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  1. #1
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    Angry How do you handle Road bike with "Exercise Induced Asthma" problem.. ?

    I am 45 and road bikest. Live in Colorado. I am still fast enough. Last couple of years I had excess nose draining problem with coughs while riding only. From last year I started to puke and this year it became regular basis puke (mucus), in each ride.

    The Problem starts after 15-20 min of hard ride. I started visiting an Asthma Specialist. Diagnosed with "Exercise Induced Asthma". He gave 'Combivent' and 'Ipratropium bromide'. Still Puke was on...

    He added a third one called 'dulera'.. last week. This one now made me complete sick..!!

    I could not ride for last 4 days.. ! I feel my bronchi and airways in fully filled with mucus..!

    If you read up to this..and have found a way out to stay on your road bike.. Then please share.. I will be happy to learn from you.

  2. #2
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    avoid climbing hills. But since you're in CO, it's inevitable that you'll be climbing hills (just as I also mountain bike, so I am climbing steep hills, usually technical).....

    I am on:
    Symbicort
    Singulair
    Albuterol (rescue)

    Advair wasn't working for me... and Symbicort works better. I'm not EIA free but my limit before the attack is a little higher.

    the other part is for me... getting a 32T cassette (with a compact crank), so I can "spin" up the hills better.... reducing the "stress" on my lungs.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded with 36T cassette and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless. Considering a 1x10 upgrade
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra upgraded to 32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    2008/2009 Burton T6 156cm with Burton Triad Bindings & DC Judge boots

  3. #3
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    I'm also 45. I've had EIA (just made that up - all the good ailments have 3 letters) since I was in my 20s... well, that's when it was diagnosed anyway. I use an albuterol inhaler before rides. On rides over 5 hours, I'll hit it midway. It works best if I hit the inhaler 30-45 minutes before the ride.

  4. #4
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    20+ years with EIA combined with seasonal allergies. I don't hit the inhaler very often, maybe once or twice a week post ride and I ride almost daily... I do get a little pukey after harder efforts but I find nasal irrigation and an antihistamine immediately after my ride helps.

  5. #5
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    There's a related thread in "Racing, Training, Nutrition, ..." Vitamin C for exercise induced asthma
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  6. #6
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    My asthma doc is also a cyclist, and he told me to use my Albuterol inhaler 10 minutes before I start riding. This usually keeps me going for 2-3 hours. I carry an inhaler, but rarely use it.

    I'm on Qvar, and just started cycling off of Xolair. Hopefully my asthma won't come back, and try to kill me!!

  7. #7
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    Thanks to all of you, who posted..! I am still trying to find if anyone has found a way-out for this non-curable EIA disease! I feel frustrated when I am in my 22-25 mi/hr speed (and I can easily can keep that).. all of a sudden I feel puke. I end up puking mucus. My nose constantly drains all long as I ride! Cough too..! (I feel disgusting for myself even!)

    I watch other group people are passing me one by one and I struggle with my endless mucus..suffocation and cough

    Do you get that same choke-up/puke/cough when you are excelling out your best..?
    Please contribute your advise...

  8. #8
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    thanks for your reply!

  9. #9
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    42 yrs old, diagnosed with EIA two years ago. I would get the coughs and pukes after the ride, but nothing during.

    I hit the inhaler before and after each ride and it reduces the symptoms by 90%. It sounds like your my case is less severe than most.

  10. #10
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    I read your post with a sense of deja vu and sadness. I've had asthma all my life. 61 years old. Last year I cycled more than 8,000 miles. I'm very athletic - professional hockey try-out when I was young - and generally very active. I've tried every treatment over the decades. Presently my asthma is controlled by one puff of Symbicort a day (except when I get a bad cold, bronchitis etc...).

