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Newly dealing with exercise/exertion based symptoms

I'm just reaching out for a bit of help from those who've ""been there"".

I've been dealing with asthma for more than 15 years diagnosed, although looking back, if I was a kid now, I've had it all my life, but I was just the kid who coughed a lot. And I'm generally pretty good at knowing my triggers and calling my physician when things aren't right.

18 months ago, I had a viral infection which then led to costochondritis (rib cage inflammation) along with bronchitis and then developed pnemonia. Fun times all round for sure. It was a long struggle to get back to feeling well and an even longer struggle to actually get back to normal household activities and finally starting to add exercise back again.

So, my struggle in recent months is that exercise or exertion based symptoms seem to be a regular thing for me now not just an occasional thing. It used to be that I only had exercise symptoms when I also had a cold and probably shouldn't have been exercising much anyways. But I'm struggling with how to manage these symptoms. I am using my ventolin diskus before going out, but I'm wondering if I should take it earlier before I go out? I'm not getting myself into bad attacks that I can't recover from, but I sure am winded for quite some after I do any kind of major exertion. So far it's mainly dealing with household chores like mowing the lawn or assembling furniture (recent move has left me still too busy to hit the gym). Any suggestions for me?

6 Replies

I used to idea ventolin diskus/accuhaler and I hated it... Do I swapped back to the ventolin MDI (aerosol) and spacer which I find works a lot more effectively for me... I was always told to take ventolin 15 minutes before exercise to help prevent attacks, however if you are still getting attacks it may mean that you asthma is still uncontrolled, regardless of the severity of the attacks. Are you on a preventer inhaler? It might be worth speaking to your GP about it


Advair is a combo inhaler with Flovent and Serevent (not sure if these are the same names in the UK). So yes, I'm on controller medication. I'm ONLY getting attacks with exercise, so that is all I'm trying to figure out how to deal with. So based on that, I would say I'm well controlled.....except I have to figure out the exercise symptoms.

I LOVE the diskus and hope to NEVER go back to an MDI.


Hi, I use my ventolin 15 minutes before being active and as and when I need it during and I can sometimes get post-exercise symptoms and need my inhaler then. I read a while ago that there is one theory that exercise induced asthma is actually a symptom of uncontrolled asthma not a trigger in itself. I believe this may be true as when I have had asthma-free spells (not for a while now) I didn't need my ventolin before exercise at all.


I actually rang the advice linel last week cos i was thinking very similar - generally only need my inhaler after running (i also dance & swim regularly but only occasionally need it with them, running sets me off EVERY time).

As JF says, the nurse said to me that it sounded like my asthma generally wasn't as well controlled as it could be so she made some suggestions for simple changes and i have to monitor my peak flow for the next 3-4 weeks to see if there's any improvement. She also said if there isn't i can ring the helpline back again and they can advise me of the next steps to take.


Hi, I usually find that if I take my ventolin 10 to 15 minutes before exercise then it helps a lot



I suffer quite frequent viral exacerbations.

When I'm well controlled I don't use Salbutamol pre exercise and I don't seem to have any problems but when things with the asthma are not so great I do use Salbutamol before I exercise and sometimes need to use it after too.

The helpline nurses are great, glad they were able to offer some useful advice.


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