The Skinny Daily Post™

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from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Monday, August 25, 2003  

Asthma Redux

Okay! Okay! Okay!

Alright, already.

I thank you all for recent mail and posts and calls, and your various concerns. You can slow it down now, because it worked. I have heard you all loudly and clearly. I am chastised. I am chagrined.

I am carrying my rescue inhaler everywhere, and especially when I go out running. I am back on my maintenance medication.

I will attend to my asthma. I will.

Well okay, so another writer contacted me, based on my last post, because she was working on an article about people who are "in denial about their asthma." Apparently, there are a lot of us.

In her article -- if she found our interview useful -- I will portray one of the many thousands of us who have not helped asthma matters one little bit. I will represent those of us who in one way or another, maybe without realizing it, buy into the age-old stigma about asthma, thereby helping to perpetuate the stigma by pretending we don't have the disease. Follow?

So though I started to out myself in a back-handed way in the last post, I'm going to be as public as I can be about this asthma thing from now on. Okay? My name is Julie, and I have asthma, and I've likely had it for a very, very long time. And I will carry my inhalers, and learn about this thing, and exercise wisely, with caution, and in such a way that I am guaranteed to never, ever upset either my readers or my mommie again.

So I scanned for asthma info last night, and for information on exercise-induced asthma in particular. Among the most startling things I learned is how many more people have asthma today than in years past, and how many more people develop asthma in later years than we used to.

There is a lot of untreated asthma out there, it turns out. You may have it yourself, without realizing it. It may be the reason you struggled so in those horrible wind sprints in gym class. It may be the reason you hate playing in the cold. It may have everything to do with the breathlessness you feel in aerobics class, or the reason you don't like to walk in the late summer.

If you lose your breath easily while exercising, if your chest hurts when you breathe, if you get bronchitis every year, if you cough a lot and don't know why, if sometimes it feels as if there is a large pachyderm sitting on your chest, it's worth asking your doctor to check you for asthma. If your child lacks interest in playing with their friends, if they are easily winded, if they have to stop a lot while playing to catch their breath, it's worth asking the question, isn't it?

Because you don't have to wheeze to have it. You can have it and be mostly symptom free. I never have asthma symptoms until I get into certain situations -- exposure to allergens or exercise, my personal triggers - that start an asthma attack for me.

If you know you have asthma, then it's worth also being tested for allergies, so you know how to manage your condition. If you have trouble breathing and have acid reflux disease, discuss asthma with your providers. You can work with your family doctor, or a pulmonologist and/or an allergist to manage your condition over time. Pulmonologists specialize in all diseases of the lungs, allergists help identify and control responses to allergens.

If you're an athlete, and you think you may have asthma, by all means, get tested, because the medicine will help your performance measurably.

If you'd like to be an athlete, get tested, for the same reason.

Why? Well, it turns out oxygen is necessary to life. It turns out that asthma, left untreated can not only lead to death, but also brain damage, tissue damage of other sorts, all manner of degeneration, not to mention a pretty poor quality of life.

There are good meds, and better ones coming all the time.

Read up, ask your medical team, donate to the researchers, and take your meds,


Asthma and Athletes, Newsday
Living Well with Asthma
Can I Still Play Football with the Lads?
When to see an asthma specialist

Want to discuss today's Post? Vist The Skinny Daily Forum at

posted by Julie |

(Shameless attention-grabbing post)

Oh look. The diet blogs get a plug in Amy's great piece in the NY Times:

Finding Comfort in Strangers With an Online Diet Journal

If this link doesn't work, go to, and do a search on "amy harmon" Use the quotation marks, and you'll find all the pieces she's written lately.

Real post coming soon.

(/Shameless attention-grabbing post)

posted by Julie |
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