    I'm the other kind of doctor, not an M.D. but it sounds like you are on too much medication which can produce a negative effect. I also have what is called exercise and cold induced asthma ( as my father and grandfather before me). A lot of asthma is complicated by food allergies, sensitivities and airborne allergies - have you looked seriously into these possibilities instead of just relying on medication only? I am very careful with my diet. I have also found over the years that my weight directly contributes to my sense of well being in regards to my asthma. Morning exercises, stretching etc... have helped tremendously. I'm 6', 160 lbs and have never felt better

    I hope you make progress and build on good health. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nc68 View Post
    I am 45 and road bikest. Live in Colorado. I am still fast enough. Last couple of years I had excess nose draining problem with coughs while riding only. From last year I started to puke and this year it became regular basis puke (mucus), in each ride.

    The Problem starts after 15-20 min of hard ride. I started visiting an Asthma Specialist. Diagnosed with "Exercise Induced Asthma". He gave 'Combivent' and 'Ipratropium bromide'. Still Puke was on...

    He added a third one called 'dulera'.. last week. This one now made me complete sick..!!

    I could not ride for last 4 days.. ! I feel my bronchi and airways in fully filled with mucus..!

    If you read up to this..and have found a way out to stay on your road bike.. Then please share.. I will be happy to learn from you.
    Avoid hills as much as you can...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nc68 View Post
    Thanks to all of you, who posted..! I am still trying to find if anyone has found a way-out for this non-curable EIA disease! I feel frustrated when I am in my 22-25 mi/hr speed (and I can easily can keep that).. all of a sudden I feel puke. I end up puking mucus. My nose constantly drains all long as I ride! Cough too..! (I feel disgusting for myself even!)

    I watch other group people are passing me one by one and I struggle with my endless mucus..suffocation and cough

    Do you get that same choke-up/puke/cough when you are excelling out your best..?
    Please contribute your advise...
    you have to be aware of your limits, and try not to cross over that threshold.

    Yes, it can be frustrating, knowing that you can't exploit your full potential when you ride.

    If I push myself too hard, I do start dry-heaving and sometimes puking, usually on the more difficult (steep and long) hills....actually it happened last sunday, when I was mountain biking....
    Last edited by tednugent; 06-23-2013 at 07:09 PM.
    2010 Specialized Secteur Elite upgraded with 32T cassette and does not have Stan's (yet)
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er upgraded with 36T cassette and Stan's Arch EX rims and tubeless. Considering a 1x10 upgrade
    2013 Cannondale CAADX-6 Tiagra upgraded to 32T cassette and Stan's Alpha 400 rims and tubeless
    2008/2009 Burton T6 156cm with Burton Triad Bindings & DC Judge boots

  13. #13
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    How do you handle Road bike with "Exercise Induced Asthma" problem.. ?

    Was diagnosed with EIA in my 20s and in my 50s now, live in CO too. I have the exact symptoms that you do except the actual puking. My problem is exacerbated by seasonal allergies. The sinus drainage is, for me, the most annoying problem and seems to be the single biggest aggravator of my asthma symptoms.

    If i don't aggressively manage my symptoms, my nose runs incessantly and sometimes feel like I'm breathing acid due to the drainage into my lungs. Last year was the worst ever due, I think to the extensive forest fires in the area. I would hack, hock, spit, blow, wheeze for about 40 minutes on the bike before i could get my airways clear enough to really ride.

    What i started doing last year was flushing my sinuses twice a day (morning and right after riding) and using Advair 250/50 and Nasonex twice a day instead of my normal once per day. I also use Albuterol about 10 minutes before a ride. This generally enables me to ride as hard as I want but I still have bad days on occasion. I tried Singulair some years ago but it caused me too much stomach pain/upset. I'm not experienced with the newer asthma meds that you mention.

    If your doc isn't getting results for you, look around for a different one. Try an allergist or a pulmonologist. Food allergies or sensitivities could also be adding to your problems as mentioned though I'm pretty much an eat everything/anything kind of guy.
    "Five and Dime, all the time!"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawr View Post
    A lot of asthma is complicated by food allergies, sensitivities and airborne allergies - have you looked seriously into these possibilities instead of just relying on medication only?

