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2013-06-14 6:00 PM
in reply to: spie34

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
I've had asthma since I was four and I'm rather shocked they'd tell you to stop endurance activities. My medicines include advair 250/50, singular and combivent as a rescue inhaler. Three days prior to an event I take slightly more of the long lasting meds

I have had occasions during training where I've needed the rescue inhaler, but never anything during a race


2013-06-14 6:24 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
Originally posted by erik.norgaard

Regarding Symbicort and doping, FYI: I've checked it out, as far as I can see up to WADA permits up to 54mg formoterol per 24hs which just happens to be the maximum dosis (12x4.5mg) specified for this medicine. Until a few days ago I thought all asthma medicine was exempted.


Don't worry about doping. What you should do is to get the right medication for your asthma, but have your doctor write a letter stating that this is for a medical condition and necessary. Then contact your national triathlon organization and file a disclaimer from the doping list for the specific medication. As long as you have sufficient evidence, you can do that. As an age grouper, you should be perfectly covered in an advent of a doping test (which for most of us, probably will never happen, unfortunately.)
2013-06-14 7:49 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma

Originally posted by audiojan  Don't worry about doping. What you should do is to get the right medication for your asthma, but have your doctor write a letter stating that this is for a medical condition and necessary. Then contact your national triathlon organization and file a disclaimer from the doping list for the specific medication. As long as you have sufficient evidence, you can do that. As an age grouper, you should be perfectly covered in an advent of a doping test (which for most of us, probably will never happen, unfortunately.)

I would file the paperwork first if I were the OP and I really wanted to compete in races governed by organizations with doping controls.

There is no guarantee that an application for exemption will be approved even with a doctors prescription, recommendation, evidence, etc. 



Edited by Jason N 2013-06-14 7:51 PM
2013-06-15 1:34 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma

I'm not sure if this applies to you, but check your area for an Asthma and Allergy specialist clinic.  We have a good one where I live.  They can offer you options you might not have considered.  You mentioned pollen, so think about letting a specialist do a workup on you and possibly start you on a desensitization treatment.

Even if it doesn't get you 100% of the way there, it could reduce your medication requirements.  Just a thought.

2013-06-15 3:24 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard


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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
Originally posted by erik.norgaard

Originally posted by jarvy01

My protocol is effective for me at this time. Has your doctor suggested trying another med?

*edited to add that I did HIM last year. I'm training for IMMT right now. It can be done!


I have to check the medicine you use, maybe it goes by a different name here.

Doc has added Montelukast and upped the dose of Symbicort. My GP once said I could take an extra dose of Symbicort if I felt I needed it, but with the increase in regular dose this is no longer possible.

I'm still considering doing a HIM in September, definitely got some lessons on the first one.

Have you any concern with race medics not being trained to treat asthma?

Thanks, Erik


Asthma management is simple yet very difficult! If you haven't already, do the following.
1. Control your environment (get rid of carpets, smoke, dust, pets etc..)
2. Take your medication REGULARLY; try to never miss a dose
3. Train and race smart; if the condition aren't favourable for your asthma (high smog, high allergen) - alter or skip

Montelukast should respond well to the environmental (allergic) component of your asthma. Do you have seasonal allergies? If so, you may benefit from altering locations and dates of your longer races to areas and times were the allergens are at their lowest. Symbicort combines a steroid (for the inflammatory component of the asthma) and a LONG (see SLOW) acting medication to relax the muscles around your ''wind pipes''. You WILL NOT get any benefits if you use it during the race. Symbicort must be taken regularly. You should always have your ''rescue inhaler'' ie. Ventolin with you. Ventolin is your SHORT (see FAST) acting brochodilator. You shouldn't have to rely on ''race medics'' for much. If you race in any industrialized country, any emergency health care practitioner will be familiar with treatment of asthma exacerbations. Just so you know the treatment…here goes in a somewhat stepwise order of severity.

1. Stop and rest
2. Ventolin, ventolin and more ventolin (and atrovent, depending on where you are)
3. Add on some oxygen
4. Add on some steroids
5. Add on some intravenous medications, mixed gases and intubation

Steps 1 to 3 can be done by on course staff or the medical tent and will likely significantly help you. If you're at step 4 and 5, you're in the hospital.

Lastly, try working with you're specialist. It's never a bad thing to get another (2 or 3 or4!) opinion or options for treatment but be careful of doctor shopping for the answer you want. You're health is more important than a race. Good luck!
2013-06-15 3:28 PM
in reply to: TheClaaaw


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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
Originally posted by TheClaaaw

I have no knowledge of asthma or what an on-site medic is likely to be able to handle.

