Asthma UK community forum

Tired all the time

Hi everyone,

Just thought I'd ask if anyone else ever feels like theyre permanently tired/weak/achey? Ive only ever had mild asthma, but recently its been playing up a lot and been on pred and more preventers and I havent done a lot, in order to rest etc.(its exercise induced so this is my main prob) But despite this I always feel really exhausted after little things like walking up stairs. Ive always previously been really fit and healthy, playing sport for teams and stuff so this is quite unusual. I went to asthma nurse a week ago and everything was getting better, so was finally on the mend, and then this week have been all shakey and weak! Is this asthma, being unfit after no exercise or just an 'off' week? I dont feel ill or anything just feel like I want to be in bed all the time!!

Any advice etc would be greatly welcomed! Thanks



9 Replies

Hi Natasha,

Ive been like this for 7 weeks now off work ,have to see occupational health to change my work pattern now due to my asthma etc.. unfortunately symptoms like this does happen, whether its the season, a cold or virus or the medications that you are taking.

rest up well and eat and drink well, make sure your warm and relax as much as possible.

7 weeks ago i couldnt walk for 1 min or even up the stairs without feeling dizzy/nauseous and had to stay in the house, i am now nearly fully recovered, it takes different people different amount of time to recover.

hope you get better soon

kel xx


Tired all the time


Like you I am a light asthma sufferer (I hope!) and have spent most of my life as a fit and healthy male. Since the asthma was diagnosed (May 2009) and treatment began I have felt a marked drop in my energy levels. I can't claim to ache, just a drop in energy that leaves me feeling tired. Until now I had put this down to my age (62) but now I think I'll talk to the asthma nurse to see if my use of Seretide could be contributing.

I'll let you know if it gets me anywhere.


natasha, the tiredness could simple be that your asthmas not very well controlled. remember that the body repairs itself when we sleep, so feeling tired is the bodies way of telling you to slow down. I know in the past I've come home from work and just fell asleep in the chair.

like you I'm fit and always active,with exercise induced asthma but when the asthma decides to be a pain in the butt, then the tiredness seems to come along with it for me. Trouble with pred and antibiotics is that they knock your immune system and so I only use them as a last resort and prefer to just stick to doubling the inhalers if I can get away with that. It may be that you've picked up a bug with the compromised immune system, try plenty of sleep and fluids but if you don't start to get better in the next day or two or get worse then better go see your GP.


edit: must read op dates ;)


Hiya Natasha, my son's asthma was uncontrolled for ages but now we have him controlled (hooray). But whilst he was uncontrolled he would just say all day long that he was tired. And he was, too tired to eat, too tired to play, too tired to concentrate at pre-school. When he finally got controlled (from adding in an antihistamine), he stopped his ""too tired"" mantra. He didn't say it once to me. We then attempted to reduce his steroid dose (because he was doing so well) and lo-behold the ""too tired"" mantra came back, followed a day later by obvious symptoms. Now he's controlled again and the mantra has disappeared and I have a little boy back full of beans! I talked to the resp nurse about it and she said that the tiredness is simply a sign of being uncontrolled and that it is a sign that his sats were dropping a little bit because he's not getting enough oxygen, and also that the extra exertion it puts on the resp and CV systems will also help knacker him out. Not sure if this info is useful!


Hi being tired seems to go with asthma, i think it something to do with when your lungs are having to work harder you are using more energy to breathe so therefore double to do normal every day life tasks.

If you need to sleep, sleep! Get some rest and slow down for a few days. If it doesnt improve or your peak flow drops go and see your asthma nurse or GP for a chat as it prob your asthma not being as controlled as it was or you have a bug.



Hi, I've been looking for work for a few months now and with my asthma still at the 'lets see which inhaler works best' stage, I'm wondering if I'm daft looking for a job with the hours like I had before diagnosed. Like you, I get tired just walking up stairs or bending down to change the cat litter. Roll on the day when the asthma is better controlled and reliever inhaler can be put in a back pocket.

Hugs natasha29,



hi Natasha,

I get realy tierd every day,alot due to all my meds im on for asthma and OA,but

think its my athma but awaiting heart tests.could sleep 24/7.

love Glynis xxx


Hi Natasha,

I know that I get tired for a few reasons. Poor sleeping due to nocturnal asthma symptoms, Coughing can prove tiring, Breathlessness uses lots of extra muscles and energy and also low oxygen levels. Sometimes i am very sleepy and this is due to raised carbon dioxide levels.

I guess all that can really be done is listen to your body and rest regularly. (I know that is often easier said than done!)

Hope you feel a bit more energetic soon


Hello Natasha,

Along with all the excellent advice you have already been given please ask your doctor for an iron test. One of the symptoms of low iron is that of permanent tiredness and later on breathlessness if iron levels are very low. For obvious reasons women tend to suffer and display symptoms of low iron but put it down to the monthly cycle. However poor asthma control will always eat into the reserves of oxygen carrying cells and if your iron is low there will be a trade off. Usually it results in a feeling of permanent tiredness. Lifestyle factors such as a restricted diet, smoking and excessive alcohol don’t help either. (BTW I’m not suggesting you do any of those but just highlighting risk factors)

One of the first tests I had when starting to suffer from the breathless symptom was an iron test. It was negative but at least I know my iron levels are OK. One of my colleagues who runs at national level and who suffers from asthma, found out that her poor results in training and always feeling tired were down to difficult asthma control and low iron levels. Taking iron tablets and changing diet has resulted in a return to her former bubbly self and ability to train hard.

Please go and pester your doc!

Mia xxx


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