    I hope you make progress and build on good health. Good luck.
    I agree and had a similar experience.

    I also had exercised induced asthma for most of my adult life that would sometimes just become regular asthma when not exercising. I played a lot of soccer and this is when it was the worst. I last took Advair as a maintenance drug and albuterol, then later maxair for emergencies. About 3 years ago, in order to reduce some cholesterol numbers, my cardiologist asked about my diet and suggested that I eat less carbs. (I was eating a ton whole grain breads). He said he felt like a big % of us were sensitive to wheat and suggested I try to cut out most bread for a while. He said it would help with the carb thing anyway. I tried it (cut out most bread and other wheat products) and noticed something miraculous. No more Asthma. Stopped taking the meds and still no more Asthma. Now - if I cheat and eat a good amount of bread, pizza, wheat pasta etc. for a day or two, I will start getting the Asthma again. I first notice it as a tightness and a cough.

    I do love wheat products, but when there is an almost immediate negative payback it's pretty easy to cut out or eat in small moderation. Note: It took approx 3 weeks of not eating wheat for my Asthma symptoms to go away.

  15. #15
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    I have EIA and am allergic to just about everything that grows where I live (western CO). My allergist put me on Alvesco twice a day, and I also take a couple of hits of albuterol before a ride and I do fine. I don't go all out at first- warm up for 10-15 mins before I rev up. The alvesco really helps prevent flareups- I can climb long climbs with no problems as long as I keep a high rpm. If I go too hard at first or if it's cold I also get a lot of mucous which makes for some embarrassing attempts to spit, but no puking.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    Was diagnosed with EIA in my 20s and in my 50s now, live in CO too. I have the exact symptoms that you do except the actual puking....

    If i don't aggressively manage my symptoms, my nose runs incessantly and sometimes feel like I'm breathing acid due to the drainage into my lungs. I would hack, hock, spit, blow, wheeze for about 40 minutes on the bike before i could get my airways clear enough to really ride.

    flushing my sinuses twice a day (
    Advair 250/50 and
    Nasonex
    Albuterol T.

    Yes, exactly I see the Cough and running nose stays for 40 minutes.. I live in CO too..(I moved here Match'12 last year). I had nose draining but not these severe Cough and puke.
    I do not know if the Altitude, Dry climate contribute to Cough. Are you still in the same medication or tried something new and got result.. ?
    My Asthma Doc have me Singulair but did not see much help in Cough.

  17. #17
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    I also have EIA, cold induced and allergy induced asthma. What has helped me is getting my allergies under control and it has made a huge difference. Before I would have issues doing stuff outside because my asthma would flair up if I pushed to hard too fast and then it wouldn't go away for the entire workout session or whatever I was doing (not until a few hours afterward even with rescue inhalers). Now I can go out and ride or run without any issues. Some days I do get some drainage issues but usually that is when I am slightly sick but not enough to prevent me from doing something.

    I go in for regular allergy shots and am at the point I go once every 2-4 weeks at the top dose. It has made a world of difference for me as I've always had issues with my Asthma since I was in grade school. I've got a cocktail of stuff I'm taking though, Advair, QVar (as a nasal spray for my sinuses), singular, prescription Zyrtec, and Albuterol as a rescue.

  18. #18
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    nc68 - still using the same meds though they seem to have lost a bit of their effectiveness over time. Might have to look into trying something else. You might try albuterol several minutes before riding. I hope you find something that works for you.

    loxx - when you say "allergy shot" do you mean a steroid injection? Normal desensitization shots are usually given at more regular intervals, need to be kept up for some time, and take a while to be effective (if they are). Steroid injections don't make you less allergic, just tamp down your immune response (as well as other possible side effects) - which I'm not super keen on.
    "Five and Dime, all the time!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    nc68 - still using the same meds though they seem to have lost a bit of their effectiveness over time. Might have to look into trying something else. You might try albuterol several minutes before riding. I hope you find something that works for you.

    loxx - when you say "allergy shot" do you mean a steroid injection? Normal desensitization shots are usually given at more regular intervals, need to be kept up for some time, and take a while to be effective (if they are). Steroid injections don't make you less allergic, just tamp down your immune response (as well as other possible side effects) - which I'm not super keen on.
    Not the steroid shots but what you are calling"desensitizing" shots. It's the same as increasing your tolerance to something, like to spicy food or alcohol. You start low and slowly build up to stronger doses. Once you get to the top doses you don't have to go as frequently. They are injecting me with the stuff I am most allergic to that is pretty common out there.

