>Health and Nutrition>Could this be asthma?
I'll preface this by noting that I had exercise induced asthma in my early teens, but seemed to grow out of it by late high school. Back then, the symptoms were pretty clear and moderately severe.
I'm 34, and, lately, I've been noticing a lot of trouble with my breathing while running. My heart, legs, everything else feel great but my lungs burn and my breathing is not good. Basically, it's like my lungs are saying its a moderate/hard run and everything else is on a recovery jog. About 45 minutes ago I finished a real short, easy run (coming off calf strain - whole other story) and my lungs still hurt right now. I didn't take my pulse today, but the other day immediately after I stopped an easy run my pulse was about 130 but I was short of breath and my lungs were burning.
I don't seem to have stereotypical attacks, but this doesn't really seem normal. I'm not in the greatest shape I've ever been in, but I have to run like 11:00/miles for my lungs not to strain and it hardly gets my heart rate up. I also don't seem to breathe fast; I'm not huffing in any way. I just strain for air and get burning in my chest. Maybe it's a relevant fact that I live in the middle of L.A. and have recently changed from morning running to afternoon?
I plan to ask my doctor about this, but I thought I'd ask some people who might have some practical experience in such things.
The doctor can tell you if you have asthma. I had asthma as a child and a teen as well and seemed to outgrow it, but have had similar symptoms to you starting a couple of years ago. I have a presciption for QVAR now that seems to be helping. I have been taking it for about two months and the asthma is 90% better. It seems to be triggered by both exercise and allergies. For the times it is not, they also gave me a rescue inhaler, Pro Air.
I have asthma and am allergic to 99% of the environment. I have been having a heck of a time lately and I have an inhaler that I use before every run. I started Claritin yesterday and I am hoping that will help. It is a bad time of year for allergies, so you may have just a touch of both. No way to know for sure unless you see a doctor.
If you cough up crud post-workout, then it is most likely EIA. EIA is also worse if you have had a layoff from cardio exercise, and it is also much worse in poor air quality -- mornings in LA generally have better air quality, yes? Regardless, you need to see a doc anyway for an inhaler, and use as Meg suggests. A slow, extended warmup is also helpful.
On allergies, it is possible to go for years without any reactivity and then all of the sudden get clobbered. Allergies definitely have an impact on EIA.
I have both exercise induced asthma and allergy induced asthma.. I feel the same way you feel most of the time, in that my legs can carry me faster than my lungs can. I would get it checked out. If you have asthma as a child, it is never cured; only the symptoms lessen and you stop having issues for a while. Good luck.
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It sounds like asthma to me.
I was a very athletic child, never having any issues with asthma though my brothers all did. It wasn't until I was training for my SECOND marathon last year that my symptoms came up. I was running hills in the springtime and felt like I could not breathe at all. It was not just an "out of breath" feeling either, it was definitely something I had never experienced. Sounds similar to your experience. Mine strikes hard in the heat and humidity, but for some its worse in the cold.
I take allergy and asthma medicine daily, since my asthma is allergy and exercise induced. Usually it's Allegra, Nasonex, and Singulair every day. In the warmer months, I take Symbicort (a preventative, steroidal inhaler) before my runs. My emergency inhaler is ProAir.
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Do you cough a lot after a run? Clear your throat? Honestly, it could be several things. Food for thought:
1. try taking an inhaler afterward or even during. If that helps, then it might be the asthma. Keep track of what time of year it is and check with the pollen counts and allergens via the local weather station.
2. It could be allergies. I suggest taking an allergy pill (claritin, etc) a couple hours before your run.
3. Have you been worked up for reflux? Certain foods or fluid, could be the cause. I tend to get this and have to take an over the counter medicine prior to a run. Otherwise I will have a tight, burning chest, with cough. It goes away, but I do much better on my runs pre-medicated.
It is always a good thing to discuss this with your doctor. You may think of other symptoms that may shed light and he or she should be able to help.
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