"Exercise Induced Asthma" Best sources of information on best treatment

My daughter is normally a sprinter in Track, 100m/200m/400m and occasional 800m… she especially loves the 400m.

She used to also run cross country in the Fall, but she found that she didn’t finish that well, had problems with exhaustion, chest compression towards the end of the races. We just assumed she was more of a short distance runner, and she only turned out for Track the past 2 years.

This past Track season, my daughter was disappointed that her performance was lacking. She also noticed more that when sprinting any distance, that when she nears 100m and beyond, she could feel her chest compress, less able to get air, and becoming exhausted even though her muscles felt fine.

She started the 9th grade in High School this year. Late May of last Spring, some of the girls from the High School talked my daughter into joining cross country, and training started in early June.
About mid-summer, the cross country coach (who is also the Track coach) asked Keana to have blood work done to check for low iron or low ferrin.
Her blood tested, and after talking with her and doing a couple simple tests, the doctor told her he thought she had Exercise Induced Asthma" and prescribed her an Albuteral inhaler.
It was also found that she had low ferrin count, low red blood cell count, and low hemoglobin, so she has been taking Proferrin to help with this, and after about a month, she has noticed a big difference in endurance.
The first time she used the inhaler, she was very happy. She said she could feel her lungs expand and her chest didn’t compress while running.

This has not been a cure though. She has had a couple of episodes of her chest compressing causing early exhaustion and slowing her running. She finishes her races, but she is totally spent and hyperventilates while trying to catch her breath.

She only sees this problem as occasional and only serious in the fact that it effects her performance. She loves running more than anything, and couldn’t imagine not being able to push herself or do what it takes to win. Each race she runs she pushes herself to the limit.
Of course, I see it differently and worry as it could be a health risk.

The cross country team won state last year (both the boys team and girls team, boys are #22 in nation now) and are rated the same this year in the coaches poll.
My daughter has worked so hard and has made the girls varsity squad.

I am waiting to hear back from a “Asthma and Allergy” clinic, where they will do tests and hopefully help her.

Anyones experiences with this, knowledge or sources would be greatly appreciated.


Rich, I am not a doctor, no where near it.

Around 3 years ago a girl whom I used to assist in coaching was diagnosed with the same thing. She was picked up by a sport school. The only things that changed was at her school, the coach there increased the intensity and volume of training (hard work won’t kill you was the coaches reasoning). Put this on top of her normal training.

Before the increase in training she was fit and was winning the races that counted. Anyway I put it down to something like CNS burnout.

Thank you for sharing your experience. My daughter may be going through the same thing.

They practice Monday thru Friday after school, 3 hours per day. Then, On Monday/Wednesday/Friday, they have an additional warm-up/practice at 6am until 7:30am.
On Monday/Wednesday/Friday both Morning and after school practices are light, low-intensity, low volume and alot of stretching. After most all practices they have an ice bath.

Since the asthma became more of an issue, the coach has given my daughter twice as much recovery time, and more rest breaks, and has replaced alot of the long distance running with circuit drills.

Yesterday, she ran in a big local meet, instead of varsity, the coach had her run the Frosh race, as he didn’t want her to push herself as much. But, she felt pain in her lungs for the 1st time.
After she got into about 1/3 of the race, she said she felt her chest compress and her lungs hurt.
Again, at the end of the race, she was totally spent, not getting enough air…she collapsed at the finish line and had to be assisted by the meet doctor who helped her sit up and catch her breath. It took about 10 minutes before she stopped hyperventilalating, and breathing more normal.
Another 10 minutes before she could talk. She doesn’t remember collapsing, nothing until she got up.

I lectured her on her not stopping or at least slowing to a jog when her lungs started hurting, as that is specifically what the Doctor said to do. I think I am going to wait until she is tested before I let her race again.
Surprisingly, even though she had so much trouble, she still finished 12th out of over 70 runners.

Tomorrow I am calling the Asthma & Allergy clinic and see if I can accelerate the process. I have already gotten her EKG done last week from her doctor and her doctor has already done the referral, it’s just a matter of getting the testing done.

