Exercise trigger


My asthma is usually triggered by allergies or emotions. Yesterday I had to run as fast as I could in the autumn air and had a nasty flare up of my asthma. I used nebuliser a couple of times yesterday and overnight had a horrible sore gunky chest. Today peak flow is still low and chest is sticky (and I am shattered). I have a course is steroids in the house and by my asthma plan I should've taken them yesterday. I normally would have but I am waiting for a bone density scan because I have taken so many courses of steroids this summer and I really want to avoid wrecking my bones.

Do asthma flare ups triggered by exercise usually settle down on their own? Xxx

6 Replies

  • I'd say it's a bit hit & miss. My experience is that if I run in cold air I will quickly get very bad symptoms, but they usually settle down quickly; sometimes helped with a ventolin puff or two.

    It sounds like you might have other infections going on & with the wider issues maybe give the surgery a call first.

  • I have problems with my asthma if I run for more than a hundred metres or so regardless of weather conditions (although cold damp weather will reduce how much I can do before problems hit). I would usually stop running the moment my chest tightens up. Doing that usually means it will calm down with no further intervention from me. If I ignore that warning sign and carry on, I will end up getting the inhaler out.

    If hurrying is necessary (as in bus/train to catch) my usual strategy is to use power walking, which is easier on my lungs. I have done run for a bit, walk for a bit, run for a bit, walk for a bit, etc to try to minimise the risk of a bad flare up but that usually ends up with me reaching for the inhaler as well.

    I suspect a lot depends each individual's asthma and the circumstances (which at this time of year can vary considerably from day to day). That said, I wouldn't normally expect an exacerbation brought on through exercise to continue causing problems once medication had been taken to bring it under control and the exercise discontinued. As Minushabens suggests, you might want to get yourself checked out by your GP, just in case something else is brewing.

  • Hello Emily-G

    I can relate to your asthma flare up after running in the autumn air. Spring and fall are my worst seasons. I rarely have asthma problems in the summer or winter, no matter how much I run. I have to be careful not to run too vigorously in the fall or spring. I learned the hard way on that three weeks ago and ended up with a bad asthma flare up with loads of congestion. After two antibiotics and prednisone, I'm back to normal.

    If you like to run, you may be interested in my book, "Running with Asthma: An Asthmatic Runner's Memoir," available on amazon.com.

    Wishing you great breathing,

    John Terry McConnell

  • I wish I did like running - I used to before my asthma got so tricky. My dad is in his seventies, asthmatic and runs 5 miles every morning.

  • Hi Emily-G

    Best of luck to you doing whatever exercise is best for you.

    John Terry McConnell

  • I can sympathise with this. Both my husband and my elder son enjoy cross country running. I would love to be able to do it as well, but I just can't and I've never been able to. Even as a child just a game of tag could bring on an asthmatic attack.

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