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asthma and freediving?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.
fpernett

fpernett

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Nov 7, 2001
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Hi Paul,
Those are the marvelous things about adaptation.
The high altitude natives does have pulmonary hypertension, and extreme polyglobulia (high Hb), but this doesn't correlate with pathology. Dr. Saldaña made an study in people from andin region and found hypertrophy of carotid body in a lot of woman, without any disease. But High Altitude has some problems theres is Monge's disease that is like chronic mountain sickness, the patients lost the high altitude tolerance and get extreme polyglobulia, severe hypoxemia and reduced mental and physical capacity.
The sleep apnea syndrome occurs mainly in obese, sedentary people, a physical profile quite different of an athete, also the diet is important because hypoxemia releases a lot of superoxygen and reactive oxygen species.
I do believe in hypoxic training, in fact is all I made, despite living at moderate altitude, but we need to prepare our body for the hypoxemic stress.
That is the difference between pathology and physiologic adaptation.
 
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MattHolt

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Increased peak flow following CO2 tables

Ive been doing a few CO2 tables recently and am now absolutley convinced that in my case they reduce bronchial constriction. To test this I have been taking a peak flow measurement immediately before and after the table. Before the last 3 tables I have done I measured my peak flow to be 600 l/min (about normal for me), after the table this had increased to between 680 and 700 l/min (average of three measuremnts). Problem is I have not really been suffering from asthma lately so Im not sure if this data is particarly meaningful? Should I be taking any other measurments to make this more meaningful data?

I am guessing that no research has been done on the benefits of freediving breathing techniques for asthmatics? Ive been thinking about looking further into this. Can any one provide any useful links or info? What would be ideal is a large group of freediving asthmatics willing to do lots of PF measurements - any volunteers?

Also - slightly off topic but ive been reading a bit about a breathing technique known as Buteyko which is reportedly beneficial to astmatics. Does any one know anything about this and its possible applicatuion to freediving?

Sorry to ask so many questions. Any help much appreciated.

Matt
 
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pbarnes

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many apologies... it's taken me over a year to reply to this! I also have a strong suspicion that over the last few months, regular breath holds have improved my lung function. If you do ever hear of any trials (or even oranise some experiments yourself!) send me an email and I'd be happy to take part.

Pete
 
SanSan

SanSan

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hey

here's another freediver whith bronchitis and astma. Actualy I'm quite better the last years and my problems vanished about 2 years ago when I started training apnea...

My astma was qite bad in my yunger years so on doctors orders I was totali avoiding sports till my 16-17 year. I remeber once we measured our vital capacity at school (I was 13) and i got the lowest score in the whole class. Eaven the girsl beat me. I did 2,8 l...

I had a polmulary checkup at my 18y (btw. I'm 25 now) and did a bit better. I'll try to find my results because I have another checkup on 18. this month and will try to compare them. Im expecting a great improvement due to my recent physioligicaly condition and apnea results. The only thing that worryes me are my allergies that still cause my a lot of mochous and I feel my lung capacitiy getting smaller.

Well I'll keep u posted on my results. :)
 
Florance

Florance

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pbarnes said:
Do any of you have any experience?

With warmest regards,
Pete


hi,

Unfortunately I dont have any experience with asthma related to freediving. But I have done my degree work on how swimming can be a good effect on asthma + and there is a column where I talk about how does swimming and breath hold helps asthmatic syndromes.

if you want I can translete a few sentences from it :p

Aniko
 
SanSan

SanSan

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Florance said:
if you want I can translete a few sentences from it :p

Sure.. It would be greatly appriciated.
 
SanSan

SanSan

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Add: sorry for the long post but I think it is interesting :duh

Hey guys and grils of course :)

Well it took me quite some time :duh but I managet it at last. I made my second spyrometric test 3 weeks ago. I also did a asma provoke test (hope this i right) and I scaned the results. I don't know much about this but i belive some of U will be able to do something with the numbers.

I also found a test I did 7 years ago but nothing before that.

Just for info, I had my last big astma atack about 10 years ago. I got my first atack when I was 9 months old and ended in the hospital for the first time. I wasn't aloved to do sports till I was 15 or 16. Then I started doing something on my own. First some kickboxing, some general fitness. I did that for 2 years 2 times a week. Than came 2 years of my lazyness again. I started with freediving about 2 years ago but I trained only 2 times a week for an hour in the pool. I had some moments when I trained more but this were exeptions. From this January I'm training really hard 5-6 times a week mostly for 2h a day.

