Asthma UK community forum
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All Change - Take control of stress, Make your GP work!

I havent posted here in a long while - I used to be a regular here and would need to seek the advice of others here as my doctors were so bad in determining what was happening to me.

Long story cut short - I had a two year period of constant bouts of attacks and the worst thing of all was that I had no chance of getting my GP's to take me seriously enough to refer me to a consultant. In these two years I had a list of medication and this can be found on my profile. During this period of frequent bouts of attacks I almost became a nurse/gp and pharmacist as I researched every aspect. In September 2010 I had worst attack of all and then hit that rock bottom moment (thought that was it and im a gonner with one!) - I thought to myself im done suffering like this either they send me or I will go private now. Im not ready to die from an allergy now or ever. I saw a consultant within 2 months at the local NHS hospital.

He told me to start yoga and asked me how much exercise i did? To be honest I had an epiphany moment when I was being weight in at the hospital - I never took the fact that my body weight was causing this or was even a factor. Im 5ft all and petite and i was way over weight for my height for months i just said oh its the 8 rounds of steriod tablets i had..but this was November 2010 and i thought great more mince pies coming my way soon!

The consultant gave me the host of tests and said i think you have hyperventilation syndrome as well as uncontrolled poorly controlled asthma. You doctors have been piling on medication after medication all i want you to do is have the aminophylline as it is erratic enough to need it and use just seretide and ventolin. Start Yoga, meditation and more stress relieving exercises - (he looked at me and said) your stressed out from being ill. You need to stop now and address this one issue. I had a lung function test and the works.

I got home that night and hooked up the old wii fit machine and started googling for actual pranayama classes and found one 2 mins walk from my house. in two months i lost 8lb and saw a massive difference - then i kept the end of feb 2011 i lost a total of 15lb. My BMI is down and Im down 5 dress sizes.

my asthma is still there - I still use my medication and my rhinitis is still there. But gone are days of wheezing and feeling faint. No more peakflow diary - I've taken control of my body, I went back to the respiratory consultant and he discharged me but reffered me to physiotherapy. He was pleased i listened to him and that i made a huge change in dropping the weight and lowering my blood sugar level too. I went back to the gp's and they thought it was amusing that holistic health care worked for me - I found it amusing as the consultant sent me the same letter that he sent them where he stated that they didnt know what they were doing.

I just want to urge people here to keep their medications as they are but add in more holitics health care things. Use Qi Qong, Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, Pilates as your gp's to refer you to a nutritionist and get that checked out. Question your GP's, I still wonder why not one of them asked me what exercise I did?

If I never ended up having that rock bottom moment I dread to think where I would be now.

take care all.

17 Replies

So glad you are doing better now. Congratulations on the weight loss- 5 dress sizes!!!

I've done a bit of yoga on and off, it is great for relaxation isn't it. You have reminded me that I must get back to it.

It is a bit odd that your GPs didn't ask you about exercise. I have a friend with cystic fibrosis, and with CF exercise seems a big part of the treatment/staying well. I have always wondered why it doesn't feature more in asthma management.



Glad your asthma is doing better for you and well done with weight loss

love glynis xxx


Well done to you!

I've found yoga has helped me a lot - with the night asthma, the nasty silent asthma and the scary 'lung spasm' moments have stopped.

When my asthma's bad I can only breathe (and reckon most folk are the same) from my upper chest which leads to the hyperventilation symptoms, yoga has helped me breathe from diaphragm area a bit better when things flare up, it's struggle but couldn't do this at all before

Yep I still need a moderate amount of meds but reckon I'd be on much more without exercising.


That's a very impressive result. I hope you're pleased with yourself - you really should be.

In my own small way I'm trying to follow your lead. I swim every morning and go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Unfortunately exercise sets off my asthma so the gym is a bit of a balancing act - I want to exercise enough to do some good but not enough to trigger an attack. I could quite fancy Tai Chi but the only classes available in our area are held during the day when I'm at work.

Do you think that the exercise helped you with the stress or was it the meditation and consequent reduction in stress that helped you get to grips with the exercise?


