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TOPIC: Asthma?

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March 20, 2013 12:07 AM
Does anyone on here have asthma? Anyone take the steroid inhaler Qvar? I started taking it a year ago, around the time my boyfriend and I started dating, and within a year I have gained 20 lbs. My boyfriend is a chef so I have definitely indulged more in the past year than normal, but I have also been skeptical about the inhaler. I know that steroids influence weight gain but is that true for inhaled steroids? On a different note, do you asthmatics have trouble running long distances? Qvar has helped me substantially but i continue to struggle with long distance runs. I am participating in a 3k race in may and am very worried about how i will handle it :/ Any advice fellow asthmatics?
March 20, 2013 12:19 AM
I have asthma too. I use advair as well as a proair inhaler as needed. I have to admit I don't take my advair all the time - I take it twice a day but usually only when I find my asthma is being triggered often (really cold, bad allergies, starting a new workout routine). I've never noticed any change in my weight when I'm using the advair. My asthma is triggered by exercise and I find running is particularly bothersome for me. However, the more I train the easier it gets. I did the c25k program last year and at first my asthma was awful; I used my advair everyday and still struggled. I felt like I could never catch my breath and coughed so much I started to gag. I tried using my proair inhaler before running and it helped immensely. By the time I was done with the program I didn't have to use either inhaler and could keep up my normal pace. I'm not sure if you really love running or not but you may find other exercises easier on your asthma - I know running is the worst for me, I don't have problems on the elliptical or swimming, but I have a asthmatic friend that runs marathons yet is bothered by swimming.
March 20, 2013 12:34 AM
When I run I make sure I either take my inhaler (Ventolin) before the run, or otherwise I try to keep it with me just in case. I find the more I train consistently the less likely I am to need it. Stronger lungs is actually a great perk to getting fitter!
There is a South African triathlete that competes in (and wins) the Iron Man - he races with his inhaler in his tri-suit. ( He has proved that asthma doesn't need to limit what you can acheive if it is controlled properly.
I wouldn't be able to comment about Qvar because it looks as though Ventolin is a different class of treatment. Maybe chat to your doctor about what inhalers are safe for use while exercising. Good luck for the race. happy
March 20, 2013 12:50 AM
Thanks for your comments. Qvar is a steroid inhaler I use twice a day to maintain lung strength. I also have a ventolin inhaler that I take with me to the gym and use as an emergency inhaler. The Qvar is treated like a daily medicine and due to the high doses of steroids I have worried it might influence weight gain. I have yet to discuss this with a doctor but plan too in the near future. Just curious if anyone else using steroid inhalers has had similar feelings. I am hoping that eventually with enough training my asthma will lessen on its own so I can stop using Qvar. We shall see!
March 20, 2013 5:12 AM
Inhaled corticosteroids affect your body differently than systemic steroids (such as prednisone which you take as a pill). They should not cause any weight gain. I had some reservations about this but either one of the nurses I work with or a nurse instructor that I had in school explained this to me.

The steroids you are inhaling are more focused and work on the part of the body that they come into contact with ie: your airways. They work to decrease the amount of inflammation in your airways and prevent an asthma attack which causes mucus production and airway constriction.

Hope this helps!

ETA: I saw that you mentioned that you have been struggling with exercising. If you have exercise induced asthma you can try using your rescue inhaler (albuterol, prohair, ventolin) 5-30 minutes before exercising.
If you want to use both the steroid (long acting) and the short acting inhaler you should use the the fast acting one first to open up your lungs and then take the steroid a few minutes later. Be sure to rinse out your mouth after using the steroid inhaler because it can cause a fungal infection called thrush.

FYI: I am in my last semester of nursing school and I've had asthma all of my life but you should definitely talk to your doctor as well.
Edited by hbm616 On March 20, 2013 5:16 AM

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