I like it and I think I'll keep it up. Now my doctor said I have to make test every 3-4 months, so I will write in this post telling U about how much I trained and if any of the results will change. Maye I'll throw in my PB also.

Now here are the results of the test.
First the one frome 1998:
s1998.jpg


and the one form may 2005:
s2005-1.jpg


and the provoke test may 2005:
http://www.po-bitenc.si/forum/s2005-2.jpg

If anyone can comment this nubers please do so :).

I can only tell u what my doctor said. Well i made the test to get the medical for our national championships, and the dr. pulmologyst didn't wan't to aprove it. He said that I can do what sport I want but not at a competitive level. :( He said that I have a "latent bronchial astma". I passed the provoke test just by a bit.
He put out the resutl from Metaholin provoke test PD 20 FEV1 = 2,75l. I don't know what it means exactly so if anybody can help with this? I belive it has something to do with my bronchies closing and my volume capacitiy diminishing.
He said aslo that it si to danegrous if I get an astma atack during the dive that there is noone who can help me... I said I can take this risk being realy small so I went to get another opinion and got the medical and did really god on our nationals.

Here is my results progress:
2 years ago after a month of trainig apnea:
STA=4min
DYN=70m
DNF= didn't do at this time

1 year ago. 1 year of training 2 times a week:
STA=4min 30sec
DYN=76m
DNF=50m

The last year I progressed only a meter o 2 untill last beginning of may. And then my performances bursted unbelivably:
Nationals on 21st of may 2005:
STA=4min58s (my pb wet is 5.06 and dry 5.47)
DYN=107m (pb)
DNF=82(pb)

Ok enough for now :).
 
fpernett

fpernett

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Nov 7, 2001
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Hi SanSan
The bronchoprovocation Methacoline test is a test to rule out asthma when the spirometry is normal, as is your last one. Methacoline is a bronchoconstrictor and it`s nebulized until the FEV1 reduces 20% from baseline. In your case it`s normal. I don`t know if your doctor had found wheezing on examination, but the results are normal. I don`t think of a real danger in pool freediving, but deep freediving with bronchoconstriction is not good. If there is doubt regarding the diagnosis of asthma, I reccomend you to get a peak flow meter and test on a daily basis if you are thinking in deep freediving.
 
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naiad

Apnea Carp
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Oct 11, 2003
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A few weeks ago I developed asthma for the first time in my life. This happened after a very bad chest infection, but it continued after the infection had cleared up. I didn't have any asthma attacks, but every night the wheezing would get very bad. The doctor prescribed an inhaler and it made the wheezing better, but my breathing was still very 'bubbly' at night, and it was very difficult to get any training done. It was getting progressively worse despite treatment, and I was seriously worried about my health.

I decided to do some detective work about when and where it got worse. During the day there were hardly any symptoms, but within a few minutes of getting into bed, the trouble started. I always woke up at about 5 in the morning with breathing problems and had to use the inhaler to avoid serious blockages and more infections.

A few days ago I got a new anti-dust mite mattress, and replaced all my bedding with hypoallergenic ones which can be washed at high temperatures to kill dust mites.

I haven't had any asthma since. I haven't had to use my inhaler even once since I threw out the old mattress.

What a relief! Victory over asthma!

Lucia
 
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SanSan

SanSan

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HI

good for U Lucia. Nice to hear Ur fighting ur astma well. Althought be carefull because U only eliminated the problem that causes U to develope astma (the trigger) on one place. Also I don't think its good to train while U have trouble breathing. Phisical stress is also one of the triggers for astma so it could make things worse. Be gald ur only alergic to one thing. I have a long list of those. The worse is pollen (i guess u call it so) and I live a bit out half way to the counry...

Now the advice would be avoid dusty places and have ur inhaler allways with U. U just can't know when ull need it.

@fpernett
Thanks for the advice. I thought so that my doctor is exaggerating. I'll keep up my regular exams and see if anything changes.
btw. where could I get a peak flow meter and are those things expensive?
 
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fpernett

fpernett

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Hi San,
The peak flow meter, even an electronic one, will cost around 20-30 dollars. I don't know where U can get one in Slovenia. But in many health store places on Internet I think you can have one.
 
