Not sure whether Dr is right and what about competitive cycling?

I've just joined this site and wish I'd found it years ago! I was diagnosed about 7 years ago but it seems likely I've had asthma for a lot longer. I hadn't really accepted the diagnosis until reading many of the posts here as one of the big things is I only wheeze when I've got a bad cold or respiratory infection. So first - thanks everyone for all your posts.

I was prescribed Beclomethasone (is that Becotide? can't remember) and Ventolin but about a year ago, found that the preventer made me cough immediately so I decided that must be because I wasn't asthmatic after all (wishful thinking) and I stopped using it. I would always use Ventolin before and during exercise and a lot more during the hayfever season and winter. It seemed to be ok.

This recent cold has done for me though! I've had a really tight chest and pains in my chest and a real burning sensation. I have loads of mucus and am really breathless, even walking up the stairs indoors. it takes me a few minutes to get my breath back (feeling like a numpty now for not thinking to use my Ventolin!).

Went to see the doc yesterday. She was very dismissive and, on the basis that my chest sounded clear and I was not wheezy, said that I should just increase my Ventolin to 3 - 4 puffs, 4 times a day. When I explained the problems I'd experienced with the preventer and asked for an alternative, she just said it must be poor technique. I disagreed because the asthma nurse had said I had a good technique and anyway, I have no problems with the Ventolin. I pressed her for a prescription so that I could try an alternative preventer and I now have Flixotide - I've been able to use this with no difficulty at all.

Was I right to insist on having a preventer? From the posts here I think I do need one. Would I be better just using the Ventolin 4 times a day as suggested?

My goal is to get back to riding a bike competitively - anyone think that's possible?

Sorry this is so long and thanks in anticipation.

Michelle

4 Replies

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  • Michelle

    Thanks for posting this because it made me realise that my symptoms are not unique. I, too, am finding this cold weather really difficult to deal with: I have exactly the same tight chest, burning sensation, mucus and breathlessness despite taking my preventer (the same one as you, I think).

    I don't have great hopes of my GP, but I'll make an appointment and see what they say about Flixotide.

    Thanks for the information - and I hope that we both feel better soon!

    Gill

  • Michelle welcome.

    Glad you got the help you needed and a new preventer,

    you know your own body best and right to push for the right treatment.

    good luck,love Glynis xxx

  • {I've just joined this site and wish I'd found it years ago! I was diagnosed about 7 years ago but it seems likely I've had asthma for a lot longer. I hadn't really accepted the diagnosis until reading many of the posts here as one of the big things is I only wheeze when I've got a bad cold or respiratory infection. So first - thanks everyone for all your posts.}

    Hi Michelle, and welcome, sounds like you may be one of the lucky ones and not have seriously bad asthma, or certainly well controlled.

    {I was prescribed Beclomethasone (is that Becotide? can't remember) and Ventolin but about a year ago, found that the preventer made me cough immediately so I decided that must be because I wasn't asthmatic after all (wishful thinking) and I stopped using it. I would always use Ventolin before and during exercise and a lot more during the hayfever season and winter. It seemed to be ok.}

    Beclomethasone, Becotide, Clenil blah blah blah are all the same but as a preventer you take it all the time, not just when you’re experiencing symptoms as I've seen some say, particularly on cycling and running forums. The cough from using the inhaler is tricky, something I found yesterday is that the new HFA134a propellant used does have a side effect of inducing coughing, but is used in most if not all inhalers now. The use of ventolin before exercise is a recommended about 10-20 minutes before you start.

    {This recent cold has done for me though! I've had a really tight chest and pains in my chest and a real burning sensation. I have loads of mucus and am really breathless, even walking up the stairs indoors. It takes me a few minutes to get my breath back (feeling like a numpty now for not thinking to use my Ventolin!).}

    The recent cold snap isn't doing many of us a great deal of good, I went for a run last week, and experienced similar breathlessness and restrictive tight chest, and currently doubled my preventer as still not back on form, which sounds like something you should maybe be considering to calm down the inflammation.

    {Went to see the doc yesterday. She was very dismissive and, on the basis that my chest sounded clear and I was not wheezy, said that I should just increase my Ventolin to 3 - 4 puffs, 4 times a day. When I explained the problems I'd experienced with the preventer and asked for an alternative, she just said it must be poor technique. I disagreed because the asthma nurse had said I had a good technique and anyway, I have no problems with the Ventolin. I pressed her for a prescription so that I could try an alternative preventer and I now have Flixotide - I've been able to use this with no difficulty at all.}

    Ventolin is only a short term thing, you're better off with the preventers, and I have flixotide and compared to beclomethasone it is easier to take, doesn't have that same annoying irritation at the back of the throat, but maybe worth using a Volumatic Spacer, I do and guarantees to virtually eliminate all irritation as it removes the bits that get forced into the back of the throat. By all means use the ventolin as instructed, but if you have to keep doing that for long, it is an indication of poor control or something not quite right.

    {Was I right to insist on having a preventer? From the posts here I think I do need one. Would I be better just using the Ventolin 4 times a day as suggested?}

    YES, preventer is the way to go IMHO. Frequent use of ventolin isn't ideal as already said.

    {My goal is to get back to riding a bike competitively - anyone think that's possible?}

    Oh Yes without a question, at the time I was diagnosed 18 months ago, just sitting in the chair I was out of breath and constant tight chest, and now cycle, and actually did manage to with just the ventolin to start with, and also run and swim 1-2 miles at a time. Good luck and hope you get back on your bike soon,

    Chris

  • Thanks everyone for your replies.

    Gill, I'm glad that my mentioning my experiences has helped you - I found exactly the same from looking at some of the other posts here.

    Chris, thanks so much for all your detail. I am really encouraged by your success at exercising. I'm pleased to say that things are looking up now and I think that the new preventer and warmer weather are making a difference. I managed some good exercise in the gym at the weekend so I hope now that I've cracked it. Increasing the preventer a bit also seems to be helping.

    Thanks again and I hope you all start to feel better soon as well.

    Michelle

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