How to fight exercise-triggered asthma

Published On: Jan 07 2013 02:40:32 PM CST

Are you suffering from shortness of breath when you workout? Doctors can test to see if you suffer from exercise-triggered asthma.

"I was in absolute terrible pain from my legs and I couldn't figure out what the deal was. I couldn't even get myself to breathe heavily," said Nick Boulle.

Boulle is an avid cyclist, but one day some scary symptoms hit.  He had no idea what was wrong, and saw multiple doctors, but no one could figure it out.

"I couldn't finish a simple race... I couldn't get through a workout," said Boulle.

Finally, he met with pulmonologist, Dr. Mark Millard.

"We have to sometimes do a series of tests, challenge tests to airways to try and understand why something is happening, causing that sense of shortness of breath," said Dr. Millard.  

After a series of tests, Dr. Millard figured out exactly what was wrong with Boulle -- exercise triggered asthma.

"And in Nick's case, we had to do a series of tests to finally figure out exactly what was the problem, and that also gave us a clue into using medicines that weren't historically used for asthma to help improve his symptoms," said Dr. Millard.

Boulle's new treatments have been a success. 

"I am back to the point where I can at least ride every day. It's a huge change, much better than it was," said Boulle.

Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include coughing, tightening of the chest, wheezing, unusual fatigue and shortness of breath.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms with exercise, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor.