure sounds like your lungs are having a tough time and need some help. My asthma went undiagnosed for the first 30 years of my life and I can remember struggling through P.E. class, bike rides, raquetball games, etc. Sometimes my lungs, like yours, would recover quickly and other times it was pretty darn scary. Once I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma and given my inhaler things did improve. However, my exercise induced asthma has progressed. I like Mary use QVAR and albuterol to control my asthma as well as singulaire and allegra and these drugs seems to be working well for I've not had an asthma attack on my bike for the past two years.

    Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  9. #9
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    Cherinyc I am quadupling the suggestion you go to the doctor.

    I have had exercised induced asthma since I was a kid but it was controllable

    2 summers ago it became constant. I finally went to the allergist last summer because "I WANTED TO RIDE MY BIKE UP HILLS ! ! ! "

    Like you I would have trouble breathing (do you wheeze?) I couldn't get enough air in because I couldn't blow enough of the old air out. I could still slow pedal and recover at the top and keep on going.

    For a long time I just used the albuterol 1/2 before going out and that took care of everything.

    I'm now with makbike and Mary and take a lot more stuff: Advair, clariton, supposed to take Nasonex - hate it and don't see any change AND it's expensive so I don't take it. Went to the doc yesterday and he added Singulair. I think that w/the advair may be the miracle drug of choice, went 25.6 miles today at a pace of 15 mph and talked the whole time

    Get to the Doc and have it checked you could have a lot more to lose if you don't


    It's about the journey and being in the moment, not about the destination

  10. #10
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    Has anyone mentioned that you should get yourself to a doctor?
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
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    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
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  11. #11
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    so....I'm wondering. Do you guys think I should go see a doctor?

    JK - I am going to look for one in my insurance network today.
    Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
    John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherinyc
    so....I'm wondering. Do you guys think I should go see a doctor?

    JK - I am going to look for one in my insurance network today.

    Keep us posted


    It's about the journey and being in the moment, not about the destination

  13. #13
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    Seriously.....I am not sure what doctor to go to. Someone mentioned to start w/ my GP or internist. I don't really have one that I go to. I have a PPO and usually go straight to the specialist. I don't see Respiratory Doctor on the list of choices.
    Can a regular general practitioner help me? or will they just send me to someone else anyway?
    There is an option for "Pulmonary Diseases" but that seems extreme.
    Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
    John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy"

  14. #14
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    yes, go to your GP! Talk to his nurse asap..
    good luck.
    Your GP probably has all the equipment he needs to test your breathing.
    An Internist would be good too.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  15. #15
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    If all you have are specialists, then an allergist or pulmonologist would be what you want. In the last few months, I've seen both.

    Hey - if you are in NYC - see if there is a Dr. Bernard Feigenbaum on your list. He's an old roommate of mine and a fantastic allergy/asthma guy.

    Edit: Here's his info: http://www.med.nyu.edu/medicine/dgim...=feigeb01.html

    He's super funny and a good doctor. I'd go to him for my issues if he weren't on the wrong side of the country.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

 

 

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