cycling and asthma

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Philip Roberts, 22 Aug 2012.

  1. Philip Roberts

    Philip Roberts Regular

    Horndean, Hants
    just wondered what peoples experinces have been as i'm new to cycling, my asthma is controlled by preventers and i take Ventolin as required which is pretty standard, do asthmatics take normal medication on cycling days or a bit extra for a bit of a boost?
  2. MattHB

    MattHB Proud Daddy

    I'm asthmatic. I take a seritide preventer twice a day and never need my ventolin although I ALWAYS take one with me. The fitter I've got, the less I've been effected.

    I do take hey fever tablets in season to reduce the chances of problems that might trigger my asthma.

    As everyone's condition is different it would be wise to talk to your GP and get their advice as they'll know your case.
  3. OP
    Philip Roberts

    Philip Roberts Regular

    Horndean, Hants
    thanks for your response, i take my ventolin with me but luckily my asthma is well under control so providing i'm sensible there shouldn't be a problem
  4. Manonabike

    Manonabike Über Member

    In the winter months I wear a bandana over the mouth, specially when it's cold and it makes a big difference. Not even a hint of the symptoms which otherwise would force me to use the ventolin inhaler.
  5. The Gamble

    The Gamble Regular

    Manchester / Leeds
    I'm an asthmatic too and have always carried my Ventolin in my back pocket as a precautionary measure, although I wouldn't suggest relying on a puff or two for support if you really don't need it. The endurance exercise will be great for your lungs naturally. I do take a hay fever tablet though, as mentioned above! Can do without a snotty nose while I'm rallying down a steep hill! :bicycle:
  6. hobbygirl

    hobbygirl Active Member

    i am asthmatic and need my inhaler most days, i double up on the preventative a day before and on the day of cycling. make sure i always have inhalers and charged mobile with me. i also agree with the advice of covering my mouth if it is chilly to help warm the air
  7. defy-one

    defy-one Guest

    I take my preventer every morning and evening. As my weight has reduced I'm using my Ventolin less and less. Cycling has definitely helped my lung capacity and general well being. Will try the bandana over the mouth when cooler weather arrives.
  8. Feastie

    Feastie Senior Member

    Depends on your route and whether you cycle in traffic or not, but if you do, it's possible that some of your asthma is perhaps reactive to the fumes? I'd had no asthma since I was about 5 years old until I moved to London and started cycling to places. Now I cycle a different (less busy) route, try to run only in parks etc. but have still had to go get some inhalers off the Drs. Can't wait to leave!

    Of course, you may have exercise asthma and so the pollution levels may be irrelevant, but if you do cycle in traffic and think on reflection there might be any exacerbation or link, it might be worth changing it just as an experiment to see if there's any effect.
  9. I'm a moderately severe asthmatic. Ventolin, Clenil 250 (steroid preventative 2 doses 4 times a day), 4 sets of different asthma tablets plus another inhaler if it gets out of control, and steroids each and every time I get ill. I also can't have aspirin, ibrupofen (NSAIDs) or any dairy products. Many over the counter medicines are also out.

    I still cycle, I still swim, I still hike usually in the winter.

    As a result of my asthma medication, I have adrenal gland issues, I don't produce enough cortisol - goggle it and you will work out the implications - a very good reason not to double up on any of your medication (I didn't, it is just how bad my asthma has become - I have been resusitated twice so far, so don't under estimate your asthma).

    I take my normal medication when out cycling, I don't double up. There are major long term side effects of preventers (though in my case I would be dead without them so there is not much point in worrying too much about the side effects!)
    If you find that you are needing too much ventolin whilst cycling, speak to your GP. Ventolin can cause an increased heart rate, and weaker heart beats, so it is a balancing act. If you are taking significantly more when cycling, then speak with GP.

    The bottom line, is that the fitter you are, the less it is a problem and it should not stop you doing taking any exercise.
    If you are struggling with your asthma whilst riding, ease off the pace and let the symptoms ease. Over a couple of weeks this should ease off completely, if it does not - GP visit.
    It is harder in the morning at first wrt asthma and tight chestedness/wheezing and much easier by the end of the day in my experience. The one time I discussed this with my GP when I was much younger, I was basically told that was normal.
    It is harder when it is colder and covering your mouth and nose does help. So does being fit.
    I also find it harder, much harder when the trees are in flower or a thunderstorm is due, so learn to watch your warning signs...

    I personnally would also recommend a medical alert bracelet - especially if you are cycling alone like a commute. If you are in an accident, or having major issues with your asthma, you are not going to be able to talk. Pointing to a bracelet & turning it over if needed so people can see will quickly get you the help you need; the card that comes with it can details your medication/GP (if you want to) can also be very helpful for medical staff treating you.
  10. OP
    Philip Roberts

    Philip Roberts Regular

    Horndean, Hants
    thanks for that a really detailed and comprehensive response, i think the medical bracelet is a good idea.
  11. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    Like MattHB and others I take a blue inhaler with me in case, but I've not needed it for over a year. The standard medication works.

    Also, like others I carry emergency medical/contact information on a card in my pocket and on the bike in case of an accident/asthma.

    Having done the King of the Pennines last Sunday, it's an example of why it shouldn't stop you!
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