Can I prevent my asthma?

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jammist
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/18/2007 7:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am new to this forum. Let me tell you my story. I am currently a 21 year old male attending college. I have had asthma since early elementary school. It was both allergen induced and exercise induced. The symptoms of my asthma became worse as I aged and by high school I could not run for more than 10 minutes without getting asthma. Since I had asthma I have taken a majority of the medicines on the market including prednisone (when I am severely sick) as well as pill-based medications (like singular). I have always taken an albuterol inhaler regularly.

Towards the end of high school and beginning of college I was prescribed Advair (a steroid/bronchiodilater) to be used along with albuterol. This helped to prevent asthma from common allergens but I still could not endure any strenuous physical activity.

I tried to consult my physician regularly about the problem and he kept track of my progress but his only solution was to increase my dosage of advair and the frequency of use to twice a day along with using albuterol whenever necessary. This still did not prevent my exercise induced-asthma from occurring rather readily. All it takes is for my pulse-rate to remain elevated for more than just 3-5 minutes for the asthma to begin and then my breathing progressively tightens up. I eventually just gave up trying to solve the problem because it seemed my family and doctor were fine with me just not getting asthma out of the blue.

I could not play sports or do regular physical activities that all my friends took part in and I still cannot. I have always enjoyed playing basketball, dancing, and even running but I just cant do these things in fear that I may just kill myself if I push just a little too hard. If I do take albuterol after I get asthma it eventually goes away, although even if I do not take albuterol it goes away on its own if I cease the activity. However regardless of if I take medication to treat an occuring instance of asthma or not, it will start up again if I continue whatever activity triggered it.

As a result of this I am probably not the healthiest person in the world due to lack of regular cardiovascular exercise. I do walk a lot and people tell me "take small steps and do low intensity exercise, the best cure for asthma is exercise." The only problem is that low intensity exercise bores me, it is not a challenge, and at my age I want to do more. Yet once I go past that point of "this is easy" to "this is a good workout", my breath shortens and shortens until I have no choice but to stop in fear that it might shorten to a point that I will not be able to breathe. The reason I am posting this NOW is because I want to try and tackle this problem. I look at myself and I feel like I am missing out and could do so much more in my youth if I didn't have this impending doom feeling whenever I happen to say, chase a frisbee down a field or run to get somewhere faster. Yet I have no preventative measures to take other than these medications. I hope someone can help. I would greatly appreciate any input, Thanks!

-jammist

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/20/2007 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
jammist,

Asthma and a patient's personality and emotions are very intrinsically bound up with each other.

I am thinking perhaps changing how you feel about the old you and the new you are
now.

Use Positive Language. Think Positive Thoughts.

Try not to use negative words too much like hate, disgusting, sick, etc." Notice how things have improved in the world, in your town, in your life. Look for beauty. Try not to be sarcastic. Sarcasm is a "put-down"of something or someone. The way you act in the world is basically a habit. You can retrain your behavior and your thinking, and you will benefit by doing so. Being considerate, kind, and positive is contagious and worth the investment.

You are a strong person and you will overcome your fears and learn how to compensate for your ASthma.

(((((((((((HUGS))))))))))
 
Respectfully
 
Kitt
 

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."
Irish Proverb

 
 


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9602
   Posted 4/20/2007 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow Jammist and hello, I have had asthma all my life too and just wanna say get hooked up with an allergy asthma clinic. There are new medications out there and advair does not work for everyone, it does not work for me. Allergy/asthma doctors don't have to tests you for allergies if you don't want them too hun. My allergy/asthma doctor has me on the lastest and best medications for me. Ask your doctor about Singulair, Asmanex and Xopenex inhaler which is way better than the albuterol inhaler for your rescue medication. I see my asthma doctor every three months too, I like my current allergy asthma doctor but I have had one that just made me feel bad. Post here anytime hun, We all have are good and bad days. I also note this is just advise and my 2 cents and I hope it helps. try to get referrals from friends or anyone for a good allergy asthma doctor, If your in the Houston, Texas area I can recommend a few. A good doctor should listen to you and prescibe medications that'll help and GP's (General Practioners) are not always up to date on the newer medications for asthma. Well Take Care and Keep us posted I hope you'll start to feel better soon and soft hugz to you

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 4/20/2007 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I was born with Asthma.There is no cure!You take your meds.& take it one day at a time.I tried Advair,it nearly choked me to death.It's not for everyone.I take Theophillin,Singular & us a inhaler Combivent.........
SnowyLynne


jammist
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/20/2007 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies! I am not sure what you're saying stkitt other than have a positive outlook on life. And I agree that is important and I try my best to appreciate what I have as opposed to what I lack. But then again, life is also about improving yourself and if there is a possibility I can overcome this I think its worth trying to pursue. But I appreciate your words of wisdom :D .

