Friday, February 1, 2013

Exercise-Induced Asthma ... or, Oh, Shit, I Forgot About That

Way, way back in the day -- like, 15 or so years ago -- when I started taking martial arts classes, I learned a new term:  Exercise-Induced Asthma.  Can I tell you how much it sucks, to finally start working out regularly, pushing your body to do new things, only to have your lungs refuse to work properly?  Yeah.  So I carried my little inhaler to class with me and would dutifully take a hit before class started.  It worked well, and just became a part of my routine.

Fast forward 15 relatively-sedentary years.  I've used an inhaler less than 5 times in the last 10 years, outside of a nasty bout of bronchitis that landed me in the hospital.  I don't even HAVE one anymore, that's how much thought I give asthma on a day-to-day basis.

Well I got a refresher yesterday, when I was introduced to Suicide Sprints in 50*F weather.


I actually made it through the "warm-up" (not sprinting, though) AND the rest of the killer workout without falling out, but I had a delightful cough the rest of the evening and my chest still hurts 16 hours later.  I really, REALLY don't want to start using an inhaler again.  :(  A quick google search on asthma and crossfit netted some handy-dandy info, though:

"Exercise induced asthma is often caused by breathing in cold air, which causes inflammation in the lungs. This happens when you are exercising and breathing in a lot of cold air through your mouth. Sometimes it results in a cough that lasts well after the exercise. It is a common issue in speedskating since it is obviously cold and they are gasping for air - it is known in speedskating as the 1500 meter cough."

Yeah, that's pretty much what happened yesterday.  So breathing through the nose helps to warm the air before it hits your lungs and is supposed to help.  I also found some interesting research on using CLO to treat asthma.  I haven't been taking CLO but I sure as heck plan to start back, ASAP.  And there was some anecdotal info on higher doses of vitamin D3 helping with asthma symptoms, so I'll up that a bit too.  I'm taking 5,000 iui/day now (when I remember); the dose that's supposed to help is 8,000 iui/day.  I can do that.  :)

I sure hope to nip this in the bud.  I'm having too much fun to stop now!