Thursday, June 6, 2013

Excericse Induced Asthma and You

That is the name of the pamphlet the doctor handed me after I complained of a tight chest and trouble breathing while running. JK. But I do apparently have exercise induced asthma. Lucky me.

Last summer and over the winter during several long runs and two races I all of a sudden had a tightness in my chest,  trouble breathing, and a tired heavy feeling in my extremities. I would walk for a minute and it would pass and I would pick right back up where I left off. I guess I should have been more alarmed than I was. I am not a good patient and just shrugged it off as probably asthma-like symptoms due to the weather/allergies/pollen/etc... Since this was happening more and more frequently I finally decided to get it checked out.

The doctor ordered several tests including; a spirometer,  an EKG,  and an echocardiogram. Thankfully, both the echo and EKG came back normal! I feel much better about getting shocked by 10,000 volts this coming weekend at Tough Mudder! The spirometer, however,  showed I did have some restrictions in my breathing. Not that I want asthma, but I was actually relieved that I am not just a very neurotic runner that is imagining all this!

The doctor gave me an albuterol inhaler to use prior to exercise and suggested that I bring it with me on long runs. Of course, being the very compliant patient I am I have done just that, on occasion. JK! I have, for most of my runs used the inhaler prior to running. I think it makes a difference, but it is so hard to tell. Anyone out there have exercise induced asthma that can tell me what their symptoms are like and when do they have the most trouble with it? (cold dry weather? hot humid? or doesn't it matter?)

Tough Mudder is in T-2 days. I am going to take my two puffs before we head out, but I am leaving it behind. I don't want to lose it in the mud or ice or water!

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