Thanks - its a great feeling to not only be able to get into those jeans that never fit but also to have to keep pulling them up now! Its good to be able to put a post on here and be postive and not beg for some kind of medical advice - I ended up having to do.

lucy, you sound just like me. I have nocturnal asthma and that spasm drives me mad i still get them. I dont want to come on here and say doing this with totally remove your asthma - when i started my massive weightloss mission i never linked it to being a miracle remedy. For Noturnal asthma i do my breathing techniques which I picked up from a professional pranayama instructor at night. As i said before I have hyperventilation syndrome and its not going to go away but im adding everything around my noturnal asthma. I start all the breathing exercises and meditation breathing things at night and then do them again first thing in the morning (before i use my preventer)

Its a great feeling to win my battle with my uncontrollable asthma and i would suggest everyone to take control of there health more and not rely on a GP.

Annista, I would say its was the yoga and meditation at the same time. I did feel like a total spaced out hippy to start, I was on a massive cocktail of asthma medication and doing intense breathing techniques at the weekend and then doing them at night and in the morning and then the meditation too was lets say far out! The key to me breaking this cycle was to try to get some control back in my life.

My asthma ultimately caused me to cut my work hours down i had no social life and to top that off along the way mid my battle with the GP's for a referral I became soo soo negative that I thought one day aged 28 im going to have an attack and die. Thats when i saw the bigger picture and saw that i lost control over my body and mind. The stress was the never ending cycle and actually the trigger for all of them.


Hi confused

Glad you are feeling better and well done for taking control and the weight loss.

I too have improved my asthma with exercise and weight loss.

Over the last 18 months I've lost nearly 6 stone, this allowed me to start exercising and I have gradually worked myself up and I now attend the gym 3-4 times a week.

I used to tell myself that my wieght didn't affect my asthma but I know it did I just didn't want to admit it to myself! I have gone from using a mobilty scooter to get around to now being able to walk quite a few miles. My asthma symptoms have not improved that much I still get wheezy and tight chested a lot but my breathlessness has, I'm no longer constantly breathless at rest and now only really get out of puff when I have done sternuous exercise.

I am still on all the same treatment but I feel I don't need some of it. I am currently on subcut bricanyl and hoping in the next couple of weeks to stop it after 2 and a half years of being on it continuosly. I feel better all round and am really enjoying the gym! I would never have said that a few years ago I would have done anything to avoid exercise.

Hope you keep improving.



What a lovely, positive thread.

I'm a big fan of exercise. It's funny because doing exercise helps my asthma but it can also set it off. But the benefits far far far outweigh the risks!



tell me about it, I washed my ford fiesta in a record time of 8mins and that was dried too. I too convinced myself that nothings wrong - not everyone has to be a size 8 or whatever. I even had a silly nurse in the A&E ask me 4-5 times if i was pregnant (i had the belly for it!) but not even that embarrassment made me want to change. Until i saw a pattern in my lifestyle that as I aged from say 20 to 25 or 26 and gained that weight a whole range of illness followed the asthma was the strongest signal to change. Well done on your weight loss - glad to hear someone else have an equally positive experience.


It's great when you really turn a corner and start to feel like your body's fighting back.

My asthma went from being well controlled to dreadful when I changed jobs on 2006. I was stuck in a small over warm unventilated room with lots of sneezers/colds/flus/computers/laser printer in an old dusty building. My immune system felt totally kicked and I started getting allergic to all sorts of things.

I tried my best to cope, exercising when I could, healthy eating and asked as a reasonable adjustment to try working in another room, even if it was just when others had colds/flus to try and get my body fighting back a bit. They said 'NO', eventually I ended up in ressuss and nearly died. I had a further battle for help at work which got really nasty and I finally packed in the job as the stress was making things worse. I really did feel at the time I was going die from asthma I was having such nasty attacks with little warning.

I then made the scary decision to work freelance, I got my first booking that day and have kept busy ever since. My asthma is getting better, I've ended up earning more per hour and work for better quality companies, I can manage working a full busy week and have made loads of new friends in the process.

