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Exercise-Induced Asthma?
An_198589 posted:
I've been walking 3-4 miles 4-6x/week at a pretty fast pace for a little over a year. I've also added some weight training in the last 6 months. I have become so much stronger, but I'm still having a lot of trouble with endurance. I really want to run. I used to love running in high school! My cardio-pulmonary system won't allow it. A couple of months ago, I managed to run about ¼ mile before a bronchospasm made me think I was dying. This past week, I made it about 1/3 mile. This was the first time in my life I've experienced this. My family doc gave me a prescription for an albuterol inhaler, which I used consistently for about a month (I never felt like it made a difference). I just don't know that asthma is the issue. My husband seems to think I may have a cardiac issue that's never been diagnosed. I'm beginning to believe him. My body is strong, and I feel like I'm in pretty good shape, but I have no more endurance than when I started. I can't even keep up with my friend who smokes! I have an appointment with my primary md next week, but I would really like some advice on specific things I need to ask, or any referrals I need to request. Please tell me if I'm being paranoid.
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
It sounds like you need to see a pulmonologist. Bronchospasm during exercise is treatable. Many athletes manage exercise-induced asthma with meds. Speak with your physician about the possibility of a pulmonologist.In the meantime check out the Sports Medicine Community at

A nice exercise plan for running is the Couch-to-5K program at

Good luck.
Andie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Anon and welcome to the Fitness & Exercise Community!

I had never had any kind of asthma until a couple years ago when I started a new walking program. I was walking with ladies that were heavier and older than me, but I was the only one that couldn't breathe!

I felt like I was hyperventilating, and the rapid breathing slowed me down tremendously. My doctor did a breathing test in her office, then had me do a breathing treatment, and test again. The breathing treatment improved things, so she prescribed the inhaler.

Are you using it 30 minutes before you go out to run? My doctor told me to inhale one treatment, wait 3 min for the passages to open up more, then inhale another. It has seemed to help, and I've gotten to the point where I don't need it very often anymore.

What other tests has your doctor recommended or already done? It's always okay to tell your doctor your fears and ask more questions, so go ahead and call them! :)

I hope things get better soon. Please keep us updated!


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