I would only throw out this perspective: there is a growing trend that I have observed, unscientifically, and anecdotally, and only you can sense whether the patrern fits the advice you've been given. But a pattern is this: the medical establishment is so afraid of being sued, that the default position is transforming. The medical professional does not want to be on record telling a paent that they are able to do something. If you suffer severe repercussions, and sue them based on "you told me I could," there's probably a jury out there that would be sympathetic. So, that could be a factor, they throw out these general platitutdes about physical activity, but if they tell you it's ok to run, that's specific. Yet, if you live a sedentary lifestyle and that leads to being prescribed fifteen medications by your doctor, they are considered to be doing a great job.



Very true in the US but not in the rest of the world.


2013-06-15 3:57 PM
in reply to: divemed06

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
Divemed06 is right on. Be carefull about doctor shopping to find the answer you want to hear. The second opinion isn't always the best. Make sure the doctor has access to all of your old records including good and bad. If you have evidence of pulmonary hypertension or cardiac dysfunction, a conservative approach to your treatment and lifestyle may give you a longer, healthier life.

All of us need to remember, more is not better. There is an increasing body on evidence that marathons and ultras will decrease your lifespan. It is a risk we all take and just need to keep it in perspective. When your friends tell you they don't do marathons because marathons kill you, just mention you do triathlons and not marathons.
2013-06-16 8:53 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
Originally posted by divemed06

Asthma management is simple yet very difficult! You're health is more important than a race. Good luck!


Thanks for your long reply, lots of good info. You're right, health is more important than racing!

I don't think I'm yet where I have to give up training or racing, fortunately I haven't been beyond step 3. But I do need to work with my medication, and surely any dreams of doing a full IM are on hold till I feel things are under control.

I find it difficult to plan racing according to environmental factors, each year is so different, and I'm further handicapped in that most races are at the coast some 400km from where I live, with a different microclimate. But maybe I should favour earlier spring races ahead of the pollen season and late autumn.

Where I live government have been criticised for moving pollution monitoring stations away from main congestion roads to get "better" data - that is results that show less pollution

Thanks again, Erik

Edited by erik.norgaard 2013-06-16 8:53 AM
2013-06-16 8:57 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
There are different levels of pre-hospital training at least i nthe US. Typically first responders, EMT-basics, EMT-intermediates and EMT-paramedcs

First resonders basically are able to stop bleeding, render first aid and immobilize patients while waiting for EMTs/Medics. They do not transport adn do nto give medications.

EMT Basics can do first aid, immobilization, deliver babies precipitously!, and administer oxygen. They can help a patient administer about 6 or 7 other medications if the patient already has them..tings like aspirin, albuterol, epi pen.

EMT intermediates can start IVs

EMT Paramedics can do everything adn are all well trained in the recognition and treatment of both asthma AND hypoglycemia. administering oxygen, checking saturations, listening to lungs and checkign a blood sugar are pretty much reflex actions by paramedics.


That being said, you can get a road ID bracelet or medic alert bracelet with yoru history and meds printed right on it.
2013-06-16 9:05 AM
in reply to: 0

Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma


Edited by jdl2012 2013-06-16 9:06 AM
2013-06-16 7:46 PM
in reply to: #4776160


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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
This is my first post on beginner triathlete.com because I was really compelled by this topic. I have had asthma most of my life (i'm 38). I was hospitalized several times as a teenager for asthma and never participated in sports as a kid because of it. I am very well-controlled with a cocktail of dulera (like advair-I'm actually going to switch back to advair), nasonex, singular and Zyrtec. Asthma treatment is much more sophisticated these days and if you stay regular with your treatment (don't skip doses or days), you should be able to maintain an active lifestyle. That's what I've always been told by my allergists. I have run 2 marathons, numerous road races and a sprint tri. You may also want to investigate allergy shots, which really help manage asthma triggers.


2013-06-16 11:42 PM
in reply to: erik.norgaard


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Subject: RE: Doc said no more triathlon due to asthma
There seems to be lots of various replies, so I may as well add my 2 cents. I'm not a Dr, or anything associated with the medical profession, but I am an asthmatic....

As a child, and in my teens my asthma was really bad - resulting in hospitalisation twice ....

My doctor (years ago) suggested I take up swimming specifically to assist with my asthma - increasing fitness, staying lean/fit and having an improved lung capacity were keys in improving my asthma. My various doctors over the years have maintained the same info - essentially telling me that long distance sports, and various events are good at keeping my asthma in check. ....

the one thing they don't want me doing is sitting on the lounge, putting on weight, eating crap and not doing anything to help myself....

Long story short, the fitter I get, the less and less I notice my asthma....

I went from being a regular user of preventatives (becotide and intal - not sure what they may be marketed as in the US) and always carrying my ventolin everywher - to someone who hardily ever uses anything now (mid 30's).

I may have an asthamtic episode (change in climate, summer storms here in Australia, pollen when in the northern hemisphere) which kicks off the asthma), and I get a top-up of something like Seratide (again, not sure of the names of drugs in the US).

In fact, each time I buy a new inhaler, it ends up being so long between use that I have no idea where I left it, or it goes out of date....

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