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  1. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2009 1:13pm

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    Training with Asthma

    I apologize in advance if this has been brought up before, but my search didn't bring up any specifically helpful topics. This has become a serious problem for me, so I sincerely appreciate any help I can get.

    A little background info:

    I have been pretty sickly as a kid, allergies and colds both of which would lead to asthmatic complications. I seemed to grow out of it around the age of 14.

    I've done MA for the vast majority of the last 7 years (starting 2002.) I've also been a casual gym goer for about the same amount of time (with more focus on weights than cardio. I've recently switched towards cardio.)

    I've been doing Cheng Man Ching Taiji Quan and more recently Yang, since about 2006. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but it doesn't seem to be making that much of a difference.

    Last year, I switched from Shotokan (only 2 years of it, I swear) to BJJ which doesn't give me much of a cardio work out. Since my budget slightly improved, I went back to the gym (which I haven't attended since the end of 2007.)

    Recently, I had a severe cold which lasted 3.5 weeks (didnt take antibiotics from the start, and fucked myself over. Should have known better.) After doing the smart thing and seeing a doc, I got an anti-biotic treatment.

    Even after week 4, still had persistent cough. Doc follow-up lead me to being diagnosed with asthmatic regression. Doc perscribed Advair, which I now learned is not used to treat asthma, only it's symptoms (wtf doc?)

    In the middle of the night, during the day, and especially during training, I find myself gasping for air, short of breath. My daily workout includes an hour on the treadmill (first 30 min at max heart rate in as much as I can, then taper off) and weight training.

    Supplements:

    I am currently taking Metabolic Energy Stacker 3, and Natural Omega 3 Fish Oil (the caffeine in Stacker 3 prevents me from taking creatine for the time being.)

    Short of getting an inhaler, what kind of supplements/vitamins/training would help me improve my cardio? Again, I sincerely appreciate any imput I can get. Thanks in advance.
  2. Petter is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2009 2:05pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

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    Recently, I had a severe cold which lasted 3.5 weeks (didnt take antibiotics from the start, and fucked myself over. Should have known better.) After doing the smart thing and seeing a doc, I got an anti-biotic treatment.
    For a cold?! If you were prescribed antibiotics for a cold, I want to slap your doctor silly. A cold is a viral condition. Antibiotics do ****-all to viruses. Doctors who prescribe antibiotics for viral conditions are a public health hazard; they breed resistant bacteria and help no one.
  3. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2009 2:13pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petter View Post
    For a cold?! If you were prescribed antibiotics for a cold, I want to slap your doctor silly. A cold is a viral condition. Antibiotics do ****-all to viruses. Doctors who prescribe antibiotics for viral conditions are a public health hazard; they breed resistant bacteria and help no one.
    As I said, the cold lasted over 3 weeks. First week I thought I could keep warm and sleep it off, but it just got worse. Second week I took Theraflu which hand little to no effect on it. Third is when I got the anti-biotics which were the only thing that helped. That is not the issue.
  4. Petter is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2009 2:16pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
    As I said, the cold lasted over 3 weeks. First week I thought I could keep warm and sleep it off, but it just got worse. Second week I took Theraflu which hand little to no effect on it. Third is when I got the anti-biotics which were the only thing that helped. That is not the issue.
    Either you didnít have a cold but a bacterial infection, or the antibiotics didnít actually help. Sometimes a cold can last three weeks; the fact that you were taking antibiotics at the time it went away doesnít mean that they are what made it go away.

    Now can you offer some useful advice?
    Nope, I know very little about supplements, or Iíd have included my advice above. I just have a knee-jerk reaction to doctors prescribing antibiotics for conditions where it wonít help.
  5. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2009 9:45pm

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    Seconding what Petter said about antibiotics for a cold. But before we form a lynch mob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
    Doc perscribed Advair, which I now learned is not used to treat asthma, only it's symptoms (wtf doc?)
    The thing about asthma is that, strictly speaking, it is a symptom. We aren't sure what causes it, and thus we aren't sure how to cure it. In terms of "supplementation", you're already on the two I would have recommended (corticosteroids and EPA/DHA*).

    Beyond that, try to weed out any potential environmental irritants (dust, mold, pets, food allergies, etc.).



    * I've been reading Barry Sears' "The Omega Rx Zone", and he argues that we should be aiming for a serum AA:EPA ratio of between 3:1 and 1.5:1 for all sorts of reasons, including autoimmune and inflammation. If - and this is a big if - that's so, the answer may be more fish oil. I haven't made up my mind yet, though. Some studies show results, other studies don't - Cochrane Collaboration says "no evidence".
    Last edited by TheRuss; 3/17/2009 9:58pm at .
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  6. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/18/2009 6:56am

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
    Seconding what Petter said about antibiotics for a cold. But before we form a lynch mob...



    The thing about asthma is that, strictly speaking, it is a symptom. We aren't sure what causes it, and thus we aren't sure how to cure it. In terms of "supplementation", you're already on the two I would have recommended (corticosteroids and EPA/DHA*).

    Beyond that, try to weed out any potential environmental irritants (dust, mold, pets, food allergies, etc.).



    * I've been reading Barry Sears' "The Omega Rx Zone", and he argues that we should be aiming for a serum AA:EPA ratio of between 3:1 and 1.5:1 for all sorts of reasons, including autoimmune and inflammation. If - and this is a big if - that's so, the answer may be more fish oil. I haven't made up my mind yet, though. Some studies show results, other studies don't - Cochrane Collaboration says "no evidence".
    Thanks, I'm taking that right now, hopefully it will help.