    It's not for everyone and is a big time commitment at first. Plus getting shot with needles for it isn't exactly fun either.

  20. #20
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    Near as i can tell, at the very minimum 75% of the pro racers in this country have EIA. I swear to god they all have inhalers...and I'm talking some of the very fastest guys in the country. I guess they use the inhalers some and have a T.U.E. for the drugs.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=What i started doing last year was flushing my sinuses twice a day (morning and right after riding).

    If your doc isn't getting results for you, look around for a different one. Try an allergist or a pulmonologist
    T.[/QUOTE]

    I seriously value all your opinion along with 'lawr' response on "Morning exercises, stretching etc" . I think too much medication will take me nowhere..

    How much help do you get from your:
    1. Flushing Sinuses before ride..
    2. Asthma specific Exercise

    I am very curious.

    Last edited by nc68; 08-12-2013 at 09:02 AM.

  22. #22
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    More meds isn't necessarily the answer but maybe different meds. Everyone reacts somewhat differently to each particular medication depending on their individual biochemistry and the specific underlying cause for their symptoms.

    Nevertheless... The sinus flushes do seem to help a lot and doing it after a ride is what I try to do do (plus in the morning). I think this would work better than before a ride since I figure I've turbo-charged a lot of allergens into my sinuses over the course of the ride, and the goal is to reduce the overall, chronic inflammation of the sinuses which is what leads to mucus production.

    I'm not aware of any asthma specific exercises per se' though I've been told that Ayurveda has some.
    "Five and Dime, all the time!"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    More meds isn't necessarily the answer but maybe different meds.

    I think this would work better than before a ride since I figure I've turbo-charged a lot of allergens into my sinuses over the course of the ride, and the goal is to reduce the overall, chronic inflammation of the sinuses which is what leads to mucus production.

    I'm not aware of any asthma specific exercises per se' though I've been told that Ayurveda has some.
    'Different Medicine' yes I agree.. but nothing worked for me so far.. still looking for my magic bullet..! I get too much of cough specially when I ride up the hill. CO rods are always Ups and Downs.. I have tested in complete 'flat roads' and I found that I do not get much cough even I am in my full output, for long time. But Cough and Mucus comes back with Uphill Rides only..

  24. #24
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    I've had EIA since I was 15, and I'm 35 now. I can tell you from my own personal experience that the inhaler use really doesn't help me much. The biggest help that I have found is to simply drink more water. Hydration is huge in combating asthma in any form, especially here in Colorado. Dry air, and heavy breathing really irritates the lungs and causes increased constriction and mucus production. I find I go through water at a rate of about 36 oz per hour on the bike and that keeps things flowing very well. Off the bike when I'm awake I try to drink 12 oz per hour. Any less then that has me wheezing in no time flat once I start riding.

    I have also found that easing into the ride with a extended warm up helps as well. I typically take 20 minutes and keep my heart rate in zone 2-3 the entire time before ramping up.

  25. #25
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    You know, having read these posts, it occurred to me that I have exactly the same issue!

    I can't say that I feel it when I am on my bike... but when I come home, and I'm taking my gear off, I have short shallow breath, which sometimes leads to cough. As I am coughing you can hear like a spongy, wet, wheeze. It's unmistakable... if I were to exhale forcefully, I would get loud wheezing, and at the bottom of my breath I'd break into cough....

    Now, I'm wondering whether this actually decreases my performance on the bike, as it probably creeps up on me mid ride.

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