It’s been great hearing that others have run into the “You mean it’s asthma, not just that I’m fat?” experience. Thought you would be interested in this, from the American College of Physicians Home Medical Guide: Asthma ….
Main symptoms of asthma:
- Wheezing: May occur with or without shortness of breath in response to a trigger or for no obvious reason.
- Shortness of breath: Often associated with wheezing or coughing, but may occur alone.
- Coughing: A sputum-producing or dry cough may be one of the signs of asthma.
- Chest Tightness: Although often a symptom of asthma, chest tightness may be mistaken for a heart problem in older people.
It’s noted that most of these are also symptoms of other problems, and all 4 can be symptoms of chronic bronchitis (although chest tightness is less common in bronchitis). So diagnosis can require trial and error.
Exercise is listed as one of the most common triggers for asthma.
Exercise is a common trigger in asthma and may often be the only thing that brings on asthmatic symptoms. The problem is that shortness of breath on exertion is often attributed to weakness or not being in shape rather than asthma. […]
In some children, after the first episode of wheezing with exercise, there often follows a period when they can run and play for a long time without problems. Sometimes, this so-called refractory period has the unfortunate effect of reinforcing to a skeptical teacher or class-mate that the child was just trying to get out of gym.
Really. So much makes more sense now.