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SanSan

SanSan

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Hi all,

Just came back from another examination at a pulmologyst with some results. Unfortunately I don't have any graphs but my results did get up in just 3 months. My VC got up 3% so i'm above average now by 1% :). I also impoved all other results by few %. I was training realy hard for this 3 months and my apnea performaces are getting better and better. Im at 124m DYN now so for all U out there with asthma lots of sports does help if ur asthma is not tirggerd by phisical stress. I was listening a long time to the doctors sayng dont do any sports and missed out on lots of things...
 
Mr. X

Mr. X

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Paul Kotik said:
...The physiologist noted ( and I cannot verify this ) that a recent US olympic swimming team consisted almost entirely of asthmatics. ....
...If this is so, then a history of asthma may be associated with anatomical and physiological adaptations which would be an advantage to a freediver.
Alternatively, the USA swim team, their coach or their physician might have found that asthma medication is a permitted performance enhancing drug? At least that is what we always assumed ...they found something within the rules to give them an edge.

Having a close family member suddenly get extremely severe asthma (they had to give up exercise, including swimming & cannot even watch swimming now because of the air round the pool is so damp & chemical filled) -- it seemed laughable that America was fielding an entire team of asthmatics.

By the way, if you ever want to reduce dependency on inhalers -- you might want to investigate the Buteko Method ...used in Russia, US, UK & NZ IN CONSULTATION WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN (don't mess about with asthma -- too dangerous, it can get worse, it can kill) -- although many doctors are unaware of Buteko, there are doctors & nurses around that are familiar with it. A $35 video of the technique (from a Seattle clinic) was sufficient to see dramatic, real improvements & they have an effective technique for clearing a blocked nose & stopping an asthma attack. It is not a cure...but it really works. Part of the theory is that asthmatics hyperventilate because they have insufficient CO2 (not insufficient oxygen) -- apparently, years ago, asthamatics were given a small dose of CO2 rather than oxygen (I have seen oxygen be counter productive). The basic Buteko exercises involve a system of timed breath holding exercises -- so perhaps asthma & freediving can, counter-intuitively, go together.

I have no affiliation with Buteyko I just saw it work. It worked immediately & gave continual improvement -- over a 6 week period the person in question went from 6 double-doses of emergency inhaler a day (plus other medicines) down to 0 emergency inhalers (other medications retained). They learned how to halt an asthma attack (which previously often required ambulance & ER). A change of environment can help too (pollen, mold spores, dust mites, smoke, pollution, etc.). Sea air seems to help us -- not everybody is the same though.
 
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naiad

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One thing which is important is to avoid cold air, for those who are sensitive to it. I have always disliked cold air, because it causes my nose and sinuses to get congested, and if I breathe through my mouth it causes chest pain.

The 'asthma' episode which I had last year was caused by this. I had flu, and the central heating broke down on the same night. It was a very cold night. Although I wasn't cold all over, I was breathing cold air the whole night, and because my nose was blocked, I had to breathe through my mouth. This caused a burning pain in my chest. The next day the flu was much better, but I now had a severe chest infection. This took months to clear up, and three courses of antibiotics, one of 10 weeks.

I don't have any asthma symptoms now, and I can do everything as normal. Unfortunately my left lung is still not ok, I think it is scarred. I hope it heals eventually.

Lesson learnt the hard way - keep warm, and avoid something if it makes me feel ill. And now I know how to let the air out of the central heating system. :duh

I have noticed that holding my breath relieves sinus congestion. If I have blocked sinuses, and I hold my breath, when it starts becoming difficult my sinuses and nose suddenly unblock. The fact that this happens during the 'struggle phase' suggests that it is caused by high CO2. It is a very temporary effect. Another good side effect of freediving is that I don't get middle ear infections any more.

Lucia
 
Mr. X

Mr. X

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naiad said:
One thing which is important is to avoid cold air, for those who are sensitive to it. I have always disliked cold air, because it causes my nose and sinuses to get congested, and if I breathe through my mouth it causes chest pain.
Interesting. The Buteko method emphasises nose breathing over mouth breathing...perhaps to retain/slow down release of CO2?

naiad said:
I have noticed that holding my breath relieves sinus congestion. If I have blocked sinuses, and I hold my breath, when it starts becoming difficult my sinuses and nose suddenly unblock. ...
I believe the Buteko nose clearing technique involves holding the nose (pinched) and rocking the head slowly backwards & forwards. Surprisingly effective I am told.