I guess I will ask my physician about Xopenex. I am not sure what an allergy/asthma specialist is but i'll look into that. I saw an allergy specialist from elementary school to late middle school and used to take allergy shots. I stopped seeing him when it got to a point that I was taking over 6 allergy shots a week and my allergies were not improving.

I have tried singuliar and it didn't work...my physician suggested trying singulair + advair + albuterol which I never stuck with. I feel like advair may be overrated by my doctor, i think for me all it does is raise the bar at which I will get asthma but does not actually prevent it. As a sidenote I have been dealing with asthma all my life and have a nebulizer. While dislike this fear of doing physical activity, I haven't had an actual asthma attack since early high school so I guess it serves its purpose.

I appreciate your replies and thanks for your advice!

mongatu
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/21/2007 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jamist,

I can relate to your problems although I didn't develop my asthma until I was in my 50's. But I am very active and exercise also frequently triggers my asthma. There are definitely more medications out there that might be helpful for you, along with the meds you are already using. One is "Spiriva" which is a long acting bronchodilator that works in a different but complementary way to the long acting bronchodilator that is in Advair, so a person can be on both of them at the same time. One thing nice about Spiriva is you only take it once per day. Also, Spiriva appears to be safer than Advair for long term use. Spiriva is usually prescribed for COPD, but many doctors (like mine) are starting to prescribe it "off label" for asthma patients. Another medication that I personally find helpful to prevent exercise induced asthma is called "Intal." Intal inhaler is in a totally different class from most other asthma meds. It is neither a steroid nor a bronchodilator. It is a "mast cell stabalizer." Intal is also complementary to and can be taken along with the other meds mentioned. It is not a rescue med but it seems to help to prevent exercised induced asthma especially if used 15 minutes or so before engaging in exercise.

What works for me to prevent exercise induced asthma is to take two shots of Intal and one or two shots of Albuterol about 15 minutes before I start to work out. It is much easier and better for you to nip these things in the bud rather than to let an asthma attack start to get going.

I think you should try to discuss these additional meds with your doctor and see if he/she thinks they might be appropriate for you to try. If your regular doc is not familiar with these meds for asthma treatment, you should probably try to find a pulmonologist or other allergy/asthma specialist to consult. Might be a good idea to do that in any case.

Good luck.

jammist
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/22/2007 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
That was some really helpful info mongatu! I will definitly ask my physician about those medications you mentioned. I hopefully can get this resolved...atleast somewhat in the next few months.

Its nice to know other people have exercise induced asthma like me. In the summer I plan to learn karate from one of my friends who knows a good amount of martial arts. I tried to work out with him a couple of months ago and I could barely make it through 20 minutes of training because of my asthma (and all I was doing was kicking and striking a punching bag sorta fast). Anyway thanks for the info everyone! I'll let ya know what happens!

jammist
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/15/2007 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey hows it going guys. Its been forever since I updated this thread. I finally saw my doctor recently (ive had too much stuff going on since when I posted this lol). I asked him about Spiriva and he couldn't give it to me...he said its only approved for Emphysema. Instead he recommended i increase my dosage of advair from 250/50 to 500/50 confused . It seems thats all he knows to do...he told me to try using that higher dosage in combo with singular. I am not sure if I should go through with that or not. I got a referral to see an asthma specialist...still debating when to see one...and if they can even offer me any better options.

Lemme know if you guys have any insight!

Another Day
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 6/15/2007 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Jammist,
 
I think any asthma patient does better being treated by an allergist or a pulomonologist.  An allergist, particularly, sees this type of thing every day. The pulmonary guys see asthma patients along with people dealing with COPD, emphysema and other lung problems.  If I were you, I would get an appointment with an allergist.  I'm not trying to be hard on you here, but if you do see one and they set up a plan for you, you have to follow it.  You can't just take care of your lungs on a part time basis, it's a 24-7 job.  I think you mentioned in one of your post something about not sticking to a plan that one doctor gave you.  I'm just being firm with you because I want you to get better.
 
I wish you the best!
 
Carla

jammist
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/20/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply, i will probably see an allergist soon considering I have the referral haha. I am not sure what I said I never stuck to...I saw an allergist back in the day and I stopped seeing him because he had me on so many allergy shots...it got to a point where I was getting over 7 injections a week yet my allergies were not improving nor my asthma (and this was after taking shots for about 3 years).

I usually give each plan a fair amount of time, at least 3 weeks and then if I see absolutely no improvement I move on (if i have something else to try that is). I can usually achieve the same level of improvement which is that the bar that is reached before I get asthma is raised but not eliminated. That is my main goal now: be able to prevent my asthma during exercise. I'll let you guys know how things go, at the moment I am giving the Advair thing one more chance using the 500/50 dose twice a day in combo with Singulair. I am thinking by end of july if I see no improvement its probably better I see what other options there are with a specialist (hopefully there are other options lol). Thanks again for the feedback!

-Jammist
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