    Thanks for that. Again, sorry, apparently my search skills need special ed.
    Good info.
  7. Travtex is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2009 3:38am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    To flash my credentials, I'm a registered respiratory therapist. (Any random cardiopulmonary questions, feel free to ask.)

    Much of what I had planned to point out has already been said. Asthma as a symptom is a good way to put it -- It's basically reversible bronchospasm. If you're taking a pulmonary function test and your numbers improve after taking a bronchodilator, that's asthma.

    Advair has a lot of positive feedback, though it's useless as a rescue medication. It's a mix of two medications, both of which are long-term controller medications that don't do jack in terms of a quick fix. If they're prescribing Advair, I'm surprised they didn't include SOME sort of rescue medication for acute exacerbations. Specifically, Albuterol or Xopenex (Basically the same stuff).

    As far as keeping on top of it; Ask your doc for a peak flow meter. Find out what your baseline numbers are, and monitor regularly. Your peak flows (How fast you can exhale)will start dropping off noticibly well before there's noticible respiratory distress. It's a way to keep a step ahead of symptoms.
  8. Sri Hanuman is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/21/2009 9:45am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travtex View Post
    To flash my credentials, I'm a registered respiratory therapist. (Any random cardiopulmonary questions, feel free to ask.)

    Much of what I had planned to point out has already been said. Asthma as a symptom is a good way to put it -- It's basically reversible bronchospasm. If you're taking a pulmonary function test and your numbers improve after taking a bronchodilator, that's asthma.

    Advair has a lot of positive feedback, though it's useless as a rescue medication. It's a mix of two medications, both of which are long-term controller medications that don't do jack in terms of a quick fix. If they're prescribing Advair, I'm surprised they didn't include SOME sort of rescue medication for acute exacerbations. Specifically, Albuterol or Xopenex (Basically the same stuff).

    As far as keeping on top of it; Ask your doc for a peak flow meter. Find out what your baseline numbers are, and monitor regularly. Your peak flows (How fast you can exhale)will start dropping off noticibly well before there's noticible respiratory distress. It's a way to keep a step ahead of symptoms.
    Thanks Doc.

    I've been looking at various sites that list some foods as conducive to asthma. Do you place any credibility on things like that?
    http://www.buteyko.co.nz/asthma/triggers/diet.cfm
    http://www.nutramed.com/asthma/foodallergy.htm
    http://www.yourasthmatreatment.com/a...d-articles.htm

    Also, are you aware of any potential supplement/vitamin combinations that may assist in improving respiratory health? I am already taking Cod-liver oil, but want to know if there are things that can supplement it, or improve it's function.

    2 More questions:
    1. Will daily cardio training dramatically improve the condition, or is this something that has to be constantly managed? I noticed that my endurance fluctuates. I do my runs daily, and some days I can run 30 min at peak intensity, while other days can barely run at 60%.

    2. How long on average does it take for cardio-derived improvements to decline in someone with asthma? (I heard that it's twice as fast as for a regular person. I am interested in an approximate time line, i.e. 2 weeks, 3 days etc.)

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Sri Hanuman; 3/21/2009 9:47am at .
  9. Travtex is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/21/2009 8:47pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
    I've been looking at various sites that list some foods as conducive to asthma. Do you place any credibility on things like that?
    http://www.buteyko.co.nz/asthma/triggers/diet.cfm
    http://www.nutramed.com/asthma/foodallergy.htm
    http://www.yourasthmatreatment.com/asthma-due-food-articles.htm
    How about a resounding, 'Kinda-sorta'? It's something to look at, but individual variation is so wide it's difficult to hone in anything helpfully specific. I do know that the milk = mucous myth has been kicked to the curb in a few double-blind studies, and it's brought to the fore in your first article... SO, grain of salt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
    Also, are you aware of any potential supplement/vitamin combinations that may assist in improving respiratory health? I am already taking Cod-liver oil, but want to know if there are things that can supplement it, or improve it's function.
    Same story as with nutrition.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Vitamin-D-...tion&id=512798

    http://www.healthline.com/channel/ac...ri_supplements

    Quote Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
    1. Will daily cardio training dramatically improve the condition, or is this something that has to be constantly managed? I noticed that my endurance fluctuates. I do my runs daily, and some days I can run 30 min at peak intensity, while other days can barely run at 60%.

    2. How long on average does it take for cardio-derived improvements to decline in someone with asthma? (I heard that it's twice as fast as for a regular person. I am interested in an approximate time line, i.e. 2 weeks, 3 days etc.)

    Thanks in advance.
    #1: Part of that is related to my peak flow monitoring suggestion. The body can compensate for quite a while before there's any subjective symptoms -- And then it tends to crash pretty quickly once a certain threshold is reached. I'm willing to bet your peak flows are somewhere around 50-60% on those 50-60% days.

    #2: Can't help you, there. Even if I had some solid information on that specific facet, it wouldn't give anyone the ability to predict a rate of decline with that kind of accuracy. A lot depends on the specific nature of your issue. A full Pulmonary Function workup would be a good place to start. That'll determine volumes, flows, response to certain bronchodilators, etc. From THERE you can go into investigating triggers, etc.

    I'm a lifelong sufferer of shitty lung syndrome, myself. In my specific instance, it's as much a restrictive issue as obstructive (Asthma is specifically obstructive), and I have no response to bronchodilators. It actually took me a while to grasp the difference between muscle fatigue and losing my wind -- Have great muscular endurance, but I'll gas every time in a few minutes of rolling (Few minutes to catch my breath here and there, and I can go for hours on end, though).

    At the least, it'd be good to have a rescue med around in case you need it. (I'd advise AGAINST the over-the-counter variant... actually offhand I don't even know if it's still available... It's a different drug with greater cardiac side effect.)
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