Glad to hear you are over the asthma. Sounds like you acted incredibly decisively - with the bedding & antibiotics. Best to nip it in the bud if you can. Bleeding a radiator....they should teach that in school, I have fallen fowl of that a couple of times myself. Hope your lung gets better. ;)
 
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naiad

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Mr. X said:
Sounds like you acted incredibly decisively - with the bedding & antibiotics. Best to nip it in the bud if you can. Bleeding a radiator....they should teach that in school, I have fallen fowl of that a couple of times myself.
I researched the problem myself, if I hadn't done so I would still be on inhalers every night, with the dusty mattress and the chest infection!

The doctor prescribed asthma inhalers, despite the fact that I insisted that it was an infection, as it was a localised wheeze and obstruction and not in the whole lung. I mentioned that it was much worse at night, but I was told that this is normal with asthma, so I didn't get any advice about anti-dust mite bedding. The inhaler made the problem worse - the more I used it, the more I needed to use it.

I agree that bleeding a radiator is an essential skill! The worst that can happen is that it starts spouting grey water - messy, but better than the outcome of my cautionary tale! :D

Lucia
 
Mr. X

Mr. X

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naiad said:
I researched the problem myself, if I hadn't done so I would still be on inhalers every night, with the dusty mattress and the chest infection!

The doctor prescribed asthma inhalers, despite the fact that I insisted that it was an infection, as it was a localised wheeze and obstruction and not in the whole lung. I mentioned that it was much worse at night, but I was told that this is normal with asthma, so I didn't get any advice about anti-dust mite bedding. The inhaler made the problem worse - the more I used it, the more I needed to use it.

I agree that bleeding a radiator is an essential skill! The worst that can happen is that it starts spouting grey water - messy, but better than the outcome of my cautionary tale! :D

Lucia
Asthma, for us anyway, is/was much worse at night. A person that seems perfectly healthy during the day can turn blue & be in need of urgent ER attention at 1am. Unfortunately new bed, covers, etc. made no difference for us -- nor did getting rid of all the carpets (an expensive undertaking). We ended up moving -- a long way away (tree pollen seemed a major agrivating factor). However some very major surgery was involved along the way. Not for the forum though.

Yes, we noticed emergency inhalers seem to be self perpetuating too (great for the drugs companies) when used regularly. They also seem to make the person act as if they have drunk way too much strong coffee -- heart racing, over excited, flushed. There was some talk of an issue with the propellant too -- it has been changed once or twice.

By the way, be careful with anti-inflammatories & asthma, apparently 20% of asthmatics are highly allergic to NSAIDs - non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, like Ibuprofen, Asprin, Naproxin Sodium, etc.. We found out the hard way...it came as part of the package with the onset of asthma. A nurse practitioner misdiagnosed the onset of a very severe asthma attack as a panic attack & recommended taking an Advil (Ibuprofen) -- with near fatal consequences.
 
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naiad

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I agree that breathing problems in general tend to get much worse at night. In my case, there was also the issue of the dust mites, so maybe it was a combination of both. Dust exposure during the day had only a mild effect, but at night it was very bad.

I don't have problems with NSAIDs, but I avoid them anyway because of the stomach irritation issues - I have had an ulcer in the past, and it says on the packet that it is not recommended for people who have had ulcers.

I also had a misdiagnosis of a panic attack, though it wasn't for asthma, it was after an operation. It's an awful feeling to be in real trouble, with people insisting that it is just anxiety.
 
T

tesler

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Mar 11, 2009
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Hello all,

I found this informative thread while trying to learn newer techniques of handling the asthma problems.
Can anyone update this thread with new information from the last 3 yrs?

thanks,

Amir
 
mccordia

mccordia

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I too have heavy Asthma, and though sometimes its a bit of an issue (I tend to skip my thursday practice quite a few times due to not feeling well/having some issues), just diving when in top shape/not having any problems seems to work quite well.

One thing my doctor did mention /suggestis that some asthamtics may actually do quite well at Freediving, as even though their O2 intake isnt as optimal as a healthy person, usually persons with Asthma tend to have quite a big long capacity in liters, due to the body having to pump around much more air, to get the same O2 intake.
Plus being used to do sports (if you do that regularly) with a lower O2 intake (compared to a 'healthy' person).

This is mostly speculation on behalf of my doctor..but have to say personaly, it does seem to hold true. The first half year of freediving showed quite easy increases in performance. Than sadly I had a lot of holidays and on the last one suffered a shoulder injury that took me out of a things a bit.
But planning to get back into things real active from this point on, so Ill drop in here if there is any asthma related things to report...

I 've been telling myself I have an 'advantage' with Asthma, which might also just be a psychological advantage :)
So one way or another...for me its working quite well....
 
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