I still have to take meds and really take care of myself, sleep lots, eat healthily, do yoga, getting back into swimming but I feel I'm steadily constantly improving!

It CAN get better!

: )) : ))


Thanks for sharing this very encouraging. I intend to take up exercise again but asthma stopped my doing so many other things I have been a little reluctant. This post helps me to not give up in this area. I will speak with my doctors so they an assist me to gently incorporate some regular supervised exercises too.



exercise on refferal

Hi Gill,

Ask your gp to send you to a exercise on referal scheme as they would be able to help you work out with an nurse on hand so should you feel nervous or actually have a an attack they will be there to help you.

There is even a chance to ask for a physiotherapist to assist with calming breathing techniques to use mid workouts.


congratulations on the new you

Will done confused - you may have to change your moniker to ""not so confused anymore""!

Stress increases heart rate and breathing rate hence the lead in to onset of symptoms (and not just asthma). By using the breathing exercises you can relax, with relaxation comes up to 20% reduction in breathing and heart rates.

Delighted for you to have achieved so much from where you were!

Thanks for sharing - it also gives me a boost to hear of others who make breakthroughs and learn to control their symptoms not their symptoms control them!


i'm winning

down to just over 10 stone jan 10 was just over 12 stone. its a long hard slog with gym 5 x week 3 sessions cardio and 2 weights with 2 sessions aqua and doing the new weight watchers pro points as well which works tho only doing it by self won't pay to go to classes, but got into pair silk pants today 1st time in over 2 years. As mother has also lost weight she now wearing my hand me down tops lol.


this is a lovely post and very positive- any advice to me about shifting some weight. i used to be very fit and healthy and very slim then my thyroid went daft and weight went on, although i had several health issues before many more happened with the weight. my asthma is awful and one of the triggers is exercise. i cant even walk at the minute as im waiting for an operation and have arthritis everywhere so even when this is done i still cant go far. im getting quite desperate as the more im still, the more weight is putting pressure on my heart and lungs etc. the OT did suggest that i might be able to get pyhsio to help but any exercise that gets me slightly out of breath causes an asthma attack. im quite healthy diet wise but just eat too much-help :)


hydration v hunger pangs

I was up to about 20 stone and used better hydration as a way of reducing weight.

I drink a pint of water half an hour before meals and this takes the edge off my hunger.

I then eat my meal and wait an hour before having any drinks with my meal (except on occasion).

For not so large people a half pint may be a more suitable or comfortable volume.

Our bodies cannot distinguish clearly between thirst and hunger and often we eat when we should drink water.

Jay39, if you can breathe through your nose, if you slow down enough when walking to maintain exclusive nasal breathing this will slow you so much as to not allow you to get an attack when making moderate exercise. If you have to open your mouth at all (keep enough air to be able to talk / call for help if required but very importantly do not talk) then slow down or stop and rest. This will seem very slow but it is vital to prevent attacks esp in winter or with hayfever symptoms.

If you cannot breathe throguh your nose/ it is too uncomfortable (feel too suffocated/anxious) then talk to your medical team about nasal (in and out) breath exercises and retraining. It can be done. Its the way we are designed to breathe and breathing through your mouth has alarming symptoms that can be greatly reeduced through breath correction.


i do agree with the water thing. i drink pints and pints a day but i find it very difficult to eat anything without a drink. ive tried to not drink at meal times but i struggle to digest food without liquid. wouldnt it be lovely if you could just wake up and be slim and healthy- ah i can dream xxx


Hi confused, I agree, I haven't been posting here in a long time either. I'm on lots of new meds and was in a new job. My work environment was not helping my asthma, worked in an ac office, every time I went to work I got a chest infection. After 5 months of being ill I changed jobs. I now work in a supermarket, ac but lots of wide open spaces so I don't get sick all the time. Asthma still bad, but I feel I can cope.

My dr said exercise and I'm trying to lose weight. First stone gone, over 2 to go. My self esteem has started to improve as a result of the weight loss.

I have my consultant tomorrow and hope he wil have some good news for me. Asthma not good at the moment, the humidity is not helping, having to use my nebuliser every night. Stay safe everyone.


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