I have done alot of reading on the net and there is so much to this, and so many different examples. I have also read that 1/4 of Olympic runners have asthma and there are many champion marathon runners who also suffere from it.
That does give us some hope for treatment so she can enjoy running or a cure would be even better!

Thank you for your response and example, it is very much appreciated.


I wonder, have you looked at how she breaths whilst running?
Short shallow breaths, both before the gun go off, and during the efforts.

It may seem too simple - but it can cause huge issues

Yes, you may have something there. I need to have someone monitor her breathing somehow as she runs, as she just may be breathing to quick/shallow.
I have read that breathing hard, fast and too deeply can dry the lungs and trigger the asthma symptoms.

Thank you for adding to my list of things to look and and questions for the doctors, it is greatly appreciated!


Check out PowerBreathe. A lady in England created it and has done her career research in sports breathing topics. I have heard good things about it.

Very interesting! I never knew these type of devices existed…and I found others that are also praised. Thank you very much for the information!
Very good news indeed!


Wrong Diagnosis, NOT Asthma!!!

Took my daughter to the Asthma and Allergy clinic, and after extensive testing and shoving things down sinus and in her mouth…it was determined that she does not have asthma!
Very good news!

But… what she has is just as debilitating…

her new diagnosis is: “Vocal Chord Dysfunction” and “Hyperventilation Syndrome”

During the testing, the Doctor had my daughter run lines until the symptoms showed up, then quickly inserted the scope down her sinus and viewed her vocal chords.
Even though she hadn’t ran that much, her vocal chords had substantially blocked part of her airway, about 1/4 of the area!
I can just imagine how much blockage she has while running her 5K cross country races! Of which, the Doctor was amazed she could run any distance at all, let alone being a 9th grader on the girls Varsity squad…that won 1st place last Saturday in Regionals and going to State this Saturday…last year Both the Boys and Girls Varsity won 1st place at 4A State Championships.

She has consistantly complained of her chest compressing about 1/3 to halfway of the races, and she just pushes herself to finish…while the last part of the race she starts hyperventilating and collapses at the finish each time…hyperventilating for about 10 to 20 minutes before finally regaining her normal breathing…but not able to speak for awhile longer.

Today she went to her first “breathing therapy” and we were further surprised, as was the therapist…as my daughter, even when sitting casually, breaths very very shallow, only using the upper part of her lungs, and she has NEVER breathed using her diaphram…
She was breathing 4 to 5 very shallow breaths to every one of mine or the therapists.
Even after going outside and running lines for the Therapist, she still only breathed very shallow, very very fast breaths.

The therapist said she was only using about 1/4 of her lung capacity, and she was also stumped as to how my daughter could run cross country.

I didn’t notice this for all these years, but after the therapist pointed it out, it is now so obvious.

So now, my daugher will go to breathing therapy re-learn how to breath properly, re-program the vocal chords, control the hyperventilation and exercise her diaphram muscles and learn to breath from her diaphram…

Both the Doctor and the therapist said that after she does all the above, her performance should improve greatly…my daughter has taken this on as a new challenge and is excited about getting rid of this huge problem.

I’m just so happy that it’s NOT Asthma…as that really had me scared…so many times I was going to make her quit cross country, but she begged me to let her compete…

After she gets her breathing under control, she also wants to try one of the breathing excercisers, such as what ESTI suggested…this should help her too, since she does not really use her lung muscles to breathe.

A very very releaved Parent!


Well, there you go! Glad you have it all worked out - fantastic.

Wow. Great call.

I would also look into Alexander Technique exercises for posture. Recently I came across some thoughts and ideas about neck alignment and breathe.

Thank you again for another tip ESTI! I will check that website out.

I have been looking this website http://www.normalbreathing.com/ over, it has a wealth of information…are you familiar with any of this?

Again, thanks for your help!


Boldwarrior, thanks for your earlier post, as you were right about the short/shallow breathing.


Good find. Certainly makes you think