Trouble Breathing While Exercising? It Could Be Exercise-Induced - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Trouble Breathing While Exercising? It Could Be Exercise-Induced Asthma

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Nick Boulle is an avid cyclist, but one day, some scary symptoms hit, threatening to slow him down forever.

"And I was in absolute terrible pain from my legs and I couldn't figure out what the deal was... I couldn't even get myself to breathe heavily."

He had no idea what was wrong, and saw multiple doctors, but no one could figure it out.

"I couldn't finish a simple race... I couldn't get through a workout..."

Finally, Boulle met Dr. Mark Millard. He say says Boulle did the right thing by not giving up.

"We have to sometimes do a series of tests, challenge tests to airways to try and understand why something is happening, causing that sense of shortness of breath.."

After a series of tests, they figured out exactly what was wrong with Boulle... exercise triggered asthma.

"And in nick's case, we had to do a series of tests to finally figure out exactly what was the problem, and that also gave us a clue into using medicines that weren't historically used for asthma to help improve his symptoms."

Dr. Millard says shortness of breath shouldn't be ignored and shouldn't stop a person from exercising. He says weight gain is not always the reason for shortness of breath. It's often the other way around.

"A lot of people who are overweight and out of shape are that way because they can't breathe... It's the breathing that triggered the inactivity that triggered the weight gain."

Boulle's new treatments have been a success.

 "I am back to the point where I can at least ride every day ... It's a huge change, much better than it was..."

Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include coughing, tightening of the chest, wheezing, unusual fatigue and shortness of breath.

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