Out of Shape vs. Exercise-Induced Asthma

One of the things about Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA): some of the symptoms could be mistaken for just being out of shape.  General symptoms for each are

Out of shape:

  1. Winded easily
  2. Fatigue
  3. Poor athletic performance

Exercise-Induced Asthma:

  1. Prolonged shortness of breath
  2. Fatigue
  3. Coughing
  4. Wheezing
  5. Chest tightness/pain
  6. Poor athletic performance

So, how do you tell the difference?  One of the biggest clues for me was how long I felt like I was out of breath.  Post exercising, my breathing was off for much longer than anyone I ever exercised with (winded easily vs. prolonged shortness of breath).  Another big clue was when running with a friend of mine who decided to tackle a marathon.  We started out running the same time, she followed a marathon plan and I was there to keep her company on her runs.  She quickly surpassed me in mileage and completed her marathon, whereas I never ran more than 2 miles at a time.  I ran with her for months and was never able to run more than 2 miles.  It is expected that if you have never run before that you might not be able to go very far when starting out.  However, there is supposed to be some progression over time, which I didn’t experience.

After I noticed the biggest clue (prolonged shortness of breath), and looked up EIA, is when I paid attention to the other symptoms.  Was I coughing and wheezing when running?  Yes.  Did I experience fatigue during/after exercise?  Yes.  One symptom I didn’t find a lot of reference to but is mentioned a lot as a “cause” was airway constriction.  Does it feel like you are trying to breathe through a straw?  Is it hard to move air into and out of your lungs quickly? Yes!

After paying attention to what my body had been trying to tell me, I sought advice from my doctor and am now working out a treatment plan.  Now my muscles that need to catch up with my breath.

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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Weekly Update

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